Second style conundrum

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#1
Pro threw me a bit of a curveball last night... so naturally, I want to poll DF :)

Part of next year's plan (in addition to competing in the US) was to add latin back into my program, with the aim of competing in both the standard and 10-dance events at nationals. We were also planning to choreograph a true showdance that we would perform at various venues and possibly compete.

Last night, pro floated an idea that he's apparently been thinking about for a while: what if, instead of latin, we added smooth as my second style? He feels like my strong standard, decent ballet skills, and passable latin would make me a smooth standout quite quickly - and be transferrable to the showdance I want to create, and latin later. His vision is add smooth, then latin, then maybe even rhythm. (My response to the latter: NO. Sorry, rhythm peeps, but it's just not my thing.)

Pro and I last competed latin together about 2.5 years ago, and while I've been working on it in the interim (including a series of privates elsewhere over ~5 months this year that he doesn't exactly know about), we haven't danced it together since then... so he's not aware of the work I've been doing.

Who wants to help me make a pros and cons list, and consider this new idea?
 

Mengu

Well-Known Member
#2
Are you more passionate about being an amazing latin dancer, or being an amazing smooth dancer? Which music and movement style makes you happier? Is adding a new style an educational exercise for becoming a better dancer, or is it something you've been waiting impatiently to branch into? Or are you just looking for a change of pace?

Sorry, no answers, just questions here. When I was looking for another style to add to standard, it was because I wanted to add some variety to things I was working on and didn't feel I was quite ready for open standard. There was no question in my mind that I wanted to do smooth, as I enjoy standard/smooth movement over latin/rhythm. I've since started learning open standard, so I put smooth on hold again, but I'm sure I'll return to it when I need another change of pace.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#3
@Mengu - neither. I want to be an amazing standard dancer and compete internationally as half of an am-am couple, but we can't always get what we want :p

I already dance open standard, and have made it to be - according to pro - one of the top, if not the top, girl in the country in my category. It is basically a question of 'where do we go from here', as I'm struggling to motivate myself... basically, I'm a little 'what's the point' at the moment. If I had an open-level amateur partner, I likely wouldn't be looking to add a second style yet, because we'd still have things to strive for... but as that's not an option at the moment, I need to find a way to make pro-am interesting again. We think a new challenge will help, which is why we're looking to change things up this year.

My strong, strong style preference is standard. I've dabbled in smooth for show routines over the years, but never tried it seriously - though there was a point about a year ago when I was seriously considering turning pro, partnering with a latin specialist, and doing smooth as a compromise style ( I ultimately decided he wasn't the right match, but that decision wasn't based on switching styles). Suffice it to say that I am not opposed to the style, and that it comes pretty naturally to me :) From the way pro was talking, we'd be jumping right to open gold/prechamp if we move into smooth, and would likely be competitive right away.

I enjoy watching latin over smooth, and am comfortably at about silver level there. It's more work for me, as it doesn't come as easily... and pro is seeing that as a reason against it right now, where I see that as a bit of a plus. It might not be a bad thing to work on a style where I need to work my tail off to get decent. I react well to a challenge (see: I dance open standard) ;)

The available funds and time will not let me do both latin and smooth unless I give up standard... and as that's NOT an option, I have to choose. I can also decide to just carry on with the status quo.
 

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#4
I have no doubt that you'd kick butt immediately at smooth. But I'm also of the opinion that doing what you're most passionate about makes sense. Out of curiosity, is part of the virtue of adding the second style the hope that the extra exposure (particularly as you do more comps in the US) would help you find an am partner? I could definitely see the logic there.
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#5
Agree with Jude besides if you are the best Canadian standard girl you will win 10 dance in Canada. Now the USA is a different animal so get your butt down here win the usdc standard title then do smooth and standard am am with Jude

Done case closed next !!!
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#6
@JudeMorrigan Adding a second style mostly because I'm bored, and am limited in entertainment options for all sorts of grown-up and practical reasons... and in my head that was always going to 10-dance, because that's how I started before specializing in standard. The huge bonus: more partner options, especially as I keep coming across latin-only guys who are the right height/build/reasonable distance/etc.

I'm not passionate about latin or smooth; it's really about diversifying. Not only for partner search reasons, though that is a factor... it's more for the personal challenge and because I feel training in other styles helps make you stronger. Lord knows that I've learned a lot from my now-several-years-in foray into ballet.

@Mr 4 styles , true. We would have won 10 dance last year even if my latin routines were closed bronze or closed silver, because we would have been the only ones doing both in A. It's a small pool :)

The US is happening next year, but not USDC. Too far and too expensive (and based on the videos I watched of the last couple of years, we'd likely final, but not win... though it is still 10 months away...). We're thinking mid-size driving distance comps for 2018. There's a list and spreadsheet and everything:bookworm:
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
#7
I vote for Latin. This is under the theory that you would be more likely to find an amateur partner who is interested in 10 dance than you are one who would want to do Standard and Smooth.

What would make me switch my vote to Smooth is if the Pro-Am fields are better in Smooth in the competitions you are looking at going to than they are in Latin.
 

Mengu

Well-Known Member
#8
The choice seems more academic then... Smooth may bring more dimension to your standard that you may not have analyzed or thought about. Latin will make you more versatile overall, and it will have a positive impact on your smooth and show dances down the road. There really isn't a wrong choice. If a latin am-am partnership is appealing to you, and you have readily available opportunities, go for that. If you want to drill and improve on what you know from standard, go for smooth. I (selfishly) love to see more smooth dancers coming from a standard background.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
#9
Agree with RnF. I'd go Latin unless you *really* don't want to put the energy into it.

I've gotten to where Smooth doesn't interest me anymore even though I've spent a lot of time and $$$ on it.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
#10
To me it makes sense to do Latin. Then, if competing is your ultimate focus, you can do Latin, Standard and 10 Dance, anywhere in the world. If you do smooth, you have only smooth and standard, mostly in the USA and Canada (I think?). But as Mengu says, there isn't really a wrong choice.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#12
So updating on this:

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided that smooth is not what I want - though am happy to continue playing in it for shows. I want 10-dance (assuming, of course, that I can't have am-am open standard).

Pro has, as is his usual, defaulted back to only ever wanting to work standard at lessons. And in pushing the comp angle. (He's pushing hard about one that I'm kind of "meh" about, but that's a whole other discussion.)

Since returning from the holiday break, I have continued to work latin elsewhere (found a weekly technique class at a new place (call it studio C) that is just right for right now, have stopped the extra privates at studio B).

I need to:
a) make a decision about whether I'm competing in 5 weeks; and
b) depending on the answer to (a), put my foot down now or immediately post comp about working on the second style.
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#14
Foot was put down about doing 10-dance on the weekend. The conversation went something like:
FF: "Next conversation: 10-dance. Are we doing it?"
Pro: "I feel like that should come from the student, saying 'Pro, I want to do 10-dance.'"
FF's inside voice: WTF. I've been bringing it up regularly for over a year and we had a fairly raging fight about it 11 months ago, at which point I started working on it elsewhere.
FF's outside voice, while making very direct and deliberate eye contact: "Pro, I want to do 10-dance"
Pro: "Okay. Let's start practicing."... followed by some blathering about how I need to contact the nationals organizers to make sure it's being offered this year so that I don't 'waste my money when I could be concentrating on standard'.

Two thoughts:
1) FINALLY.
2) Dude really doesn't get where my head is at, at all.
 

scullystwin42

Well-Known Member
#15
Two thoughts:
1) FINALLY.
2) Dude really doesn't get where my head is at, at all.
I've been following your travails, and honestly, from an very-much-outsider point of view, it seems like going pro for you would be more satisfying and less stressful than constantly getting your pro on board.
 

scullystwin42

Well-Known Member
#16
an update on me dropping smooth temporarily...I am digging latin, and it feels easier and more natural for my body to do the movement needed. However, I can't tell if that's because it just fits me better OR if it's just that I'm not in pain and that makes it easier. I do like it though!
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
#18
Yeah... starting to wonder not infrequently if that outgrowing thing may have happened. But still not ready to make the leap :)
That leads to an interesting question - how do you know when you've outgrown your pro - that you've learned everything you can from your pro?
 

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
#19
^There are a few threads on that.

In my case, it's more that I'm not sure our perspectives match anymore. I still love actually dancing with him, but the mis-match on the non-dancing stuff is increasingly overshadowing that. If we were partners, and not pro-student, there wouldn't be an issue (well, no big ones anyway)... because we'd be communicating as equals and making decisions together.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
#20
If we were partners, and not pro-student, there wouldn't be an issue (well, no big ones anyway)... because we'd be communicating as equals and making decisions together.
I meant to ask, if he would compete with you if you did turn Pro. The other thing is, do you actually have to teach if you turn Pro? Could you just compete with him,but Pro/pro rather than Pro/Am? Would there be a cost difference? Good luck, whatever you may decide:)
 

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