Staying on beat


Well-Known Member
Based on my experience, "many" is a dreadful overbid. The share of musicians in a class just isn't all that big, and the muggles have other problems.

It is weird, but lots of American dances are weird the same way. Lindy, as noted in the Frankie Manning quote; Bronze Waltz (above); country two step; triple-two; hustle.... At the very extreme end, you get things like Argentine tango, which doesn't really have a repeating cycle....

It is disappointing that your instructors were unable to recognize the disconnect. You should have at least gotten a "yup, get over it". :)
The guy I learned WCS from gave workshops on different ways of using the 6-count / 8-count disconnect. Musically, which 1's do you want to emphasize? How are you going to structure the dance to do that? Or, do a syncopation to hit any 1's of the music that are not also 1's of the dance step. He had us counting the 1-8 (2 measures? I'm musically challenged ) to music while dancing 6-count dance steps. At the time, I could only do it for a very short time, but I recently managed to correctly count 1-8 out loud while correctly dancing ECS. Since, as I said, I'm very challenged musically, my ballroom instructor was surprised (astounded?) at how long I was able to carry it out for. I admitted that it wasn't the first time I had been asked to do it.

The WCS guy always mentioned the basic steps and the music being counted differently in he knew there was a new dancer in a class who was a musician. They invariably were disconcerted by it; I, on the other hand, had to have the issue explained to me before I even noticed it....

Steve Pastor

Staff member
which 1's do you want to emphasize?
The beginnings of major phrases.
(A caveat here is that an emphasized beat at the beginning of a phrase might not be a "1," which is supposed to be the downbeat, but sometimes isn't. I dance what I hear.
See sheet music in this thread

How are you going to structure the dance to do that?
Use any combination of "moves" that adds up to 32 "counts," or however many the music is using for a major phrase. A song using a 12 bar blues progression will have 4 * 12 = 48 counts for one cycle. Here again, people put "tags" and "bridges" (don't ask for definitions cause I'm not real clear on these - just know they are there and the better line dancers, and choreographers, for instance, know them and don't ignore them.)

source for most of this is Blair 1995

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