General Dance Discussion > Competition vs. Social Dancing

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by youngsta, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I know what you mean. I don't know if what you say is always true for ballroom dancers (I hope not!) but I have run into my fair share of people who don't know that dancing is supposed to be fun, and can be fun, even if you're dancing with a new person. Especially in social ballroom dancing, lose the attitude, and just have fun. Perfection is not required.
  2. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    For the record, while this may be true of too many, not all ballroom dancers are like this! One of the best salsa followers I have *ever* danced with is a ballroom instructor in Boston. Or, for a more recent example, at the after party at this year's USDSC in Hollywood Beach a couple of weeks ago, I danced salsas with the World Am. Latin Champ, a U.S. Pro Rhythm finalist, and a U.S. Pro Latin Finalist – all of whom had no problem having fun and recognizing that they weren't on a competition floor.

    I do, however, think it should also be pointed out that as much as lead & follow is still lead & follow, there are differences between social and competitive connections...the one club style salsera I danced with that night was much easier to, for lack of a better word, coordinate with on the floor, but that doesn't mean that the other women weren't leaving their competitive training behind.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I still disagree . . . the lead is the same and the connection is the same!

    In competition, there are routines. If anything at all is is changed, we clean up the style from how we dance socially to what the judges are looking for. Believe it or not, there are classes on what the judges ARE looking for. I make sure I anchor instead of tap outs. I make sure I am straight and have a wide and big frame versus the funky frame I get into when I'm social dancing.

    My job in competition is to lead the follower through the patterns (moves), which both of us know and have in muscle memory. The follower's job is to follow that lead with good frame and footwork (thanks d nice). We should, and have danced a WCS to Waltz music. It is memorized. I don't have to think what is coming next. We both know. However, we have screwed up the routine and had to lead and follow. Still the same? Yep. And still won my division. Why change? Why learn two different dance styles? Doesn't make sense!

    My lead does not change. There is no added arm or hand centering, etc.
    There is no less either. Dancing socialably should be the same. I do my job, the follower does hers. The ONLY difference is now I can dance my style, but the lead is the same this way as well.

    So, pick on style, pick on the frame changes, but the lead and connection should be the same. If they are not . . . "what dance are you doing?" You definitely are not doing Swing!
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    So does this mean that the difference between social and competitive dancing is different depending on the style of dance? Is swing the same social versus competitive, while salsa requires different styling, for example?

    And what about "ballroom" styling versus "club" styling?

    I'm hearing all of these things in this thread, so I'm wondering. Does anybody have thoughts on this?
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    My Swing is the same, with the exception of styling in UCWDC dancing, which is a litlle more strict! However, in World Swing DAnce Council competitions, I dance exactly the same as I do socially! Everything is the same!

    Would you do a chasse' or chasse' turn any different on a competition floor versus on a social floor? I wouldn't. How about a ronde'? Would you do a Waltz any different in a social dance versus competition?

    Yes, I agree the moves in competition may be a little more flamboyant, and heck, some just are not leadable moves. I have many of those moves. Most likely, I wouldn't try to socially lead those kind of moves. Hm m m m m m, maybe not. Like those challenges!

    I cannot speak for the ballroom and club dancing!
  6. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    ...and those were the only things I was speaking about...
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    And that's "why" I didn't!!! It's good to have many voices on this site!
  8. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Nice to have the spectrum covered. :D

    I like to see that. :lol:

    This is a major difference between competition/Showdace and the social/club dance.
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Danish Guy,
    Actually, the moves I use in social dance is more flamboyant and more showie than my competition. However, I won't do most of them with someone I haven't at least danced once with . . . just to feel them (not lieterally) out!

    My competition WCS, for example, is very boring. Since I'm being judged, it's choreographed to show me off, not the Pro. It's pretty straight-up WCS stuff. No dips, no ragdolls, no slides, no tapping out, no gimmicks, no reverse of the lead, no hi-jacks, no fun stuff whatsoever! Dance to my partner, dance to the audience, dance to the judges! NOT EXACTLY WHAT I LIKE TO DO.

    I like to dance with and to my partner!

    But the lead and connection is the same! I rely on my Pro to do her part - to follow! That's what I pay her to do!
  10. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    I might do my first competition early next year! I'm trying to find a novice dance partner do dance with me in the Dual in the Sun comp. :D
  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Ummm, I'm confused now... :?

    "Novice" is a specific category in amateur competition...but I'm fairly sure that's not what you're talking about given minor technicalities (such as you're an instructor)...
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I've been wondering about this. Could one of the competitive dancers in the forum please answer?

    How do you determine which categories to compete in? If you're a pro, do you have to compete as a pro? How are pro and amateur defined?

    I know that each comp has its own guidelines, but are there general rules?
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    In "some" venues . . . if you teach and you get paid to teach (make a living), you are considered a Pro!

    However, enter where you feel you should enter, and let them tell you where you belong! But you need to inform them of the situation!
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That seems awfully unfair to new teachers. They're considered pros, but probably have a lot less dance experience than many of the amateurs on the floor.
  15. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I'm pretty sure things can be worked out, but think of it the other way.

    She teaches WCS for example, and unknown to her, one of her students also signs up as a Novice in competition at the same event. She walks out on the floor to be introduced, and so to does this female student. How do you think that young student will feel seeing her - the teacher in the same competition? They are already defeated and they haven't even danced yet! It is very much a mind game to many, until they learn that it is - just a dance - not life or death!
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean, Vince. I guess there's no way to be completely fair to both. Hmm.
  17. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Unless she can find a venue that does not "see" this regulation . . . then it would be up to her values!!!!
  18. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    For ballroom purposes a pro is anyone paid to teach partner dancing. Yes, they may have less experience, but they are also the one who – at least in the big picture – is getting paid to learn how to dance and getting paid to practice. There are exceptions for the top amateurs (both by USABDA and NDCA guidelines – although these differences are significant), but those have to do with trying to parallel the European situation where (except for in the U.K.) amateurs can teach.
  19. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Oops, I forgot the other part of the question. I've always tried to compete at the level I think I'm at plus at the next level higher up. So, for instance, at our first comp together Janelle and I (that's us in my avatar) competed in Bronze and Pre-Novice events (the step above newcomer), but also entered Silver and Novice events.

    Do keep in mind, however, that different styles have different "depth charts." On average the International style events are more demanding, at a given level, then are the American style events.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks. This is great info, to help me strategize. Silly me, I'd actually like to enter at least one or two events where I have some hope of winning. But, I can see the value of competeing at higher levels. You get a feel for what's coming next. I think I'm going to like this competition stuff! :D

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