1. Firephreek

    Firephreek New Member

    Anyone have any experience or done this? I've just heard of it. Found a few clips on the you tube. It looks like a cross between EC and Country Swing. It looks like it's picking up momentum, but in all the clips, it looks like nobody has any real musicality or timing. Just the clips, or is this because of the way the dance is structured or am I just missing something entirely?
     
  2. It's Wonderful

    It's Wonderful New Member

    I've danced it, and your comment on lack of musicality is quite correct. They also don't teach lead/follow, but instead hand signals and rather forceful moving of the lady by the gentleman. Exhausting for the lead, and not too pleasant feeling for the follow :? I think it's mostly been marketed as a way to get dancing FAST, since it doesn't take any real technique to get started.
     
  3. leftfeetnyc

    leftfeetnyc New Member

    Article on Ceroc that was posted back in March that explains Ceroc a bit Swing Dancer Magazine

     
  4. Paul F

    Paul F New Member

    written before I saw that last post :)

    --------------------------------------------------------


    You have got it pretty much spot on !

    Ceroc is marketed as a hybrid which borrows from many different dance styles.
    Above all things it is a social dance. I have been dancing since I was 10 in many styles and I have never experienced a more social feeling than at a Ceroc event. Over here in the UK its the most popular participation dance form. In a lot of group lessons you can get around 150-200 people attending. The weekend events that are run attract around 1500 people. Its truly an amazing phenomenon.

    Its amusing though that everyone I talk to about it in my ballroom studio tends to look on it as a 'pretend' dance style due to the fact it doesnt really teach any strict technique. In general, weekday classes nothing much is taught on frame, posture, lead/follow, floorcraft and so on. These things are touched upon in 3 or 4 hour workshops that are run regularly by each franchise but only for those particularly interested and highly simplified. Many ballroom coaches I know dont even like to acknowledge it which is a shame. Im guessing they see it as a threat.

    Ceroc (which is just the trade name for a style officially known as Modern Jive) is run as a franchised company with a HQ in London and satellite franchises. As I say its so popular they have branched out to other countries. I believe there is also one starting in NYC.

    Ok, its not a strict discipline but, ultimately, thats what the majority want and, as with any business, it pays to pander to the majority. I used to teach it myself for a couple of years as I so enjoyed breaking away from formal structure at least for an evening or two.

    People have many different opinions on Ceroc but for me it creates a unique type of dancer. Many people go to Ceroc for months, years, whatever and find they love dancing - something they never thought they would do. Often they then move on to other styles. I have found that the ladies who have gone through the Ceroc 'branding' and then moved to ballroom, salsa etc have a definate skill in following that is very interesting...and often beneficial. I have put it down to the fact that they have had to adapt to follow such invisible leads!

    All in all its a very interesting brush that's sweeped the UK. Some love it, some laugh but there's no denying its what people want!
     
  5. fireinflight

    fireinflight New Member

    I've danced it, but we dance a rather mutant version of Ceroc around where I am. It's a favorite social dance among the ballroom people, so when a class is taught here it's taught with technique, footwork, and an emphasis on lead-follow. So it's not really Ceroc anymore! We do still dance some moves that have hand signals, but usually they're the really flashy ones, or the hand signal is just an aid for a move that can be led without it. It was my first dance, and helped me become the dance freak that I am now!
     
  6. Keelzorz

    Keelzorz New Member

    I agree with fireinflight. The only time I've run into ceroc was when visiting the CalTech ballroom team, and then it came across as just a socialized relaxed hustle - similar beat, but danced on the four beats (no syncopation). There was definatly lead/follow, but some visual leads for tricky dip/drop combos. Ceroc seemed to be more of a convenient name rather than the patented get-up-and-dance formula.
     
  7. Firephreek

    Firephreek New Member

    after searching....

    Thanks for the replies....I did find more data about it. Did a search on Wikipedia. :) Lots of good info and all in line with what everyone has said so far.

    I guess I'm going to have to keep my reservations about it. 2 reasons primarily. The first is that after dancing 9 years all forms of social dance I can get my hands on, Ballroom, Tango, Swing, etc...you name it....I'm very much steeped in the school of Lead and Follow through non verbal communication. Call it what you will, but I really really don't like verbal or visual cues when leading/following. If you can't Lead it, it's probably best reserved for Jams or performances. Sure Sure, maybe it's old fashioned or close minded, but no visual/verbal I've done has ever, Ever, matched the joy of just letting her know what I need without words. Make sense?

    The second part, is the trademark issue. I guess this is the Geek OSS side of me...but I really don't think a dance or dance term should be patented/trademarked etc....Can you imagine if you had to pay a license to the Manning corporation for holding a Lindy Hop Dance? Or paying membership dues to teach Waltz? Crazy! And it's not like there isn't prior art for this sort of thing....so, I'm kinda suspicious of that kind of thing...

    I'll let people dance Ceroc as them that find it, but I will not be out there busting it. I'll be doing what the rhythm calls for. Be it Salsa, Swing, Jive, or WC.
     
  8. timbp

    timbp New Member

    I started dancing two and a half years ago, because I wanted to dance with my girlfriend at the time. Until then, I was the guy who leaned against the wall with a drink in hand and watched the dancing.

    I started dancing Ceroc because we went to parties where people were dancing Ceroc with my girlfriend (she had never done any partner dancing, but had many years of jazz ballet). I knew she was dancing Ceroc because the guys who danced with her said that was what they were dancing. (All she could say was she was following as well as she could.)

    Ceroc got me dancing -- it took me from the guy who leans against the wall with a drink in hand to the guy whom girls invite to dance.
    It did this because the teaching model was "here are a few things you can do on the dance floor" and the social model was "everyone will dance with anyone who asks; everyone will ask anyone to dance".

    With that teaching model (after 1 lesson I thought I could do something worthwhile [so now I know I couldn't; so what?]) and that social model (even when I was a first-timer, advanced girls were asking me to dance), I quickly became addicted to the dance.

    How much lead-follow is taught probably depends on the teacher. Certainly (in Australia), it is commonly emphasised in intermediate classes. Not so much in beginner classes, but the aim of beginner classes is to get people able to do something on the dance floor.

    More advanced dancers certainly understand and use lead and follow, including followers taking the lead if their partner provides no clear lead.

    I doubt I would ever have started dancing in another style. Ceroc was able to get me feeling like I was dancing immediately, and kept me coming back. I have done salsa lessons and learned a lot, but I know I would not have completed the course if I hadn't had previous social dance experience (ceroc).

    The aim of Ceroc is to get beginnners feeling confident on the dance floor as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, lead and follow and musicality are important once people are confident with dancing.
    (There is no point teaching lead and follow to the guy leaning against the wall at a club. But teach him to feel confident on the dance floor, then you can teach him lead and follow, and musicality.)

    Also, the Ceroc model has a beginner class, 30 min dance time, an intermediate class, and another 30 min dance time. That is, 3 hours class and practice for the one price. Every other dance organisation I've looked at just gives a one hour class, and you might get practice time if the studio is not used for a subsequent class.
    Again, the idea is to get people dancing.

    It works!

    See: http://www.cerocforum.com
     
  9. huey

    huey New Member

    I started with Lindy Hop, but in London a lot of people start with Ceroc, then try Lindy. Some of my favourite partners are ex-Ceroc dancers. In general, they seem to find it a bit easier to relax and have fun - I think this might be because they haven't had a lot of Lindy lessons, so they feel rather than think. I've tried Ceroc myself, but find it quite hard.
     
  10. Gosling

    Gosling New Member

    I like Ceroc.
    I've tried a few other types of dancing, and - and my top half, just refuses to do the same thing as my bottom half at the same time, I think about the moves too much and forget what I'm doing halfway through I love to dance in my room when no-one is watching! I like Ceroc, because, as a general rule - everyone is in the same boat!

    As much as I'd love to learn the Old Skool jive styles - I'm just not the type of person who CAN dance!
     
  11. d nice

    d nice New Member

    The things people praise Ceroc for... are not unique to Ceroc. HEre in the states you can find somneone who teaches just about any social dance you want geared specifically to beginnners.

    What is being described is an approach, NOT a dance. I've taught ECS and LH, hell even JAzz and Hip-Hop using the same approach. Getting a complete novice out on the floor and feeling like they are having fun is more important than having perfect technique... at the beginning. Once someone has decided they really like dancing and want to get better, that is when you start working more technique in as technique with drills and the like. Before that though technique is best addressed as "the secret" to making a move work something brief, easy to understand, and easy to actualize.

    Ceroc as a dance like Modern Jive is really just freestyle dancing. You can bring whatever you want to it... so there is nothing characteristic of the dance, nothing sets it apart from anything else. That is the reason why I have no interest in learning it. But it is hard for me to hate on a dance that gets people on the floor having fun.
     
  12. timbp

    timbp New Member

    And that helps those of us in Sydney, how? Sorry :)

    Maybe.
    I think the social environment is at least as important as the teaching. I have no idea how your classes worked. In Sydney, entry to a Ceroc class is $15, for 3 or 3.5 hours, including 2 lessons and social dancing. Every other dance style I've looked at has $15 for 1 hour lesson (and "please leave now so the next class can start").
    With salsa, ballroom and argentine tango, you go to the lessons (which have no social or practice time), and the teachers strongly encourage everyone, even first timers, to go to the monthly (or even weekly) social dance or the clubs. But as an unconfident beginner, will you? At Ceroc, the social is integrated with the lessons, so the beginners quickly learn that more advanced people will enjoy dancing with them.
    When I tried salsa, I did go to the salsa clubs. But not everyone there is a dancer; the only way I could tell was to see them dancing. And most refused to dance with me -- quite unlike the ceroc scene, where almost everyone always accepts a dance from anyone.
    I never actually made it to a ballroom social or a milonga -- the people in the classes were so obviously exclusive couples that I wasn't prepared to put up with the anticipated refusals to dance. (I hate being a single guy.)


    Does "freestyle" have some particular meaning somewhere in dance?

    A Ceroc night has a beginner class, then 30 min "freestyle", then the intermediate class, then "freestyle" until close.
    So the point of Ceroc classes is to teach us to "freestyle".
    Outside swimming, I had not heard the term "freestyle" before I started Ceroc. I know when West Coast Swing champs have been out here their non-choreographed performances have been described as ""lead–follow", where Ceroc people would say "freestyle".

    So what is the difference?
     
  13. Dr Fuzz

    Dr Fuzz New Member

    Hi,

    actually one of the benefits that I found of ceroc is that has no fixed style and thus lends itself to a wide variety of different music styles. I spent a few years oversea's learning different dance styles (Latin dance, Salsa, Arg Tango and Lindy Hop) and after getting back to Sydney a few weeks ago I found that I could throw in alot of the other dance stylisations into my ceroc. It makes it a alot of fun in a way that a more defined dance style can't. I agree with timbp that the other dance socials were very hard to break into and as soon as I returned back I dropped the other dances in favour of ceroc (though this could be a country specific thing).

    It is true that there is not much dance improvisation taught in classes, and I have to say many thanks to Lindy for teaching this concept.

    Fuzz
     
  14. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    OK guys, listen up, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with salsa--period !
    thats a marketing ploy used by the promoters, on the coat tails of salsa.
    It has ,actually, nothing remotely to do with dance as you know it.

    It was started if France and is licensed under the name Ceroc .
    From what I understand, it is a very watered down version of jive, with no mind paid to form , tech. lead or follow.

    I have had 3 people who teach this " dance ? ", attend a rock and roll class that I gave ,and they could not even dance a basic single time ( or triple ) to music . In fact, they had great difficulty in anything structered .

    Its success , from what I have gathered, is a purely social aspect, with little heed paid to dance developement .

    There is nothing wrong with the idea, in principle, === my main objection , is to them " pirating " the names of 2 established dance forms, and trading them under that banner .
     
  15. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    The Ceroc teaching model is pretty much unique to the dance scene in the UK. And it's very successful in promoting partner dancing; far more so thatn any other organisation, so it must be doing something right.

    Like others, I'm not in the States :)

    Yes, the thread is "What is Ceroc", not "What is Modern Jive" - admittedly there's a lot of confusion between the two.

    But what Ceroc-the-organisation does is to standardise such a "beginner-friendly and social" approach across the board - which is not anything you can say for any other dance scene in the UK. Ceroc has far lower drop-out rates than other dance forms.

    Of course, there's an inevitable trade-off: because you don't start with technique, it makes it more painful to unlearn bad habits a little while down the line.

    That's probably more-or-less true. Ceroc is the dance equivalient of English I think - a mongrel language, adapting from every other, but allowing you to pretty much dance whichever way you want.

    Why should you hate any dance form?
     
  16. Dave Bailey

    Dave Bailey New Member

    I totally agree - it's got very little to do with salsa, and it annoys me that Ceroc uses salsa as a marketing ploy.

    But, and this is important, Ceroc has been one of the key influences in bringing back partner dancing to the UK over the past 25 years.

    We're now seeing a resurgence in popularity in this area, and I think Ceroc's "anyone can do it" approach has helped nurture this. For that alone, it should be thanked.
     
  17. DavidB

    DavidB Member

    Ceroc is just a company that teaches Modern Jive, much like Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire are companies that teach ballroom. They don't copyright the dance, just trademark their company names. The only difference is that Ceroc is synonymous to some people with the dance it teaches, and this causes some confusion.

    It does have roots in jitterbug (taking the StreetSwing definition) so I have no problem with the name Modern Jive. But it has nothing at all to do with Salsa. Never figured that one out...

    I'd agree that the majority of the people who dance it (and many who teach it) have no interest in technique or musicality. But it would be unwise to criticise a dance form just because most people can't do it well. Would you want your favourite dance form judged on its worst dancers? I've seen some terrible Lindy, but don't conclude that Ryan Francois cant dance.

    Modern Jive is a pretty young dance. It only started at the beginning of the '80s, and is nowhere near the finished article. Interest in technique, musicality etc only started in the last 10 years. There haven't been any full-time professionals to dedicate their lives to developing it. However there has been a lot of progress over those last 10 years.

    There is a lot of technique that can be taught in Modern Jive. A significant part of this technique has been derived from other dances - WCS, Lindy and Latin have probably had the most influence - but a lot of it has had to be adapted, or worked out from scratch. However I could now recommend one of a handful of Modern Jive teachers to teach a good solid technical foundation in Modern Jive (particularly in Lead & Follow).

    There is a developing understanding of musicality and how it applies to Modern Jive. There is probably more interest in this amongst keen MJ dancers than anything else, but to my mind we still have a long way to go.

    The one thing we don't have yet are any really high level dancers to compare with the best of WCS, Ballroom etc. Even the best MJ dancers are really only good social dancers. I think we are still a few years away from getting close to that level.

    There is one interesting thing about many of the dancers who want to develop Modern Jive. They want to give people the opportunity to learn how to dance better, not force them to. 10 years ago there wasn't that opportunity. I'd hate to see it in another 10 years where you didn't have the opportunity not to improve. The 10% who want technique shouldn't impose their will on the 90% who are happy without it. The dance would die without them.
     
  18. Lynn P

    Lynn P New Member

    This is Ceroc's strongest point I would say.

    I'm a beginner WCS dancer and already I'm coming across quite a few variations in styles and in how basic moves are taught such as sugar push (or is it called push break now?). And I know this is scaring some people off learning it.

    Ceroc may be moves based, it may be simple and basic, but if you go to a Ceroc night with one teacher and another with a different teacher the next week, the pattern of the night and the way the moves are taught will be consistent. Even if the classes are at opposite ends of the country. This makes it really accessible for beginners.

    The lack of focus on technique in classes, on the other hand, can lead to people looking to other dance styles to progress. I've done that. I still love dancing Modern Jive/Ceroc though. And I've danced with some leads that have fabulous connection and musicality. (Including some posters on this thread!)
     
  19. pjfrad

    pjfrad New Member

    I think it's difficult to really teach good technique to a class of 100 dancers from a stage.

    For the Modern Jive dancers who are after technique there is plenty of it (in Australia at lease) if you can find the right teachers, and as always private lessons are the best way to get taught this.

    With the right teacher you can learn technique on lead and follow, stepping, connection, musicality, posture framing, syncopation and styling, etc...

    In Australia (Sydney more specifically) visual signals have been pretty much removed, and I don't really remember any spoken signals being taught, and the focus is pretty much on 100% lead and follow even at the beginner levels.

    The dancers who see Modern Jive as more than a social dance generally progress a lot more than the average because they spend the time to focus on technique and to train. At the top levels of competition you will find some great dancers.

    One of the things I think is wonderful about Modern Jive is that it is not restrictive in what you can and can't do, if you want to put in syncopations, pauses, or whatever else you like to go with the musical rhythm then you are free to.

    One of the not so wonderful things is the lack of full time professionals speed its development.

    Just my handfull of cents worth....

    Peter
     
  20. BennyG

    BennyG New Member

    I've read this thread and was a bit incensed by the naysayers that i joined this forum.

    I started ceroc years ago and gave it up when i foudn a ballroom, latin, salsa class. i've recently gone back to ceroc(just so you know, i can still do it easily).

    When i went to salsa for the first time i was instantly promoted to advanced salsa due to my lessons in ceroc(this was a big curve, but it's right). Ceroc teaches you rytham and how to dance to a tune, follow a beat. essentials that take time. It also teaches you the basics of leading(one of the things i am complemented on now is my strong lead). It also allows you to make it as complex or as simple as you want. It teaches you to dance with all the basics. true you don't learn hold's and footwork, but who cares????(if you choose to dance ballroom, then you need it, but otherwise)

    I personally hate people(mostly male leads) who refuse to dance with someone because they are below them. I love to dance ballroom and latin, taht is my concentration time, where i have to work hard to get good. But ceroc is good honest fun, simple to learn easy to do and looks good at weddings etc.(whcih is not really what you can do with ballroom at latin is it? as you need a regular partner)

    So all you nay-sayers out there. dont slag it off its great fun and much more sociable than ballroom(when i move with work i find a ceroc class to make friends)
     

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