Salsa > men who try to "correct" you or "teach you" during a dance

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by yippee1999, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    it's easy to do this, and i do - but only when dancing with a reasonably good follower who makes occasional misakes. this technique only serves to make the whole dance feel like a stop-go-stop-stop-go session with chronic offenders. so in the interest of keeping awkwardness to low levels, I would cheat, skip a beat or just use a bit more power to keep things in order.

    I understand (and mostly agree with) this. There are things that can't be taught non-verbally, and there are people who can't be taught at all because they are dunces. But you are evading my question. :)

    Answer me this using any one of the scenarios I listed before - how would I critizie appropriately on the floor? It seems that you are, by not answering it, implying that there is no circumstance under which criticisms or 'teaching' is allowed or would be considered appropriate. right?
     
  2. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    Approproate criticism belongs in the classroom. I can't think of a single scenario like what you listed as being undeserving of correction in practice time. I was in a group class on Saturday and I had a very lovely lead flat out tell me what to do with my hands while he was doing something, to help me with my following during spins and getting lead out of them. He kept it up until we had to switch partners, and i was thankful for it.

    At the club, don't criticize. Plain and simple. Unless there's pain involved, or a really REALLY bad experience to be had. Once I had a lead ask me how he was doing. I asked him to not spin me so much next time. That's it. There was another guy (the dunce who threw me into a quad...), who I flat-out had to stop and restart with, because I couldn't handle the painful disregard for the beat. It didn't deter him. I think because I did it with a smile and a touch of class. That's all. No tricks or scripts. Leave criticism out o your social dancing unless you need it to save your body or your mind. and in those cases just smile and be very considerate, brief and polite.
     
  3. africana

    africana New Member

    that's where knowing the person is important, so that you know HOW to broach sensitive topics like criticism. Specifically, how important are they to you, to your dancing, what's their level rlelative to yours, what result do you desire from the criticism, are they hurting you, will your input be helpful to them in general, or just for you in one move? Those are some questions to answer for each situation. You can't really to do everything on the internet lol

    wait...maybe you can. just send them an email.

    Hello,
    You suck. Please stop asking me to dance. I hurt.
    Yours sincerely,
    Quix

    :lol:
     
  4. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member

    LMFAO nice one!
     
  5. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member


    Sweavo, it doesn't mean that in the US!
     
  6. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Quix (may I call you Quix?), as a follower, I'd say, verbal correction on the floor is best avoided. Azzey's advice on physical "corrections" will give the necessary feedback to your followers, and will be received much better. Except if you are being hurt. Say that right away. If you say it nicely, they probably won't mind. They've all probably been hurt on the dance floor, so they know what it's like.

    Besides, verbal correction on the floor is really pointless. If she could do it right, she would. If she can't, she won't learn it in one go, just because you've said something.

    What should you do about beginners who spin badly? First of all, be grateful you don't have to spin! Learning to spin is hard and can be scary. They need to do it badly a bunch of times before they can do it well. If they are giving you the "death grip" during a spin, they may actually not be aware they are doing it. It might just be an instinctive reaction to being nervous and concentrating really hard on the spin.

    If someone is taking classes and seems serious about improving her dancing, the best thing you can do is be patient. Your reward will come when she becomes a good dancer and wants to dance with you all the time, partly because she remembers how kind you were when she was a beginner.

    If someone isn't working on their dancing and has a ton of bad habits, I think you just have to do the best you can, or turn down a dance sometimes and sit out.

    Of course, there is always the all-purpose remedy for followers who make mistakes: lead only the patterns she is comfortable with and does reasonably well.
     
  7. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    That's some really great advice! My question is this. I have been having difficulty in my lessons with leaders that don't lead well. I've been working on technical issues with my instructor privately, and it frustrates me now to work with new beginners in group lessons, because I really want to get the technical part down. I do have a partner, but we switch around though, and dance with everyone at the group lessons. Problem is that I was getting so frustrated last night, because I can't work on the technical issues unless I have my partner or an instructor.

    But would it be rude to just dance with my partner during these lessons? I mean we have married couples that don't dance with anyone else etc., and I don't want to be like that at our parties, but lessons are different I think. I was thinking about asking him this tomorrow night, and I know he will, because he wants to get the technical parts down too now. And again it's hard to work on the technical parts when you don't have leaders that take dance seriously during group lessons (which is of course to be expected), but I'd hate to give up the group lessons, because they are cheaper than privates and I learn during those times too!

    Oh and the thing is that I only want to do this with the dances that I am working on technically during my lessons. I'm still learning the steps for some of the others, so I'd be willing to dance with anyone with those types of group lessons. I just you know want to become a pro in certain areas like WCS, and my instructor knows this, and watches me during our group lesson on those nights, and I can't practice right if I have a new beginner. The thing is that I remember when I was new, and I was grateful to have anyone dance with me. So, it's hard for me to make this choice if I were to make it, but yet... it's also my money not theirs.

    But do you all know what I mean though?
     
  8. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member


    My hand-pain incident came out of a classroom, actually. To be honest, imparting criticism in the classroom feels as hard as it does on the social scene.
     
  9. sara1011

    sara1011 New Member

    Ha!
     
  10. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

    You're welcome :)
     
  11. SalsaManiac

    SalsaManiac New Member

    Argh, I am recently guilty of "correcting/teaching" the sister of a friend .. I felt so bad later on (still remember what it was like being a beginner) that I asked the friend to apologize to her sister on my behalf. I was having a totally off night ... should have started out the dance low key and then ramped up like I normally do in trying to guage my partner's level.

    --T
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Thanks! I don't know if you're going to like this advice as well! :)

    IME, once you get to a certain level in your dancing, group classes are really only useful for learning new patterns. Unless your studio has technique classes or advanced classes that really are advanced.

    Personally, I don't like it when a couple refuses to rotate during class (even if they are married!) I know some couples feel they have good reasons not to rotate, but it seems a bit unfriendly to me. And the beginners will realize that you aren't rotating because you don't want to dance with them.

    For that reason, I don't take group classes anymore (and yes, I do miss the camaraderie). But when I'm social dancing with a beginner and being waltzed around the room in a continuous series of progressive basics, I use the dance to focus on tiny points of technique that I usually don't have time in lessons to focus on, like making sure my foot is fully pointed on back steps. Stuff that doesn't get in the leader's way or confuse him. Maybe you can do that kind of thing?
     
  13. thespina13

    thespina13 New Member


    yikes... sorry babe. (May I call you babe? :p)
     
  14. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Thanks! I don't know if you're going to like this advice as well! :)

    IME, once you get to a certain level in your dancing, group classes are really only useful for learning new patterns. Unless your studio has technique classes or advanced classes that really are advanced.

    Personally, I don't like it when a couple refuses to rotate during class (even if they are married!) I know some couples feel they have good reasons not to rotate, but it seems a bit unfriendly to me. And the beginners will realize that you aren't rotating because you don't want to dance with them.

    For that reason, I don't take group classes anymore (and yes, I do miss the camaraderie). But when I'm social dancing with a beginner and being waltzed around the room in a continuous series of progressive basics, I use the dance to focus on tiny points of technique that I usually don't have time in lessons to focus on, like making sure my foot is fully pointed on back steps. Stuff that doesn't get in the leader's way or confuse him. Maybe you can do that kind of thing?
     
  15. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Lol! Don't worry! I appreciate any kind of dancing advice!!!

    Well, see those were my thoughts last night too! And this is why it's hard for me!!! I don't like coming across as mean etc. But again, it's like this is my money, so I do have to decide what's best for me lol!

    I do like learning the new patterns, and at first when I started the technical training with my instructor, I enjoyed learning them with everyone. But it did get frustrating last night, because I kept thinking you should be doing this or that with your hands and feet lol! But most of them don't know what to do with either!!! My instructor's fiancee said that we need to teach more of that and we do!!! She agreed with me that it's important to learn that, so you don't end up hurting anyone, because you can if you pull their arms the wrong way etc. Well, you know about that stuff lol.

    But see again, it's like now that I want to become pro, I don't want to be hurt by a new beginner. One smart thing that our director does (also another instructor of mine) is that he'll put the advanced dancers with each other, and the beginner's will rotate by themselves, but not everyone does this. I absolutely love that idea though, and he does too, because it helps him teach whom really all needs to be taught. You know like if he teaches a basic, he'll know that the advanced dancers will know the steps and work on their posture etc., while the others he'll work on their steps.
     
  16. quixotedlm

    quixotedlm New Member

  17. sweavo

    sweavo New Member

  18. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    If that man is a teacher of mine, I listen very carefully. If it's a friend of mine of a higher level and he has some small comment to make (not a huge explanation) then I listen and try to do what he suggested. I will note this, however: those who are truly advanced NEVER comment or try to teach. The ones that do are (to my experience) snobbish beginners/intermediates who know countless steps and have no technique or leading skills. I recently said a few well chosen words to one who kept on doing fancy moves with awful technique and then tried to correct me - and he does this every time we dance! So I got fed up and told him that I couldn't follow what he was doing because his hands were so darn tight. He said that they weren't, I said that they were. He seemed ticked off, we both tried to keep on dancing and smiling, and he hasn't danced with me since.
    I dance mainly ballroom, and I'm a couple of months away from teaching. They know that and they still think that what they're doing is right and what I'm doing is wrong. I'm not saying that I'm an authority, but if I were in their shoes I'd stop to think that it's possible I'm the one doing something wrong. :rolleyes:

    T_E
     
  19. Sabor

    Sabor New Member

    i might comment .. but its not often.. if i do, its because for her/his good and most likely i know they will take it in the spirit it was given.. but it will always limitted to stuff like containing motion to a smaller space.. arm tension and direction of motion.. ie. things related to style of dancing that we are doing and the crowd factor so that the dance flows better/smoother and they dont bump in people around..
     
  20. azzey

    azzey Member

    The problem is that the very people who are oblivious to their own dancing are usually the people with the most problems and they think they are doing everything right. These are often the same people who will not accept criticism well. When these people dance with their regular partners they will over time get used to each other, such that when they dance with someone with good technique it will actually feel WRONG.
     

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