Swing Discussion Boards > Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Mikefbolen, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Perhaps he is out dancing, or learning to dance. :)
     
  2. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Mike . . . . M-I-K-E, are you there???
     
  3. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Mike - In the event that you return...

    I started dancing Lindy at age 52 and Balboa at 53. I am now north of 56 and nearing 57. I dance socially and compete (ya, I don't usually beat those 20 somethings, but so what??) and generally have a great time.

    Go for it!
     
  4. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Good for you Doug . . . I am 57, and I am back to competing, having just competed in Swing in the "Open" division against the kids, and out of 13 couples competing, we took a third in one competition, and second in another!

    You have the right attitude . . ."but so what??" . . . exactly what I say!
     
  5. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    Smooth style Lindy has no bouncing! Take your WCS and figure out what you have to do to dance at say 140 BPM. You will have to alter your connection somewhat and loose some "extranious" & inefficient body motions. Once you can do that, kick it up to say 180. After that, 200 BPM. You will find that bouncing is NOT required, nor even (necessarily) desirable.

    Oh, and the "basic" transitions from a sugar push to a whip. So try to get your whip to work at those tempos. What you will find is that it is a higher energy dance, especially for the follow who must move up and down the slot at those higher tempos!

    And in Balboa, bounce is death. It is (should be) so smooth that it makes WCS look bouncy 8)
     
  6. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Hmmmmmmm . . . no bounce in Lindy??? That's kinda of the opposite of what I'm getting - and that's what I see . . . Lindy Hoppers "not" bouncing!

    I really like the Lindy . . . so I need to get to the bottom of this!

    Thanks Doug.
     
  7. Doug

    Doug New Member

    There are a LOT of Lindy styles, and occasionally even "style wars" (imagine that!) Although there are bouncy Lindy Hoppers out there, there are also smooth style Lindy dancers. You can simply choose to dance it smooth.

    Here is the site of some Bay Area neighbors of yours.

    http://www.kevinandcarla.com/visuals_videos.htm

    I think that the only bounce that you see is residual from simply moving quickly and naturally. If you walk naturally, there will be some up and down motion - which I distinguish from "bounce". I don't think that Lindy should be unnaturally bouncy nor should it be unnaturally flat.

    But you will get a LOT of opinions on this point!
     
  8. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    That's how it is. The posture of lindy hop combined with the stepping patterns supplies it. If you got the posture and the stepping right, your bounce/dip/pulse/pump is right. It's that launching upward from ankles with engaged thighs & locked knees which is not the way it "bounces" / "pumps". That's how it goes, which is why I pay no attention to style disputes.

    I don't really like to say "no bouncing" though, because both the ups and the downs need separate explanations beyond that.
     
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    OK . . . thanks to both of you . . . I've worked so hard at being smooth in other dances. So, if I rethink this "bounce" thing, my mind shouldn't fight learning Lindy, which is what I've been doing. And this makes learning very difficult!
     
  10. Doug

    Doug New Member

    And I do strongly reccomend that you check out Balboa. It is becoming increasingly popular among the WCS crowd, lets you dance to essentially any tempos from very slow to 240+ with (relative) ease, and is a very smooooth dance.

    BTW - I often hear from the local WCS crowd that they don't like the bounce of Lindy but I usually (perhaps wrongly?) interpret it as "I don't like to move so quickly or to sweat."
     
  11. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    When watching Carla, you can extract confusion and clarity from her regarding posture. She's always got that straight back, so where's the posture? It's there. It's in her knees & hips where she's applying the appropriate middle ground between tension and looseness.
     
  12. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    My wife ad I have just recently added some Balboa movements in our WCS . . . although we have not done it in public yet (only on our dance floor at home). Also we wonder if we do that Balboa excerpts in something like a "Just Dance" competition, would we get dinged by the judges for not doing WCS??? Only one way to find I guess.

    I love the look of the Lindy - not necessarily the bounce. And . . . I've heard the same thing that I say about WCS and Lindy . . . . "I have spent the last ten years trying to get really smooth . . . and "now I have to bounce?" That's what I hear . . .

    Although I prefer WCS really slow, I also like it fast, and I have caught very fast ones in competition, ones that I thought should have been saved for the Lindy crowd.

    Sweat??? I sweat like a "pig." I always bring extra shirts with me where ever I go . . . I change a lot!
     
  13. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Re: Am I a fool to begin rock n roll dance lessons at age 55

    I'm going to have to completely disagree with these. When discussing things like this you need to make sure you are using the same terminology and not get into symantic arguments.

    The human body is designed to bounce... lindy hop uses standard human movement, the rise and fall and flexing of the body is what is refered to as the bounce. It is absolutely necessary in lindy hop. Balboa has a "bounce" also, though it is usually called a pulse. It is generally considered by the top balboa instructors to be absolutely necessary also.
     
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Right it should be a natural response from the music to your body through the movement you are doing. This is a bounce, I say this and because there are styles of dance which truly try and minimize all bounce, the appearance is that of skating, no discernable movement on the verticle axis at all is there goal... smooth lindy does not attempt to mimic this glide at all.

    What you are talking about is symantics.
     
  15. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Depends on who they see lindy. You have bad dancers from both forms that really reflect poorly on the wide spectrum that is that dance.

    Not liking the music or the overall form is one thing... those who don't like the bounce I don't think they have experienced the variety of flavors of the Lindy Hop.
     
  16. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Damon - I think that it is more than mere semantics. When I first learned Lindy, perhaps 5 years a go, I learned a style that I have subsequently heard refered to as "marchy marchy bounce bounce" and it isn't a bad description. Extra bounce was encouraged, even at slow tempo! Many of my WCS friends' last contacts with Lindy were back when extra bounce was often encouraged, and they still think of Lindy as extra bouncy.

    I don't think of athletic motion - for example what you see in sprinters or tennis players - as being bouncy. I tend to think of the motion in smooth style Lindy as being at least as smooth as in these other activities.

    Now the pulse in Bal is certainly not a bounce. It is generally confined to the legs and torso, and the head does not bob up and down. And some of the great old timers, such as Dean Raftry, have absolutly no measurable pulse.

    I work VERY hard to be VERY smooth when I dance bal, and yet when I asked one of the judges at last weeks AllBal classic competition for a debrief (we didn't even make finals), one of the only two comments she made was " too much bounce"! Arrgh!
     
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That must've been really frustrating. :(
     
  18. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    :lol: that's what I mean by "both the ups and the downs need separate explanations". That "bounce" topic always stirs up some stuff.
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I had a feeling. :wink: 8)
     
  20. Doug

    Doug New Member

    Yes. But in the heat of competition even us old guys can forget what we're supposed to be doing. :shock:

    And speaking of old guys; Hey MIKE. Where are you? Dancing I hope.
     

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