Swing Discussion Boards > A beginners question on frame

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Vamos, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Or, try standing on tiptoe hands pressed together with your partner at about waist height then get your partner to deliberately overbalance - the amount of pressure needed to get them back on their heels is about the right pressure.

    Note the amount of pressure is going to be proportional to the size of person, so if you are small you have to offer a lot more resistance than if you are large.

    You can also try this pressing against a wall to give you the pressure needed for a person about your own size
     
  2. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    What would a lady's weight have to do with the amount of force required to lead her? I lead lots of ladies that are not small and the force of my lead is no greater than with quite tiny ladies.

    I finally had time to watch the second video and it looks like very nice WCS to me. I am not sure what the criticism is?
     
  3. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    In theory, and I stress in theory, weight should not have anything to do with the effort needed to lead, but then you have to add in the effect of momentum - mass times acceleration - and the anchor step in Swing.

    A feather falls at the same speed as a brick, (Newtonian Physics) it accelerates at the same speed as brick, but it makes a much bigger hole in your head when it hits it.

    This effect is much more noticeable in Lindy than WCS because of the speed the dancers are moving at. It's also a lot less noticeable in ballroom because the dancers are generally moving in the same direction parralell to each other (the feather and the brick are falling alongside each other) not in opposition.

    Anyone who has danced Lindy will till you a 'feather light' superb ballroom lead is positively dangerous. If you can't understand why the second video is wrong - then you don't understand the basic nature of Swing dancing.

    Check the comments with the video. . . . .

    Swing is a pulsed dance. with the accents provided by compression - tension points that are aligned to the musical phrasing. The second dance has no accents.
    It's fabulous dancing, but to quote the famous song 'It ain't got that Swing'
     
  4. Vamos

    Vamos New Member

    ...???
     
  5. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    My typing I'm afraid. . . . .

    A good ballroom follower has a 'feather light' response to lead, a few grammes pressure will set her moving.

    Imagine trying to do air-steps where the resistance - tension in lead was about the weight of a cigarette box, it would not be long before you have a partner flying through the air and no one in place to catch them.
     
  6. Vamos

    Vamos New Member

    Hm...this i another of my problems.... when I danced Salsa I used to respond on much lighter pressure and I've been working on changing this ever since I started Lindy. I tend to get a lot of motion and sometimes I have a hard time controling where I end up. Am I responding to much on the lead? how do I change this?
     
  7. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    It sounds you are over reacting to the lead - most ballroom and latin American dancers do this when they first encounter Swing, particularly Lindy.

    The usual indicator of this is the follower stepping off ahead of the beat instead of behind it. If you ask your leaders they'll probably tell you that you are coming forward ahead of the beat. You need to wait till you are on the beat before stepping off.

    You need to hang back till you are on time and not follow the instant you are lead, that will probablly involve building up more tension that you are used to. The lead is not responsible for your timing - you are. He might be leading on time to build up the tension, but if you step forward early you'll miss the tension and end up chasing each other to maintain the tension - which is where you end up moving too fast.

    Check out the dancing in that first video - you can clearly see that the girls movement is half a beat behind the lead.
     
  8. dansant

    dansant New Member

    Hi,

    I think my question fitts in this thread so I'll post it here instead of starting a new. I hope it's ok with you

    I've also been dancing Lindy for about half a year. I started dancing with a friend and we take class once a week and go social dancing once week

    Ok, so my problem is that every time I dance with him on a social dance I get scared of hurting myself. especially in my right arm while doing spins. I don't have this problem with anyone else but I guess this is because we are both beginers and none of us are able to compensate for the others mistakes. I try to keep my arm in front of me and not let the shoulder reach to far back but maybe this is the wrong way to go. Do you have any suggestions on what I/he is doing wrong?

    I feel like a bad follower 'cause I can't make it and I don't want him to feel that I don't have fun when dancing with him.
     
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I know an older female dance insturctor who woke up one morning with a shoulder that was completly black and blue. She had to have surgery to have her rotator cuff repaired. She thought it was from how she was being lead by the average guy.

    Your partner should not be forcing your turns or "cranking" you through the turns. You turn yourself, following his lead.

    He has to learn to feel your momentum and which way you can turn and how quickly and when to stop going there if you aren't. Either that (which is not that easy to do) or work on "patterns" that you both learn by rote.
    Slow down until you both feel comfortable. Pratice to slower music.

    You might want to consult a more experienced dancer or your teacher to get specifics and coaching on this.
     
  10. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    First, it seems important to point out again that we are using a WCS dance to talk about Lindy following???

    Next, I read the comments and all I see are 2-3 people hacking on a very nice ProAm routine? What am I missing in my understanding of swing? They have compression, leverage, he leads her out on the right foot, they speed up and slow down - looks like very nice dancing. I think both dancers should be proud and happy. Perhaps there is a difference between WCS in California and WCS in Scotland?
     
  11. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Welcome to DF :)

    I would have someone watch and make sure the halo he is leading turns with is big enough? When I started leading, it was much easier to just hold my hand above the lady's head then to actually reach far enough to lead the turn without breaking her frame.
     
  12. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    As I said, if you can't see that one is accented to compliment the musical phrasing and the other is not. . . . . .there's not much I can to help you understand Swing - Lindy or WCS.
     
  13. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Vamos, I would still look for being able to follow a "feather light" lead.

    I have been in a fun class series learning the opposite dance roll. So I have been learning to follow and our ladies have been learning to lead. The part that is really helping me is understanding how important accurate timing and good turn preps are to be a good leader. I'm much bigger than almost any lady. Still, a good leader can take me through all kinds of fun stuff with very little force.

    The fun part about learning the ladies part is seeing how important having my own allignment and balance under control is. If I am not relying on anyone but myself for balance and control, then I am easy to lead. If I have to rely on my leader for balance in spins or momentum control, then I no doubt feel like a ton of bricks to lead.

    There is a big Lindy dancer, Dnice, that posts here often and will probably be along before too long with lots of helpful info.
     
  14. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    Fair enough, musicality choices in choreographed WCS routines really has very little to do with basic Lindy following anyway. Cheers :)
     
  15. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    >>Ok, so my problem is that every time I dance with him on a social dance I get scared of hurting myself. especially in my right arm while doing spins. I don't have this problem with anyone else but I guess this is because we are both beginers and none of us are able to compensate for the others mistakes. I try to keep my arm in front of me and not let the shoulder reach to far back but maybe this is the wrong way to go. Do you have any suggestions on what I/he is doing wrong?

    I feel like a bad follower 'cause I can't make it and I don't want him to feel that I don't have fun when dancing with him. <<

    Well, two things, your arm should be in front of you, if your shoulder is going back you will injure yourself. It's your body that turns - not your shoulder.

    As Steve has pointed out, your partner indicates he wants you to turn and you turn - your partner DOES NOT crank you round when you are not ready to go.

    If he does - just walk of the floor.

    Secondly - do you have proper, suede bottomed dance shoes - they will make a BIG difference in the spins. If you don't want to buy dance shoes, get a pair of smooth soled training shoes (sneakers) and get the shoe repair shoe to glue suede (cut from an old coat or skirt) to the bottom. Skateboard shoes work particularly well in Lindy because of the cushioning.
     
  16. Vamos

    Vamos New Member

    Kayak....do you have any other suggestions on good/bad Lindy following videos??

    The following techniques is what I like the most in dancing. I had the most fun dance ever last week with a guy where we just walked/jumped/skipped around the dance floor in different ways. I've considered tango but I don't want more latino dancing. Someone told me balboa has a lot of this tight lead/follow frame. is this true? or should I try charleston perhaps?
     
  17. dansant

    dansant New Member

    Does anyone have suggestions on classes you can take, except for your normal Lindy classes, to learn good spin techniques?
     
  18. dansant

    dansant New Member

    I have both suede soles and a pair of old leather soles (that are way too slippery for me now)

    I guess I just have to tell him this then. I'm not very good at giving critisism. I guess I'll wait till next classes and ask an instructor to make it as constructive as possible.
    Is there anything else you can do as a follower?
    Walking off the dance floor seems a bit too harsh ;)
     
  19. jazz_as

    jazz_as New Member

    I do think I understand Albanaich though. As I understand him you should react on all leads even the 'feather light' ones that are suggesting something but you should do it at the right time and often if you respond on the right beat that lead will have developed into a tension that gives the springy compression/tension look to the dance.

    next time I dance I'll focus on hanging on the eight and see if it makes a difference

    Yeah controling your own balance and holding your weight does a lot to the following/leading. especially when doing dips :D heh when I was a beginner in salsa I once had a really nice dance too a very fast song with a pretty experienced leader. He wanted to end it dramatically with a dip. I had only seen this and never tried it so I just threw my whole weight in his arm. No supporting foot, no abs involved....(talk about complete surrender and trust in the lead) I dropped to the floor with him on topp of me :x Now that was his fault, he shouldn't have done such a dip on an inexperienced follow but I shure learnt to hold my own weight :-D
    I like the body position in Lindy. For me it's much easier to keep that balance when having that bend in the knees.
     
  20. Vamos

    Vamos New Member

    Oh do you dance salsa too Jazz_as??
     

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