A beginners question on frame

#1
Hi everyone,

I started dancing Lindy Hop in April last year and I'm completely hooked:D It's such a cool dance!! I've tried to go to as many social dances as possible. It's amasing how much you can learn by just going out to dance.

I used to dance salsa so I had some basic frame technique when I started but it's such a big difference between the two dances and I can't apply everything on Lindy so I need some help...
How much frame and how much resistance should I give as a follower? I try to adapt it to the person I'm dancing with and to how much frame he has but sometimes when the guys are really good I tend to have a lot of force backwards in the swing-outs. Most of them seem to be fit enough to handle it but I'm not sure if it looks good and I don't want to tire them too much. How do I know how much resistence I should give? Should I change it during the song or should I keep the same amount of momentum during the whole dance only to change in the next song? Is this something you follow our something you decide on your own?

Looking forward to any replies
 
#3
In Lindy (and to a lesser extent WCS) a strong anchor in a follower is very desirable.

With 99% of followers the problem is lack of resistance - I've never encountered a novice follower who was too heavy in Lindy.

There are a classic pair of video's on youtube showing correct resistance and anchor and poor resistance. Although both followers are equally skilled as dancers but one is familiar with Swing and the other is not - and it shows.

This is how it should look

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pf96sp74a0

This is superb bit of dancing - by where is the anchor and resistance?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvyNyOu7oM&feature=related

The anchor in Swing provides the 'accents' that make the dance work, how you and you partner play with it is what makes Swing so much fun. There's no 'correct' way, its just whatever looks and feels good to you. Every partner, every song is played differently - its an improvisational dance!

As a leader in Lindy, I've been known push a tentative follower backwards so she hits the anchor with the right amount of tension - I suspect this is what you are feeling with your 'good leads', who are trying to create a more resistive response from you (the tension compression is quite unlike Salsa)
 
#4
There are a classic pair of video's on youtube showing correct resistance and anchor and poor resistance. Although both followers are equally skilled as dancers but one is familiar with Swing and the other is not - and it shows.
Hm...I'd like to see those clips..do you have a link?

Thnx for the reply Albanaich.It's so much more fun when you get to use all that motion ...I guess it's not a bad thing being called a bowling ball then :confused:
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I'm not overly familiar with Lindy, and this is sort of OT, but I'm perplexed that you wrote
In Lindy (and to a lesser extent WCS) a strong anchor in a follower is very desirable.
my added emphasis
The "anchor step" is one of the defining elements of WCS.

???
 
#8
Hi everyone,

I tend to have a lot of force backwards in the swing-outs. Most of them seem to be fit enough to handle it but I'm not sure if it looks good and I don't want to tire them too much. How do I know how much resistence I should give?
Oh good question Vamos...I've been thinking of this myself. I'm also a Lindy beginner and I've been told from the start to give a lot of resistence in the Swing-outs but never how much. Sometimes I also feel like I get too heavy. I'm a pretty small girl but only last week a guy told me he got really tired after we 'd danced our two dances. I guess it could bethat we aren't carrying our weight properly Vamos.

Those two youtube clips were really good in showing the differencies between having resistence and not having it but not in how much you should have...

I'm not sure if you've asked the leads you've danced with about this Vamos but I'm sure I'll do it on the next social:D...

and also...I'm not familiar with the term anchor. I'm Swedish so I normally hear the words in Swedish. Is it the tension in your arms?
 
#9
It really depends on your lead. If he is calling for more resistance then give it, if not then don't give more then is asked for. Since you only seem to have this problem with "good" leads it might not be a problem at all, just a response to their lead.
 
#10
I do both Lindy and WCS.

Although the anchor is integral to both dances, in Lindy as the dancers are moving much faster and have greater momentum they hit and hold the anchor much harder. The emphasis is on 'strong' anchor. In both dances you have to anchor, but in WCS the dancers are (to use a Lindy term here) much less 'grounded'

The anchor is the two beat pause between successive moves, the triple step that holds you to the spot, like the heavy wieght that stops a ship from floating away.

I suspect what is happening here is that the two beginners are hitting the anchor 'off time' and are relying on their leads to anchor (stop) them - this makes it very hard work for the lead who has to hold not only his own weight but his partners.

The moment of 'anchoring' should be compression - tension neutral, but often beginner follow rely on the lead to stop them resulting in the anchor being to short and the transition involving an abrupt change of direction.

In WCS the problem is often the opposite, with the beginner follower coming off the anchor early and not waiting for the lead. It's the same root cause - not spending enough time on the anchor, in Lindy its often too fast going into the anchor, in WCS its being too quick to come off the anchor.
 
#11
Or I don't think this is a compression tension thing - I suspect its more likely to be a timing issue.

The good leads are probablly using considerable 'arm force' rather than body leads to get you on anchor on time. The tension resistence should be enough to control your direction - but no more, Lindy often looks like a lot of force is required, but its mostly an illusion.
 

kayak

Active Member
#12
I was going to point out that the original question was about Lindy and make sure everyone noticed the video clips are WCS.

Second, I think the first dance has fine connection. They didn't choreograph their routine with a lot of traditional three step anchors. Still, there is clearly compression and leverage.
 

kayak

Active Member
#13
Although the anchor is integral to both dances, in Lindy as the dancers are moving much faster and have greater momentum they hit and hold the anchor much harder. The emphasis is on 'strong' anchor. In both dances you have to anchor, but in WCS the dancers are (to use a Lindy term here) much less 'grounded'

...

The moment of 'anchoring' should be compression - tension neutral, but often beginner follow rely on the lead to stop them resulting in the anchor being to short and the transition involving an abrupt change of direction.
I don't think I agree with some of the descriptions above.

First, anchoring creates leverage or motion away. How can it be compression/tension neutral? If a couple doesn't create leverage, how will the lady know where the next lead is doing until leverage is recreated? A couple not being in leverage usually leads to the lady being behind the lead.

The part about pushing a lady back to create an anchor is opposite of what I have always been taught. By moving my own center towards or away from my partner, I can adjust and help create the amount of leverage I want.

Second, as a leader, I create the amount of momentum. If I am getting pulled over, I didn't control her momentum enough. In either dance, it is my job as the leader to shorten the length of her travel as the music gets faster. Tightening up the dance keeps from creating so much momentum that I can not stop her.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#14
More one the original questions...
How do I know how much resistence I should give? Should I change it during the song or should I keep the same amount of momentum during the whole dance only to change in the next song? Is this something you follow our something you decide on your own?
People that dance with what we call "musicality" respond to changes in the music. Those changes can be reflected or interpreted by how dancers move. Horns drag out a note then play a quick phrase and "catch up" to the "regular beat". Wow, now what could you do there?
Little bit more resistance to moving, then go like heck with short quick steps or kicks to "catch up" and be ready for the next phrase.
The leader leads, of course, most of the time.
Be careful who you do this with, a little bit of this can go a long way, so watch to see how your partner, who is leading, reacts to you making concious decisions about the music.
If he's really good, (which to me means he is musical, too) he will feel what you are doing, and may go with it. (He might even decide you've got lots of potential!)
Be prepared, though, for the many guys who won't appreciate it. And be prepared to drop it at the first negative signs.
 
#15
Off-topic:

Albanaich, I see you're from Scotland. Interestingly enough, I was told that WCS was mainly a USA dance and nobody in UK and Europe danced it. And then a couple of week ago I saw a YouTube video of WCS in Edinburgh. Is it a new thing in the UK or the ballroom crowd unaware of the westie underground?
 
#16
A lot of the modern Lindy revival has come from Scotland and Scandinavia (which share close cross cultural links) Lindy as in the 'Glasgow Swing Dance Society' in Glasgow and 'The Swing Doctors' in Edinburgh have been big in coillege scene for 20 years or so.

An interest in WCS has developed in the last 10 years from that - Graham Fox competes in the USA and has done much to make WCS more widely known in England. There are 3 main WCS teachers in Scotland, Graham Fox, Lisa Ferrie and Lyndsay Brown.

The Modern Jive scene has also been very influential in bringing WCS performers across the Atlantic too. . . you don't have Modern Jive (aka Ceroc) in the USA so you won't understand the implications of that or how big the Ceroc scene is.

Paul and Cat also compete in the USA

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=IsUKWB9i8UI&feature=related

There is little or no crossover between Ballroom and Swing in Europe.
 
#17
Or, Scotland is probally the 'Swing Centre' of Europe. . . .with Lindy, WCS or Modern Jive dancing available 5 nights of the week in most major cities.
 
#18
Thanks for the answers guys but I think I made my question a bit unclear. It is not in the open position I feel that I'm too heavy (on the contrary. I know I have to work on my open position frame) it is in the middle of the swing outs - I guess on beats 3-5 - where the lead changes my direction (by moving his whole body backwards i think?) making me go in the direction I'm looking at after turning on 3-4. What should be the standard? giving a lot of resistance making it less as a variation or giving a little resistance normaly only to increase it when the music or something else changes?
I think this is what you mean too jazz_as..?

(and by the way jazz_as I live in Gothenburg, where abouts in Sweden are you from?)
 
#19
My instructors normally refere to this resistance as a "boing", trying to sound like a spring.
I think in order to illustrate the conection as a metal spring being pulled out. At first it gives little resistance but rapidly increasing as it is being pulled out more and more untill the motion starts moving in the opposite direction in a reversed maner. So my question was how much tension should I have in this spring normaly?
 
#20
If you imagine yourself leaning in an A frame against your partner, enough wieght to balance his wieght, this will be a correspondingly larger push if you are much lighter and your partner heavier.

Your lead should be sensitive enough to make allowances for your size so as to balance your wieght - but in practise that is unusual, on the dance floor they forget and act as if you were the same wieght as them.

Small, thin girls often have (as they say in Scottish English) to give it real 'Wellie' in Lindy, larger girls much less.

If you get the chance, try out leading with a someone physically heavier, the amout of effort you need to put into the lead should be balanced by the amount of pressure when you follow.

It's a lot more obvious how much is needed when you are leading, especially if you are small and light.
 

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