General Dance Discussion > You won't dance with me, I don't dance with you

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by RickRS, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    Just all seems so needlessly complicated...why so much analysis, so many rules and reasons to be offended? Aside from someone actually giving bodily harm or odiferous offense, which is occasionally something to navigate or avoid...why care so much about who's "sharing" and in what way and why? Seems like that view is a setup for drama, frustration, or offense... Why not just get out there and dance and not make it all so complicated? Who cares if someone critiques my dancing on the floor...maybe it's a helpful tip, or will lead to a clarification of something when following up with an instructor, even if the advice was way off. And if someone is truly that much better and "shares" himself with me for whatever reason..well maybe I really *am* lucky for the experience and have an opportunity to learn or experience something new. All these reasons to take offense seem ironically like great magnets for people who would actually offend, and while it sounds like the expectation is that others always be humble and magnanimous, expectations like that ironically don't seem very much like that in themselves.
     
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    not sure people were being veiled about it at all (I certainly wasn't trying to be)...just also aware that it was highly unlikely that your intent was to be as haughty as your post sounded...so, at least in my case, it was an appreciation that you probably didn't intend to sound as snooty as it came off...thus wanting to be gentle about the issue I personally took with the statement, but to also make you aware of what I thought it subtlely implied...as I sensed it was going to rankle folks...and it did...but no attack intended on my part...shrug...sort of makes DL's point; try to be considerate and get percieved as covertly attacking...so anyhow...for myself, I meant you no harm just wanted to point out what i felt was a subtle air on your part that it might do to consider...or not ;) am completely open to being wrong
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    fabulous comment

    I too am grateful to advanced dancers who, if they had a feeling of disdain were able to self-monitor giving off that vibe and/or articulating it...all I will say on it as well

    I have been percieved as snooty by one newb while simply in the process of rotating and dancing with him b/c he, after a few drinks, simply thought I would have no other motivation to take a basic class other than to rub some superiority in his face...while I am sorry that that was his perception...I am only in charge of my intent and how I convey it...that some offense will be taken everywhere, all the time, no matter how one tries to avoid it, is CERTAIN, and not limited to dance venues...IMo you are correct that no one can win in terms of being able to avoid that altogether...all we can do is monitor any bits of ego and/or defensiveness that creep into ourselves...and cut others alot of slack...

    and to my mind, that is the best mindset out of which to be in a social dance environment

    ...live and let live...
    *if folks don't want to rotate on day 1 but do on day 2...great...
    *if folks never want to rotate ...great...
    *if someone is a pompous fool...it's only 30 seconds til the next rotation, smile, shut up and it will be over soon...
    *if something is really awful, take it to the folks in charge...
    *if you think you are too good to dance with someone, don't...(but try to avoid conveying it)
    *or, if you do dance with them thank them afterward and only offer help if they ask......

    like any other social exchange, one can do as one likes, but must also endeavor (if they have any hope to have a pleasant experience) to be considerate of how the experience is percieved/experienced by others...and then also know that much as one tries, it can still go poorly....
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree..a certain amount of dancing is always about feeling intimidated by people who are good, even when they aren't putting on airs, but regardless...part of getting better, at a dance studio, or a gym or whatever, includes having your ego jangled a good bit...and ya have to get over that or it is going to be a much more difficult road...if one even stays on it...I see this at the gym all of the time...new members will come into a fitness class and look around at the regulars who have been doing these classes for over a decade and many will feel so intimidated, some will perceive the veterans as showing off, some would never think of it that way but still be intimidated, some will simply set the goal to be like those veteran members some day...etc......some of those longstanding members may feel a bit big for their britches, others may go out of their way to be encouraging and by doing so be percieved as twice as arrogant, some may simply be minding their own business...people, feelings, egos, messy messy messy....
     
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    very nice, fasc. :)
     
  6. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    exactly. i do know that i do not protect my ego in that way, either in lessons or when social dancing, and i fare pretty well emotionally because of it. rather than taking it all personally, one can just have a kind of friendly "scientific" view where nothing's personal, it just "is", and usually leading to some kind of beneficial discovery.

    yep.

    fwiw, "minding own business"...very valuable in the dance world as elsewhere, lol. :)
     
  7. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yep...I walk in, I take my lesson, I say hellos, I leave...I don't ponder...I am happy...whatever else is going on is none of my business....
     
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    At group class, there's not much I worry about. Everyone rotates (there isn't an option, that's just how it is.) People will say things to each other-ask or offer suggestions, whichever. We're all more or less the same level, some of us just have more miles than others. If someone really advanced shows up, yay. Total beginner walk-ins? Also yay, we can book them for an intro.

    At a social: the ones who feel the need to teach are the ones who have no business doing so. I don't teach (unless I'm with a complete newbie, never danced, and then I'm mostly aiming to get him to book an intro.) Not my job, for a variety of reasons, not least of which being I'm not good enough to be correcting anyone, beyond "Can you move your hand a bit." I do have just enough experience to tell the difference between a lead who knows what he's doing and one who THINKS he knows what he's doing, and it's the latter group who seem to feel the need to try and teach on the dance floor.

    Possibly where I'm coming from is affected by my not being there for fun, or even really to be dancing. I'm there to take money, put out food, answer the phones, film shows, make sure people pay, whatever. If I have time to sneak off and dance, if someone asks, okay, but I'm not really at parties to dance and socialize. If I do get a free moment to dance, I'm really not looking to get (wrong) corrections from someone who thinks he's the second coming of Fred Astaire. I dance with plenty of guys who are much better than me (cantski springs to mind) who don't feel the need to tell me what I'm doing wrong. They know I've got people who do that and do it well.
     
  9. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member

    My take on all of this is this: I think it’s an important part of a dancer’s development that they learn to recognise, realistically, where they are with their dancing at any given moment. This means showing appropriate deference to more skilled dancers, but at the same time recognising that yes, they are more skilled than other dancers.

    This isn’t about looking down, or up, to anyone. I realise I’m nowhere near as good at dancing as Mirko, or some of the other posters on the forums (Chris and dancepro for instance) but if I was to meet them I wouldn’t treat him as a superior being. If any of them were to give me some pointers or a lesson, I would certainly consider it sharing.

    I’m better at dancing than most social dancers, but I don’t think they are inferior people. To relate it the discussion that’s developed around my initial post: yes, in most group classes, I am sharing myself when I dance with them. I have, through $1000/month in lessons, 7 days/ week training and 3 to 4 competitions a month, worked myself into a position where I am a much better dancer. I know these people are my equals off the floor (well, 99 per cent of them. There is the odd person I can’t stand for other reasons than their dancing), but I am the better dancer – as should be the case. It’s not a hobby to me, and that is clear if you watch me dance or train – there would be a big problem if I was still dancing at the quality of someone who only does group classes or one or two private lessons and the occasional practice or social.

    No, I don’t teach anyone I dance with in a social setting, and I genuinely enjoy talking to people and when my partner isn’t around, or we’re asked to mingle, I certainly don’t resent having a dance with a raw beginner who has never danced a step in their lives.

    If you still consider that attitude arrogant and I’m “imposing” myself on anyone (interesting choice of word in itself since I have to be asked to leave my partner’s side in the first place), then the problem doesn’t lie with me.

    Reality is that I’m merely confident and comfortable about my dancing and abilities. My brother has a $30,000 medical degree, and yes, is sharing when he gives me medical advice. My father is a high level economist and is sharing when he gives me economic advice. I don’t see why dancing should be treated differently.
     
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose it's just a matter of semantics at best or perspective at worst WaltzElf...not that it is relevant except maybe to make the point that I appreciate your committment, but my monthy expense in private lessons is higher than yours, and my educational level is post graduate...yet I see a difference between my demanor in a social setting as opposed to how I approach people who come to me seeking my professional advice.... regardless of how seriously I take myself...as I said, folks are free to do what they wish...to say more would only be repeating myself...your perspective is yours and valid ...I don't see the parallel, but that's okay...and if things are going well for you as is and you find your perspective to be unassuming and appropriate and it's going well for you, then that is great....
     
  11. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Well, so, to be on topic, if you'd gone to the group class described in the original post, and danced only with your partner, then showed up one day without her -- would you expect others in the class to include you in their partner rotation, which was already overbalanced with leaders?
     
  12. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member


    Of course not. The downside - if you want to call it that - of having a partner is that there is a degree of exclusivity involved by nature that you should be prepared to be excluded should she not be available at the time. I'd dance with someone if they asked, though, and generally speaking I am asked to dance if I'm not there with my partner, but I don't approach people to dance in a group class when I have excluded myself from the rotation.


    I'm post graduate level in education too, and approach both my career and my dancing from the same angle, perhaps because I see them in the same vein - I'm still in school with dancing, as such, but it's not so much a social setting as a learning one.

    This is all very theoretical, but I guess I'm just trying to clarify that lacking false modesty is not the same thing as being arrogant and aloof. The defensive, albeit predictable response from some people (note: I don't mean you, fasc) was unnecessary.
     
  13. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Well, that's fair enough.

    Since we're all sharing, I also have a postgraduate degree. I imagine that one can't throw a stone on DF without hitting at least six postgraduate degrees.

    The downside you mention may apply to you, but does not apply to partnerships in general. I have a partner, but our partnership is dissimilar from yours in many ways (which is neither good nor bad). In particular we each feel free to dance with other people, and don't even always stick with each other exclusively in group classes.
     
  14. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Speaking of "thinly veiled"....:rolleyes:
    There's a difference between "false modesty" and being humble. Guess I just prefer to be around (and dance with) people who are confident without being obnoxious about it. A lack of humility woudn't be seen as a "gift" by me, no matter how good of a dancer it was packaged in.
     
  15. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member

    I really wasn't trying to find out who does and doesn't have postgraduate degrees... I actually assumed most people here were working towards them or had them (assuming they weren't still at school), since it's necessary to pay for dancing :p

    Fair enough. Generally speaking I've found competition partners, at least at my studio, outside of the occasional ball or event where we all go and dance with one another, stay with their partners for training and classes. Not that there are many group classes, either.
     
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    moving right along ...with everyone hopefully done making their point in a manner that will aggravate the situation... (pretty please)

    perhaps it comes down to how folks percieve modesty and confidence and exclusivity...

    personally, I don't see modesty as false if I also happen to know that I am a better dancer than alot of other folks there...b/c what I also know is that I have more money to buy lessons and time to travel to a good pro, to spend the night there and to practice often in space I was able to create in my own home...so alot of the reason that I have that skill is due to blessings that Ii am just fortunate to have, not b/c those folks would be any less dedicated if life afforded them the same opportunities...I am humble b/c I know that I have been fortunate...this is not to say that I haven't also made huge sacrifices and worked my butt off, but they might do the same thing in the same scenario)...and because I really don't know how good I am or am not, or how it feels to dance with me...this is to clarify my view on modesty, not to take any issue with your post waltzelf...which I appreciate
     
  17. spot

    spot New Member

    Frankly, that tells me all I'll ever need to know about you.
     
  18. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    If you come to a group class (which is a learning setting) where rotation is expected norm and you don't want to do it (for whatever reason) - my question is then - why are you in that class at all? If you're much more advanced than the rest of the class, that you can't really learn anything from rotating, it is really an optimal learning environment for you? Seriously, this is the reason why I do not bother with most of studio group classes anymore.
     
  19. As a pro teacher, I also have ALL my group classes rotating partners.
    Sometimes I have a couple who doesn't want to rotate. So then I explain to the whole class that in my class YOU HAVE TO! I even explain on the phone up front, that in my class you will have to rotate, and I describe the benefits of doing that.

    I think if you have this rotational system in your class, it is really up to the teacher to watch and make sure that everybody rotates every time, and consistently enforce this! That way you never have any problems. I think sometimes teachers just let it go, thinking it's just for tonight, no realizing that they are only setting themselves up for harm in the future.
     
  20. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    Sounds like you know how to be proactive, if you've clearly explained the benefits of rotating. I think the problem comes in when the explanation is not provided.

    I remember when my boyfriend (at the time) and I took our first partner dance class together. We had to rotate and didn't complain, but it did feel weird and awkward, because we were thinking, we're only going to dance with each other socially (that was our goal at that time), so why are we dancing with others in the class? So the rotation thing definitely needs to be explained to students.
     

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