Swing Discussion Boards > Swing Dances and Swing Dances

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Feb 1, 2004.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I just got back from my lesson. We spent the day working on legs. (Did I mention that this new coach is the best thing that ever happened to my dancing? 8) )

    Anyway, the conclusion I've come to is that propulsion is exactly right. You propel yourself through space. But relaxed? Nope. No relaxation at all. The relaxed look is an illusion. It's like that old analogy of the duck floating on the pond, looking tranquil, but underneath the water's surface, paddlig furiously.
  2. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Having been to Europe and studied dance I'm going to have to stick by the empirical evidence of swing dances refering to actual swing dances by the European dancers I met.

    As to sway versus swing... in movement... I'm going by a biomechanical reference point... the body as you described it is swaying and causing a swinging action. The human body as a whole can not actually swing, though parts of the body can when the energy is created by muscular force. Now whether a group of people choose to use the same terminology of course is up to them... but I attempt to use terms that make since from a physics/bio-mechanical viewpoint whenever possible, cuts down on confusion for people. Of course I make mistakes, though when I catch myself using the wrong term I try and correct it and learn from it.

    As a general rule swing dances don't use the term swing to refer to a physical action, they use it to refer to rhythm, like musicians do. A swing dance is partly defined by its required use of a swinging rhythm in its execution.
  3. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    "the body as you described it is swaying and causing a swinging action."

    Actually, it's the other way around: swing causes sway. Swing helps you to move across the floor, sway helps you to change direction or stop. There are different types of swing, but as an example, with pendulum swing your lower body actually out travels your upper body...you literally leave your head and shoulders behind, be it ever so slightly. This causes your body to "sway" and allows you to easily change directions without losing momentum. It also helps you to stop without stumbling.

    Waltz, foxtrot, tango, quickstep, and viennese waltz are called "smooth" in american style and "standard" or "modern" in international style. These dances are also referred to as "ballroom," as opposed to latin or rhythm dances. However, waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and viennese utilize swing and sway, so they are referred to as the swing dances when discussing technique as related to the ballroom dances, to separate them from tango (because the swing dances all use very similar technique, where tango is vastly different). When referring to dances in general, swing dances are ecs, wcs, etc.

    I hope that clears things up. I'm a ballroom dancer...I teach bronze level american smooth and rhythm, and I have studied smooth, standard, rhythm, and latin from competing professionals, including national champions. No, I'm not that great of a dancer, I could never compete professionally, but I understand the concepts and get constant reinforcement. I'm married to a wcs dancer, so I've been learning that from "real" wcs dancers (ie, not ballroom dancers who happen to teach swing).
  4. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarification, twnkltoz. I'm still a little fuzzy (I'm a little slow LOL), but I'll go back and give it another read. Thanks. :D

  5. d nice

    d nice New Member

    The terms you are using are ballroom jargon. They have no basis in biomechanics or kinesthiology.

    It is like renaming gravity and calling it swell, and then asserting that swell is the proper term for what makes an object fall and that what a joint that goes through trauma is using the term incorrectly.

    If you and a group of people all understand that by swell you mean gravity thats fine... but trying to tell other people that a joint doesn't swell is not just pointless but somewhat backwards.

    Swing refers specifically to an object moving through space where one end follows a proscribed arc while the other is moving around a fulcrum. Legs swing, arms swing, baseball bats and golf clubs swing, a persons body swings as a whole only if it has a fulcrum around which it can revolve.

    Sway is often confused with swing, but it refers to something incling or bending to one side.

    Sway can cause swing, but they aren't really the same thing.
  6. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Well hello Jennifer; great to see you here. :D 8)
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I try to be careful about referring to sway as bending to one side, because "dropping" one side is usually counterproductive. I think it is better to think of stretching or raising one side. By saying "bend" people often lower one side.

    msc gives a good explanation of swing here.

    twinltoz, I really liked this explanation:

  8. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Depends entirely on the result one is trying to achieve but they are both bends and they are both sway. It is the instructors responsibility to ensure that conetext and more detail is provided , as you wisely do, to achieve the proper result.

    I'm not trying to have ballroom people change their own jargon, that would be silly... I am however cautioning them about using it outside of their own circles and expecting people to understand what they mean, or try to argue/correct when someone uses the same word but by the more exact or scientific definition concerning movement.
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    True. The terms are widespread, well understood (although not yet by me LOL) and generally accepted in the ballroom world. These are some fairly complex ballroom concepts which deserve full treatment without being dismissed as mere ballroom jargon. I, for one, can forgive the coiners of the ballroom terminology, since there probably weren't very many physicists in the bunch. :wink: I believe there's a related thread over in the ballroom forum, and I'll resurrect that so we can discuss swing and sway over there.

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