Swing Discussion Boards > What Makes a Good Swing Dancer?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by pygmalion, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I guess I should not concern myself with leading triple steps during a 1-hand connection. Instead, I should probably just give her a little spankin' afterwards if she doesn't do it right.
     
  2. etchuck

    etchuck New Member

    Drat... sorry I'm late on this...

    To me frame and connection are related but not quite the same. Connection to me is the ability to sense leverage and compression. Frame is the body position through which that connection is sensed. I associate "frame" more with ballroom position as opposed to "barroom" club position, but you're right that a proper frame in club dancing is also necessary for proper connection.

    The thing is you can achieve proper connection without proper frame. I think we covered that in an earlier thread, but one example is in lindy where the intermediate lindy follower can be facing 90 degrees away from where her arm is connected with the leader, but swivel-steps towards her partner on '1'. That's not exactly the most proper "frame" that anyone suggests (in ballroom anyway), but as long as the connection is there, it's not too bad.

    So to that extent, I look for the types of connections I can make with a follower, and the quality of that connection determines how good my follower can be (or leader I can be).
     
  3. Swing Kitten

    Swing Kitten New Member


    while you might be able to 'achieve' a connection without an active frame (and even this I doubt) it's impossible to maintain that connection. Frame is the telephone line which partners of this dance use to communicate. Unless you're dancing torso to torso I've never seen or experienced a true connection without the use of frame.

    Just because a follower comes in on "1" does not mean that she's completely doing her job. If her frame was not engaged to motivate her motion forward then she was merely hitting her cue-- and there is a difference... one is following.

    You can get by pretty well for a while by hitting those cues and being where you're "supposed" to be... but in doing so you're missing the playful interaction that makes this dance so much fun :D
     
  4. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I think I want to add my two bits here too.

    When talking about Lindy and leading, I don't talk about frames. This too mee menas two things, I don't know exactly how to define a frame and I don't think frame properly covers what we're doing (I might be totallt wrong on that last assumption though.)

    I'm not used to formalize this into writing, but here goes. The important thing is proper connection:
    :arrow: Proper tension combined with being relaxed.
    :arrow: Smooth tension, increase/decrease pressure smoothly
    :arrow: Body leading in the sense that the body is in general behind the arm and inititates/supports the movement.
    :arrow: Keeping control of your arms. Always keep them where you have power between the arms and the body. Don't collapse and don't let your arms be moved too far behind the body/shoulders.
     
  5. d nice

    d nice New Member

    You are... ;) but don't worry read below.

    This IS frame. While you may not be able to properly break down what muscle grooups are active and which are relaxed and the associated spcifics... what you described is using and keeping frame.
     
  6. d nice

    d nice New Member

    This is all true. Frame is not connection, but connection is dependant on frame. I can have a phone line and currently no dial-up internet connection, but I can't have a dial-up internet connection with no phone line.

    I can be physicaly connected to my partner, but I can't have any really usuable "connection" without frame. Frame is how our bodies talk to one in other in this dance and connection is the ability to talk in both directions at the same time. If the follower is facing nearly 180 degrees away from her partner it is possible to still maintain connection (note: this is extremely hard to do because of all the compensation that has to take place from the normal muscle engagement for frame). Frame is not position dependant and as long as you both have frame you can have good connection. CAN have good connection.
     
  7. TemptressToo

    TemptressToo Member

    The best swing dancers I have noticed can be summed up in one word...

    ENERGY.

    That's it...it is a whole-hearted dedication to the music and the dance. It is never the people that you could consider "technical" that you notice and enjoy...but the people giving so much of theirselves, you can't help but notice and smile.

    I am humored by the difference in the occasional swing I do at little ballroom practice parties. They throw a few in for variety...but it is like dancing to school figures. Now throw the same people in a real life swing dance (dedicated to it) and it is a different world of "full-out" dancing.

    The end.
     
  8. d nice

    d nice New Member

    you don't "lead" a triple step per se... you move your body (which means her body as well) in a manner where triple stepping is the most natural response.

    So if you lead a move right, and she doesn't triple step is it really the most natural response? She is moving with an assumption of a move rather than letting you move her.

    For example in a sugar push the follower is coming forward generally on th estep step as she hits that first step of the triple it gets shortened due to the compression, the second step of the triple is a weight change as she settles into the compression and the third is a catching her body as the leader "pushes" her backwards. A follower who knows she isdoing a sugar push and knows that she will come forward "stop" and get sent back will do a touch step because they are thinking ahead and executing a move rather than dancing the current movement.
     

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