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Re: Spin Sway
Posted by phil.samways
6/11/2007  6:16:00 AM
I've been away for a week, and this thread is still rumbling on.....
I was away on a dancing week with workshops and lessons by top coaches.
2 very important points were made (plus, of course, others which are irrelevant to this discussion).
1)THe "italian" or continental style of dancing is taking over (evidence? results at Blackpool) where there is considerable use of shaping and sway.
2)The technique book should not be followed slavishly by those aspiring to the higher competitive levels. As one very well known ex-champion pointed out, if someone tried to document all the modern techniques used in dancing, it would be an overwhelming task.

I already knew, but had it demonstrated to me by myself (work that out!!)in the workshops that the correct use of sway considerably enhances body flight and the attractiveness of figures. Not tango of course.
When i started dancing, i had the technique book with me most of the time.
Now it's in a drawer in my bedroom.
Ultimately, i do what my coach says. This includes swaying to the right on a back-turning lock. It actually works better than no sway.
Re: Spin Sway
Posted by anymouse
6/11/2007  7:31:00 AM
"1)THe "italian" or continental style of dancing is taking over (evidence? results at Blackpool) where there is considerable use of shaping and sway."

It's not like the English don't use shaping and sway, however their use is more strictly coupled to the movement, and as a result tends to become large only at the highest levels of accomplishment. In contrast, many of the students of the Italians will put sway in as a decorative detail, long before they learn to make it a functional result. In terms of results at Blackpool, don't forget that England's top two couples didn't dance.

"When i started dancing, i had the technique book with me most of the time.
Now it's in a drawer in my bedroom.
Ultimately, i do what my coach says. This includes swaying to the right on a back-turning lock. It actually works better than no sway."

Maybe you should get it out and re-examine it from the perspective of your current knowledge. It might not be as outdated as you think - the usual problem is misunderstanding it. For example, sway on the back turning lock is actually right there in the book! It's the sway on the spin turn itslef that is a case of picking up clues from the description of one figure about what could enhance another.
Re: Spin Sway
Posted by anymouse
6/11/2007  7:31:00 AM
"You must start thinking along the lines that you and your teacher are only one avenue of thought."

My teacher is not a singular person, but a collection of consultants who are counted amongst the leading ballroom authorities in the world today. Needless to say they don't all agree in every detail, but in working with them and discussing these same issues with them, a number of universal ideas become apparent.

"Advice should only be given from a technique book"

Impractical. The book is far from complete in terms of describing full fledged dancing. And more importantly, many of the issues-and thus debates arrise from inability to understand what it is saying. It's not the most clearly written thing I've ever encountered, and won't really make sense without a lot of background exposure to the traditions which it describes. There's even a lot of evidence that later editors have made things worse, changing details when they didn't understand why the originals were the way they were.

"or watching videos on this site"

Which are a great starting point for discussion, but not fully representative of actual championship practice.

The ultimate recommendation though would be simple: if you don't believe what you are reading, seek out your own lessons with the champions and those who train them, and form your own ideas of what it is they teach.
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