Ballroom Dance > Arthur Murray, Leading, Big Self Questions!

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dgarstang, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    My area has a nice social dance community of young adults (age 25-40) with a good number of gold, novice, and prechamp level dancers. :)
  2. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Stating where anyone is going to be at a certain time on the internet is dicey. What if this woman has an ex that would like to hunt her down. Or a creepy student that wants to hunt her down. If you don't care if people know where you are going to be at what time, that's all you. But respecting that other people, especially women, especially women in an industry that attracts creepy guys, may not want their every move posted on the internet is a big part of thinking about the world around you, and it not just being all about YOU.
  3. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    Good thing I didn't mention that the Arthur Murray web sites all have her schedule plastered all over them then, with dates and times and locations.
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sarcasm helps. (See how I did that? *grin*)

    My bottom line? If I go out to eat, I couldn't care less if I eat my entree with the correct fork or with a dessert spoon. (Unless it's Porterhouse steak, in which case it kinda matters. :p ) If I go out to eat at a fancy restaurant in certain social circles, though, using the correct fork is de rigueur. If I want to be in those social circles at those restaurants, it behooves me to figure out the fork thingy unless I want to be seen as ignorant, even though, to me, it couldn't possibly matter less. So I stretch my brain and try to remember the table-setting lessons we had in seventh grade home ec. That's etiquette -- conforming to the rules of polite society whether I personally care about those rules or not.

    Same deal with internet etiquette, IMHO. Whether I care about my privacy is a completely separate issue from whether it's okay for me to violate somebody else's. And, in any case, at least in this thread, the rules of DF apply, so it's moot. Just sayin. :wink:

    And anyhoo ...

    @DOI. Do.Not.Dare move near other DFers. I will be so mad, if you live near DFers and I don't. M A D, you hear me, sister? *stomp* :lol:

    *frantically searching for a way to get back on topic * Can somebody help me out here? :wink:
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I guess I do have a real on-topic question I have been wondering about (maybe this should be a separate thread? Maybe it already is, although I don't remember anything like this ...)

    Guys/leaders how long did it take for your leading skills to feel like they were starting to gel? Starting. I know that it can take a very long time to be a good leader, but how long did it take for you start to feel good enough? Or does that vary by the person involved? Is it impacted by the number of dances you're learning? Are leading skill sin one family of dances applicable to another? If so, which skills are transferable from one dance to another? Which are not?

    In other words, tell me everything you know about leading in 50 words or less. :wink: Just kidding!! I am interested (if you remember) in how long it was before you started to feel good about your lead. :cool:
  6. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I still don't feel good enough. :p And it's hard to remember that far back, but I would have to say it took about four to six months before I wasn't uneasy asking ladies to dance. Maybe two months for Salsa, because I put more time into that. So I would say it is definitely impacted by number of dances.

    In think that in American style, the lead is pretty much transferable between all the dances. International Standard is different.

    Ultimately it's not possible to lead any better than you can dance, but it's easy for your lead to be worse than your dancing overall.
  7. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    After 1 year, I started to be be able to hold my own in a social party. After the 2nd year, I felt more confident in leading most of the women in the room.

    I learned mostly figures during the first year. The 2nd year and onward, I focused on technique and how to use my body. I actually ended up forgetting most of the figures I learned, but I got better as a net result.
  8. anametuer

    anametuer Member

    My ‘leading’ progress card on a scale of 1 to 10

    First year, 2. Second year, 3- 4. End of third year, comfortable and perhaps 7.

    My heartfelt instructor once told me during the second year, ‘you know the figures (barely) and don’t need lessons for this anymore… but let me tell you one thing, if your leads are not clear, no girls are gonna dance with you.’
    Some students pick up faster on leads, many quit because they conclude it is not their cup of tea, or they don't have the patience. But it is true that once some qualities are acquired, no one cares how long it took.
    For me the ever increasing dance forms introduced by the studio had only added the confusion in the initial years as instead of developing the motor nerves ( I am not referring to the muscle memory, but about improving the reflexes and perhaps even common sense) necessary for leading, I glued on to learning new figures, foot works etc. in vain :confused: till 1, I acquired instructional DVDs to visualise figures, foot works, amount of turn etc. and registered those aspects permanently as one tend to forget especially as a beginner 2, I took practice with many batches simultaniously including junior levels ( who admire us for the leads, with resultant increase in morale :) ).
  9. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member


    It takes longer than we all expect. It is not just you. And I am not generally shy with women.

    I danced with DW almost exclusively for first year socially, not counting group classes with rotations. After about 1.5 years, I felt comfortable dancing spot dances (Cha, ECSwing, Rumba) with friends. After 2 years I felt comfortable with these same dances with strangers at socials.

    Slightly beyond 2 years it came together, I could dance AM Waltz, Am Fox, Hustle, WCS, Salsa also with strangers. The more I did, the more I learned how to lead. I was not perfect. I learned is the most important part of leading is to smile!

    Now, after 5 years, I am brave enough to try Intl waltz and Intl Foxtrot with strangers who profess to know a little of those dances.

    So SMILE, enjoy, it gets better.
  10. freeageless

    freeageless Active Member

    I have been taking mostly group classes with rotations for about 15 months, and using instructional DVD's as an aid or backup for the group classes. On a scale of one to 10, I would place myself somewhere between 2 and 2.5 in terms of confidence in my dancing ability or knowledge.
  11. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    I've asked this question before, but I'm gonna ask again, because I'm in a situation that's driving me a little crazy. I'm looking for a new job, and just about everything is in the city, but the dancing options in the city are pretty slim, right? All I've really come across is the 920 special, and the metronome which seems to be just latin. If you click on smooth dances on their web site, it takes you to instructional DVD's.
  12. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Live outside of San Francisco and take public transportation into the city. All the good dance spots are outside of the city.
  13. dgarstang

    dgarstang Member

    Hi Gorme. Thanks. That's kinda what I knew. When you work for a startup though, and work a lot of hours _AND_ want some sort of a life, commuting to the city isn't really a viable option. Last thing I want to do is work a 10 hour day, and then spend another hour commuting. Ugh.
  14. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    "Startup" and "Having a Life" are oxymorons.

    10 hour workdays are normal in a regular company :p
  15. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Isn't there work in the South Bay? Then you've got CBD, SJ Dancesport, Dance Spectrum, Bud Ayers, etc.
  16. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    And I have pretty much stayed away from startups. It's playing the lottery with 20-40% of the pay I can get from an established company, as well as the extra hours I'd be expected to put in. I choose pie today, over maybe more pie tomorrow.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Or maybe zero pie tomorrow, when the vulture (oops venture) capitalists start circling. Just sayin.
  18. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    The thought occurs that one could work for an established company, live off 20%-40% of one's take-home pay, and save the remainder to invest in lottery tickets whenever the jackpot is above (say) $100E6.

    I wonder how the odds of hitting the big time that way compare to the odds of doing so via working for start-ups.

    It's not an experiment I personally would undertake, however. :)

    Oops, I guess we're off-topic...
  19. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Anyway, my point was that you arrange your life around what is important to you. If dancing is important, you arrange your life to make more room for that.

    ETA: Not saying startups are bad per se. If being on the the ground floor of new company doing something cool is what makes you happy, you arrange your life around that. ;-)
  20. soccerdancer

    soccerdancer New Member

    This is all true if and ONLY if you find value in the group classes. At my AM studio, I find the group classes to be somewhat boring and not worth my time attending. I love doing privates with my regular instructor, however, and attend some of the group classes that SHE teaches. The other group classes leave me cold. Besides, I really don't enjoy dancing with the one fat, sweaty chick who smells like cigarette smoke and attends all the group classes...I need lots of hand sanitizer after that...yuck.

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