Swing Discussion Boards > How to dip...not drop!

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by East Coast Bluesboy, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    No. I am saying get some lessons before you injure a partner. Group. Private. Whatever. Do not endanger your partners. And, depending on where you're dancing and how extreme the moves, dips and lifts MAY be considered against accepted dance etiquette. Great way to get yourself blackballed.

    I couldn't find the Hydroxycut picture, btw. It's probably about nine or ten years old. But think leaning back through the center of your body and grounding yourself so that your partner has something to brace her body weight against.
  2. Maybe I should clarify more details. There is one group lesson per week in my scene, and it's always on Tuesday, the busiest night of the week for me, so I can never go. Private lessons run from $50-$100 for a one hour lesson, which is pretty ridiculous if you ask me. I'd be broke in a matter of weeks if I took a private lesson every week.

    I know that dips aren't against the rules where I dance, or if it is, it's certainly not enforced. I see people do dips all the time. As for lifts, I never really see people do anything like that. Very seldom do I see any flips or anything extreme like that.
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Rules and etiquette are two different things. Just saying. And yeah. Private lessons are actually usually a bit less expensive in swing than in other partner dance forms. (Won't go into why.)

    I can't imagine why you're insisting on trying out cool, new dance moves that are dangerous to other people, when you haven't had time to learn them properly. Seriously. Nobody is going to want to dance with you, and that can last LONG after you learn how to do dips. Take the time now to learn to do them properly.

    The other thing is that not all dips are the same.There are gentle, baby dips and there are death drops and everything in between. If what you're after is effect, baby dips get the same message across with very little danger to the follow. It's basically what fasc mentioned earlier. You invite the lady to do a dip, allow her the time to do it. Often she will. Sometimes she won't. And, if your lead is nuanced enough, she can dip as little or as much as she wants.

    I want to look flashy and I'm willing to risk her getting clunked on the head = lead nobody wants to dance with. Your choice.
    wooh likes this.
  4. I think you're misinterpreting my intentions. I'm not insisting on anything. I do want to learn to do it properly. I just don't know how to go about learning it without 1) spending my entire life savings or 2) losing my job. Also, I'm not trying to look "flashy" or anything like that, as you seem to think. I'm just trying to learn something new (and apparently failing miserably) because after nine months of swing dancing, inside and outside turns get a bit boring. I definitely want to learn and don't want to rush into anything. Like I said in my original post, I probably won't be doing any dips for a while because of what happened Monday night, so don't think I'm going to run around trying a bunch of fancy dips and injuring follows at every dance I go to. I'll be lucky if I get the confidence to try out another dip in a month.

    Basically, the whole purpose of this thread I started was to learn how to dip properly other than taking lessons, which is not financially feasible for me, but from what I'm hearing, it sounds like there is no other option.
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    That is absolutely not what I said.

    If you have neither the time nor the money to be bothered with good private lessons (as you've said, repeatedly) that will teach you the proper technique for leading a dip safely, then don't.lead.dips. Period. No discussion.

    By all means, keep dancing.
    wooh and samina like this.
  6. Oh, I thought you meant don't lead in general. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Dips are something you feel. Hard to teach them via video or internet. And,to be honest with you, I'm a little leery of your dance teacher friend who said, "You need to learn some dips." then taught you just enough to be dangerous.

    Take your time. Yes. Just basic steps can be boring after a while. But there are a lot of things you can do in swing -- fancier patterns, arm styling, body rolls, syncopations, that will allow you to have fun without putting someone else in danger's way.
  8. Such as? Anything I could learn without formal lessons? Especially something safe?
  9. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Most social dances around here have a lesson before the start of the dance, included in the price of admission. Is that not an option where you are?
  10. It is, and I almost always go to those lessons. However, they always teach the same things at every lesson to cater to the beginners. Basically, all I know is a few turns and the basic east coast step. And a little bit of blues (hence my username).
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Maybe a new thread on learning swing dance on a budget? We used to have a thriving crew of swing folks here. Maybe we can scare some of them up. I don't remember anybody breaking the bank or taking an excessive number of privates The swing world is different. Maybe we can drum up some help.
    East Coast Bluesboy likes this.
  12. Good idea. I think I'll do that.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    did you ever play that game as a kid where two people hold hands, lean back, and run around in a circle?....the head weight being back on both sides allows it not to fall or cave...when you offer a dip, you need to brace yourself to counterbalance the woman's head weight going down toward the floor which means yours needs to stay up and back,not bending toward her sympathetically...you need to be the brace, keeping your knees flexed helps as well....get a lesson from an experienced male on this
    East Coast Bluesboy likes this.
  14. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Great minds think alike ;) You describe it better than I do though. Used to love that game when I was a kid. :)
  15. juwest333

    juwest333 Active Member

    Whoa. Interesting thread here!

    Okay. From my own experience, I have done literally hundreds of dips with women in both Blues and Swing dancing and I have NEVER dropped a woman (*knocks on wood*). I learned how to do proper dips at an Exchange event while on the social dance floor. A male/lead blues dance instructor showed me the proper form and everything, and there were a few followers (ladies who have been dancing for at least five years each) who I practiced them with. So here are my two cents...

    First, find a male blues dance instructor (or swing dance instructor who you have seen perform dips) to show you proper form. You need to approach doing dips in the same manner as if though you were lifting something heavy and not wanting to injure your back. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground, your back and posture overall should be straight, and all of your weight/pressure when performing a dip should be focused in your thigh area. When you dip her, you lower yourself using your legs only; your upper body always stays upright. Basically, the same principles as if you were lifting heavy weights from a standing position. This way, even if your follow throws all of her weight into the dip, you can still support her.

    Second, and you may not like to think about this, but your partner's weight is an important factor as well. If you do not think that you have the strength to physically lift your partner off the ground (whether because of her actual weight or because you are fatigued), you should not be dipping her in the first place.

    Third, you need to have good balance and be very comfortable with your own body, because she will depend on your balance with this kind of dance move.

    Fourth, NEVER dip a new or beginner dancer. It may be tempting to show off or to try to impress her, but don't be one of those people. It's just not worth it. There are all kinds of cool endings that you can do that don't involve dips.

    I am telling these things for you to think about, but please don't try to do dips again until you have been properly shown how by either an instructor or an experienced dancer.
  16. What might those be? I usually end with just a double inside turn, which gets boring after a while and can be a bit anticlimactic depending on the song. Anything relatively easy and/or safe?

    By the way, thanks for the very informative and constructive response. It's starting to make sense to me now.
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I looked and looked and could not find that old post about the lady whose head got smashed on the dance floor. I know it was here, but it was years ago and I cannot remember what it would have been posted under.

    Did find this under tips for leads at the austin swing syndicate website. Not to beat a dead horse, but I don't want the OP to think that what we've been saying is just the collective opinion of this board. It's out there, not just here.

  18. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    And while we're on the topic, can someone who knows more than I do please define for the group the difference between a dip and a drop? I know them when I see them, but I couldn't hope to define.
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oops. Again I am a dingdong.

    Definitions from the above.

    So, from the OP's first post (i.e. low enough to just lay her on the floor to minimize injury,) it sounds like what he led may have been a drop, not a dip.
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Dips are "Whee!"

    Drops are "Whoa!"

    pygmalion likes this.

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