Swing Discussion Boards > Ceroc Teaching

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by Dancelf, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    From my experience of Ceroc in the Thames Valley - I'd go along with what you are saying about the South East but that's not how is throughout the rest of the country, particularly the North and Scotland.

    However, saying that, I was introduced to Ceroc via American Square Dance and Contra Dance.

    I think its a function of London being a bigger population centre and people being able to get the dancing of their choice. In Scotland and the North unless you want to travel miles you take what you can get, so if people can't get to AT they do WCS, Salsa or Ceroc.

    I'm certainly not saying AT is dependent on MJ, what I am saying is that as an MJ dancer I know people through MJ who do AT, WCS, Lindy or Salsa as well as MJ, which is what you do when there is nothing else.

    Ceroc is the sort of connection point where the dancers from every other dance form eventually meet up.

    As for the teaching system. It depends on the size of the class. In Scotland the Ceroc model is used where there are large class sizes - in WCS, Lindy and Salsa, but less so in AT (from what I've seen). If the class gets about 20, its the Ceroc model.

    In Ballroom I've had experience of some very good teachers - but they teach routines in a strict way that would make a Ceroc teacher scream.

    The routines are taught in such detail its almost impossible to get any actual sensation that you are leading. It's more like synchronised movement than the kind of leading you expect in AT, Swing or MJ.

    Swing - Lindy and WCS - are at a similar level of popularity to AT in Scotland. In terms of numbers I would guess its roughly 35% Salsa 35% MJ 15% AT 15% Swing.

    I'm just back from Southport and meeting Brent and Kellese Key - briefly. I think I'll start it as a new thread.
  2. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    I think I still don't understand what this means.

    (a) Are you talking about classes where attendance is regularly large, or are you suggesting that the teaching format gets changed depending on the number of students that show up for any individual class?

    (b) How much of what has previously been articulated as the Ceroc model would an independent witness observe? Are we just talking split classes, or elevated instructors and taxis mixed into the crowd? A full lesson plan provided to a local franchisee?
  3. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    It depends on the situation, it depends on the instructors experience of Ceroc/MJ.

    If the class size large - above 20 or so, its easier to teach by the Ceroc method, with smaller classes its possible to give more individual attention.

    Basically its the difference between 'drilling' your students military style and teaching them individually.

    If you want to teach large numbers of people basic skills quickly - drilling is the way to go. If you want people to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it, more individual attention is needed.

    The Ceroc 'method' evolved in the UK because in the 1980's virtually no one could partner dance. There were events and occasions like company 'dinner dances' where no one knew how to dance. Ceroc evolved as a method of getting people up on the dance floor in an hour or two.

    Although Ceroc is a business, there are lots of people emulating the model - Mcdonalds and Burger King.

    Is a burger from McDonalds that much different from Burger King?

    Ceroc is a highly successful business model for teaching basic dance skills - its the McDonalds of dance.

    The instructors are not neccessarilly elevated - it depends on the size of the class, the hall. A clear view is essential.

    The Taxi Dancer idea is as much a social concept as organised one. Everyone who has been through the Ceroc process has been brought through the first dozen or so classes/sessions by experienced dancers.

    Although there are designated Taxi Dancers, its an unspoken social rule that a beginner dancer will never 'sit out' a dance, however bad they are.

    This basic social rule has expanded to other dance forms.
  4. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Someone mentioned taxi dancer in the same sentence as country western.
    Whoever it was, huh?
    We have regulars who often will take the beginner lessons with newbies. I see the same thing at AT practicas and milongas.
    I've known some of them for years, and they do it out of the goodness of their hearts (and probably as a way to meet new people).
    But taxi dancers???
  5. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Taxi dancers are people formally designated to dance with and teach beginners in Ceroc.

    However, in all Modern Jive, its EXPECTED, that the experienced dancers more or less force the inexperienced on the floor.

    You might think you have two left feet, you might have two left feet, but when you have 2 or 3 women/men asking you up to dance - its pretty hard to refuse.
  6. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    "Push or Cat Dance or Dallas Push or Texas Push or Whip
    Originating in Dallas in the later 1940s..."

    Swing Dance Encyclopedia 2008

    Co evolution rather than progression, I'd say
    Anyone familiar with Thomas Nelson and CoupleDanceWorld?

    Hutchinson in wrote Swing Dancer a Swing Dancer's Manual that the tracked style developed simultaneously in different regions. There are differences in the regional tracked swings as well as similarities.
    about Craig
    I saw the 1998 edition. Looks like he wrote the first one in 76.
  7. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    When I was in the UK, I noticed this, too. If this is from where your pov of ceroc stems, I can understand your thoughts better.

    And, I certainly understand this. I feel that most BR teachers are far too step/pattern based, as well.
  8. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Now, I'm not sure about this.....
    As I've said before, Ceroc is a contraction of the french C'est Rock, and was born, and, I thought, developed there. Am I in error?

    And then you post this.......
    You can not be serious in suggesting that Mickey D's and BK are trying to copy (emulate, in your words), ceroc's business model to better theor businesses?
  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Steve.
  10. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    I think A/M and or F/A holds that title.... in fact, G.M and Ford did actually invite their leading sales people to lecture at their headquarters back in the late 60s early 70s ( I worked with one who did this. Dick Mundt)
  11. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member


    In Ceroc, Taxi dancers are "paid" (usually with free admissions) for doing this work.
  12. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    As with all dance forms, there's myths and lies about how they started - look at the proliferation of such with regard to salsa for example.

    But Ceroc was reputedly developed based on a style of Jive danced in France, which apparently was called "Le Roc" or similar.

    The key point, however, is that in the 1980s, the UK partner dance scene for anyone under 50 was nearly non-existent. I can vouch for that.
  13. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    There is very good empirical evidence about the origins of Mambo/ Salsa, possibly more than any other dance, its roots, which can be traced back to the 1600s ( musically speaking ) and the actual "dance " , as we now know it, has been well documented ( even on film ).
  14. jwlinson

    jwlinson Member

    There were classes around way before Ceroc was even heard of. If individual attention is desired, the instructors can divide the classes, or if the individual wants more attention he/she can just take private lessons.

    Yes, the burgers *are* different actually...

    Um..this is not specific to Ceroc...
  15. jwlinson

    jwlinson Member

    So you're saying there's no lead/follow in ballroom?!? :confused:

    I strongly disagree.
  16. Dave

    Dave New Member

    That may be correct, but I don't believe it is complete. It may have originated there, but Ceroc has evolved a long way from those beginnings. (Note that evolved does not necessarily imply "improved").

    At this stage, many many years on from the origins. I'd say it is a mistake to pay too much attention to the origins of the name. Certainly now, Ceroc is first and foremost a business organization (that happens to be a dance one).

    In practical terms, the dance Ceroc teach is called Modern Jive, and there are many other organizations and independant teachers who also teach Modern Jive. (You may also hate the name Modern Jive, and you'll be far from alone on that. But realistically, that name is going to stick).

    I think this was just really badly phrased. It also helps to know that the founder of Ceroc once famously said that "Ceroc is the MacDonalds of dance", so this is not an unfamiliar analogy to those in the MJ world.

    So, Albanaich is saying that there are other dance companies trying to do the same thing as Ceroc, and they would be the Burger Kings in this (somewhat strained) analogy.
  17. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    Yes, you are right Ceroc as we know it came over from France, but it could equally well have come down from Glasgow where there was an isolated group of East Coast Swing dancers in the 1970's ('Glasgow Jive)

    What it needed was a Mr Cronin to simplify it and make is accessible to a younger audience.

    Ceroc came about because it was the simplest and fastest way to get non-dancers up on the dance floor partner dancing. There was no other way it could have been done.

    I would say A/M and F/A are more the Ford and General Motor of dance rather than the McDonalds - with all that implies.

    The point I was making that just as Burger King emulates the McDonald's model so there are a lot of people teaching Jive and other dances in the UK and Australia emulating Ceroc.

    Yes, and Angel my point of view is that Ceroc is the connection point that ties all the other dance forms together. It's the McDonalds of dance.

    I might want to go to a great WCS place with a marvellous DJ who plays cool WCS music, just like I might want to spend the evening in an expensive Italian resturant.

    The reality is, on the road, in a hurry, you eat where it is convienient - and that often McDonalds. It may be unhealthy, it may be tasteless - but you've got to eat.

    It's the same with Ceroc, that WCS club or Milonga is unlikely to to available in Rochdale on Tuesday evening - Ceroc is. Some people have just got to dance. . . .
  18. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    JW I'm expressing my personal experience, coming from a Swing background and having been taught ballroom by one of the top teachers in the UK.

    I doesn't feel like there is much lead and follow in Ballroom in the way it is understood in Swing or AT.

    In Ballroom I was told that I was very strong lead, but I didn't feel like I was leading at all, I think because I had little or no control over what I was leading.

    It's sort of like a formula one racing car driver being told he is a great locomotive driver.
  19. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    Dunno about that.

    I think (from what I hear) that the lead-and-follow element isn't as emphasized in the classes / exams / competitions as other elements - but that's different from saying there's little or no lead-and-follow.

    Plus, this is 10 different dances that just happen to be lumped together - realistically, Waltz and Samba have very little in common.

    In Ballroom I was told that I was very strong lead, but I didn't feel like I was leading at all, I think because I had little or no control over what I was leading.

    It's difficult to judge how much l-and-f there is in any particular dance, but most (all?) partner dances have some such elements.
  20. Albanaich

    Albanaich New Member

    I'm just trying to express how I felt about it.

    In the ballroom classes I was told I was a strong lead, so obviously there must be a big lead and follow element, but to me it didn't feel like I was leading.

    I was clearly doing things right - but I couldn't explain or understand what is was I was doing right. Sort of like driving to work getting out the car and being unable to remember the drive. . .

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