Those Tunnels and Pretzels

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#1
Like some feedback from the follows in particular here...

Common moves that have been taught are The Pretzel and The Tunnel. These are fun to lead, but I've come to believe that these are not very popular with the ladies and think I can see why these and other moves done with hands held up high maybe awkward and uncomfortable.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#2
feedback from the follows in particular here...
Sorry, it's me!

Skippy Blair HATES Tunnel moves (something about sticking her butt out, I seem to remember).

I've had lots of women tell me that "the women here hate doing Window moves."
 

kayak

Active Member
#3
The big challenge with all those moves is not tweaking the lady's shoulders. It takes a solid but gentle lead to stay on time and the flexibility to abort to a different move or hold a couple beats if the lady is behind.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Since it's just us talking here, let me ask this about a theory I have.

There are some things I do, mostly when we are all doing schottische, but at other times too, where there is a big accent in the music. We are in "Varsouvianna," or "Cape" position, and using the woman's contra body movement, I can easily get her to do a turn, unless she fights it.

If I feel that resistance, I don't insist or force it. Usually, after one or two promptings, they figure out that they can just turn there, but not always.

Leading a window, too, I figured out a long time ago and think I do it pretty smoothly. But I'll only try it with someone I think is pretty good.

Anyhow, I'm wondering, is it possible that women sometimes (NOTE sometimes!!!) participate in shoulder injuries by fighting a lead?

(And if THIS doesn't get a response from any women, they must not be looking at this thread.)
 

kayak

Active Member
#7
Sure, tension is the killer of all dance moves. So if the follower holds too much tension in her shoulders, that makes injury much more likely. I think that is especially true in moves like pretzels where the lady's frame is actually broken to make the move work. A good lead that isn't also full of tension and scoops the lady's arm in a comfortable manner takes most of the jammed up feeling out. If there is tension, it is really hard to stay on beat. So then it falls to the leader to be comfortable enough to abort and pickup on the next down beat.
 

Siggav

Active Member
#8
I really don't like the pretzel and other complicated arm heavy moves like that. I get into defensive dancing mode protecting my shoulders and it feels a bit weird and not like we're dancing. I'm mostly just standing there while someone moves my arms around hopefully in time with the music while I'm worried I might get hurt. Basically it's just not very fun
 

raindance

Well-Known Member
#9
I really don't like the pretzel and other complicated arm heavy moves like that. I get into defensive dancing mode protecting my shoulders and it feels a bit weird and not like we're dancing. I'm mostly just standing there while someone moves my arms around hopefully in time with the music while I'm worried I might get hurt. Basically it's just not very fun
I don't dance country western, but I agree with the sentiment above about complicated arm moves, unless it is a trusted partner and a very familiar move. Even then it takes away from a chance to relax and enjoy the dance.
 

Siggav

Active Member
#10
Yeah I should probably clarify that I mostly dance swing (lindy) and I don't dance country western but pretzel type moves turn up while social dancing sometimes
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#11
i dance CW ( and everything else LOL) i only lead pretzels with my wife

tunnels i lead in prog 2 and salsa as well ,in salsa the girls LOVE them!!! prog 2 meh notso much and i tend to lead them with advanced and young women


so leaders choose your targets err partners wisely for these moves
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#12
I really don't like the pretzel and other complicated arm heavy moves like that. I get into defensive dancing mode protecting my shoulders and it feels a bit weird and not like we're dancing. I'm mostly just standing there while someone moves my arms around hopefully in time with the music while I'm worried I might get hurt. Basically it's just not very fun

This. I don't think it's so much that I dislike the moves, themselves, but that it takes a skilled and/or experienced lead to actually execute them without executing me. :D
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#14
As for the original question, I am not a fan of these moves. I don't like bending over and sticking my butt out; it's undignified. The windows and pretzelly things are fine if they're simple and well led, but many men are rough with their lead and it's not fun. On the other side of the spectrum, some of them will lead a window by just holding up their hands and you're supposed to know you're supposed to keep turning until you get to the window part. I'm A) not well educated in country but follow well, so this sort of lead doesn't work for me and B) For social dancing, I don't believe in leads where you had to have learned the move in class in order to know what you're supposed to do. I prefer leads that a reasonably accompanied follower can follow without having to know the secret handshake.

As for Steve's question about injuries, it is possible the woman can put herself in a position where she gets hurt because she's not properly connected to her frame and her partner. She can often avoid injury by dancing correctly. However, if she is fighting the lead so hard that you could hurt her, why would you push it? Keep the moves more simple.

Some people say that missed leads, etc. are always the leader's fault. I say it's only his fault 95% of the time, because sometimes the girl just isn't paying attention, or does what she thinks he's going to do instead of what he actually does, isn't really following, etc. However, it is the leader's job to determine the skill level of his follower and lead accordingly...and if a move isn't going well, abandon or modify it....then keep the moves simpler. It drives me batty when guys insist on leading a million crazy patterns back to back when you're not getting half of them.
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#15
On a side note, I dance with a man occasionally who insists on telling me how to do what he's about to lead. Not all the time, but for a few select moves that I suppose he probably has a lower success rate on. Barrel rolls, for example. I hate that. Just freaking lead it. He knows I can follow. If you can't lead it with a moderate degree of success with a majority of followers, don't do it. Save it for your regular partner or the better followers.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#16
On a side note, I dance with a man occasionally who insists on telling me how to do what he's about to lead. Not all the time, but for a few select moves that I suppose he probably has a lower success rate on. Barrel rolls, for example. I hate that. Just freaking lead it. He knows I can follow. If you can't lead it with a moderate degree of success with a majority of followers, don't do it. Save it for your regular partner or the better followers.
Or consider the possibility that you may need to work on your lead. Just sayin.
 

kayak

Active Member
#18
The trick to the pretzel lead is a u shaped motion that follows how her arm can move. That makes it comfortable and fun. I find I have to adjust to each dancer when linking multiple pretzels. Most ladies will not allow their arm to drop the way it is supposed to at the end. So I just adjust and adapt.
 

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