Why some women are not asked to dance

Peaches

Well-Known Member
And yet, that IS the position the woman often dances in in Close Embrace. (ie, looking towards the arm she has around him rather than the hands) Its even MORE awkward for her, because her arm is up around his neck. If it were the man, and his arm was low around her back, it wouldn't be any more uncomfortable than what she dances all the time.

Hmmmm.... I'm going to try this out, just for the fun of it. I really can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work. In fact, it might be more comfortable for the follower than the usual, because she wouldn't have to look in the direction of the arm she has up around his neck. Thus, less chance of twisting or raising her shoulder.
Ah. I think the difference is that I'm thinking of being slightly more open on my right side, but with the rest of things reversed...in which case I can't see it being comfortable.

But if thigns are absolutely straight on...perhaps. If you try it, please report back!

Edit to add: Regarding the looking over the guy's shoulder or looking towards our hands...for me it depends on, mostly, the guy's height. If he's short, I look over his shoulder because I don't like having my face squished into his...besides being uncomfortable, it does bad things to my connection. If he's taller, I'll face to the right. I just need to be able to get at least my nose underneath his chin. :) I think I do this regardless of the shape of the embrace. (Although, truth be told, that's very dependent on the guy's height, as well.)
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
I think the reason it would tend to be natural is because we would probably (probably) have a tendancy to want to face the open area of the embrace (or frame, if you are in ballroom), no one likes to feel constricted...at least I'd be surprised if anyone did.

I generally only use the "look towards the leader" head position if I am in a "v embrace, I don't tend to use it in a full on close embrace. At least, that's how it was taught to me...."v" embrace with head towards leader. It's not overly comfortable in a close embrace. Seems like it would push too much on the leaders head when you are that close and the bodies are flat on insteadof angled.

I do turn my head to the right if I am dancing with someone very tall in close embrace (better that than nose in armpit), but my head wouldn't be pushing on them in that case anyway, but I don't ever look away from the leader even in close embrace, ie...I'm never looking toward my arm that is around him. I try to keep my head straight on, either slightly down depeding on height or hext to his head but not turned away if he is closer to my height. (Note- this works better if the leader has been taught to be nice and keep his head slightly turned left, opening head space and leaving the follower- usually shorter- a more comfortable position so she doesn't hve to crane her neck sideways and end up at the chiropractor.)
I wasn't very clear... when I say looking "towards the arm", I didn't mean to actually turn the head dramatically to the left. I simply meant that she is looking over his right shoulder rather than facing the same direction he is. Therefore if they couple maintains that position and spins around so that she is traveling down line of dance forward, she can easily see the room, just as he usually would do if he was traveling forward looking over HER right shoulder.

I guess since I dance this way more often than I dance facing my right, I don't have any tendency to face the "open" part of the embrace (because there IS no open part in close embrace) I would think that ballroom is mostly the same. The woman looks over the man's right shoulder or even turns her head to her left rather dramtically (as in Viennese Waltz) I've never heard anyone call this "constricting" or express a tendency to do the opposite (once they learn the correct position). How many ballroom followers ever look to their own right?

In fact, when the embrace and style calls for the follower to look into the room to her right, I have to remind myself to do so. For me, the tendency is always to NOT do that. And since it requires actually turning my head, I find it more constricting because there is very little range of motion I can achieve that direction unless we are VERY open. (whereas, if I'm looking over his right shoulder I can vary it a little depending on whether I'm wearing my glasses)

I'm not sure which position you are meaning when you use the term "look towards the leader". To me, that is a 3rd position that we haven't discussed yet.. ie: follower looking directly at the leader's chest rather than to her right or left (which I don't think is EVER done in ballroom, but a BR dancer can correct me) You do have to be open for that.

(around here, some leaders dance open all the time, because they find themselves trapped in the center of the room and have to look all around them wildly to navigate. I always wish some teacher would make them learn close embrace so that they will have to learn proper floorcraft and how to navigate without looking this way and that willy-nilly... ie: one of the many "basics" that you can cheat if you are open, but have to do right if you dance "milonguero, as we were discussing in another thread)
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
Regarding the looking over the guy's shoulder or looking towards our hands...for me it depends on, mostly, the guy's height. If he's short, I look over his shoulder because I don't like having my face squished into his...besides being uncomfortable, it does bad things to my connection. If he's taller, I'll face to the right. I just need to be able to get at least my nose underneath his chin. :) I think I do this regardless of the shape of the embrace. (Although, truth be told, that's very dependent on the guy's height, as well.)
I guess I'm at the perfect height (in my shoes) to feel that I can always look over a guy's shoulder if I choose. The one or 2 guys around here who are SO tall that it would be awkward, don't dance close anyway (maybe for that reason?).

In fact, the "milonguero style" dancers around here are rare (and are mostly shorter). Almost everyone either dances open, or varies the embrace, with most of it being open. But I dance most of my dances with the ones who dance primarily close.

My partner is 6' even, and I can easily dance looking over his shoulder, although its easier in my highest heels.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
My partner is 6' even, and I can easily dance looking over his shoulder, although its easier in my highest heels.
Lucky girl. My teacher is 5'11", and in my highest heels my forehead rests against his chin if I turn my head to the right. If I don't, I could rest my nose on his collarbone.

Button down shirts with starched collars are the bane of my AT existence. (Although I've gotten the knack of continueing to dance while making adjustments to the guys's collar with my left hand down pat!)
 

Zoopsia59

Well-Known Member
Although I've gotten the knack of continueing to dance while making adjustments to the guys's collar with my left hand down pat!)
Bwa ha ha... I danced one night with one of my favorite leaders and I was having trouble with the right strap of my dress. We had quite a fun time and running joke of him having to constantly incorportate letting go of my hand and quickly putting my strap back up as a part of his lead for certain moves.
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
You would love me. I am well known for wearing nothing but band collars...always, whether dancing or not. :rolleyes:
I thought I loved you before, but it's nothing to how I feel about you after hearing this! ;-)

This ought to go in a list of "Things to Tell Beginning Leaders." Leave your collar stays at home, dangit!

Edit to add: I just thought of someone to add to the "Crushes" thread. *hustling over to the other forum* :)
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
Where in blazes have you been, girl? There's one hell of a crushes thread going on--something like 18 pages in 24 hours. And anyone counts.
 

Joe

Well-Known Member
Presumably, yes. But after however many years of going counter-clockwise, everyone's gotten used to it, the hold has adapted to it (or whatever), it's how people learn it...so reversing hold and LOD I don't ever really see happening. It's the way it is now, so it's just easier to perpetuate it...especially given the lack of a compelling reason to change. (Unless it's just to quibble with Joe. ;-) )
Quibble: ever gone from driving in a LHD country to driving in a RHD country? :D
 

Peaches

Well-Known Member
No.

And we see how well changing from the Imperial system to the Metric system has worked in the States. Probably more comparable than one person picking up and moving from one norm to another.

Quibble.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
It wan't AT. It was CW. But it works the same way for me.

A Tale of Two Women
Tall, blond, nicely proportioned female danced West Coast Swing with one of the regulars. She looked good. She had great posture. She kept her feet under herself. And she always kept with the music.
As the evening wore on I don't think she ever turned down a dance.
But she did not look like she wanted to be there.
She was there. Dancing.

Woman with black hair. Nice, somewhat fuller figure.
She danced with guys who NEVER are in time with the music, and guys who sometimes are in time with the music.
She ALWAYS managed to stay in time.
She smiled at me a couple of times as she danced by.

Guess which of the two I asked to dance?
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
The redhead and her friend didn't seem to know the dances very well. But, I did have a conversion with them. Later, the redhead walked by and said, rather enigmatically, "I saw you out there." (I'm always surprised (which is stupid) when I hear that people were watching me while I dance, although I know it intellectually.)
You think I should have given her a go? (I didn't see either her or her friend dance with anyone.)
 

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