General Dance Discussion > Good Enough?

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Zhena, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    depends on what makes one go 'ahhhh' .. for some its simple, for others it could get complicated..

    me, i'm a simple man

    ps. simple does not mean retarded in this context .. for clarification..
  2. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    In social dancing? I think the only real "ahhh" moment I've had was the moment when I realized I could dance with most of the pros and not feel like a complete load. (Anyone ever see the Mystery Science Theater episode "The Mole Men" and how they tagged that poor obviously-doomed character "The Load"? That's what I felt like when I danced with the male pros at parties, especially the ones I didn't take from. The Load.)

    In competitive dance, I'm sure I'll never be good enough for me. But as my Smooth Pro said, I could win a world championship and he will STILL be nitpicking. So I'm not alone. As far as that's concerned there is no good enough.
  3. meow

    meow New Member

    IMO, dancers never feel they are good enough, as in there is always room to improvement. Even world champs still have lessons if they are competing.
  4. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Well, here I am again, struggling with the same question like a dog worrying a bone! But this time, I think we have an answer that will work for us, at least for a little while.

    But first, a little background. The studio where we take lessons has a process for identifying and celebrating its student's progress. Each dance is broken into a series of levels. For example, there are four levels within Bronze. When the student and teacher agree that the student is ready to check out of a level, and a senior teacher approves, the student dances at the next "spotlight" event (held about every 3 months) at the studio. A judge from outside the studio confirms that the student meets the standard and presents a certificate.

    We went through Basic and Bronze 1 in 9 months, Bronze 2 in 6 months, but 2 years for Bronze 3 because we made a deliberate attempt to focus on technique. That was about 9 months ago, and we're about to check out of Bronze 4 ... so about 4 years total to get through the Bronze syllabus in 9 dances: Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Rumba, Cha Cha and Samba (plus a little of some other dances that come up in group lessons). We've been averaging about 1 private lesson and 2 group classes a week since we started. (I'm throwing in these numbers because the question of how long something takes seeme to come up on these forums. Of course we're not typical ... there is no other couple like us! But we're faster at some things, and slower at others ... I would be interested to hear if this progression at this level of effort is out-of-line.)

    So we've been learning and developing, but we started to realize we haven't included many opportunities to "just shut up and dance" in our schedule. In a typical week, we have only the studio practice party, and it lasts only a little over an hour. We are blessed to live in an area with multiple dance opportunities, and we think it's time to take advantage of them.

    One of the advantages of our studio is that the group lessons and practice parties are included with the private lessons. If we start to go to other dances, and probably other group lessons, the studio package becomes less attractive financially.

    Putting everything together and weighing the pros and cons, we've decided to stop taking private lessons after we check out of Bronze 4. That will free up some time to explore some other ballroom venues just for fun. We'll try to just catch our breath a little and NOT start something new (though we're tempted by West Coast Swing, Argenting Tango, Vintage dances, etc., etc.).

    We'll let Bronze 4 be "good enough" for now, at least in terms of private lessons. We'll dance more with other partners (I hope) and get a feel for how much more would be useful for social dancing ... whether that "more" is in terms of technique or different patterns or dances or styles or whatever.
  5. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sounds reasonable...did you have a question about that?...seems reasonable...somtimes its just time to rest and enjoy what you have accomplished...when you are ready for further instruction, you will know...
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    You mean we're actually supposed to enjoy dancing?? ;)

    But yeah, personally, I think your plan sounds like a great idea. Everyone has different goals of course, and for some people, the advancement and competing is everything (not me, but I know people like that). For myself, I try to balance the enjoyment/social aspect with the advancement/competing. Even so, have taken times where I just ignored that, and concentrated on the social part. When it stops being fun, it's time to change something. So wise choice, and go have fun. :)
  7. Zhena

    Zhena Well-Known Member

    Nope, no question this time. I usually find it helpful to write out my thoughts when I'm struggling with something because the discipline of trying to be logical often leads me to the answer I'm looking for. I posted it because someone else may also find it clarifying ... the same way reading various discussions on these boards has helped me consider previously unconsidered aspects of dancing (and other topics;)). I appreciate the way so many others are open about their questions, frustrations, and progress, so I'm willing to share a bit of my own journey.

    (Looking back, I'm astounded at how much I have put out there for the world to see, considering I'm rather a private person in real life. DF is comfortable for me, so I'm willing to stretch my boundaries a little...)
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    thanks for doing so...I think we al benefit from each other's candor...even if comes back to bite us...good luck
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Have been thinking about this on-and-off all morning.

    What I find interesting is that with AT, "good enough" has alway been right where I was at any given moment. Sure, there's a lifetime of learning and improvement ahead, but so what? After a year, I was good enough for only having been dancing for a year. With 2.5 years in now, I'm good enough for having been hacking away at it for 2.5 years. Improvement will come, in it's own time. I'm not particularly worried that it won't come, and I'm not particularly interested in hurrying it along...I'm enjoying where I am now. And I always have. (How much various partners have enjoyed it is another issue altogether! ;))

    Oddly, ballroom never had the same feel to it.
  10. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I have gone through phases.

    There was the:
    • think I'm better than I am stage - this lasted about four years, up until about the time I started competing in Gold-level events
    • okay with where I am, and see where I need to improve next stage - this came and went, but really kicked in when I was dancing Amateur with K. a couple of years ago
    • OMG I suck and will never get better stage - that's what made me quit Pro/Am the last time...and I think my poor teacher back then knew I was frustrated but couldn't figure out what to do...which might partly explain why he was so supportive of me dancing just Amateur for a while (I mean this in a good way, not a "I got rid of her" way)
    • OMG, I suck and have to endure torture to get better stage - what I went through when my current female teacher came into the picture

    Right now I've cycled around to the "okay with where I am, and see where I need to improve next" stage.
  11. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Nice summary.

    With ballroom, I think I got very stuck between stages 3 and 4 (the "OMG I suck" phases). With AT, I know I'm between the other two. I know some of where I need to improve, I know there's much more out there where I need to improve but have no concept of it yet...and I allow myself various delusions of grandeur from time to time because it makes me happy.
  12. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Interesting observation, P!

    Dancing both and thinking about it, I agree with you. I would not do a lot of complex patterns at a milonga, but I'm comfortable enough right now to get by and not worry too much about what my follow would think.

    OTOH, ballroom is more "I don't know squat and I really do suck!"

    Food for further thought...
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    really must get you to a fri and/or sat party in my neck of the woods
  14. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    I don't mean to be presumptuous, but are you talking to me?
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Well, it'd be a lot easier to get you to a social in her neck of the woods, than it would be for me to go to a social.

    Edit to add: And I'm sure she'd prefer dancing with you than dancing with me...that whole male/leader thing...;-)
  16. Chiron

    Chiron New Member

    I love your description of phases. I tend to cycle through the last three regularly on about a three month time period. I spend about a week with ok with where I am, then I find a new thing I need to nit pick. Then I spend about week in the OMG I suck and will never get better stage. Then I figure out what needs to be done and I spend usually two months in the OMG, I suck and have to endure torture to get better stage. Then I start to get a twist on whatever I was working on and then I lather, rinse, repeat...

    Right now I think I've got one dance in the I'm ok with stage, one in the will never get better stage, and the rest are in the I suck and need to work my butt off to improve stage.
  17. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    But Peaches, you live in "????". You could be closer than me.
  18. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Good point. I knew what she was talking about.

    Fixed the location for you.
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I think I'm permanently stuck between stage 3 and stage 4. I doubt I will EVER be stage 2.
  20. Easy

    Easy Active Member

    Tough question. The 'aaahh feeling' comes and goes and it changes as well. What was "aaahhh' to you months ago is not enough now.

    With every new level attained in dancing, there is another level of understanding and expectation. Every door leads to another one or in reaching the peak, you can now see the other peaks in the distance that you never even imagined existed.

    Out of the 4 general factors(patterns, partnership, appearance, and expression), I think partnership is usually the weakest amongst dancers. They might get the steps with some technique and be able to smile, but how do they feel to their various partners? Why is it a great pro can dance with the great dancers as well as the people who have never danced before and make it look easy? Partnership! If you've got good balance and a great connection, that 'aahhh feeling' comes around again and again. :)

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