A beginners question on frame

#81
Thank's for the tips on my spinning problems. I tried some of them with my friend and it got much better after he started thinking of not holding on to hard and I tried to stay more in the same spot. It's realy basic stuff I guess but I feel so much better now :)

If it's ok I have another rookie question...I'm always a bit anxious to dance into another couple. In classes they always say that it's mainly the leads job to make sure the floor is clear for the follow but how much responsibility do I have. I tend to look behind me quite a lot and sometimes I think the guys get a bit offended...

You guys explain things realy good...it would be nice with a sticky thread for beginer's questions...
 
#82
...Hope this helps and I recommend taking a couple privates from someone in your dance community you like the feel of. That is really the best way to learn and learn it properly!

Keep swingin'!
Welcome, real_deal.

As to privates, I'll second that. Us beginners can get a lot of stuff like this frame issue straightened out quickly with some one-on-one with a good instructor. I did about a few privates sessions with one of the two WCS instructors that do our group classes. I went into it thinking we (wife and I) could use some "styling" help; she (the instructor) did us a great service by working to ensure we got the basics, things like lead/follow. That foundation work made me a better dancer.

And that's "better", not "good"; I still consider myself a beginner with lots more to learn.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#83
One thing you are always responsible for is to stay close to your partner - in general (and in my book).
Now that you've learned to "spin" or turn with more control, you shouldn't be flying away from someone you are dancing with.
In general you should try to stay under an upraised hand.

You should also be able to feel a certain tension in his arms verses letting his arms out. The more crowded it gets, or if you get close to another couple (this happens a lot in country western dancing where there can be line dancers, swing dancers, and "traveling" couples dancers all on the floor at the same time), he should note this and try to keep you closer to him.
You guys can practice this on your own to "see" what it feels like even if no one's around.

Some women just don't get this, and when they run into another couple they want to blame the leader. I tell 'em, hey I TRIED to keep you from running into them.
I love the gals I can dance through a crazy crowd with, and not touch anyone, because they DON'T run off on their own.
If he's leading something, and you can see that the space is clear (including whether or not someone else is headed that way or has briefly moved to one side of their space) go ahead and use the space.
(Some people do this in West Coast Swing. We move to one end of our "slot" and they move into our space. That can be very annoying if it happens repeatedly.)

If you notice someone headed your way, or just your partner backing into someone, you can try to give him a "heads up" by resisting any movement he tries to make in that direction (another reason to "make yourself heavy" at times).
Try not to yank on his shoulder too much, which can be annoying when done too often or with too much force (you might know how this feels).

P.S. We try to be helpful.
 
#84
Thank's for the tips on my spinning problems. I tried some of them with my friend and it got much better after he started thinking of not holding on to hard and I tried to stay more in the same spot. It's realy basic stuff I guess but I feel so much better now :)

If it's ok I have another rookie question...I'm always a bit anxious to dance into another couple. In classes they always say that it's mainly the leads job to make sure the floor is clear for the follow but how much responsibility do I have. I tend to look behind me quite a lot and sometimes I think the guys get a bit offended...

You guys explain things realy good...it would be nice with a sticky thread for beginer's questions...
Dansant, this "basic stuff" is important; we beginners have lot of mistaken ideas about what's going on in the dance. While my swing dance is limited to WCS, there's a lot that beginner dances learn that applies to all dances. One of the first for me was understanding that "hold" really isn't holding; neither partner should clamp onto the other's hand. I think we have all been there.

As to the floorcraft issues, in the partnership, you watch out for each other. I understand your concern, but you have to get to the point to trust your partner about what's behind you. You can't dance well if you're looking over your shoulder all the time. At the same time, I'm counting on my partner to communicate to me if I'm leading us into another couple behind me. I can see what's over her shoulder, she can see what's over mine.
 

kayak

Active Member
#85
If it's ok I have another rookie question...I'm always a bit anxious to dance into another couple. In classes they always say that it's mainly the leads job to make sure the floor is clear for the follow but how much responsibility do I have. I tend to look behind me quite a lot and sometimes I think the guys get a bit offended...
Yea, the other challenge of looking back is it can be really hard to make clean spins. Plus, I find it disorienting which again doesn't help with balance.

Floor craft is also pretty hard for a guy to learn. There is a lot of multi-tasking going on with listening to music, footwork, proper leading, choreographing. So having my partner apply resistance if I am leading her towards too small of a space works pretty well.

One thing you can do is be sensitive to the lead tightening up. I try to make sure there is enough space for my partner. However, the assorted chaos of a dance floor means people do unexpected things. So when the space suddenly fills up, I go from a neutral lead to leverage very quickly. Usually, that shortens the body flight path almost instantly and we avoid most collisions.

Hope that helps a little?
 
#86
It's worth pointing out (again) that clearly we have something of geographical difference of emphasis with most of the Lindy posters being based in Europe and most of the WCS posters in the USA.

Where I am, there is certainly considerable crossover between the two, with Lindy's going to WCS and WCS going to Lindy. I'm not sure that's occuring in the USA.

We also have Modern Jive thrown in, which makes it all the more complex. On the weekend we had out Christmas dance at my club/class and we had folks doing Lindy, WCS and MJ all on the same floor.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#87
We do have couples, almost always very young, show up a the country western place. They dance their Lindy Hop. Usually, it seems that's all they know. Although I did once do a West Coast with one of the gals. I never saw her usual partner, though, do anything but Lindy.
I just read that Gene Kelly taught dance in Pittsburgh, PA and went to the University of Pittsburgh. He quit teaching supposedly because the female to male ratio was about 9:1. Looks to me like the young women know more thatn one dance, but the guys stick to Lindy. (I did have a collision with one of these couples last week. We do line dances in the middle of the floor while couples dance around the outside. Don't know if they were doing a "traveling Lindy"??? or polka, but they were airborne a lot! Other couple were doing schottiche. )
As far as the "Lindy scene" here in the US... don't know... except that "blues dancing" has caught on.
Hey, maybe dansant can describe the scene where she is?
 
#88
well I'm from Denmark but I haven't been dancing anything else but Lindy and only on Lindy hop socials at my dance studio so I'll pass it on to jazz_as or Vamos....they're from sweden?
 
#89
In Scotland Lindy is very much a 'college student' scene with old folks like me something of a rarity. I actually prefer Lindy to WCS, but unfornately my elderly knees prefer WCS to Lindy.

WCS tends to be a 30 - 40 ish age group with the Lindy folk in thier teens and 20's.

I've not heard of there being much Modern Jive or WCS in Scandinavia. . . .. .

Have you seen WCS? Interested? You can get the ferry from Denmark and Sweden to Scotland - it could be a buzz to do a WCS workshop on board the ferry. . . . my class (but not me,)are going out to Geneva in the New Year to do some workshops. . . .

The transition from Lindy to WCS is pretty quick - most people pick it up in a few hours, not like Salsa which you have to 'unlearn' to do Lindy or WCS.

Incidentally I've never seen anyone doing the Schottische in Scotland (I had to look it up on Youtube). We do have Ceildh dance, which is bears the same sort of relationship to Scottish Folk dance as Lindy does to WCS.

It's folk dance with a serious, full on attitude, folk dance to gaelic rock with the musicians and the dancers often racing each other to see who will collapse first. . . .. again, mostly very young folks - you'll need your inhaler if you are over 50 :)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iv0KHHX3lzQ
 
#91
You're right Albanaich. I can only speak for Sweden but we don't have much WCS here. I think it's starting a bit though.

Most people do Swedish bugg (derived from swedish interpretations of Lindy Hop in the 40's) and foxtrot when going out dancing. Bugg is also the largest competitive dance form here. Learning the basics of these dances are normaly part of the syllabus of PE in elementary school so most know a bit. I've been going bugging a bit and most age groups are represented, but I think the middle aged are in majority.

I guess the Lindy scene is a bit younger here too with people in late 20's to 30's in majority. Most in my group are early 20's university students..

Learning WCS sounds interesting :). To me it looks a bit like a fusion between cross-body salsa and swing...
 
#92
WCS is not even slightly like Salsa - it's basically Lindy to slower beat and with more concentration on styling. Musically it is the most demanding of dances.

If you want a fusion of Lindy and Salsa take a look at Modern Jive or Ceroc.

OK so both of those statements are oversimplifications to the purists, but its the best way I can describe them.

WCS original name is its best descriptor 'The Sophisticated Swing' or The Elegant Swing'

It's Swing - not Salsa.

This video clearly shows the relationship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GkyZ3uKW_8

In Scotland we still do folk dance in school - 'Ceildh Dancing' which is still widely practised by a younger age group.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#93
One of Murray's dance instructors, Lauré Haile, documented swing dancing as done in the Los Angeles area. She named it "Western Swing". Murray had used the same name, "Western Swing", in the late 1930s for a different dance.[2] In 1951 Haile first published her dance notes as a syllabus, which included Western Swing for the Santa Monica Arthur Murray Dance Studio.[3] This dance was also called "Sophisticated Swing" in the 1950s. [4]

The name "West Coast Swing" was used in a little known hand book for Arthur Murray dance studio teachers in the 1950s, but the Murray studios used the term "Western Swing" on charts. [8] West Coast Swing as the name of the dance in its current form was first used in an advertisement by Skippy Blair in 1962, but wasn't incorporated into mainstream swing circles until the late 1960s. [9] Blair credits Jim Bannister, editor of the Herald American newspaper in Downey, for suggesting the name West Coast Swing.
As late as 1978, the term "Western Swing" was common usage among Chain and Independent Studios to describe "slotted swing".[4]
Circa 1978 "California Swing" was yet another name for West Coast Swing, albeit with styling that was "considered more UP, with a more Contemporary flavor."[5]


Also, when you have a bunch of time on your hands, look at the "original music west coast swing was danced to" thread. Nothing really resolved, (but in my opinion quite suggestive) but, if you have the patience, lots of information and quite a lively discussion at times!
 
#94
Lindy Frame

Those are all great answers! I think if you just keep "equal and opposite" in mind that might help. You should continue to adjust throughout the entire dance, sometimes when you find yourself with a leader that has no frame, by over exaggerating yours a bit, with any luck he will catch on!
 
#95
Regional/historical variations in dance are a fasinating subject.

I'm a mainstream square dancer, and last year I was Germany doing square dance. The caller, who was familiar with the Scottish style of folk dance, introduced the Virginia Reel to the club I was at, in the knowlege that I would hit it in a completely different way

Now square dance in Germany is pretty much like Square dance in the USA - fairly slow and formal with low compression and tension. In Scotland its danced like full on Lindy. My style of doing the Virginia Reel was a completely new experience for them.

The Waltz was once regarded as an obscene dance, and if you want to do those thigh to thigh leg spins in a particular way, it can be a lot more sensual than the current ballroom verison.

We just have a particular tradition of doing a dance - you can make most dances look very different if you put a different emphasis.
 

kayak

Active Member
#96
Learning WCS sounds interesting :). To me it looks a bit like a fusion between cross-body salsa and swing...
When the pro-salsa dancers in the US perform a slow Salsa, figuring out they aren't doing WCS is actually kind of hard. With a lot of the big Salsa dancers and WCS dancers all living and dancing together in the Southern California area, mixing of skills sure makes sense to me.
 
#97
How do you do 6 beat Salsa with a 2 beat anchor? As soon at you work to 6 and 8 beat patterns and start anchoring it ceases to be Salsa. . .

Yes you can linearise Salsa - LA Salsa - but that doesn't make it swing, you can do the same with Modern Jive, that doesn't make Modern Jive Salsa.

It's the timing that makes Swing - not the steps. You can fuse Lindy and WCS because they have the same timing. You can copy the steps in WCS and fit them to Salsa, but then you are doing Salsa not Swing.

It's like saying if I copy the steps of the Waltz into Rhumba timing I'm still doing the Waltz. . . .mind you, some people can't tell the difference between 3/4 and 4/4 time
 

kayak

Active Member
#98
Sorry, I'm not trying to attack your swing sensitivities. You already mentioned salsa is considered an inferior dance in Scotland. I was just trying to encourage jazz_as that she would probably have a lot of fun playing with WCS. The styling is different, but a lot of the dance skills carry back and forth don't they? I have been at a couple performances of Yesenia and partners and they can make salsa look like just about anything they like.
 
#99
Salsa isn't an 'inferior' dance anymore than modern jive is, each has its place - it is however a 'different dance', with a different role and musical genre.

I've done both Salsa and Modern Jive on a regular basis - I prefer Swing, but that's personal taste.

Modern Jive is technically quite undemanding, but wow has it brought a lot of people into dance!!! Does that make it inferior? Salsa has brought a lot of people into dance too. People dance at their social and technical level.

Saying one is inferior and another superior is silly. Dance is social activity, whatever dance works for you is what matters.

On a technical level blurring the distinctions between different dance forums doesn't help anyone understand dance. Dance skills do carry back and forth, but you have to understand what you are doing with them.

The technical skills required to be a great painter are pretty much the same - but I might be painting in the Impressionist, Pre Raphealite or Cubist styles. . . .what the artist needs to understand is what differentiates an Impressionist painting from a Pre-Raphealite - and what is required to achieve that difference.

The same could be said of Salsa and WCS.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
It's the timing that makes Swing - not the steps.
You can copy the steps in WCS and fit them to Salsa, but then you are doing Salsa not Swing.
I love a challenge, so...

Salsa... cross body lead (or at least my understnding of it.

If I threw one of these (123 457 ) into a West Coast , I have partners who would think, "What the heck is he doing now?" Some of them are good enough that they would pick up on it, and just follow.

So WCS basic, like a left side pass.
Throw in the cross body lead.
Then back to something basic like another left side pass.

Mix and match...
An Anchor step could be a good place to do your "forward breaking" 123, which is the same "count" as the 5&6 of a "basic" WCS step.

Backing up a bit in the WCS "count" you could start a "salsa basic" on the WCS 3&4 followed of course by the 5&6, since it's equivalent to the salsa 123 567 "count".

We could, of course talk a lot about what "Swing" is, and when a dance becomes another dance, etc, but I just thought it would be fun to think this through. (It would be another thing to work through on the floor, but really, I don't think it would be all that hard to do.)
After all, way back when, "lindy" absorbed steps from lots of other dances, and that spirit of borrowing and improvising is still alive.
 

Dance Ads