General Dance Discussion > Practice makes perfect thread

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by elisedance, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    ED, what an excellent post!
    Would that so many others come to this understanding.

    Indeed, VV and I have worked together. May I humbly say, 'we' are. But, this is where one discovers that fine, fine, fine line between the art of technique and the science of the technical. It is difficult to not get trapped there...many great technicians believe themselves to be great dancers, but lack the art. Something else that can not be gained by video.
  2. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    It is surprizing considering how short a time frame a photo captures - but my coach does the same thing - a photo allows you to analyze the frame and hold in a way that videos can not and you can often see details not evident in the video - like my tendency to dance with my eyes closed...
  3. meow

    meow New Member

    I would fall over:tongue:
  4. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Heh, I do that a lot when I'm practicing by myself. Pros at studio always ask me who I imagine I'm dancing with that's causing me to smile like that. :) What can I say, dancing makes me smile. And I'm not telling you who I'm imagin ing. ;)
  5. meow

    meow New Member

    Would we 'know' them?:p
  6. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    heh. I'm not telling you either. ;) :p
  7. Tenehill

    Tenehill New Member

    No sways in reverse turns of Viennese Waltz?

    A book I am looking at, "Modern Ballroom Dancing" by Victor Sylvester, says that there is a sway to L on steps 2 and 3, and sway to R on 5 and 6 (for men).
  8. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Step length??

    We have had comments that we look sometimes as if we are trying too hard on the floor and one coach has recommended that we tone things down by taking smaller strides (this pertains only to standard for us). I know that may sound like the opposite to what you usually hear but we hve been experimenting. The results are very interesting.

    The results depend on the dance. This has had least effect I think on FT. There the stride length is an integral part of the flow - generally shortening it has little benefit and seems to just negatively impact sway and swing. however, it has helped in certain steps such as natural turns and the hover cortee. There is a big benefit in waltz for all steps on the second beat and locks. Shortening stride allows us to spend more time on lowering and style - shaping and bringing feet together etc. Simimlary in QS - here we 'discovered' that stride length should be equal to the time of the step! How come no one has ever told us that? thus a slow generally involves a longer step than s quick. If you do that then the whole motion becomes smoother and more relaxed.

    The biggest impact, however, is in tango where we were trying to cover as much floor as possible but since our basic technique was not up to the energy things looked very frantic. Cutting back in stride length allows us to be much quicker in our turns and attain much better 'tango action' while reducing flight (the tango buggaboo!).

    What is most interesting is that shortening our strides paradoxically does not seem to affect our overall distances! I think what is happening is that movement is becoming a more natural result of body motion and not stride, if that makes sense.

    Anyone care to comment? This particular odyssey resulted from scrutiny of a set of ancient Peter Eggleton tapes, trying to find out what makes him so increadibly smooth.
  9. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    I thought this was interesting (edited to save space here) but maybe I was being simple minded - or maybe everyone is just waking up from a holiday stupour :) :rolleyes:
  10. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Omigosh! I actually spotted and bought that book in a used bookshop. Is this the one you're referring to? The book doesn't have life size feet to cut out from the pages, but it does tell you to trace your own feet to make the cut-outs.

    The pic below is one from ebay, not my own copy. Mine was published in 1948, and I love the illustrations, especially for the fashions of the time. As far as dance technique is concerned, the book is very interesting to me. The feet pattern thing is corny, and the book is quite dated in some ways, but it actually has a lot of good advice. It includes very clear explanations of how to dance to the beat and rhythm of different kinds of music; exercises to improve balance; tips for tall and short followers; dance etiquette, etc.

  11. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Wow. Unfortunately :( I lost my dance book collection during my last move...
  12. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Check Amazon, it looks like you can get the book easily, and it's pretty cheap.

    One of the most interesting pieces of advice in the book, is to tell women they should learn to lead. I say it's interesting because the book reflects the attitudes of the time (they don't even use the word 'women', they're called 'girls'!) Then they add that "of course" they are not referring to women leading men, but rather, women leading other women just for practice. The book says this will help ladies improve their following skills.

    The book is very specific in saying that followers shouldn't just blindly follow without learning steps, but that they should learn their own parts and the leader's parts as well. They still have to follow, but Murray's point is that the lady will be better able to follow and execute a step smoothly and without hesitation if it's been practiced and is in her muscle memory. I would agree with that.
  13. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member

    It makes one h@## of a lot of sense. As we have mentioned before, Peter was onr of my primary coaches, and I have been trying to teach this point forever. What is happening is that movement occurs even when there is no step. Dance is part step / part momentum. The momentum comes from sway, rotation, rise, lower, etc. Bill Irvine taught what he coined as "monumental stillness" as the movement in the stillness. I love it!
  14. Angel HI

    Angel HI Well-Known Member


    I hope 'Me' finds this thread. She has an interesting (and quite funny) story about something in this book.
  15. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    We need to call her over
  16. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    leg fatigue

    Tonight my legs just seemed to give out - and I have not been dancing that much either. We met for an hour at the studio and then drove over to a social club for on- floor practice. It was great tonight with not too many couples and most dances we could do our entire routines (at least in pieces) without any real chance of bothering anyone. Trouble was about half way through the evening my legs just got tired and i could not dance well - lowerings and movement were just crap.

    As I recall, this has happened once before a while back - anyone a clue as to what causes it - or if I should I be concerned?
  17. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Were you hydrated? My muscles tell me right away if I haven't been drinking enough water.
  18. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Yes I think so. Maybe I'm coming down with a cold - I kind of hope so. The dreaded alternative for me is... dare I say it... whisper (age).

    One interesting thing is that dancing has become much easier for us - physically I mean. As we have become more ballanced and more together we dance and hardly feel we've had a workout (normally) - I wonder if I'm actuall not getting enough excersize even with 5 hrs dance a week.
  19. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    I'm fighting a cold and was supposed to have a lesson today. Practiced with partner for almost an hour, but then starting having pains in my abdomen. Bizarre. Couldn't continue dancing, so he took the lesson alone while I sat and watched and tried to relax away the pain. Felt kinda dizzy and faint for a while there too. I'm fine now, so perhaps I just pushed myself too hard while being sick and too soon after not having a full-out practice session since before Christmas.

    But yeah, I'll echo the sentiment that it sucks to get older.
  20. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    If you've been shortening your stride and letting body motion contribute more to your dancing, you are working less--but in a good way! Maybe it also uses your muscles in a different way, which might account for the leg tiredness.

Share This Page