Swing Discussion Boards > What to do when you're all messed up

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by blue, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. blue

    blue New Member

    At the moment, leaders alternating between 8 counts and 6 counts is difficult to handle. Sometimes it works but when not I get lost, and then it is hopeless to get back on timing again. I just do not know where in the move the leader is.

    OK, so here I am, completely lost, my feel hitting the floor at the wrong time points. What do I do? Say "I'm sorry I screwed up, can we take it all from the top?"
  2. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Are you doing East Coast/lindy type swing, or West Coast?

    Basically, hang in there. If you're doing east coast or lindy, do the best you can until he leads you into a rock step...you know you rock on your right foot (well, in most cases!), so you can put yourself to rights again. In west coast, he'll eventually send you out to anchor...anchor and get yourself on your left foot so your right is free when he leads you out. It'll get better with practice and training.
  3. blue

    blue New Member

    I do lindy. I think if the lead is being clear on that back step/rock step, then I manage to get back on track, but some people don't do that. I have been told that (at least from open position) it can be anything from a lead back inte a rock step, to a pull letting you do two steps forward (usually with swivels added) - or something inbetween, letting you make the choice yourself. From closed position I don't know, but I would guess it is a similar range of choices there.

    It is really annoying, not being able to get back on track. It has happened a few times, not too many but it would be nice to have a strategy for next time... I suppose the guy soon comes to the conclusion I know nothing, and does not really give me another chance. I mean, if I was him and noticed this happening I think I would just stomp off, fool around in open position a little bit and then start all over. Mayve these leaders are not the most experienced ones. It is sad, though, that we end up just thinking the other person is completely hopeless.
  4. Doug

    Doug New Member

    If I am mixing 6s & 8s and you are on the "wrong" foot, I will think one of two things:

    1. Oops. I just did an "ambush" lead where you didn't have time to react and it is my fault that you did an 8 when I was leading a 6 or vice-versa and perhaps I should help fix it with the next move that I lead. or

    2. Oh. She is a beginner and I should make my leads clearer and help her 'cause she is fun to dance with and if I am a little patient she will get this figured out over the next 6 months and will be even more fun to dance with.

    Betzi (my wife and regular partner) says that a quick catch step is a vital element of her footwork but not usually taught in classes which tend to be move focused & lead centric. z.b. | step step | triple step | step step &| where the & is a quick catch step to convert what she thought was an 8 into a 6. But this only comes to feel natural after you have been dancing for a while. So meanwhile, smile, have fun, do your best and you will get this figured out!

    And I would NEVER think that you are completely hopeless. Perhaps just that you are still learning, as are we all!
  5. blue

    blue New Member

    For the "catch step" to work I need to notice my mistake earlier, I guess. So, no quick band aid for the moment - just the reassurance that it, like most stages, will pass...

    Ah well.
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Improvise. Leader should notice and help follower out.
  7. shopper-lisa

    shopper-lisa New Member

    I have the same EXACT problem. I've noticed when I practice with my teacher and that happens that he immediately says, "you're ok" or "don't worry, you've got it". It leads me to believe that I have a look of shear panick on my face! I think it's really scary to not even know what foot to be on and then you are off ballance and sort of being dragged around the floor. But in the worst case scenerio I think it's ok to ask... can we start over with a rock step because I am new and I'm lost. Is that ridiculous? I have been trying to just be honest any time someone asks me to dance and let them know that I REALLY do want to, but that I know it will take a lot of patience on their part. I think the advice about a quick make up step will help when we are more ecperienced.

    But the way... what are those words under people's "names" on the right of these messages?
  8. swinginstyle

    swinginstyle New Member

    I have had similar issues when following. I'm a lead learning to follow, so I make various mistakes, especially when I start doing leader footwork. The first thing I keep in mind is that I know I'm always supposed to start on my right foot. If I notice I'm off a step, whether it's a six count, eight count, or 10+ count pattern, I'll either do a double (step step) instead of a triple, or a triple instead of a double. Otherwise, I might do an &1 step (left, right) if my footwork is incorrect.

    Second thing I do is to try to have "barbie" arms. Whatever direction I'm led to move, I will follow because my arms are locked in place like a barbie doll.
  9. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Right? Perhaps you are referring to the words below peoples names? Those words are status names given to members based on the number of the posts that they have made.

    Here's the link to the exact details: Forum titles?
  10. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    If the guy is too clueless to notice that you're lost and just keeps going, I don't see anything wrong with saying, "I'm lost! Can we start over?" Or, just stop, or pretend to trip or something. heck, I've been dancing for nine years and I don't always catch every lead!
  11. suek

    suek New Member

    here's a mantra: it doesn't matter it doesn't matter it doesn't matter

    when I get off-foot, either by misreading an 8 for a 6 or vice versa, or by some other goofup on my part, I keep my connection, I go where my leader is sending me and I either 1) add another triple or remove one to get back on track, 2) do a kick ball change or tap ball change to get back, 3) throw in a slide to name just three possibles.

    All of these fail? I just smile apologetically, stop altogether and then we start up again.

    Much to my surprise, I've found that the mistakes don't get etched in stone. I've approached a lead with whom I totally tanked the last dance and shamefacedly asked if I could have another chance and most often I get "sure why not?" as a reply.
  12. shopper-lisa

    shopper-lisa New Member

    very good to know! It seems a lot of it is dependent on a relaxed attitude and a willingness to keep trying. And yes... I was a bit mixed up with my left from my right... ha ha. Thanks for the link.
  13. blue

    blue New Member

    Mmm, probably a good one (although I personally prefer mantras without a "not" in them. It's OK it's OK it's OK, maybe.)

    Better start practising how to do that and feel that it is OK, then. Plus not making t0o big fuss about it... I did not expect that one of my main lessons in dancing would be to smile, smile, smile. :) :!:

    Edited for a few mistakes
  14. suek

    suek New Member

    Thanks for the reminder...my coach is always telling me to make those affirmations positive. Simple but not easy.

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