Holding wrists in social dances

bia

Well-Known Member
#22
My teacher sometimes holds my wrist in lessons, probably for the reasons Larinda described, and I have no problems with it. But occasionally my DH, playing around, takes my wrist when we're practicing, and my back immediately and involuntarily goes up -- I know he's kidding, and I love and trust the man, but it's a hold that creates/marks a significant power differential, and I'm not comfortable with that with him. I've run into it just a couple of times in social dancing, and I don't like it, though the overall attitude/behavior of the leader can significantly intensify or mitigate the degree of dislike.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#23
But occasionally my DH, playing around, takes my wrist when we're practicing, and my back immediately and involuntarily goes up
Yeah, that was why I asked the question. It seems to me that the follow is going to perceive that as manhandling, no matter how gently it's done. With all due respect to Larinda, I think a student follow will tolerate things from someone that they know is an instructor that they won't tolerate from someone else.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#25
it's a hold that creates/marks a significant power differential, and I'm not comfortable with that with him. I've run into it just a couple of times in social dancing, and I don't like it, though the overall attitude/behavior of the leader can significantly intensify or mitigate the degree of dislike.
Particularly if the wrist hold is more of a wrist lock... and you are unable to remove your wrists from the person doing it. I've had that done to me before, did not like it, found it very intimidating, especially as a female having a male do it to me on the dance floor.
 

ajiboyet

Well-Known Member
#26
No, not at all.

When you hold a womand hands or fingers (yuck) she has lots of little joints that allow her to move completely independant of the mans lead. The energy is simply deflected right out of her body. I find THAT to be less lead and follow and more just a couple moving through some steps on their own but touching.

If you hold her wrist, and SMALL inclination up or down, rotation up or down or to either side, push into her forearm or pull away is IMMEDIATLEY transmitted into her shoulder and the lead is VERY unmistakable. And FAR more preferable than a man that plops out his hand for me to grab with no connection from him... I can't stand doing NYers and sliding right off the mans hand unless I grip onto him!!!

Of course a man can over do it and ruin the whole effect by coming off as an ogre, but if used properly it is a VERY effective and immediate method of communication. I find it a very comfortable and stable position.
Makes sense. However, I think it's up to the woman to hold her body such that she can pick up clear leads from her fingers and palm.

Or maybe it's just easy for me to say this because I don't usually follow.
 

bia

Well-Known Member
#27
I'm pretty sure (if I'm understanding what this hold is), it's a perfectly legitimate (and more stable supposedly) hold to use in latin/rhythm to (as Larinda mentioned) avoid holding on to fingers and having a stronger "control", allowing for more clear lead/follow. Perhaps those who find it weird are not used to it, or the leads in question are gripping tightly or incorrectly or something, leading it to be uncomfortable/strange. But it doesn't sound as awful/strange as others are making it sound to me.
To clarify, what I'm discussing here is not one of the latin holds I was taught, with the leader holding the meat of my hand and his thumb extending along my wrist. What I'm discussing is when the leader's fingers are encircling my wrist, with my hand not involved at all.
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#28
Here's the thing that gets me about this. I don't (yet) dance smooth, but when I was doing pro-am latin, there were a few patterns where my instructor wanted me to go with a wrist hold in lieu of a hand hold. After the lessons where she introduced me to these, I tried to apply them at a social dance here in Huntsville. It was really quite obvious that the ladies I used the hold on found it confusing and uncomfortable. So I stopped doing it at that venue. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm social dancing and I'm doing something that's making the lady uncomfortable, I'm doing it wrong.

Of course, that's not to say that there might not be other venues where it would be just fine. I just think it's worth trying to be aware of the person one's dancing with.
 

debmc

Well-Known Member
#29
As Bia pointed out, there is a difference between when a leader holds on to the follow's wrists with his hand, or a leader encircles the follow's wrists with entire hand/fingers, rendering the follower in "lock down" mode.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#30
I think there is also a difference between the competitive pro/am dynamic and the social one....your pro knows your intent...in fact, she requested it and has experienced it before...asocial lady with no competitive experience (particularly in that move) may have serious questions/concerns about a hold that seems restrictive...

like, I don't think twice about coming into contact with my pro in standard, or (now) about placing a hand on his chest.....I know of men at social venues who positively blanch when I forget myself and go into contact in close hod with them...and who continue to quake for most of the dance ...and heaven knows what they would think if I placed a hand upon their chest...i think it is always fair game to tell a social partner that you aren't accustomed to this or that when you dance and to inquire (even if it's right after the dance)as to a particular methodology
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#31
I think there is also a difference between the competitive pro/am dynamic and the social one....your pro knows your intent...in fact, she requested it and has experienced it before...asocial lady with no competitive experience (particularly in that move) may have serious questions/concerns about a hold that seems restrictive...
Absolutely, that was a huge part of my point. Believe me, I wasn't faulting the ladies in question at all.
 

mindputtee

Well-Known Member
#33
There are some really interesting points here. I don't think I'm a particularly difficult follower, and I know some other girls who I know are good followers who have commented on it happening too. He always asks me, so I can't be that difficult.

I've always been taught that ballroom is a conversation, the leader suggests a move and the follower decides to comply. I feel that when my wrist is held in such a way (the encircled way, I'd have to wrench it away to drop frame if I wanted) that I'm not longer a part of the conversation, I'm forced to do what he says. It's really interesting to see the very differing perspectives on this though.
 

bia

Well-Known Member
#34
As far as this particular leader, given that he uses the same hold with all of his partners, and assuming that he acts as a gentleman otherwise, I would assume that the wrist hold is a convention that he learned in a context where it is more common and/or a habit that he developed because he found that it improved the effectiveness of his lead. If you're curious, I don't see any harm in asking him for reasons; if you'd just prefer a different hold, I don't see any harm in asking for that, either.

Without the intention of being inflammatory, I'm trying to think of any other context where one person has another person by the wrist that isn't coercive. I'm not trying to impugn anyone's motives, and I recognize that particular positions and movements can have very different meanings in dance than outside dance, but I am not at all surprised that many of us followers don't like it. Since it's not common in our previous dance experience, our automatic interpretation will be according to whatever other connotations we know for being restrained at the wrist.
 

madmaximus

Well-Known Member
#35
Without the intention of being inflammatory, I'm trying to think of any other context where one person has another person by the wrist that isn't coercive.
The few times I've done this in a social-dance context were with ladies who demonstrated severe cases of not-letting-go (in Latin/Rhythm/smooth)--most particularly during under-arm type turns, where the danger of breaking someone's wrist because of momentum is very real.

Typically, in 1) a social context, I use a finger/palm hold, 2) with a beginning/intermediate, I use a palm/hand hold, and 3) with a competitor (and depending on her level too,) I would use a hand/wrist combination.






m
 

madmaximus

Well-Known Member
#37
Hi Py!

I've been SOOOO busy, this is the first real time-off I've gotten this past many weeks.

I thank you for the well-wishes; indeed, we are enjoying the holidays.

Likewise, I wish you and yours (and everyone on DF for that matter) the best of the holidays.






m
 

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#40
I have used multiple holds. Sometimes, I use just one finger. It all depends...I have had ladies who don't like those wrist like holds...and one said that she realized I did it from rueda and danced with a lot of beginners...
 

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