General Dance Discussion > Dancing, a Woman's Sport

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Black Sheep, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Les Femmes,
    Gene Hashiguci brings up an excellent critique; man vs. Woman!
    Let's face it guys, dancing is a girl's sport. Even the beginner lady, out classes the best male dancers in the aesthetics of this art form.
    I learned one of my most important lessons from Frank Veloz in 1949, on how to be a better performer as a dance team by showing the lady off in the dance combinations, always allowing her to be the star performer of the dance, allowing her to do all the graceful flourishes, which ability women are naturally genetically endowed with.
    This female talent not only extends in taste of music and dancing ability, but look at Gene's list of lady D.J.'s below. Is it only a coincidence that these same ladies are also the leading Venue Hosts?
    When I see a man dancing Swing, and he is doing all these awkward contortions, and breaking rhythm in the process, while the lady is twiddling her thumbs, I have difficulty holding back my laughter. Let's face it guys, competing with your lady partner in dancing is a no win game. Dancing is a lady's sport because WOmen come from Venus and guys come from Mars.


    Black Sheep
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    HeHe! :lol:

    This is an interesting and controversial topic, or at least, it's said in a rather controversial way. I can see what is meant, though. The main points, as I see them, are:

    1. When dancing, it's the guy's (lead's) job to frame the lady and/or make her look good, not hog the spotlight for himself.

    2. Women tend to pick up the art of dancing quicker than their male counterparts.

    I'm not sure I buy into the genetics argument, though. :lol: I have my own thoughts on this, but I won't share yet. I'd rather know what you think. Thoughts, anybody? :D
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Well I certainly agree to disagree . . . it's a sport that takes two - usually a man and a woman.

    I would also disagree that "women tend to pick up the the art of dancing quicker than their male counterparts" . . . changing it to . . . "some women tend to pick up the art of . . . . ." etc.

    The reason that many think that way is because you see many more women doing it (dancing) than men. Why? Because men don't view dancing as a manly thing to do! Until they learn that that is where all the women are at.
    I don't think you'd find any statistics out there to prove that women "are quicker or better than men, just as there would be no statistic to prove that men make better football players than women!"
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Okay, okay, Vince, you got me! I was going to throw a mass of controversy out there and leave! :twisted: :lol:

    But since you got the conversational ball rolling, here's part of what I think. Girls, at least in the US, have been socialized that dancing is okay for them. Boys, on the other hand, have been socialized to believe that dancing is for girls. And that's hard to overcome. I have seen so many couples where the wife wanted lessons but the husband had to be dragged into the studio kicking and screaming.

    Once they got started, I didn't see any particular aptitude level based on gender. Maybe it's just me, but there are "natural" dancers who are male and "natural" dancers who are female, and "bad" dancers of both genders, too. *shrug*

    I have more, but I'll just throw that out there for now. :lol: :lol:

    See ya!

  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Ah ha . . . now we agree!

    We got here quicker than I expected . . . I hope others will chime in on this, as it is a very important topic.

    Natural dancers are hard to beat . . . having a natural ability to hear and dance to the music is even harder! I think this is a subject all on it own!

    There are very few females that I dance (socially) with that can hear and feel the music and then translate that into what their feet and bodies do! You have to react to and with the music . . . not necessarily do patterns or routines, but you do need to master the basics to make it look like the dance it was intended to be!

    I know even less men that can, and only a handful that truly dance this way. d nice is one of these and I've never seen him dance . . . I've read what he wrote and he can talk the talk or dance the dance!

    Being a musician helps even more . . .
  6. Giselle

    Giselle New Member

    Socialization has alot to do with it! But I know guys who have been brought up in ballroom who outstyle their female counterparts, so I think it just depends on the individual. :wink:
  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Yep . . I know extremely sexy looking females who can give you the batting averages and pitching stats of every baseball player out here in the Majors, yet they cannot dance at all.

    I also know guys that can expound for hours on the correct way to do chasse' steps in Waltz, but throw a baseball like a girl (I know, I asked for it)!

    Socialization is probably a big factor in this.
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Not always! As funny as it may sound (no pun intended), too technical an ear towards the music can produce sterile dancing. Similarly, dancers and musicians are not always listening for the same things. In general any musical training – just like any cross-dance training – will be a boon...but not least not without adjusting for the shifting foci.
  9. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    OK, true . . . "not always." I know a guy that plays (jazz) drums and has been taking WCS lessons for at least 6 years now, and he is no better a dancer than he was 6 years ago.

    But, I have taught some WCS dancers, basic rudimentary information on music and music timing, and they say it has helped their dancing a bunch!

    I believe it has its benefits . . .
  10. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Woah there Vince! There's a huge difference between having some musical understanding vs. being a musician! Of course having some understanding of the music helps one's dancing...the music, after all, is what we're dancing too.

    Your first example, however, brings to mind something else... now this is purely an anecdotal observation, but it seems to me that drummers have more trouble dancing then do other musicians I've come across. Anyone else have any evidence or ideas about this?
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Okay, so let me throw something else in the mix. How much of women's apparently "getting it" quicker is due to the fact that leading is so difficult -- timing, floorcraft, knowing which patterns logically preced and follow each other -- all these are the responsibility of the lead (usually a man).

    What do you think?
  12. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    This is absolutely true.

    As the classes started, the couples trained the same basic patterns. The guys leading. The girls doing the difficult turning and steps. But later at the party, the guys would have to remember the pattern to be able to lead, but the girls would remember as they where being lead through the pattern. This also means much variation in the “training” from the girls, and the same few patterns for the guys.

    I have often been commented after a successfully combination “You remembered this pattern! I completely forgot it!” :D :D :D

    So guys, do the things you can do with style, and don’t be afraid to repeat it. 8)

    And guys, take notes, it will help you expand the things you do with style. :wink:
  13. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Ummmm, not sure what to think. I also follow and found that to be very difficult. As a leader, if I bring you into (WCS) right side pass with an ladies underarm turn, you as a follower should know exactly what this move, and then do your part. I should be able to actually let go of the connection once the pattern is started, and you should know where to go!

    You need to acknowledge what the leader is doing, interpret that into a move (so you need to know those moves too), react to that lead, don't anticipate, finish that move, and end up in the slot on the other end, anchoring in place. You also need to hear and feel the music and timing, and know floorcraft . . . you also keep the lead from hitting others and putting you safely where you should go.

    Back to you . . . what doyou think???
  14. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member


    I think that you make a good point about followers having to interpret the leads and use proper connection. However, I think that when you take two people starting out at the same time, the leader has the harder job. If you are just learning something, it is easier to have someone lead you through it. It is much harder to have to think about what to lead, do it properly, and be ready to lead the next move.

    I started leading a few months ago, and it was difficult in the beginning. I only knew a few things and got bored leading them. As time has gone on I have gotten better. But I look at this experience and at least I had been dancing a while. I can't imagine never having danced before and trying to lead all these patterns and moves that are foreign to me.
  15. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    By the way Jenn, I totally agree with you in the socialization thing. This unfortunately is a hard thing to change. It would have to start very young and with parenting. I hate to be a pessimist, but I don't think the way girls and boys are socialized in this country will ever change. :(
  16. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I remember back about ten years ago when I first started to WCS. It was so hard learning to do "the moves." I was thrilled to get someone (in a rotating class) that knew a little of the move or someone who had grasped it quicker (the woman, of course). I could concentrate more on me doing the move and where my hands, arms, and feet went!

    Now patterns are the easy part!
  17. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    It definitely helps when the follow has experience. I've been the follow in many of those instances. I'm sure it helps build the confidence of the leader who is still unsure of what he's even trying to do.

    It's so exciting when you lead something new, something you're making up, and your partner follows it. A definite confidence booster :D

  18. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Hi again, Stephanie,
    Ah, you're one of those ones that we "leads" have to thank, so thank you!

    I've just about given doing much other than basics. Now it's dancing to that music and feeling what that music is telling you to do! If it calls for a pattern, thenI do it, if not . . . ???

    I also love to make up things on the fly . . . holding my partner back for many, many counts, and just playing at the ends of our connection, or pulling them in doing some dirty dancing in the middle of a WCS move. And oh yeah, those out-of-place things like doing the moonwalk instead of dancing the regular steps!

    I love when follower takes these leads and "goes with it!" Yes!

    It definitely is a confidence booster.
  19. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    Yes, SwingKitten has been subject to my leading insanity on many an occasion :tongue:

    By the way - You're welcome :D
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Vince. I'm playing Devil's advocate with this thread. Just throwing out ideas to see how people respond -- trying to keep the conversation going by NOT stating my opinion too early. *shrug*

    I think that leading and following are both very difficult. Learning to make and keep the proper connection is something both lead and follow have equal responsilibity for. Navigating the floor does add a layer of complication, it's true. But sophisticated following -- now that's an art form.

    Bottom line, guys and girls both have their parts, and both need to bring all their skills to the table. An experienced follow is just as capable of making life easier for a lead (and by golly, SHOULD do it) as a good lead is responsible for making life easier for his follow.

Share This Page