General Dance Discussion > Push me Pull You

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Another neat concept for newer leaders and followers -- push and pull connections. It's only taken me a year to start to feel them pretty consistently. :oops: :lol: But good old push and pull connections are everywhere, and get created automatically. Anybody care to give a description or some technique for the newbies out there?

    Here's a link to get the conversation started.
  2. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    First off could I please veto this terminology? I understand where it comes from and what not but it is SO misleading! There is no room -- and no excuse -- in dance for pushing or pulling!

    I prefer to think of these things as "toward" (or "forward") and "away" connections... the same under girding notion but with much less overtly physical connotations.
  3. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    So, is it safe to say "sugar toward?" :wink:
  4. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    No way Vince! That'd be a "sugar away"! :wink:
  5. peachexploration

    peachexploration New Member

    I know what you mean about this. Often, when this is mentioned in class, alot of students (all levels) forget about the word "connection" and take the push-pull concept literally. It gets a little uncomfortable sometimes and quite painful and dangerous. Ouch! :cry:
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I agree that "push" and "pull" are misleading terms. Over time I have realized that it all comes down to moving the body's center while maintaining frame -- not moving the feet and arms!!! This is dancing.

    You see people dancing and see what is visible, and think that by simply replicating that the motions you can do the dance. Not true.
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sad but true. Push and pull may be misleading terms, but they are the terms used by many, many dance teachers, dancers and top pros. I could give quotes from several of my technique instructional videos, if I thought there was any point, but I don't.

    Push and pull to me is similar to arm versus body leads. Newbies or people without proper training often think that leading is done with the arms, because the arms are used to convey and receive the messages. WRONG! Leading is done with the body, usually.

    Similarly, push and pull (or whatever you want to call them) are created automatically at the point of connection. Newbies or people without training may think that they're actually pushing and pulling each other around. But a few lessons (or more :lol: ) with a good teacher will clear up that misconception. Nothing we as a group can do to clean up the whole world's terminology. :?
  8. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    I think we've discussed this in a past thread. But you are never using your arms for the connection, you are engaging your lats and creating a rubber band feel. Not using your lats can lead to injury. :(
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    For the sake of the newbies, could someone please explain what connections we're talking about?
  10. suek

    suek New Member

    I look for connection in every possible direction: forward, back, lateral, up, down. A good hand to hand connection and my hand on my lead's shoulder make it possible for me to feel any and all of these; which connection(s) I'm feeling depend on direction/momentum.

    Actually is better not to rely on the hands. A great exercise is to drop the hand(s) and practice body connection. With and without closed eyes.

    I'm thinking about a new Tshirt: give me connection and I'll follow you anywhere. Get it?

    And even though I'm talking "hands" I mean frame. Of course. It's the pecs/lats engaged, with core strength (abs, glutes, inner thighs and even that kegel action--Pilates practitioners will know what I mean) moving through relaxed arm to an awake and lively hand.

    If this is too esoteric, just ask and I'll break down what I'm talking about.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hey sue! :D Cool post.

    I'm with you in terms of finding various connections. Could you break it down a little? BTW, you DO sound like a world class follow! :D
  12. suek

    suek New Member

    Let's see if I can talk about the hand with words not pictures. Or better yet, without being able to hold your hand at the same time.

    (Quoting DNice here, or trying to): Cup your hand. Cupped so that first and second knuckles are 90degrees bent. Strong cup shape. Fit that hand into your lead's hand. NOT just fingertip connection...sit that cupped hand all the way into the lead's palm. Now you can feel forward (against lead's fingers), back (against lead's palm), and side to side (where lead's palm meets fingers going to your right; lead's fingertips going to your left). I won't add up/down right now because I need to check it out with a lead and then I'll report back.

    Do these words work? Tell me.


  13. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sounds good to me, sue! :D
  14. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Wow... what do you need me for? :D

    Let me talk about terminology and explantion of words on the parts of teachers...

    One there is no excuse at all for using confusing or misleading terms when teaching. When dealing with difficult concepts it is the teachers responsibility to find terms without negative conotations or don't have pre-concieved notions attached to them... or explain with enough detail and imagery that it overides thoughts associated with the term.

    Push... use the imagery of a shopping cart, you push a shopping cart with your center, not your arms.
    Pull... use the imagery of a tug of war. You can't use your arms... again you use the body to pull.

    Personally I rather use the term ION Connection
    In Connection - your center is seeking your partner's (also called compression)
    Out Connection - your center is attempting to move away from your partner's (also called leveraged tension)
    Neutral Connection - your center is not attempting to move towards or away from your partner's (also called the relaxed or home position)

    No real conontations or pre-concieved notions associated with the terms, and they are pretty clear in definition.
  15. msc

    msc New Member

    Just to extend the discussion, the concept of connecting through the back applies to the Standard and Latin dances, as well as the various forms of Swing (and Salsa.) The mechanics of connections change a bit, but ultimately the connection is still through the back muscles.
  16. will35

    will35 New Member

    I once had a teacher who told us to dance without using the hands and arms at all. No pull, all push or lack of push. Interesting. Incidentally, that is what started me with the cheek to cheek that we were talking about in some other thread.
  17. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    The 'rubber band' feel we are talking about here, has anyone encountered that (in salsa alone) some styles/teachers call for it, and others don't?

    I mean, when I first started as a newbie I was taught to have 'resistance' to enable the 'towards & away' connection we are talking about here.

    But lately, (this applies to Cuban Rueda in particular) I have been told that 'spaghetti' or 'rubber band' arms are needed.

    At the same time the LA style schools are still talking about the same 'resistance' I was taught in the first place.

    Now I have resorted to FEEL the amount of resistance from the leader, and give out the same amount to balance the frame. Afterall, the leaders come from all sorts of backgrounds in the social scene. We followers adapt to make life easier, right? :wink:
  18. salsachinita

    salsachinita New Member

    This reminds me of a statement my Dad (being a Tai-Chi practitioner) made, when he first saw a group of people doing Rueda: 'Hey, they are using Tai-Chi techniques....!'

    As far as I know the Tai-Chi practitioers also use the terms 'push & pull', but it really means the exchange of energy to create balance.

    Martial Arts and dance DO share similar elements; as discussed in one of the older threads......
  19. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    No matter what they are called . . . I believe this . . . is the bottomline!

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