When we get back to taking private lessons (that's another story) DH wants to learn to follow WCS. He's 6'3"; I'm 5'7". I think it will be a challenge but we can make it work. But I would prefer to do this only in private lessons ... some of the leaders in our group class are enough shorter than I am that I sometimes have to bend my knees a fair amount. I can only imagine what would happen if one of those leaders tried to dance with DH!
In my experience, there's a point where the normal, "proper" frame starts to break down in standard. That point is, however, pretty extreme, and there are still things one can do to make the dance work. Assuming he'll be at Gumbo this year, I'll be interested to see whether or not Mr4S is taller than I am. There's a lady locally who's comfortably under 5 ft. Suffice it to say, while I *can* dance standard with her, we surely don't dance in a full-up body contact frame.
Alternately, consider the case of female pro-am instructors who dance with students who are juniors. The case I'm thinking of, it was lovely dancing, but it was a modified hold. (It was such a specific modified hold that it probably even has a name, but I wouldn't have any idea what to call it.)
By the way, got american smooth it's own hold? I know this style only from watching YT: and some couples mimick the standard frame while others tend to something that is more upright or tending towards an argentinian embrace.
and there are still things one can do to make the dance work. Assuming he'll be at Gumbo this year, I'll be interested to see whether or not Mr4S is taller than I am. There's a lady locally who's comfortably under 5 ft. Suffice it to say, while I *can* dance standard with her, we surely don't dance in a full-up body contact frame.
You shall indeed. And you have to understand. I usually give my height as 6'2", but I've never actually met a 6'2" or 6'3" ballroom dancer that I wasn't taller than. I'm just curious if the pattern will hold.
I do feel your pain though. My old partner was 5'3" on a tall day. Oddly enough, while I can't imagine you'd have any recollection of me, you may actually remember her from Gumbo the year before last. There was a medical emergency, and she was the gal that basically acted as nurse to the MDs in the ballroom (she was a freshly graduated physical therapist assistant) until the paramedics arrived.
Maybe I am really bad, but for standard close connection, I basically can't dance with people more than 6 inches (without heels) shorter than I am. 8 inches...many many many figures will be out of the window. Although this is more on the competition side; the optimal height difference range is narrower than a social dance height difference range.
I'm taller than most leads at my studio (I'm a little over 5'9" in my socks), and it has necessitated some adjustments. If they are more than 2 or so inches shorter in shoes finding a standard frame that feels secure is tough, and underarm turns in latin are a challenge. Do-able though!
I even notice it during my lessons. Pro is a bit shorter, and does a great job at adjusting the frame, but when I have to step through his feet in standard, I have to cut my stride a bit short. Not backward though, as his floor coverage is better than mine. He also occasionally has to remind me not to bend my knees so much (unconcious effort to match height on my part - not supposed to be developing this habit... supposed to just dance long and tall and stretched and not care that I'm a giant).
Actually, come to think of it, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I've danced with someone taller than me, but it certainly hasn't made me stop dancing. Finding a competition partner, on the other hand, has been made a bit difficult by the whole height issue.