General Dance Discussion > "Women Have No Choice But to do the Right Thing"

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Generalist, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    We call them bully leads. Eventually they move on when they see follows actively avoiding them. But I digress...
  2. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    There is the game changer. She was blaming her partner.

    Interestingly, in the 2 hour Lindy Hop workshop I took last weekend, we were encouraged to talk about how things were going with our partners. And, I actually DID get useful input from my partners.

    If you really expect someone who has taken lessons from the same instructor for over a year, and / or has been taking lessons and dancing for years, to silently bear being criticized by someone who doesn't know what they are talking about, I think that could be reassessed.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  3. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    And he wasn't? I'm sorry, but it sounds to me like was not only doing so (before she did), but was doing so in downright passive-aggressive fashion. I'm all for talking things over with my partners and getting useful input from them. But the whole turn-yourself-into-deadweight-to-prove a point is pretty obnxious coming from anyone other than an instructor in a lesson.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
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  4. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Yep. He was trying to embarrass her into doing the correct move, she didn't get that he was just being obstructive on purpose, so he clarified it with words. I don't care if my pro does that to me in a lesson after telling me he's going to do it, but some random am guy in a class? I'd just assume he's a jerk.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yep...I only pay people to abuse me:) you don't get to do that for free
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  6. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

  7. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member


    - forward instead of doing an in place thing for 2 counts - single double or triple rhythm is ok, but a triple is the norm, and THIS is the basic pattern in West Coast Swing, with an "away connection" at the second beat.

    Is this being call abuse?
    If so, that's a pretty low bar.

    Oh, and did this woman have no choice but to do the right thing? Apparently she didn't.
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's abuse. I think it's high-handed. He did it not because he genuinely made an error or she did something that FORCED him to stop (I can think of at least ten things I could do in Foxtrot alone where I could force my lead to have to pick between stop and fall), she did something wrong and he deliberately and ostentatiously called her out on it. Not because he's her teacher, just to show off that she was wrong and he knew it.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sigh....I was jesting about people tolerating one thing from the pro but not from a regular guy at a social...not intending some sort of literal implication of abuse
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  10. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    And I'll add that while he said she had no business in the class, he also said that they made it through the pattern after his little demonstration. So despite his judging, if she wasn't experienced enough for the workshop, this part wasn't apparently why.

    Seriously though, an analogy - there are times where my lead can be light to a fault. I like to think that it's better than being someone who manhandles his partners, but there really are times where I'm genuinely erring. And there have been a couple of times where someone I'm dancing with has nicely said something along the lines of, "hey, I didn't get that. Could I get a bit more of a lead?" My reaction? I sincerely apologized and tried to give the clearest lead I could.

    On the other hand, if I were ever dancing with someone, had them stop dead on the dance floor, and tell me when I asked what was wrong that she couldn't follow if I didn't lead, it would be the last time I ever danced with her. Even though she would technically be in the right. I just don't see a good reason to embarrass someone you're dancing with. There are better ways to deal with problematic partners.

    And as an aside, I've never agreed with the whole "women have no choice but to do the right thing" thing. I can understand why an instructor might says so to newbies - there are a lot of half-truths that get told to beginner dancers for reasons. In the long run though, it's strikes me as terribly belittling towards the ladies' contributions to partnerships.
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  11. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Obnoxious? Really? Most lessons I go to the ladies are instructed to not execute the move unless the guy leads her. So, why doesn't the reverse situation hold true?
  12. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    I never thought she was embarrassed. Quite the contrary -- she learned something that will definitely improve her dancing.
  13. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    This was an intermediate workshop but she had no clue how to do a proper sugar push. She should have attended the beginner class which was being given concurrently with ours.
  14. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    Yes, obnoxious and yes embarassed.

    Look, all I'm saying is that no matter how well-intentioned you may have been, in the circles I run in, that's considered a particularly unpleasant way to correct someone. And that's when students correcting students is already viewed quite dimmly. Seriously, see the many, many posts on this forum about how much people hate being "helped" by other students. Certainly every instructor I've ever known has emphasized the importance of focusing more on one's own dancing rather than what everyone else is doing wrong - ultimately it's the only thing one can really control.

    YMMV. Then again, it may not.
  15. IndyLady

    IndyLady Well-Known Member

    This. The first approach should have been to attempt to mention something to her verablly in a delicate manner where you still remain humble. The "I'll show you by blocking you" method should have been Plan B at best. As a follow, if I had been messing something up and a lead corrected me in that fashion (the "passive-aggressive" approach), I would have made a mental note that he had arrogant jerk tendencies and would generally look for an alternate partner in any future situations - maybe add him to my "little black book", to use an analogy from another thread.
  16. Signature

    Signature Member

    I don't consider this to be "passive-aggressive." I call it, "Show, don't tell." If a lady can take two steps towards me with zero lead whatsoever, she's not following.

    Followers, if you're in class/workshop learning a move, and the leader provides zero lead, what do you do? Do you walk through the move anyway? Or do you stand there and wait for a lead?

    All of the best follows in my classes will do the latter. Not only is it indicative that they're paying attention to the lead, it also gives the leaders instant feedback about whether they're leading the move correctly.

    How is Generalist's behavior different?

    That sounds like a win-win for the lead. Either he teaches the follower to stop trying to lead herself, or he no longer has to deal with the follower asking him to dance. (Leads actively avoid followers who make this mistake during social dancing.)

    Which would you find more embarrassing, being corrected in this manner, or having every decent lead avoid dancing with you socially, because they find it unpleasant?

    I fully believe that I can lead a follower through 90%+ of my repertoire if she has good connection. But if a woman has such poor connection that she's coming forward without a lead, I can't even lead her through the basics correctly.

    Do you expect Generalist (or any other leader) to care?

    Let's turn this around. If a leader yanks you around, can't keep the beat and doesn't let you settle on your anchor, are you going to feel bad if he stops asking you to dance after you correct him? Or are you going to feel relieved?
  17. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    "Show, don't tell" is harsh if done deliberately when your victim hasn't agreed to let you teach them, preferably by booking a lesson and paying you. Ditto with "tell" during a class or social, unless input has been requested, or unless safety is an issue (e.g. "that hurts when you do that" or "watch out you're about to run us into someone").

    And a class isn't going to be full of the best followers, or only include those with what you consider a good connection. There is going to be a variety. And some of them will be thinking about what they were told to do by the teachers in the class, and at some moments, they may not be following at their own personal best (which will vary anyway). Classes are different than social dancing that way, because the followers have two sets of instructions and information coming at them - those from the class and those from the lead of the partner they rotated to. And typically since some of the leads are juggling new information (since it's a class, after all) they may not be leading at their best either. So it can be challenging for a follower to figure out when to "just" follow the lead, and when to try to make something work for the moment. (And no, that doesn't mean the follower wants you to "help" by telling her which you prefer after she picked the "wrong" one!)

    It would be lovely if everyone tried to keep it pleasant for each other for the duration of the class, regardless of various shortcomings in following, leading, or even etiquette. Obviously, as the example above shows, that doesn't always happen. One makes a mistake, another gets snarky, etc, etc. And then defensive ("His/her mistake was so bad I was entitled to get snarky!!" or "He/she got snarky first!") Sigh.
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  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    (Apologies in advance, Mods, I can't resist.)

    Yes, she did, but I don't think it's what YOU think it was....
  19. raindance

    raindance Well-Known Member

    Regarding - "Do you expect Generalist (or any other leader) to care?"

    Well, it sure would be nice if the leaders cared about treating followers nicely.

    But if you don't care, keep it up, and tell all your leader friends to do the same ... and see how many followers keep coming to the classes you go to. If there is enough of that attitude in a venue (a class, or a social dance), followers will stop coming back. You'll keep getting newbies for a while, but many won't stick around.
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  20. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    About following in classes: this is not about the situation discussed above, but more general. It's a difficult situation! During a WCS class in which we were working on difficult-for-us choreography, I thought two leaders showed great people-smarts when one of the said, "help me out" and the other one said, "let me lead it" before we began. They both got what they wanted I didn't have to make a spur of the moment decision when the leads started to falter. Yay!
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