General Dance Discussion > Dancing with tall girls

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by motardmom, Nov 3, 2004.

  1. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    actually, it makes sense now! persons with ballet training spin differently! good that he noticed! :) and I am glad you're a better spinner now!
  2. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    Ahh.. some times I really envy the short guys, :p

    I was in a class once where a woman attended as a leader. She was really tal for a girll, maybe 5' 8" or so. It was quite fun to see her dancing in close position with one of the smaller women. :wink:

    Myself I've hardly danced with any girl taller than myself, I'm almost 6' 2" and at most the women are almost my own height. As someone else mentioned, the ideal when dancing close is maybe around 4 incehs lower.

    I have danced close (balboa) with women only reaching me to midchest. It's not quite the same, but it's not really difficult. More like really strange dancing with someone far away down there somewhere. :lol:
  3. alvaro

    alvaro New Member

    I think that trying to go under someone's arm shouldn't work. At least i try to go under my hand ... unless the girl is really short -in that case i go under my arm (elbow up and keeping the hand down so the girl is always comfortable).

    Do you spin by yourself or rely on the leader's force to carry you?
    Most leaders will be able to place their hands 2cm over the top of your head (on the center). I'm doing the mimics next to a wall here, and i think i could comfortably lead a girl into a double turn even if she was 20~25 cm (8-9in) taller than me ... but i wouldn't be able to circle my arm around her and carry her through that spin... but that is up to the leader, if he insists on moving his hand around you then you still have to duck!
  4. rails

    rails New Member

    I've never heard of needing support from your leader for spinning. I always understood that the follower needs to be responsible for her own weight and balance when spinning and that the leader's hand is just a guide. Am I missing something?

    Now if the height difference is so great that he can't even reach, well that's a problem. I've never seen that actually. When I watched that couple with the big height difference he would actually get on his toes as his hand would go around the far side of her head. Seemed to work pretty well. Actually, it was kind of interesting when he'd triple-spin her. He would sort of bob up and down as she spun. Gave the couple a pumping-spinning look.

    I've noticed lately that I've developed a bad habit when I get tired. I get lazy with my arm and sometimes brush her head as she goes underneath. I've even done it to girls quite a lot shorter than me. Not height-related, but it's a sign that I probably should quit and get some sleep.
  5. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Yes Rails, you are correct. It was wrong spinning technique that made me need support previously.

    When the guy was tall I could keep on doing the ballet spins - pivoting with stretched knees, "lifted" ribcage and KEEPING my balance. I was trained that way as a youngster and didn't realize I had to solve the spins in an other way dancing salsa.

    But when i danced with a short guy the spins crashed. I still did the pivoting and also bend my knees to get under than arm/hand. The support form the backbone, the stomack and ribcage was lost since I probably bend the upper part of my body as well. (Try it and you will feel how unstable it might be. ) Then I needed more support from the guy than when I danced with a tall guy. And the support from a short inexperienced guy tends to come more from the side - not from the top. And the result was that I "fell out" from the dancing centra.

    At that time I was always able to dance with real god leaders. I guess they gave me that extra support rigth from the top.

    Alvaro & Rails
    You are so right. I need to carry my own weight and my own balance. But I have only danced since May - and noone has ever told me how to spin at salsaclasses. It has been quite expensive to realise how to do it myself. But I believe I got it. I just have to practice when to stop - a 1.5 spin a 2 spin and so on. Very often I become disoriented. Doing Cuban it was quite simple but now doing shines in Line style - I just have to make it all by my self.

    Thanks four your thoughts !

    (I have actually asked for a special spin course at the salsaweeken at Uddevalla. Lets hope the teacher remembers it)

  6. motardmom

    motardmom New Member


    Hey! I'm getting the hang of this! Was out dancing last night, danced with the same guy that I danced with last week and another guy that was also shorter than I. It was great!

    This has opened up so many new possibilities! 8)
  7. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I have also another problem with short/tall leaders. The problem is how big steps I should take. Dancing with tall guys - it's not a problem. Their lenght of the steps suit me fine. But dancing with short ones I believe long steps adds to the lack of balance and feeling of where the centra is supposed to in the dance.

    One night my teacher danced with me several dances until he was satisfied with my steps. He is quite short (about my lenght 5,6-5.7 feet :lol: ). I brought this knew competence into next dance. This quy had about the same lengt so thought it would work fine. After 30 seconds he stopped me and asked if I didn't like to dance with him this night. He thought I didn't feel well since there was something different with my dance :shock: . I realized that my new short steps confused him so I reverted to my old style. His happy smile confimed that I was right :D .

    (This man is strong as a horse. He dances almost all dances in one night - and he is over 50 years old. I believed I would manage his speed and amount of dances better if I took short steps. Preserving my energy. I have to start taking aerobic classes to match him :lol: )

    Anyhow - this story confused me a lot. I believed short steps would suit all leaders especialy the short ones. How should I train up my sensitivity about this? How can I adapt more easily?

  8. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Good to hear you had a good time last night and that the problems seems to solve. Many of leaders are shorter that both of us and it would be real sad If we cannot make it.

    I agree in your statement: "This has opened up so many new possibilities!"

    (I'm sorry if I hijacked your thread by discussing steps. :oops: It was just a thought that popped up when I was reading all this)

  9. alvaro

    alvaro New Member

    I have a major problem with the lenght of my steps. In fact, with my steps. I just hate my basic!!. My steps look short and 'bored/shy' ... don't know yet how to improve them.

    back to the spins:
    If the leader keeps trying to move his hand around your head there is not much you can do -support from the side is not support! -, if he is unaware that without you bending or ducking he would hit you then there is not much you can do -in a social scene- just go through it and have a good time ... maybe watch the cuban girls that add some very sexy hip movement to the bending of the knees when they walk under an arm. :D

    ah!, and keep in mind that sometimes the leader throws the spinning follow out of balance without either one noticing!!! (that he was 'guilty')
  10. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    motardmom with all those good experiences I'm getting happier! :wink: :) Especially as a shortie. :lol:

    Alvaro I actually enjoy my basic and like to change it according to the music mood. There is upbeat and jumpier, longer steps to a slower song etc. I'm not talking of great differences, necessarily, but it definitely changes. I'm not quite sure how it cannot as it just happens as I respond to the music and have to consciously control myself if I notice my partner is getting confused.
  11. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    I'll try that :D :D :D :D :D :D

  12. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I like to do that too :D. Of course as a follower I also need to match the leader's step, but when we are just doing the basic with a bit of space between us and the music tells me to step a certain way, I do that and see how the leader responds.
  13. aimerrouge

    aimerrouge New Member

    Being a short follow has its problems too....

    I'm new here, so hi everyone. I think that everyone has their difficulties to overcome. Myself, I am a 5 foot follower with short arms and a plus sized body. The situations I run into are:

    --leads that overestimate the length of my arms and stretch them so far, I'm thrown off balance (and usually hurt my arm) :evil:

    -leads who leave their arms so low I have to actually duck under them to turn :?

    -leads who are convinced I can't move fast enough so they "pull" me really hard to get me where I "should be." :headwall: (My timing is such that even if I don't get there "on the 1" I am where I need to be by the 5. This rarely happens, by the way.)

    -leads who don't "give me an opportunity" to do multiple spins :twisted: (I can do a double with ease. :banana: I'm working on doing more.) I guess they are afraid the big girl will fall on them. :roll: (Not to brag but the guys who do dance with me tell me often that they are pleasantly surprised by my ability.)

    I'd think it would be easier if I were taller ( I guess, thinner too).
  14. tj

    tj New Member

    Re: Being a short follow has its problems too....

    Welcome to DF, aimerrouge!

    Don't let bad Leads get you down if/when they make you feel bad because of your size. They're probably going thru their own difficulties as well. One of my current fav Follows is overweight, and I don't care. She's an amazing spinner, and she feels so light when I dance with her. It's great!
  15. dragon3085

    dragon3085 New Member

    I top out at 5'9 on a good day, and its not unusual for me to dance with a girl who is my height or taller. I don't have a problem with it, I try to adapt my technique to suit the partner I'm with. If she is way taller then me, I might not do as many overhead turns, and instead use the shoulders or a spin whip like turn. I did dance with one girl that was so much taller then me, that for me the lead a over the head turn, I had to hop up on my tippy toes for a split sec. to clear her head. Its kinda of neat though, in that it forces you to think outside your regular box so to speak. Maybe uses some other techniques that have been neglected.

  16. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    Re: Being a short follow has its problems too....

    Hi Aimerrouge, welcome to DF! :D
    I don't think this is necessarily related to the follower's size -- some leaders seem to have this idea that leading means pulling and shoving the follower :evil:
  17. motardmom

    motardmom New Member

    Re: Being a short follow has its problems too....

    Welcome aimerrouge! Hey - dance more! It worked (is working) for me! I don't keep track of what I've lost since I started dancing a lot 3 months ago, but by how my clothes are (not-)fitting, I'd guess it would be in the 7-8 kilo range (15-17 lbs, roughly). I feel so great!
  18. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    a girl has to over be 6'3 ft to be taller than me.. i think that'd be troublesome if a salsera is that tall.. i have yet to encounter one
  19. Doubleassemble

    Doubleassemble New Member

    The guy should be able to handle you, I am a guy and i dance ballet pre profesionally. I have partnered a lot of girls with as much as 5 inches different and it at times can be just as easy as one of a shorter size. I have also done my share of jazz, modern, slasa, merengue, ballroom danicng as well. As long as the girl is in complete control of herslef, there should be no problem
  20. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input. And welcome to df Doubleassemble! :D

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