General Dance Discussion > one guys beginning dance struggles

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by wiseman, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    He did nothing, but of course it was near the end of the lesson by the time men were flubbing it badly.
  2. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    I never came back to that group lesson. There are other group lessons in the same studio by different instructors that are very good. In this case I have to put most of the blame on the instructor.
  3. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    You are correct about the choreography. Both the leads and follows did a set routine that never changed because that's the only way so many movements could be accomplished in 1 hour. Unfortunately the choreography that they taught is useless without a partner that can follow the script also.

    Instructors like this are fooling people into believing they learned a lot when just the opposite is true.
  4. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    Those two are now on my "don't ask list" so they are free to dance with leads that learned the choreography.
  5. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    Asking for help wasn't practical in that example of mine. There was about 125 people in the class so the teacher didn't pay attention to individual needs.
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member


    Take a running stab at it ands do your best. I don't care if a guys totally messes up the pattern -- I will do my best to help him feel what it is. I *would* have a negative impression of a lead who doesn't step up to the plate and try, though. Even if we spend the rotation trying to help him get a small piece of the pattern...that's what the class is for.

    This is not an uncommon scenario. As a lead, my suggestion is to erase that tendency from your dance-class rule book and get with the matter how hard the patterns are that day.

    Learning can be made fun even when you haven't "gotten it" yet.
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    125 people? Who on earth even considers that a class rather than a clinc or seminar? Or has space for it? In that case, no, the teacher shouldn't deal with individuals unless he literally has all day to do it. I wouldn't bother going back not because there was anything wrong with the teacher, as I'm increasingly inclined to believe there wasn't, but because that's just too many people to have an effective class anyway and I can't imagine anyone would think otherwise. It's like expecting to get the same learning experience from a college lecture with three hundred people versus a small class with twenty.
  8. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Maybe he thought the class was about dancing? Doing the basic steps in place of something that's too complicated can do more to further that goal. If doing basics for a few seconds with someone who is trying to do them well is an insult, perhaps one should really rethink if dancing with peers is really an interest?

    There are those - often married couples - who take classes like that and then turn up at socials and dance exactly what they learned in class. Actually, there's a whole tradition of that. It's called sequence dancing, or round dancing, or new vogue, depending on your country.
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Or perhaps if you and the other leads you've danced with have picked it up while the one trying to insist on doing something the class is not hasn't, he is not in fact your peer.

    Frankly, I think he's just afraid to let them see he can make a mistake (which is understandable but wrong, as I've never held it against someone in a group class if they lead something awkwardly as I assume that if I just learned it two minutes ago, maybe they did, too.) Unless we're talking some move so advanced there's a realistic chance of hurting the follow (doesn't sound like it) what is the harm in trying something and not getting it right? If you only work at the easy things you're good at rather than take a chance doing something harder and maybe getting it wrong, how on Earth do you get better?
  10. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    You get better by working on the things that you are trying to do well, not the things that you have no hope but to do badly.

    Basics are not "easy" things unless you insist on looking at them that way with no goals for the qualities they should bring out. For those who have made progress in dancing, they are some of the hardest, and most important, challenges.

    And most importantly, their challenge scales from minimal to extreme, to match the level of the person doing them - so they should never be an insult, unless done insultingly.

    At any rate, it sounds like he's not going back to that class (which is the important lesson learned), so I don't think we need to be too worried about how he chose to survive the last few minutes of it.
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    actually, JFTR, the most efficient model for group classes i've experienced (non-technique-oriented...) regularly had around that many students (it was a salsa class). but there's a way to do it. and IIRC... that number was broken down into simultaneous beginner, adv. beginner, and intermediate groups all at once. there could be 100 in the intermediate rotation alone, everyone sharing the same space.

    just sayin'...large classes *can* be managed well, if handled a certain way.

    even so, advanced patterns can get dicey, especially toward the end of a class when people hit overwhelm. i think if someone shuts down and doesn't want to continue with what's being asked, they should politely leave the rotation...
  12. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    it wasn't a social, NTM... it was a class. if one wants to do one's own thing...wonderful. leave to do it, IMO...or go social dancing. if one feels "sorry, i'm not doing what the instructor is asking, i'm not even trying", why stay in the group that *is* attempting to learn it?

    generally speaking, though, am not arguing the value of staying with the basics... i'm right there with you on that.

    i completely understand hitting overwhelm when learning something new and how one might feel stressed. still... best to graciously step aside in that case, eh? or do what most men i encounter do... admit they are over their heads and say "i'll do my best but am feeling quite lost". i use that myself...
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    *bingo* at some point, things hit critical mass, and something new is *learned*. :)
  14. DerekWeb

    DerekWeb Well-Known Member

    I have found that with small classes, 6-10 people, you can see the instructors feet, and ask for help and keep from falling behind.

    With 125 people, say, before a social, you may not clearly see the teacher for the full time and certainly don't get to squeeze in many questions. In those cases I have occasionally dropped out of the rotation instead of wrenching the follower's arms. In hustle and WCS and salsa if you have a brain freeze at the end of the session it might be safer to drop out of the rotation.
  15. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    But is what is learned by under-informed repetition likely to be good?

    Or is it more likely to be a temporary habit that will have to be un-learned later before further progress can be made?

    This speaks to a very basic question about learning dance - if something is not working, do you:

    a) practice it until it works in some way?

    b) find out what is missing and practice making sure that is included?

    Opinions on that are going to differ - but I would suggest that a) is more about preparing for a competition or performance, after you've made a strategic decision that enough of b) has been accomplished to enable dancing the material at the quality presently needed.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member practice is about pondering differnt notions of how to tweak something so that it will critical element of technique, among the many that I know need to be present here, do I need to be more attentive to on this attempt...what sort of error did I make?..did I fall to my right? why night that have happened? what WAS I trying to do? working several repetitions of the smae thing doesn't neccessarily have to mean making the identical mistake each time or ingraining the wrong thing
  17. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Yes - and it's hard to do that when you already know you don't have enough information.

    The "try it anyway" approach is only likely to result in anything good in that circumstance if you are trying it with someone whose body is sufficiently expert that it may be able to prompt yours into doing what you do not yet understand conceptually. And even then, its doubtful if the skill will be learned in a way that can be retained - more likely, the teacher might hope to share with the student a sense of what the dancing might be like once that skill has been learned.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    meh...I disagree...with a certain amount of comprehension of some basic principles, I think it is possible for a person to puzzle some things out on their own, will they need confirmation of it eventually? it harmful or counter productive?...I doubt the cost outweighs the benefit...not arguing that practicing with someone knowlegable isn't better..however, absent that, I think there is some merit to persistant deliberate practice alone of concepts that one has not yet mastered
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Because if you don't practice them, you'll never master them. If you can NEVER get something, then it's time to get expert one-on-one analysis, but not getting something right the first few times you try it does not mean "well, I better go back to doing what I know and nitpicking that." You can, obviously, and you can get very very good at the basics, but unless you're satisfied doing the same few things over and over, that's going to get tiresome. And it defeats the purpose of learning them.

    Working on something more difficult doesn't mean the basics are perfect, it means they're solid enough it's time to start using them for their intended purpose, as a foundation for harder things, which means you're going to make mistakes because you're trying something you haven't done before. If you're in a situation where you're supposed to be working on those harder things, it's not the time to decide you're going to work on something else, especially when that affects someone else's experience. If you don't have the basics at all, you probably should be in a class just focused on that.
  20. nottomention

    nottomention New Member

    Yes, but how much puzzling can you do while moving at music tempo during the frazzled last few minutes of class?

    It was the hoping something good would come out of an attempt in those circumstances that I was having a problem with.

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