Ceroc vs Swing

I would like to learn dancing, but I have trouble picking up the rhythm of songs. I know rhythm is inherent to dancing, but I am inspired by a friend of mine who said that he did not pick up the rhythm of songs for many months, but he kept at it and kept at it, slowly worked on his dancing and finally one day everything 'clicked' and he is now able to pick up rhythm easily.

My question is, what would be the best form of dancing to learn for a beginner, that is least reliant on picking up the rhythm of the song?

I've done a bit of research and it has come down to Ceroc vs Swing (Salsa, Tango seem to be heavily reliant on rhythm, I would like to learn Ballroom dancing at a later stage, so that too is out).

What would you recommend? Ceroc? or Swing? or another form?


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I'm not sure I would pick swing. For me swing (ECS) has a 6 count basic within a 8 beat musical phrase structure, thus it does not always start on the 1. It also has syncopation in the basic with the triple step....

How did you choose what dance to learn? I would suggest also taking into account music that you like and what is being done in your area so you have a chance to practice and learn with others. Also, what dance experience have you had already? Any type of experience moving to music.

One suggestion having no idea of your realities and preferences: There is merengue which is just stepping left right, left right, left right. That is a good dance where you can practice basics of partner connection, and leading your partner through moves while still keeping your foot moving. As a next step I would say something like box foxtrot as that still stays within the musical phrase, but has steps that take 1 and 2 beats. One can add complexity and mix things up by adding the 6 count basic and so forth.

I regularly start people out with merengue, and then move on. Another idea is doing something like contra. The moves are called out and taught, people have been friendly wherever I go, and your body/mind gets used to moving to the music. Dance aerobics is another idea. All different ways to get used to moving to music.


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I would say the best dance for you is the one that actually appeals to you in some way, be it the music, or the people, or something else about it.
Your question is a bit like "I want to play a ballgame - what is best to start with, volleyball or soccer?" - people who love sports might have enough proficiency in both to have a fun social game, and they will usually have started soccer earlier, but what is easier to learn first, or which one is the one they love is not really about the sports, but about them.
You can start in any dance, and get to "finding the rhythm" there, but you will only actually learn the dance, and stick with it, and have fun if you at least to some extent fall in love with it.



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...what would be the best form of dancing to learn for a beginner, that is least reliant on picking up the rhythm of the song?

I've done a bit of research and it has come down to Ceroc vs Swing (Salsa, Tango seem to be heavily reliant on rhythm..
Hi netmatrix, welcome here!

- every dance syllabus has levels for beginners and levels for advanced students.

- Ceroc or swing make no difference because they share the same music and the same rhythm 4/4 and stem from the same ancestors (styling, steps, phrasing, and appeal may differ).

- Salsa indeed is rather complicated for untrained western ears.

- Different from what you say: the easiest access is provided by tango because in the beginning you don´t have "quicks" at all. You only have to step on every beat of the music like a metronome one - two - three - four -one ....


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Swing, I would say. Though from what I understand, ce roc ("that rock") should have the same rhythms. But then, I'm in the USA, whereas ceroc is French and we have no exposure to it.

Obviously, where you first learn rhythm depends on what's available where you are. Once you have learned it in one dance, you can pick it up in another.

I started out with intermediate salsa -- we didn't know at the time that it was intermediate level, plus my then-wife's brain-washing of me had informed me that dancing would be impossibly difficult for me anyway -- she was dead wrong! I didn't get the salsa rhythm at all then, but four years later I just naturally fell right into it, following the rhythm without even being able to tell anybody just what I was following. In the meantime, along with a few other dances, I worked with West Coast Swing (WCS). It was in WCS that I was finally able to start to follow the beat.

And yet ... ! In Lindy Hop class (the original swing dance, with the exact same rhythms as West Coast Swing, which much later evolved from Lindy), a friend with years of salsa experience was struggling with swing. You see, in salsa, it's the same 8-count rhythm, albeit polyrhythmic (which is what makes it so very interesting), whereas in swing, you syncopate the rhythm. Even the basic swing rhythm is a syncopation of salsa's straight 8 counts: 1 2 3&4 5&6 or 1 2 3&4 5 6 7&8. My salsera friend had no end of problems with swing rhythm and syncopation, whereas that was what I had basically cut my teeth on and had no problem with.

Whichever dance you start with will give you access to the basics of dance rhythm (which is subtly different from music-theory rhythm -- a got'cha from my own aborted "dancing education" so many years ago). The particular dance doesn't really matter: what matters is that you get out there and start moving your body to the music!

Which brings us to the next topic.

A bit more than a few years ago, I was at somebody's all-night dance party (the clean-up and handling all the pot-luck food was horrendous, so it's been years since) and a woman voiced her irritation and frustration with people at a live performance who "obviously didn't enjoy the music, since they just sat there motionless." I knew what was going on, since I was myself one of those people she was railing against. I explained to her that those people are listeners, as I used to be (and still am). We listeners listen to all the voices of that polyphonic ("many voices") music, taking it all in and seeing how it all works together. Music is very enjoyable to us listeners, even though we may not have any associations between the music and physical movement.

Now, one obstacle for listeners is that we listeners hear everything. When my girlfriend, later my wife of 28 years, "tried" to teach me how to dance, all she ever did was to tell me "Just listen to the music and do what it tells you to do." OK. I listened to the music and I heard everything in that music! Everything! Now, where does a dancer get the basic timing from? From the rhythm section, oftentimes from the drums. But a listener hears everything, so the rhythm section gets deeply buried; the various melodic voices tend to distract our attention from the basic rhythm section.

When we start to learn how to dance and how to follow a song's basic rhythm, we need to learn to block out a lot of the voices that we are used to listening to. It is only later, after we have worked out the basics, that we then need to work in those parts that we used to block out.

Because a dancer dances to all parts of the music. You just need to work your way up to that level.

Interestingly, my ex would dance to a local Irish band's music, but she never took in the entire song and would completely miss out on their lyrics among other things.
What music do you enjoy the most? Its going to be easier to start to pick up the rhythm . A point about East Coast swing , there are single, triple and double step types. Single being the easiest and can be done to very
fast swing music. Actual one of the instructors I had said don't
worry about the steps, have fun! Yes it is going to look and feel much better if you step correct.

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