General Dance Discussion > Feel of a lead vs variety. Sensitive follows vs those who need more.

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Mysticle31, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    If dance technique is as PD says, I should expect to see a lot more variation in top pros than is seen. The body needs to do what it needs to do in order to achieve that kinetic result. How it is explained, how people think of it, may vary from person to person, because words are a poor map to kinesthetics, but the end result is pretty consistent.
  2. I was reading this and having a headache.

    I am just saying to myself stop thinking so much and just start dancing already !
  3. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Well, just using the dictionary definitions from the words "swing" and "sway," minus the not-applicable cases, we already get confusion as to what the words mean in dance...


    intransitive verb
    : to move freely to and fro especially in suspension from an overhead support
    : to move in or describe a circle or arc: a : to turn on a hinge or pivot b : to turn in place c : to convey oneself by grasping a fixed support <swing aboard the train>
    a : to have a steady pulsing rhythm b : to play or sing with a lively compelling rhythm; specifically : to play swing music
    : to shift or fluctuate from one condition, form, position, or object of attention or favor to another <swing constantly from optimism to pessimism and back — Sinclair Lewis>
    a : to move along rhythmically b : to start up in a smooth vigorous manner <ready to swing into action>


    intransitive verb
    a : to swing slowly and rhythmically back and forth from a base or pivot b : to move gently from an upright to a leaning position
    : to fluctuate or veer between one point, position, or opinion and another

    Would you like to tell us what your definitions are?

    I don't even need to get into the "specialized" usage of these words in dance, which involves timing, positioning, etc..
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Chris, is that you?
  5. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Timing may be a problem only for beginners. I will hope experienced dancers will play with their timing and override it where applicable. So, to include all the latter possibilities I prefer speaking of musicality.

    What you call swing I would call styling. My concept meets most of PD´s definitions. It´s kind of a transfer or interpretation of music and rhythm into the space of the dance floor.
  6. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    The dictionary definitions and the ballroom definitions are two entirely different things. That's like pulling up the dictionary definition of "feather" and saying "hey, there's no one way to do a feather step!"

    Again - you're not going to prove your point without providing two different (BALLROOM DANCE) definitions of swing and sway. I am not here to prove your point for you. That's your job.
  7. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Sway has an authoritative definition, from The Ballroom Technique (the gray book).

    "Sway is normally the inclination of the body away from the moving foot and towards the inside of the turn--e.g. step 2 of Waltz Natural Turn."

    For my own definition, in standard dances, swing occurs when the body is moving as though it were pendulum, attached at the head, the bob at the feet, allowing the dancer on the outside of the turn to swing past their partner while maintaining connection.

    What other standard dance specific definitions are there?
  8. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Well, here's already a point of contention. The "more
    general" definition I've heard is that sway is the inclination
    of the body against the direction of travel. When a baseball
    player slides into base, there is certainly "sway" but no
    turn. There are tons of movements in dance that contain
    no "turn" (as in weaving-type maneuvers) but have "sliding
    action." Or a dancer can "lean" and create sway and simply
    "resolve" the sway by standing erect, without ever turning.
    A dancer could also have started the sway with the intention
    of subsequently turning, but aborts the turning part, possibly
    because of floorcraft reasons.

    There are many other "leaning" actions that may or may not
    be considered "swaying," depending on the perspective of
    the observer or performer.

    The Ballroom Technique is only "authoritative" for the
    believers of its religion, although it's certainly a good start.
  9. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    It's a definition, and a specific one, which would work for the purposes of this discussion.
  10. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    There's nothing to prove, as it's just my opinion, in
    which you may or may not find merit. As in the courts
    (of opinion?), all it takes is reasonable doubt.

    Two "definitions" of sway, as used in dance, are already
    discussed in another post.

    Similarly, swing (in dance) could be lots of things. Do
    you consider the "swing" in ECS, in Jive, in Foxtrot, etc.,
    the same entity? Do you think Chacha, Bolero, or Night Club
    Two Step (smooth or rhythm versions) have "swing" in their
    basic patterns?

    Do you think there is a "suspension from overhead support"
    in the (whatever) swing used in dance? Is there (always)
    an "arc" around some "hinge" or "pivot?" Where are these
    "hinge" or "pivot" if you believe these exist? Does the
    "arc" mean there has to be "rise and fall?" Does a swing
    have to be related with "shift or fluctuate from one condition,
    form, position, or object of attention or favor to another"
    and "to move along rhythmically," or are these factors
    inconsequential to your definition?

    When we get into details, simple definitions often/usually
    fall apart.
  11. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Must we be so granular? Would you prefer to get into the details of the type of swing used in step 2 of the waltz natural turn and how it differs with the swing used in step 2 of the reverse turn?
  12. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

    Well, of course it depends on how you look at dance and
    movement, and how analytical you want or have to be.

    There was an assertion that although most dance terminology
    are highly subjective, somehow the terms "swing" and
    "sway" were special and were easily defined and understood
    by all. I'm not of that opinion about these two terms.

    As one poster noted, while one dancer may consider a
    particular action a "swing" movement, another might
    consider it to be shaping or styling. But, this is the general
    characteristic of language and communication anyway.

    There are some that think instructors teach substantially
    the "same" things and "top" dancers move substantially
    the "same" ways, and some that think the opposite.
    From the macroscopic level, everything is alike. From
    the microscopic level, the differences are striking.
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    If that last post is true then there is no point in having judges, or this forum. Because if you are going to insist that there are no generally-accepted definitions, no discussion or communication is possible, at least not in any meaningful way.
  14. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

  15. Partner Dancer

    Partner Dancer Well-Known Member

  16. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Considering that multiple posters are interpreting your comments this way, if it was not your intent, then that is not getting across. "The meaning of your communication is the response you get."

    Again, back to doi's point, and your response, if it's "up to you", then on what basis can dance competitions be judged? If there is not a common understanding of good technique and good artistry, then it is difficult to understand how competitions can even happen.
  17. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    lol... we used to actually have these discussions around here...
  18. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Concerning me who is writing in a foreign language Partner Dancer´s concepts seem to be much closer to my own, not concerning words as swing, sway, or styling, but in the sense of constructiveness, responsibility and autonomy in/for one´s own development. Perhaps it also may have got to do something how someone deals with authority (say-so), too?
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Or someone who doesn't place the way they think they should or who has proven authorities tell them they're wrong, therefore they argue it's all subjective and no one's view is more right than anything else in an attempt to make it impossible to argue with them. Very common tantrum in judged sports and with "artists" who feel their alleged genius is unappreciated.

    IME that's usually the case, at least.
  20. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Getting even more basic on this, if there is not a standard set of techniques and movements that can be identified as belonging to a particular dance, there is nothing to teach. For that matter, I wonder how partner dancing could occur at all, if the leader and the follower both do whatever they like...

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