Dance Articles > How Can I Get More Out Of My Group Classes?

Discussion in 'Dance Articles' started by SDsalsaguy, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I wasn't suggesting you were judging.

    I was responding to your comment that I didn't need to defend Chris. I did.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we will agree to disagree...I know my' a moderator....we are done with this
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    return thread to topic...has nothing to do with anything else....not about disagreeing ...drop it now
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And back on topic. Chris Eaton. Are you around? How did it go?
  5. Chris Eaton

    Chris Eaton Member

    Hi Guys,

    Back online again. Sorry it has taken so long to respond, but it has been a hectic few days.
    Thursday night... FAB--U--LUS (as they say on Strictly!).

    I have spent a bit of time reading the previous threads and I am feeling a bit guilty. It seems I have caused a bit of a "fluster" and I don't want my new friends to fall out over me. Hey, I need you guys!

    I entered the dance studio, had a bit of a chat with the other “new guys” and then went over to “pay my dues”.
    Then the teacher said “Ok, tonight we are going to learn the Foxtrot”
    My heart sank… I had been practicing so much on what I had learnt the previous week and I wouldn’t know if it had paid off. (Waltz and Rumba).

    It seemed that everyone in the beginner’s class was learning the Foxtrot for the first time, so at least I had a chance to learn at the same pace as them. The head teacher spilt the room into guys on one side, behind her and all the girls on the other side, behind the other teacher, all facing each other. We paced out the steps, up the hall a few times, then the Head teacher told us to partner-up.

    I was overjoyed when the Countess made a beeline for me. I found out that “The Countess” is an advanced dancer who is training to be a teacher. She helps out on Beginners night. I find dancing with her a joy as she is very patient and encouraging. So far I haven’t trod on either of her feet! I hadn’t asked her to dance, because I was concerned about one of the other threads which discussed being too pushy with other dancers and “bogarting” the good dancers.
    But, as she chose me… I couldn’t be accused of any of that (Deep Joy!).

    At first I fumbled around a bit, then at the 3rd attempt it clicked and I started getting it right. I quickly managed to get the full length of the dance hall, then…. Where to go now? The Countess walked me back up the hall several times and we glided down the hall and stopped.

    Then the Countess started showing me how to do the steps to change direction. We had several goes and then went back up the dance hall to try the whole lot. The Head Teacher was near us when we reached the end and performed the steps to change direction. It wasn’t perfect, but we managed it and she seemed genuinely pleased. I knew that it was all down to the fact that I had the Countess as a partner, but it didn’t stop me feeling secretly pleased with myself.

    The time flew by and we made really good progress. 40 minutes in to the lesson and we swapped over to the Waltz. Aha! A chance to show what I had practiced!

    However… it would appear that what we had learnt the previous week was the really basic stuff, and this week we were to learn something more “interesting”. Oh well…here we go again.
    We did a Natural Turn, a Reverse Turn and then led into a “Chassis” (I think that is what they called it). I was very happy with this, and it came together quite easily, so maybe all that practicing had paid off after all.

    I approached the second-teacher after the session and asked if I could find some time to ask her some questions. She immediately said “How about Right now!”. I am sure that she would answer anyone’s questions when asked, but I still felt special.

    A short conversation later, and one of her business cards, answered many of my questions including the fact that she said if I was serious about progressing and this wasn’t just something fun to do once a week, then she recommended some 1-on-1 lessons. She said a one-hour lesson with a qualified teacher could accelerate my learning quite a lot, but that not everyone liked moving at this pace. She recommended trying one and seeing how I felt about it.

    OK… Chris’s Blog over. Before anyone says anything about Bogarting the Thread as a personal Blog… You Asked! (Ok, I do enjoy telling you all) Now I have to find the extra money and time for some one-on-one lessons.

    So, what questions do I have this week?

    Well, I do have questions, but as usual they have already been discussed elsewhere, in much depth, but I shall drop them in here just for completeness, but any advice on the best place to put them would be welcome . (Please don’t hit me with the big moderator stick)

    Q1. If you get a butterfly in your stomach when you dance with a lady, is it because you just love the dance, or because holding a woman so close is inherently exciting? Which leads to the question…. Is it a bad thing to feel excited about dancing with “another woman” who is not your wife/partner? (Ahhh guilt comes in so MANY forms!)

    I mean, it feels almost like a "First Kiss" when you dance with a new partner. Not in a sexual kind of way, but in an exciting/anticipation kind of way. I want to do my best to impress and to make the Lady feel special. I found myself thinking during my Foxtrot with the Countess “If I extend this move.. or pause a little longer here.., will it allow her to strike a small pose to make herself look better?”

    Strangely, even though we have only been dancing a VERY short time, she did seem to pick-up on this and did indeed add a few flourishes when I paused or leant in a certain way. It just sort of felt “right” and she reacted to it. Then again, perhaps she felt that I was hesitating and was just “filling-in” to stop me looking bad??!! I suppose I ought to just ask her, but there seems no time to chit-chat.

    Q2. If I do not have a full-time dance partner, what happens when I am say, 4-6 weeks in and "The Countess" has to help out some other new Beginner? Presumably I shall be paired-off with one of the other ladies who is also learning. But I looked around and everyone already seemed to be paired-off. I need to leave this problem to my Head Teacher though. I am sure that she knows everyone’s ability level and will put me with someone suitable for a while.

    Enough for now. Time for bed.

    Thanks Guys
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    Chris...there is absolutely no problem with having a thread about your own beginner questions and with having them all in this one thread...though we do have some related content that you might find useful...

    here are some other thoughts in reading your post;

    1)issues that other members with one another within your thread, are not your fault and pre-date you... and aren't the topic of your thread, please don't give it another thought...

    2) practice is never a bad thing...while you may do some things wrong...the benefit outweighs the concerns

    3)dancing with someone with skill when you are new is intoxicating, particularly if they are good enough to know what you are trying to do and know how to make it feel good...there is nothing wrong with enjoying a lady who was married 20 years when I began dancing, I found it both delicious and alarming...and I wish I had found the forum soon enough to have someone tell me to enjoy it but to be careful about reading anything into it....

    4)as to future partnering scenarios, I say just wait and let that develop naturally
    Chris Eaton likes this.
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    5) I completely agree that, if you are serious, taking an occasional private will allow you to progress more quickly and you will enjoy it
  8. Chris Eaton

    Chris Eaton Member

    Ahh, THAT is the word I was searching for.. "intoxicating". Yes, that completely sums it up.
    Your heart beats a bit faster, you can't stop smiling, and just holding the Ladies hand makes you feel young again.
    Let me assure you this is not infatuation etc. Just pure joy to be sharing something so personal and intimate as the dance. I am very much a beginner, but even I felt that there were a few "moments" when dancing with the Countess that I felt completely "Lost" in the moment and it was wonderful. xxx
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    chris...I assure you that you don't need to assure is simply a caution for your own self not that intoxication is a heady brew...entirely possible to handle it well...entirely possible that it can have a tad more power than it should...that is all.... forewarned is ounce of prevention, as the saying goes....that being said, dance is a heavenly gift....drink it up ....enjoy
    Chris Eaton likes this.
  10. Chris Eaton

    Chris Eaton Member

    "Delicious and alarming"... Ooh that sounds interesting! Are you allowed to tell the story?
    What a wonderful feeling to conjure in ones mind! I wish I could dance with you if you could create those feelings through dancing with a partner. Do you find that dancing with every new person, whether expert or beginner produces some degree of anticipation ?
    What attributes in a male dance partner makes them nice to dance with?

    Perhaps that is a good topic for discussion?
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    we have a thread I think called "three minute crush" 3mc...or something like that...if you want to do a search you might find it...otherwise, perhaps our expert search engine (aka.TC) can find it

    what I have experienced is that when I was new, most men who were more advanced felt like a dream...the one I danced with on a regular basis who was also kind and helpful...well, that was addictive and yummy...and awakened in me feelings I thought were long gone and part of my youth...I would say that there was some variance in my experience, but most of the advanced men seemed dreamy to dance with and moreso if they were also lovely that I consider myself an advanced dancer I would say that I enjoy and look forward to every man with whom I dance, if he happens to also be a pleasant person... but the enjoyment is for different reasons depending upon the skill...if he is a newer dancer, I enjoy not having the stress of having my own skill evaluated and I enjoy the opportunity to assist him succeeding in what he is trying to accomplish and in watching him experience the pleasure of that...I enjoy that because I know what a gift it was to me...if I am able to dance with someone of my own skill level I enjoy the challenge of seeing how well I dance independent of my instructor with someone of a similar skill as it allows me to see how reliant I am or am not upon my instructor...when I get to dance with a professional, particularly a really skilled one, yes, that is still often a heady experience for which I feel very grateful and which sustains and inspires me
    Mr 4 styles likes this.
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    It's lovely hearing your excitement at discovering dance, Chris - brings back wonderful memories.

    Enjoy your journey and don't overthink it. :)
    FancyFeet and fascination like this.
  14. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member :)
  15. Chris Eaton

    Chris Eaton Member

    Hi TC.
    When I follow your Hyperlink (or any Hyperlink on DF), i find that it opens a new Tab in my explorer, but when i look i find that i am not "signed in" on that page and have to sign in again before I can make any posts.
    I AM still logged in on the original Tab.
    I have reported it, but i was wondering if you had come across this too?
  16. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris! It depends on how you originally signed into DF. If you signed in to with the hyphen, then you'll need to add the hyphen to links like the one I posted which doesn't have the hyphen. :)
  17. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris,

    If I were starting all over again, as a lead, I would advise myself to spend half my practice every day working on "the moves" (the steps & patterns I'm learning), paying particular attention to envisioning/feeling/anticipating where I want the lady to go (before I put here there). Objective: Become so familiar with these that you don't have to think linearly when dancing (there's no time for that) -- you want to just "envision & go".

    For the other half of the practice, I'd advise myself to forget all the above and just move dynamically & commitedly to music using those patterns/steps as a guide. Engage the body, get off balance, find your balance again...wash, rinse, repeat. Objective: Feel the dance and develop trust in your body & spirit to move. You will start improving organically as a dancer just on this alone.

    And then I'd advise myself to develop another "half" to the practice, devising drills to work on movement, balance, groundedness, poise, etc, as my training evolves. 15 minutes of each of these things every day...

    I'm no pro and I'm no lead, but that would be my advice to myself if I were starting all over again. May it be of help to you. :)
    SwayWithMe likes this.
  18. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Chris, you already have great ingredients for success.... enthusiasm for the dance, eagerness to learn and grow, willingness to listen to the advice of others, and concern for others in your dancing.... truly your attitude is wonderfully refreshing!
    Chris Eaton likes this.
  19. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    Dude, no worries. This is MORE than par for the course on this forum... :rolleyes:
  20. dbk

    dbk Well-Known Member

    It's wonderful to be so excited about dance! The people who have "problems" are the ones who can't (or don't) separate that feeling from romantic feelings... which clearly you are not having a problem with :D

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