Are social dancers intimidated by competitive ones?

Cal

Well-Known Member
#81
Yes, I've been to social dances like that, too, and yes, they are very nice. And yes, the "advanced" and "competition" dancers don't go "full-out" - they actually dance "socially". And the "half-time demonstrations" are usually very well recieved.

However, those social dances are advertised as having a "half-time demonstration" so that all attendees know what will be happening. And the performers know who they are in advance. A "show" is a bit different from "reserved" dances.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding Elise's intent, but I don't think she's promoting "half-time demonstrations". Certainly, if the venue held "half-time demos", she and her partner could volunteer to perform and she could get her "full-out" dancing - but I suspect that the organizers would rotate the performers at each dance, so she and her partner might not get to do a "full-out" competition routine each time.

What Elise seems to want are dances where the "inexperienced" are expected (told) to just sit down and watch. Well, gee, maybe I want to practice that particular dance at a level that is "full-out" for me, but, no - I'm not welcome on the floor at that time?

To me, that isn't the same thing as sitting out a dance such as PD because I haven't bothered to learn it. It's my choice not to learn it, and it's my choice to sit it out. Sure, I'll watch and see what I can learn - but it's not because I'm "expected" to sit down and watch better dancers.

On the same note, if, say, Katusha and Arunas were ever social dancing among the riff-raff like me, maybe I would stop, sit down, and watch and learn - maybe I wouldn't. But that would be MY choice, not theirs.
 
#82
I agree. No matter where you go, you're going to encounter inconsiderate and/or oblivious people who infringe upon your dancing pleasure. Having a DJ announce "Only X-level dancers on the floor for this dance please" will still likely result in a number of people taking the floor who are legends in their own minds :rolleyes:, or make the n00bs feel inadequate and left out (to paraphrase Peaches, ya can't please everyone). Personally (and I very rarely go social dancing now), I found the best time to cut loose with the advanced/open movements was at the *end* of the evening when generally only the die-hards remained.
It seems like it is a common situation that more advanced competitors do not social dance a lot. I remember somebody commenting about a "talent drain" from social dancing meaning that more serious dancers move on to competition and eventually drop out of social dancing.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#83
Once again, agreeing with everything Cal said.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding Elise's intent, but I don't think she's promoting "half-time demonstrations". Certainly, if the venue held "half-time demos", she and her partner could volunteer to perform and she could get her "full-out" dancing - but I suspect that the organizers would rotate the performers at each dance, so she and her partner might not get to do a "full-out" competition routine each time.
And the solution for doing a full-out comp routine is to go pay for floor time to practice or go dance at a competition. Not to take away from other dancers' social dance time. If you want to social dance, go to a social. If you want to comp dance, go to a comp.
What Elise seems to want are dances where the "inexperienced" are expected (told) to just sit down and watch. Well, gee, maybe I want to practice that particular dance at a level that is "full-out" for me, but, no - I'm not welcome on the floor at that time?
And perhaps MY full-out as a social dancer is bigger and better than a comp dancers? Why is a newcomer competitor welcome but a silver or gold level social dancer is not? Assuming it's the social dancers slowing her down is well, assuming. And we all know what happens when one assumes. So instead, we'll need to say, "Only GOOD dancers allowed on the floor!" And then when dancers that Elise finds in the way try to get out there, "Oh no, not YOU! You're not good enough!" Which is oh so very in the spirit of a social dance.
To me, that isn't the same thing as sitting out a dance such as PD because I haven't bothered to learn it. It's my choice not to learn it, and it's my choice to sit it out. Sure, I'll watch and see what I can learn - but it's not because I'm "expected" to sit down and watch better dancers.
Especially when the "better" dancers are only "better" by virtue that they're competitors. I've watched pros perform. I've watched top amateurs perform. I'm often more entertained by beginners. If I'm expected to sit down and watch "better" dancers, then they better be putting on a show, not just practicing.
On the same note, if, say, Katusha and Arunas were ever social dancing among the riff-raff like me, maybe I would stop, sit down, and watch and learn - maybe I wouldn't. But that would be MY choice, not theirs.
Agreed, I will often choose to sit and watch better dancers (whether better competitive or better social dancers), but unless it's a show, I shouldn't be expected to sit out. Especially if I paid my hard-earned money to go to a social dance, where I expect to social dance.
 
#84
Cal: you are putting words into my mouth. That is not fair and not nice. At no time have I said anyone has to sit out or is excluded from the floor. If you do not understand something then please do me the courtesy and ask.

And that is the last I will contribute to this discussion.
 

kayak

Active Member
#85
Sometime floor space is at a premium for sure. My little story from a couple months ago is:

At a dance recently our floor was so crowded that we could hardly fit. We were dancing swing and the couple next to us figured out we were doing pretty well. So when I led my lady out of the space, he would swing his partner in to that space and when he led her out, I would swing my partner in to the same space. This couple was really good. So once the four of us had a handle on our shared little dance space, they could pull off wonderful low flips and never hit any of us. It was very cool.

If they had the whole dance floor, no doubt they could have been doing these huge lifts and having all kinds of fun. With absolutely no space, they still pulled off great moves that were just much more compact and still had all kinds of fun.
 

Cal

Well-Known Member
#86
Cal: you are putting words into my mouth. That is not fair and not nice. At no time have I said anyone has to sit out or is excluded from the floor. If you do not understand something then please do me the courtesy and ask.

And that is the last I will contribute to this discussion.
My apologies for offending you.

I had not intended to put words into your mouth - obviously, I just don't "get it" as to who is or is not intended to be on the floor during reserved dances.
 
#87
What's throwing me as I try to follow this thread is that I do not usually observe this lowest-common-denominator effect at most of the dance floors we frequent. We dance on mixed-level floors all the time, with accomplished dancers of all stripes down to absolute first-time-at-the-party beginners, every week. And I have seldom noticed that the skills of the least able dancers are setting the limits for what everyone else can do. Most of the time, I can dance full-on competition mode on the floors around here if I want to (I don't always want to at a social). Floorcraft is challenging, yes, but it's not like I can step onto a competition floor and do without floorcraft.
We have had the same experience as you. I find the challenge of dancing well in a mixed situation, part of the fun of dancing. I also see the problem is people with horrid floor craft, rather than advanced versus beginner. We take into account the floor situations we encounter, in building our moves for each dance, so we can dance advanced moves in the situations we encounter.

Last dance we were at was crowded at times. There was a young competive couple there and they used moves that would fit the situation and were able to dance at their normal level, without being a problem.
 
#88
I did say that I would not post any more but I think it only right to say that that Cal and I have corresponded and now see eye to eye.

Let me clarify my thought here as I did privately to Cal:
"The idea is simply to announce that the next dance will be for experienced dancers. Anyone that wants to can then get on the floor but the beginners will be forwarned that people will be going all- out. No exclusion except self exclusion - and I think it would work."

I hope that makes the idea clear and resolves the misunderstanding with Cal and possibly others here.
 

etp777

Active Member
#89
I'm not sure that would work, but it makes sense to me (as has been said, no way to make everyone happy every time).

What I find a bigger problem (when it happens), though somewhat OT, is not when dancers dance too big, but the other side, when the people running dance cause the problem. Was visiting another studio whose floor has good length, but is maybe half as wide as at our studio. Reallly just room enough for LOD down each side, and no real middle. Beginner party though, so they were trying to be flexible and let everyone dance. Problem was when they put song on, and pointed out (correctly), that you could dance a slower ECS, rumba, or foxtrot to it. THen proceeded to tell everyone to do what they wanted. With a larger floor, that'd be fine. Do rhythm in center or in corners, FT LOD around the outside. WIth small floor, and floor full of beginners, was just miserable, people crashing into each other all over. And this wasn't the dancers' faults, they didn't know any better. Was fault of person running the dance. They meant well, but it worked out poorly.
 
#90
...my definition of "dancing your best" includes being able to navigate in and out of less-experienced couples without disrupting them, and at the same time keeping posture lifted and movement balanced and leading/following one's partner with full trust and commitment and without disrupting his/her balance or movement - big or small as it may be under the circumstances. That is truly "social" dancing at its best.
Sounds like good competitive dancing, too. Two of the most important things in social dancing: movement and floorcraft. Two of the most important things in competitive dancing: movement and floorcraft. Hmmm...so why, or how, are we making a distinction between social and competitive dancers? Or are we trying to separate the two by using bad dancing and good dancing as proxies? :eyebrow:

I suspect that a bit of the...ahem...discussion stems from differences in social scenes. That in elise's scene, social dancers tend to correlate with furniture clogging line of dance. That in wooh's scene, competitive dancers tend to correlate with heedless movement. That elise is a conscientious competitor who dances to the best of her ability within the constraints of floorcraft. That wooh is a very capable social dancer who keeps up with the flow of traffic, whether with the worst or best of dancers. I would bet my savaged pair of Very Fines and two shoebrushes that if you put a bunch of competitive dancers, like elise, and a bunch of social dancers, like wooh, on the same floor, everyone would rub along very nicely. :cheers: In fact, I think one might have difficulty telling apart the social from the competitive dancers.

(mind, I'm not ascribing anything to the OPs, both of whom I like) I think that threads like, "Does social dance help or harm a competitive dancer?" and "Are social dancers intimidated by competitive ones?", by their very title, are not exactly nice to social dancers.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#94
:applause:
Well there it is! I searched the list twice!

So....

:applause: for your post

and....

:applause: for finding me the applause smilie!
 
#98
You know what?

Here's the only thing I'd say.

To me (getting mowed down aside), the joy of dance is about losing yourself in the music with your partner. That's when I feel like I'm really dancing.

Maybe it sounds a little Zen and stupid and naive, but if you're paying that much attention to how another couple makes you feel on the floor, you're not paying enough attention to your own dancing.
 
#99
Personally, I think you are right on. However, each person here gets something different out of dance. we sometimes talk about the zen thing - the gettin lost in it but my impression is that achieving this takes a rather different set of circumstances and whaterver for eac person. Also, if your goal is winning a competition thnn the zen thing may be a distant second factor (though one could easil argue - and I have - that achieving the zen state is exactlhy what the judges (should be?) are looking for.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like good competitive dancing, too. Two of the most important things in social dancing: movement and floorcraft. Two of the most important things in competitive dancing: movement and floorcraft. Hmmm...so why, or how, are we making a distinction between social and competitive dancers? Or are we trying to separate the two by using bad dancing and good dancing as proxies? :eyebrow:

I suspect that a bit of the...ahem...discussion stems from differences in social scenes. That in elise's scene, social dancers tend to correlate with furniture clogging line of dance. That in wooh's scene, competitive dancers tend to correlate with heedless movement. That elise is a conscientious competitor who dances to the best of her ability within the constraints of floorcraft. That wooh is a very capable social dancer who keeps up with the flow of traffic, whether with the worst or best of dancers. I would bet my savaged pair of Very Fines and two shoebrushes that if you put a bunch of competitive dancers, like elise, and a bunch of social dancers, like wooh, on the same floor, everyone would rub along very nicely. :cheers: In fact, I think one might have difficulty telling apart the social from the competitive dancers.

(mind, I'm not ascribing anything to the OPs, both of whom I like) I think that threads like, "Does social dance help or harm a competitive dancer?" and "Are social dancers intimidated by competitive ones?", by their very title, are not exactly nice to social dancers.
:cheers:more kudos here
 

Dance Ads