About Some ECS/Lindy Comparisons and Contrasts

#81
But I am surprised from reading the posts there how many of them also do WCS. I had the impression that lindy dancers hated WCS and vice-versa.
A lot of the Yehoodi-ites, at least the regular posters, are from California (WCS is the state dance) and New York. In NYC there is a lot of cross over. Many of the people at Wednesday night's WCS party are also at the big Thursday night Lindy party. There is still some animosity on both sides, but I get the impression it's going down recently.

I havn't been around WCS long enough to know if the distaste for WCS was more a joke than an actuality or if at some recent point in time there was a change. My guess is that the music for WCS which is popular keeps mutating, possibly causing Lindy dancers to at one point dislike WCS (i.e. it's country phase, while now there is a proclivity towards more blues/Lindy-friendly music). There are also so many events catering to both dances, interminggling competitions (WCS Novice followed by Lindy Novice) and pros are doing crossover competitions.

There's so much both dances can learn from one another, and everyone should play nice in the sandbox....I think it's nice that both communities are getting along right now, at least where from what I see. People should be glad that others are out swing dancing, even just dancing in general, backbiting with in the swing community is just silly.
 
#82
d nice said:
Firephreek said:
ECS was not developed to be danced to 30's 40's 8-beats to the bar music. It evolved as the music started changing and new rock and roll rhythms came out. The fact that it 'works' with the majority of big band sound out there is happy functionality.
Point of order ECS was a dance created for the ballroom. It didn't evolve.
Lindy is HARD to do right. So is ECS if you want to get picky. We can talk about frame, style, motion, hips, heads, arms, and toes. The fact that it's easier to pick up is why it tends to be more popular with in the clubs. Getting a basic swing out down and decent takes weeks. I can get a girl up and dancing ECS in less than ten minutes. She'll have fun, and she'll get the dance bug. You teach her right, and she'll want to know about form, style, control, frame, etc...she'll want to learn advanced technique and move on to Lindy.
Point of counter (?), if we're going to get nit picky, I would have to argue that it did indeed 'evolve'. East Coast Swing, much like every other Swing, much like Lindy, was not born forth whole and complete from the mind of any single man. We could go into origins, history, development, etc...but that would just get ugly....we might end up having to discuss Pony Swing. And that just wouldn't be good for anybody now would it. Suffice to say, that when I refer to ECS, I use the non-specific term meant to encompass most triple step, double step, (retro even) oriented non lindy style. This does not neccessarily include specific or highly developed offshots, cousins, parents, sons, daughters, grand cousins, or third step nephews twice removed from a friend that had a roommate in a city fifteen hundred miles away dance styles that are complete and require a seperate library of music to aptly dance too.

d nice said:
Actually Lindy Hop is hard to teach, easy to do.
Yes, it is hard to teach. But I would also comment that getting a person to do lindy well or with any acomplishment takes more than a single one hour group lesson. If you spend the entire hour on just the swing out, well, great, they (might) have that. but then it's dizzy to the floor for half the people that just learned. The learning curve is steeper for lindy. I'm sure we can agree on that.

Right for who and for what? Even Lindy has its different camps and ways of leading. Some guys like to pull the girl out of the slot on 5, fingers in her back. Others push her with the left hand, letting go on 5. Which is 'right'?
d nice said:
Neither from the way you describe it. The motion originates with the body, which arm it ends up tranfering to the follow is immaterial.
:lol:

So you noticed that to then? But really, how often do you follow? When a gentleman leads a whip, I feel a definitive action of force on either one, the other, or both. I am fully aware of where the motion originates, but I don't believe that we need to over specify. As for the difference being irrelevent: that's just wrong. When the motion originates through my center and I decide where the point of focus will be for delivery into her center, it will affect not only her comfort, but her ability to react and perform certain movements. The delivery of a moderate to heavy push/impact/whip/purple that creates a sudden and sharp exit is better delivered through the front rather than her back. If I want to perform a similar movement whilst delivering through my right hand, it means gripping a kidney. Unpleasent to be certain. However, if I wish to exert some control and have the lady remain closer to me and perhaps display a smoother more liquid whip, 'carrying' her and releasing my hand from her back late would allow this. All of a sudden, where I transfer the energy to makes a huge difference. Do I smash the high hat or roll low on the bass?

Firephreek said:
ECS [is] as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

d nice said:
No it isn't the is what it is...
?? "no that isn't what it is", "no that isn't the way it is", sorry, didn't get that.
d nice said:
easy for some hard for others. It can be relativey (to itself) made more complicated or more simple, but the dance is what it is. Now if you are refering to non-syllubus, non-ballroom, jitterbug with all of these statements then I apologize. There is a world of difference though between the two.
OK, but! if(Lindy.Do="Easy" && ECS.Do="Easy") {ECS.Do == Lindy.Do; return TRUE} Right? So how is one any worse than the other? Just that Lindy is harder to Teach....hmmmm.....In any case, you have only restated what I orginally said: ECS is as hard as you want it to be.

Every dance becomes the culmination of what you are willing to put into it. How poorly or great you do anything is of your own choosing. Yes there are limits (see 'Pony Swing') to what a man can still do and call dance, but ECS is not that limit.


Sorry it has taken a while to get back to ya. Work is way crazy and I've had midterms and old friends over. :D
 
#83
LindyKeya said:
Firephreek said:
lindykeya said:
If I understand you correctly, we disagree. You cannot actually be good at either (or any) dance and disregard correct rhythm. THe point I was making is that most people who dance ECS do disregard rhythm - which makes them poor dancers of any sort.
I would'a been fine with everything else you said, but you had to drop this. In the 8 years I've been dancing (ballroom, latin, swing, you name it) the beast 'rhytmcus lackus' has appeared upon every single floor I've danced on. And I've danced on a lot of them. To make the generalization that most ECS dancers disregard rhythm is in poor form. I've known 4 year hoppers that couldn't hold a 'one' if it was the only beat you gave them. ECS was not developed to be danced to 30's 40's 8-beats to the bar music. It evolved as the music started changing and new rock and roll rhythms came out. The fact that it 'works' with the majority of big band sound out there is happy functionality.
Yes, lots of "dancers" have the 'rhytimicus lackus' problem (Great term, btw), but I would say it is a problem that is exacerbated in ECS, because there are a lot of common moves that seem to have been created by this creature. So, you have those with no rhythm in the first place, and then those who do have some sense of rhythm, but have been taught these moves that don't utilize any regard for the rhythm of the dance and music (and somehow, they either don't notice, or just ignore that fact). I think the latter situation is less common in most other dances.
I can see where you are coming from entirely. Again, we come back to the fact that with the resurgence of Swing in the mid to late 90's, we had a lot of fad followers bombing the clubs. Guys just trying impress a girl long enough to well...'dance' with her. The low learning curve and easy accessiblity meant that any green horn could just jump in and fake it. Unfortunate to be sure because it makes all the rest of us look bad. Good ECS dancers don't condone the use of armbusting elbow twisters on the social floor. This leads us to one of the unspoken understandings between Lindies and Easties: You don't do backflips and I won't do pretzels.

Ultimately, the lack or rhythm by any dancer should not be sourced to the dance itself, but rather its practioners.
 
#84
Spitfire said:
Firephreek said:
DWise1 said:
Spitfire said:
dnquark said:
I've danced lindy to hip-hop, disco, and neo-tango.
You're the first one to tell me this, but have yet to see anyone actually do this. Most of the Lindy dancers I've met wouldn't think of doing so.
Our instructor and local Lindy promoter tried it for a while. Didn't generate enough interest to keep it going. He called it "Lindy Clubbing" and the half of us on the grayer side of the line could only ask "what's 'clubbing'?" And the purists amongst the other side of the line (and we had some very outspoken and rabid Lindy purists) objected loudly to the very idea.

But still, I agree that it can be quite fun to try to apply a particular dance to different music. Part of playing with it.
LOL. YES! I'm not alone if there is a single other soul out there that shares this idea!

I do a similar thing to the dances out here. I call it 'LindyJack'. And I'll play music that people might not ever associate with Lindy. The idea is that by distracting the dancers and catching them off guard, I'll challenege their creativity and remind them to have fun! Doing something a little out of the norm and trying something new to widen the horizon. Variety is the spice of life!

But alas, as with your town, it isn't as popular with some, so I usually reserve for later in the night.

I'm always on the look out for new tunes though. Anyway I could get in touch with this instructor you speak of so I can compare libraries?


Current favorite tunes:
(for those of you up for some experiementation)

Weezer - Good Life
Chris Isaac - Baby done a bad bad thing
Bran Van 3000 - Montreal, Love Cliche, Everywhere (personal fav)
Bentley Rhythm Aces - This is Carbootechnoodiscotechnobooto (not for the faint of heart. Danceable, I swear, but the seals and kittens tend to throw people)
Dimitri From Paris - Toujours L'amour
Dandy Warhols - Get Off
Overseer - StompBox
White Stripes - Little Room
Blur - Coffe & TV
Beck - Sexx Laws
Semisonic - Completely Pleased
Belle & Sebastian - The state That I am in
Stryder, how you doing?
Busy as always, fending off the naysayers and saving the world. or something.
 
#85
Firephreek said:
d nice said:
Point of order ECS was a dance created for the ballroom. It didn't evolve.
Point of counter (?), if we're going to get nit picky, I would have to argue that it did indeed 'evolve'.
You could argue it all you want, but you'd be wrong, ECS is a very specific thing that did not evolve OUT of another dance. If your statement is that it has evolved since its creation then I'd argee with you.

Suffice to say, that when I refer to ECS, I use the non-specific term meant to encompass most triple step, double step, (retro even) oriented non lindy style.
Okay thank you for clarifying your terms. This is the root of our disagreement. The term jitterbug is actually the more proper name for that "branch" of dances, but at least now I know what you are talking about.

d nice said:
Actually Lindy Hop is hard to teach, easy to do.
Yes, it is hard to teach. But I would also comment that getting a person to do lindy well or with any acomplishment takes more than a single one hour group lesson.
[

So does ECS, WCS, Jitterbug, etc. the fact is that most people who teach ECS or jitterbug in hour long lessons before a dance I've seen teach it with little to no emphasis on proper technique. It is about this is the girls part this is the guys part. Not about lead follow, momentum, compression, leveraged tension etc. etc.

If you spend the entire hour on just the swing out, well, great, they (might) have that. but then it's dizzy to the floor for half the people that just learned. The learning curve is steeper for lindy. I'm sure we can agree on that.
Nope, two weeks ago I tought three hundred middle school kids how to lindy-hop in 45 minutes. With at least the same degree of skill as an average teacher would have gotten out of teaching childrten or adults ECS in a like period of time. You just have to be a better teacher and really know the dance and the theory behind it.

So you noticed that to then? But really, how often do you follow?
What, daily? I'd say maybe about 7 to 10 dances I guess, say about 1:4 to my leading.

When a gentleman leads a whip, I feel a definitive action of force on either one, the other, or both. I am fully aware of where the motion originates, but I don't believe that we need to over specify. As for the difference being irrelevent: that's just wrong. When the motion originates through my center and I decide where the point of focus will be for delivery into her center, it will affect not only her comfort, but her ability to react and perform certain movements.
Not at all. A well led move is going to be irrelevant which side delivers the energy/momentum, the important thing is the smooth transfer into the followers center from the leads center, whether it actuates from my left or right side affects the dynamic and style of the whip, but not the technique.

The delivery of a moderate to heavy push/impact/whip/purple that creates a sudden and sharp exit is better delivered through the front rather than her back. If I want to perform a similar movement whilst delivering through my right hand, it means gripping a kidney.
Here is the problem then right here. You should not be leading your follower by her ionternal organs. Your right hand should be cupping the bottom of her scapula. This will allow the twist on five of a whip to easily and comfortably rotate her body.

Firephreek said:
ECS [is] as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.

No it isn't. It is what it is... You can make a silk purse from a sows ear, You can make it more or less difficult relative to itself, but ECS even Jitterbug is not going to reach the heights of intricacy, complexity, or subtlety as lindy hop.

OK, but! if(Lindy.Do="Easy" && ECS.Do="Easy") {ECS.Do == Lindy.Do; return TRUE} Right? So how is one any worse than the other? Just that Lindy is harder to Teach....hmmmm.....In any case, you have only restated what I orginally said: ECS is as hard as you want it to be..
No sorry, I was talking about Jitterbug, in which case Jitterbug is six count based lindy hop, that was the gist of the debate and the eventual conclusion of most of the instructors on Yehoodi (which was referenced earlier). Lindy isn't even hard to teach really... it is harder to teach someone to teach. I can teach someone in an hour enough ECS to teach to an hour long group of people that same day. I can't do that with lindy hop. The mirrored aspect of ECS makes it incredibly easy to teach a teacher, teach them the lead, and 75% of the work is done for teaching them the follow. Not true in lindy hop since so few of the base moves are mirrored.

Sorry it has taken a while to get back to ya. Work is way crazy and I've had midterms and old friends over. :D
No fear, I've been traveling like a madman myself and responding to poasts in a timely manner is really difficult these days.
 
#86
Hi :D I've just read through this post and I have a couple of questions:

Firstly, Luh, is ECS actually called ECS in Germany, or is it known as something else (maybe Rock and Roll)? From what I've seen in New York, ECS does indeed seem to have very little to it because the schools use it as a sort of beginner Lindy class. I've never seen "Advanced ECS" or "ECS Level 5" classes.

What I learned in France (Rock and Roll) is usually translated as ECS but I don't think that's correct. What I learned was very complex and structured. We were taught a strict back-step triple-step triple-step in the slot whereas the beginner ECS classes I've been to in NY teach back-step step step. We also learned many moves, only a very few of which I have seen in NY. But I can't say whether Rock and Roll is easier or harder than Lindy or ECS and that brings me to my next question:

Why do we tend to value more difficult dances more than we value simpler ones? I love dancing at Modern Jive parties. I find I prefer the music and the style of dancing to anything I've yet to experience at Swing dances in NY. I'm not saying that MJ is better or worse than Lindy or ECS but many, many people do look down on MJ as an inferior dance, either because it's not "the original" dance or because it's easy. It is actually marketed as being so easy to learn that you can dance after just one class. I disagree, because in my experience, after one class of MJ a beginner is no better or worse off than a beginner who has had just one class of Lindy or any other partner dance for that matter. But in any case, even if I accept that MJ is much easier than Lindy, the fact is that I much prefer dancing with an experienced Modern Jiver than an experienced Lindy Hopper. Neither dance is better than the other but I just much prefer the style and the moves in MJ. I get teased a lot for saying that I love MJ and I know that it's not the cool dance of today. In France, Salsa was cool and Rock was not. So now that I'm in the US where Swing is cool, it's just typical that I like the uncool Modern Jive :lol:
 
#87
lily said:
We were taught a strict back-step triple-step triple-step in the slot whereas the beginner ECS classes I've been to in NY teach back-step step step.
Both are variations of the quick-quick-slow-slow rhythm. A third variation is back-step-tapstep-tapstep. So these three different variations are single-time, double-time and tripple time basics.

The reason single-time basic is often thought, is that it's considered simpler than the tripple time basic. The advantage of the tripple time basic is that it allows more movement and dynamics than the single time basic. Double time basic has no special advantages and are never (as far as I know) thought in beginner classes.

Also, when teaching beginner classes in Lindy, some people will start with six count patterns, because they belive those are easier than the eight count patterns. Other places start right away with the eight count basic.

The reason so many aim for simplicity, is to get people to feel like they're dancing as fast as possible.

lily said:
Why do we tend to value more difficult dances more than we value simpler ones?
Simply because the reason their more difficult usually are because these dances have more to offer. If you didn't get more, why make it more expensive (in terms of time invested to learn)?


lily said:
I love dancing at Modern Jive parties. I find I prefer the music and the style of dancing to anything I've yet to experience at Swing dances in NY. I'm not saying that MJ is better or worse than Lindy or ECS but many, many people do look down on MJ as an inferior dance, either because it's not "the original" dance or because it's easy. It is actually marketed as being so easy to learn that you can dance after just one class. I disagree, because in my experience, after one class of MJ a beginner is no better or worse off than a beginner who has had just one class of Lindy or any other partner dance for that matter.
I've never learned modern jive by that name (not ceroc or leroc either). But I've dance ad local (national) version of swing, and I've been told that that was exactly the same as ceroc.

This version of swing I learned from a two hour crash course. Then I danced this, and had a lot of fun doing it, for six months before joing a Lindy class. It took me three-four months of regular once a week Lindy classes before I felt like I was really dancing Lindy.

For me there's clearly a huge difference in how difficult it was to learn these two dances. Also, there's a huge difference in what these two dances have to offer. While MJ-like dancing can be a lot of fun, it can absolutely not be compared to Lindy Hop in any way. The flexibility, the connection, the variation ... Lindy is so much more in every aspect.

And that's also why it's so much more difficult to learn too.

lily said:
But in any case, even if I accept that MJ is much easier than Lindy, the fact is that I much prefer dancing with an experienced Modern Jiver than an experienced Lindy Hopper. Neither dance is better than the other but I just much prefer the style and the moves in MJ. I get teased a lot for saying that I love MJ and I know that it's not the cool dance of today. In France, Salsa was cool and Rock was not. So now that I'm in the US where Swing is cool, it's just typical that I like the uncool Modern Jive :lol:
Different dances works for different people. Lindy, for example, takes some dedication to learn. And there's not to many outside the community that you can dance with. The MJ-like local variation is something people can learn and have fun with without putting a lot of effort into it. And there's a lot of people who can do this kind of dance, so it's more usable in different places. Also it's a question of what kind of music you like. Different swing dances works best with different music.
 
#88
I guess, when it comes down to it, we just choose the dance we prefer :D.

I am willing to put in a lot of time and effort to achieve a high level in a dance, but only if I am inspired by those already at that level. When I started learning Rock and Roll, I would watch the advanced dancers in absolute awe and I felt so happy as I improved and I could do more and more of what they were doing. The dance not only felt great, but I also loved the way it looked.

When I see advanced Lindy I don't get that rush of enthusiasm and when I dance Lindy it certainly doesn't feel as good as Rock and Roll did; all the moves seem to be in the feet and and my hands are forgotten!

Having said that, I will give Lindy another try (I have no choice - I can't just not dance any more!) Nathalie Gomes of Hop, Swing and a Jump is French and knows the French Swing style and she herself advised me to forget Rock and to learn Lindy as it's so much richer. But how can I forget something I love :cry: :? :D
 
#89
lily said:
.... and when I dance Lindy it certainly doesn't feel as good as Rock and Roll did; all the moves seem to be in the feet and and my hands are forgotten!
Then something is terribly terribly wrong. :shock: :lol:

In Lindy there should not be a lot of movement in the hands. But the moves should not come from or be in the feet. The moves should come from the body, and be transfered through the arms to the other body. The main job of the feet is to keep themselves underneath the body, so that you don't fall down.

But it's not uncommen to do some focus on the feet when it comes to beginners. The reason for this is that the basic should be decently smooth and effortless. Also it can be a help knowing where to place the feet when learning a new move, so to avoid stumbling and being distracted by this.

In some simpler types of swing there is a bounce between the couple. There's a repeated and rhytmic compression and 'stretch' in the connection. This makes it much easier to have a good connection, because the connection is constantly reinforced. In Lindy you need to maintain a good connection without having this movement to help. This is one thing that makes Lindy more difficult. But at the same time, this gives more controll in the lead, and opens for more possibilites. And it feels really really great.

But if the music and style is not you, then some other swing dances might be better for you still.
 
#91
Flat Shoes said:
lily said:
... and when I dance Lindy it certainly doesn't feel as good as Rock and Roll did; all the moves seem to be in the feet and and my hands are forgotten!
Then something is terribly terribly wrong ...
I don't have the same understanding of lily's words, taking into accounts others lily's posts, and some thoughts I had watching people dancing Lindy Hop in Paris:

You can have fun in moves playing with the many hands holds possibilities as well as more possibilities of global movement (translation, rotation (with for example the thrill of spins)) of the follower, granted that there is a (technically good) basic step (or a few basic steps) allowing the follower to do all the standard moves so you don't have to focus on steps, meanwhile each one can play with its own legs and feet (and body) but the primary focus is on upper body with the arms (and therefore the connection with the partner via the arms) and the face and smile of your partner (the standard respective position being face to face) and secondary on fancy footwork.

For those who don't know the main swing dance in France called (6 counts) "Rock'n Roll" (a slotted swing dance with basic step (rock step, triple-step, triple-step) and free footwork in social dancing), think of salsa with some elements of "cross-body-lead slotted salsa" (LA, P2, ET2) (for example translation, rotation, spins, multiple spins) and of "Cuban Casino" (which goes even further in the arms' game with all those intricated and twisted arms).

Watching some people dancing Lindy Hop in Paris, they don't play in arms' combinations and possibilities (varying hand holds) and spins, but within just passing under an arm will focus more on steps (varying the steps).
Unfortunately they seem to duplicate something learned in class exactly as is (that's the other side of the coin of learning "figures" telling you what to do with your arms and body and feet), I personally prefer to emphasize improvisation while dancing and that's the true Lindy spirit in my mind.
 
#92
To be honest lindy hop is not harder to learn than any of the other dances... in general, you in specific may find a dance easy or hard, but that has more to do with what you have done in your past than the dance itself.

Lindy Hop is hard to teach. There is a difference. A good lindy hop insgtructor can get you dancing lindy hop in an hour... will it feel real good, or look real good? No. Then again the question wasn't how long will it take you to get good. That is the real difference between dances like MoJive and Lindy, Lindy Hop is Mt. Everest, Modern Jive is hill. IF you enhoy nature walks one is just as good as the other, a walk for an hour shows you an hours worth of nature, it gets you above ground level and you can look back down the way you came and admire your journey and view. Modern Jive doesn't have much more to offer. Maybe a couple of dyas while you circumnavigate the base and reach the crest exploring the entirety of the hill. Lindy Hop has days, weeks, months even years of work ahead before you even come close to discovering just the main passes that lead to the summit.

If you want to just have fun, ANY dance can get you there, what you need is a teacher who understands what your needs and desires are and will meet those. If you want to explore and grow and have a chance to carve out your own path then dances like lindy hop are for you.
 

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