Country and Western > Country --> Ballroom. What gives?

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by pygmalion, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    So what's the deal with competitive C&W dancing? From what I see, at least C&W partner dancing is getting closer and closer to ballroom dance. Yes, the costumes, styling and comp rules are a bit different. But it seems to me that competitive country is moving closer and closer to ballroom dance.


    Do you agree? If so, why do you think that is? And, long run, is it a good or bad thing for C&W dance as an art form?
     
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I'd be tempted to say that a lot of characteristis of ballroom are the logical result of a few basic starting assumptions: within those, people have found the methods that work best.

    Pure speculation (I know nothing about the style) but if the underlying assumptions of C&W aren't dramatically different, it's understandable it might evolve in similar directions. Perhaps even without the existence of ballroom as an influence - and probably with the existence of such an influence. Unless an anti-ballroom backlash developes where people my try to keep things distinct even at the cost of rejecting good ideas for looking too much like ballroom.
     
  3. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    There are *some* distinctive aspects to competitive Country Western Dance. For Example Cha Cha...is a mix of International and American style.

    I don't get to watch as much ballroom stuff as would like so it's hard to compare. I know we do lots and lots and lots and lots of spins and turns in CW. It's one of the hallmarks...I think. (Please do not take me as a definitive source.)

    Our costuming is a little more conservative than ballroom.

    I would say one of the main differences is that..we try to keep the music with some sort of Country or Western influence. Although that is starting to change some.

    What it boils down too..is good dance technique is good dance technique. As you get dancers in CW with more formal training the style will evolve somewhat.

    Competive Country dance looks a lot more "formal" than what you see at the bar on the weekend.

    Ann (who is itching to dance...but I'm being good.)
     
  4. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    That could be read to imply tht C&W cha cha is closer to both International and American cha cha than they are to each other!
     
  5. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    Chris,
    They aren't separated like they are on the ballroom circuit. We mix the "moves." That's the best way I can put it. I haven't studied ballroom so I couldn't tell you what is "American" and what is "International." I just know that we mix them together.
     
  6. jon

    jon Member

    I remember chatting with Grant Austin over a decade ago about how a bunch of ballroom instructors had come over to country because that's where the money was, at the time. IIRC he was one of them.

    In terms of technique and mechanics and such, whatever cross-pollination was going to occur already has. They will remain distinct in terms of music and culture and such.
     
  7. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    But both are considered part of the ballroom family - so by describing C&W cha cha as a mix of the two, you aren't differentiating it from ballroom at all.
    (Practically speaking, in a lot of places social ballroom is also done as a mix of figures between the two styles)
     
  8. jon

    jon Member

    I'd say the principal differences between country & American ballroom CC are just in the music, which does not even pretend to be Latin influenced (think Brooks & Dunn "Neon Moon" or "My Maria", or Mindy McCready "Ten Thousand Angels" (*)), and in a much larger amount of spinning expected of the followers.

    (*) A song that eventually made me want to pluck my eyes out on a trip from Chapel Hill to New Orleans, as it was being massively overplayed by country radio stations, which were all I could pick up in rural Alabama and Tennessee.
     
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    as opposed to leaders in latin ;-)
     
  10. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    Is there a syllabus for CW competitions?
     
  11. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    Kitty,
    Right now there is no "syllabus." Bronze, silver, and gold syllabus"..at least for Pro/Am is in the process of being developed. This is a change from the "step list" format currently in place.

    Ann
     
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yup. Just reinforcing why I asked the question. "Syllabus" is a ballroom thing. Scary.
     
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Umm, clearly I'm missing something. How is a "syllabus" different from a "step list"? :oops:
     
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Maybe I should google? I bet there are articles out there. I'm confused. :?
     
  15. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Well, at leats I'm glad to see that its not just me... :lol:
     
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Possibly, a syllabus might theoretically have originally been a guide to teaching dance more than a format for competition. You might expect it to somewhere exist as a technical description of how to do the figures, rather than just a list of steps. But this may be total imagination - in popular usage, the terms seem equivelent.
     
  17. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    Sorry everyone. This is brand new. Currently we just have a "step list" for the newcomer/novice levels. My understanding is that the "syllabus" program is going to more clearly define and develop concepts beyond this beginner level. Right now in the UCWDC I believe this will only apply to the Pro/Am divisions.

    I know...I'm not helping...I'm just giving my understanding of what has recently been revised according the UCWDC rules. IF I have time later I will go copy the exact wording out of the recent rules update.

    Sorry for confusing everyone.

    Ann
     
  18. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    Change I am referring too

    • Pro-Am Newcomer: The current Newcomer Step List will be suspended immediately in favor of the Couples Newcomer Rules. Instead of a Step List, we will develop a true multi-level (Bronze, Silver, Gold) Country Dance teaching syllabus, complete with paperwork and videos, that may be sold to dance studios, educational institutions, recreational facilities, or other interested organizations or private individuals. There are “new” timing allowances and limitations listed for Newcomer couples, and therefore shall now apply to Newcomer Pro-Am students, included in the “2004 Couples Dance Rules” posted on the internet. It is highly recommended that contestants and judges familiarize themselves with these new rules as soon as possible!

    I am sure this also to add some revenue to the UCWDC coffers.

    After rereading this...I also think they are trying to make the "couples" rules and the "Pro/Am" rules a little more standardized and compatible.

    Right now it is a little confusing but I believe they are trying to streamline the rules somewhat. :)
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    That's actually pretty interesting, AnnieMarie. Confusing, too, but hey, that's not your doing. Blame the UCWDC. LOL.

    It sounds like they're fleshing out the existing steps names/descriptions with more technical information about how to execute the patterns. Um ... did I say ballroom? It'll be interesting to see the videos and/or manuals when they come out.
     
  20. AnnieMarie

    AnnieMarie New Member

    Yes...at least as far as couples...they are moving more and more toward ballroom type formats. I think in an effort to make things more clearly defined.
     

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