"Women Have No Choice But to do the Right Thing"

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

  1. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Dealing with someone rude or ignorant does not give you the right to be rude. Beginners usually don't know what they don't know. Sometimes you can make gentle, polite suggestions and steer them on the right path. Sometimes you can't. But rudeness is not called for.
  2. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    In my experience, I agree that the newbs can be bad leaders because they have just enough knowledge to make them dangerous with what they don't know what to do with it... but those seasoned "professional students" who won't try to expand their knowledge base by doing anything else, they just keep on taking the same social dance group classes for years and years and years are just as bad (the same old guy in the same print shirt that dances with every girl just the once before they start politely declining and hogs new meat for himself). They've stagnated and reached a plateau, and they don't realize that they're just taking in the same old, same old and can't do anything different with it.

    As far as being rude to newbs (or anybody)- unless they do something REALLY crappy, I'm not. I try being nice first. When that's been exhausted, I try behing nicely honest. Then honest. When nothing seems to work, I try a little snark with an "I'm trying to joke about this to soften the blow, but it's srs bznz, kthx" inclination. In the end, I'd rather not be totally rude, and by then, natural selection has put them on the fringe anyway. They dance alone or they don't dance. Something I also try to do is not call any individual out in class, but do the Common Faults You Might Find spot-check thing, and go through various scenarios where leads or follows might be screwing up, why, and how to fix it. Of course, they also have to be paying attention instead of macking on their partner, but whatever. I do reserve flatout @ssery for the most deserving of situations. And really, they don't come up that often. It's just when they do, chewing on them awhile is somehow cathartic.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    then again, there are some folks who absolutely will not honor a soft reprimand....some folks will push and push and push until it becomes clear that a can of whoop is the only thing that is going to do it
  4. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    I think it's really silly and obnoxious when women do this. On occasion, like yesterday, I was having trouble learning the last part of the pattern. I told the lady I rotated to that I'm just going to do sugar pushes at the end because I'm very confused on how to lead the move.

    She refused to do the sugar pushes! Instead she just hauled off and did something that resembled the pattern. To me she looked like a pole dancer.

    Ladies: If a lead says he doesn't know how to lead the pattern, he doesn't know how to lead the pattern. That could be why he is standing like a cement block so do your job and FOLLOW!
  5. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    I thought I should include an
  6. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Here is my one week epilogue after the incident I wrote about in my OP:

    After the workshop that lady (that couldn't follow) sat for a very long time without being asked to social dance. Keep in mind that she was young, well dressed, and was quite attractive. Apparently the guys that had her in the lesson decided that she wasn't worth their time in a social dance. She eventually left.

    I had fully intended on asking her to dance. I would have given her a good basic dance and wouldn't have not said a word unless she asked. Unfortunately every time I approached her a lady would run up to me and ask me to dance before I could I could ask the newbie. She (the newbie) left before I could get to her.

    I have to think this story would have a happier outcome if she would have gone to the beginner class.

    This week she didn't show up.
  7. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    It could have turned out differently if you'd rain-checked one of your regulars to take her out, too. Pimpin' ain't easy, but it's necessary.
    danceronice likes this.
  8. Signature

    Signature Member

    Again? I don't think I've ever mentioned how long I've been dancing. How could I mention it again? However, I took my first west coast swing lesson just over 15 years ago.

    How is that even relevant? Some of the dancers (around here) who repeatedly come forward without being led have been dancing WCS (and taking intermediate/advanced lessons) for five or more years. They never learned the basic technique. If the teacher reviews it, they ignore it because it's "beginner" stuff.

    Throughout the years, I've made a point to dance with followers of all skill levels. If a follower tells me that they're new, I'll ask how long they've been dancing. That sets my expectations of what moves she has learned, and what level her technique will be at. If she's well above the average for her level, I'll certainly make a note of it. I like to encourage the dancers who are above the curve.

    Furthermore, I pay attention in class, not only to the instructions for the leaders, but also the instructions for the followers. I am aware of the most common mistakes, and the corrections for them.

    If a move falls apart, I don't assume that it's my partner's fault. I'll see if it happens a second time. If it does, I'll run it enough times to figure out what the problem is. If I know what caused it -and- I know how to fix it, then I'll offer advice. More importantly, I take credit for my own mistakes. The newer dancers assume I'm just being polite. I'm not. I'm being honest instead.

    And I'm not there to serve her, nor am I getting paid for it.

    About once a month I'll have a social dance with one of the follows who consistently disconnects and/or comes forward too early. That sabotages every single move (sometimes more than once per 6-beat or 8-beat move). I end up doing mental gymnastics and physical contortions to avoid a complete train wreck. At the end of the song, I typically get the same comment from each one:
    "You are so easy to dance with."

    I guess that makes one of us.

    Correcting you blatantly is rude. (Is there a way to actually correct you that you so subtly that you aren't aware of it?) Avoiding you on the social dance floor is rude. Turning you down when you ask us to dance is rude.

    So my choices are to put up with a completely lousy dance, or be rude. When you're in that position, which one do you pick?

    Maybe I'm less thin-skinned, but I'll actually listen to advice from dancers on the social dance floor. I've even had some mediocre dancers give me advice that rapidly improved my dancing (when I was learning a new style).

    raindance,
    Would you rather know that you're doing something wrong, or would you rather be the only person who doesn't?

    Knowledge is power.
    snapdancer likes this.
  9. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Active Member

    Keeping a partner in-place is probably the easiest of all the possible movements in
    partnering. So, some followers jump the gun, but it's by no means the end of the
    world. It's amusing how so many WCS instructors make such a fuss about refining
    the (delayed) step on count 1. It's even more amusing how these instructors differ
    from each other on how to do this anyway.

    I have quite a different take on this. The reason most dancers jump the gun on
    movement is usually because they can't move "fast enough" for lack of physical
    coordination/ability. IOW, if a dancer doesn't have enough confidence to move
    down the slot and turn around in the time allotted, then he/she will have the
    need/urge to start early. Of course, one irony in this is that moving quick enough
    often entails delaying enough for the set-up. Improve the movement and balance
    and the timing (and musicality) suddenly becomes a minor issue.

    Many dancers will simply never be able to move well enough to achieve the
    miriad of slow-down and speed-up refinements, so partners will just have to deal
    with it.

    Put up with the (one) lousy dance, of course. That's the primary directive in social dancing... to
    be inclusive and accommodating of the flaws of the partner and do it with a smile on one's face
    (as long as physical injury is not an issue). Dance communities are not sustainable without
    a lot of tolerance. Once a month is no sacrifice.
  10. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    So much drama in the WCS. At least the music's fun, though, right?
  11. atk

    atk Active Member

    I find it very telling that your posts rely on the assumption of your expertise, yet when asked about your expertise you cherry pick the easiest questions (which have nothing to do with expertise) rather than the substantive ones, deflect instead of reply, and attack the non-substantive.

    I ask you to answer the rest of the questions I posed to you. I am interested in what expertise upon which you base your arguments.

    If you aren't an expert, that's fine and nothing to be ashamed of. Most people never become xperts in most things. Almost nobody h3re would think less of non-experts.

    IndyLady and Bailamosdance like this.
  12. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    here's the thing:no one is on a lesson at a social....therefore, no one is asking for instruction....so yes, it is rude of you to instruct....and yes, in that venue, almost all people would prefer not to get instruction from a fellow dancer....and, I find that if one dancer is clearly better than another, and a person is struggling they will actually ASK the better dancer for advice on how something felt or whatever...so, if you aren't getting that, the other person probably doesn't percieve you to be significantly better...in which case case, yes, keep your mouth shut....it is two minutes of your life....big deal...women are perceptive, if you aren't asking them to dance after that, they will figure it out...and that isn't rude....you don't have to dance with anyone....and, be assured that just as often as you are experiencing frustration, there is a frustrated follow keeping her mouth shut about what is wrong with your dancing....so have a little humility....and stop needing social dances to be perfect as your source of happiness and sense of success
    Loki, danceronice, twnkltoz and 3 others like this.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and to answer the concern about how that person will then ever learn.....you have not been issued a divine appointment to be responsible for anyone else's dance progress....they can choose to improve...or not....you are in charge of your own improvement...in dance, in patience, in diplomacy, in attitude...you are only in charge of that...and in whether or not you accept or ask for certain dances (and how you do that as well)....I suggest that if we all kept our attention to those things, we would all have enough challenge and not need to add our frustrations with others to the mix
    Loki, danceronice, stash and 2 others like this.
  14. IndyLady

    IndyLady Active Member

    If my partner *tells* me - i.e. uses his words, his verbal skills, like I have been harping on for several posts now, I would be happy to accommodate. But that is not what happened in the particular situation we were discussing. If he just stops with no warning, or does something different from what we are supposed to be learning in the group without saying anything, then yeah, there's a chance I might not follow and "lead myself". Keep in mind that I, too, as the follow am working on learning the pattern, which (for me) involves both knowing my steps and how to respond to the lead - not just the latter. And again, I re-iterate - if it is really that important to make someone understand something that is going horribly wrong, start by *saying* something, rather than some sort of mind reading/physical force exercise. (Note - I am talking about group classes here.)

    Having said that, fascination is absolutely right. At a social, you are there to dance and have a good time, not instruct and not expect that everything is going to go perfectly. Unless you happen to find a venue with 100% perfect WCS followers, you might want to be a little more patient and just a tad less serious. It's not the end of the world when a move doesn't go right. And if the lady can read the disgust and impatience on your face (which might be more evident than you think), it's going to go downhill from there.

    Agreed about the drama, Hedwaite. My instructor keeps telling me I should do WCS... granted this is only a couple data points, but this thread doesn't really inspire me to want to pursue it (yes, yes, I know, you are thankful for that).
    rain_dog, Hedwaite and danceronice like this.
  15. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Bolding mine. This is a joke, right?
    Hedwaite likes this.
  16. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    this is the conundrum of beginner group classes… in reality, it is best for a leader if a follow accurately responded, even if the leader was wrong, as it is a good learning experience. However, the follow paid the same money for the class and is entitled to a leader that does their job as well. The usual result is that group classes become 'step-a-thons' with folks who simply can memorize patterns appearing to be dancing.

    And yes, it is a joke lol. The person who actually thinks that while in the learning process the leader will simply do the right thing, as well as the follower is fooling themselves. As I mentioned, repeating some OCDish step pattern in not dancing...
  17. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Active Member

    The golden rule of dance indeed.

    There's always a chance some follows jump the gun because the leader has done something,
    before, during, or after the pattern in question to cause the anxiety. Lead-follow dancing
    is highly interactive, and assigning blame is often a futile effort.
    IndyLady and Bailamosdance like this.
  18. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Yes, she was correct in doing the pattern, as she is in the class to learn what is being taught. Why would you think someone would NOT want to dance what is being taught? You might want to take this lady aside and offer her money to be your practice partner and work with you. She sounds like she has a better overview of what was going on in the class (which was over your head) and she needs compensation for dancing with you… then, you can ask her to do whatever 'steps' you want to work on.
    fascination, danceronice and atk like this.
  19. RiseNFall

    RiseNFall Well-Known Member

    Ah, well. If I'm following a real beginner and he/she hasn't got the basics I'll try to help him/her get what something is supposed to feel like. That is encouraged in the classes I take. On the other hand, if the leader is leading something different, because s/he forgot the pattern or has the lead for it really really wrong, I do what is lead. USUALLY, if the leader says outright that s/he doesn't know it, we try to work it out together. I have NEVER had a leader say, oh, let's just do sugar pushes. Never, never, never.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  20. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Active Member

    Dance rule #XX: If a dancer wants advice and to be criticized, then he/she will gladly pay for it... or read posts in forums.

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