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Re: Men as followers
Posted by Telemark
3/14/2011  12:37:00 PM
. that's my job as a professional female instructor

No, an instructor instructs. and you didn't address my (rhetorical) question: if a man can lead, why would he want/need to dance pro/am (ie pay a dance partner)?
Re: Men as followers
Posted by dancesportdave
3/14/2011  2:27:00 PM
I can lead so I will be happy to tell you why I use a professional instructor.

My instructor knows how to move her body. She can get out of my way. Leading doesn't mean picking up a rag doll and throwing her around the floor. We need partners and not everyone is willing or able to dance at a competitive level.

Do you know any good dancers that have never worked with a professional? I don't. Even the professionals are dancing with other professionals. Would you expect a professional to choose one of his students to dance a championship level competition just to demonstrate his great leading skills? Of course not.

My instructor is paid to NOT backlead. She is paid to help me experience good dancing so that I can replicate the experience with other amateurs.

Now as far as Amateur competitions go, I think they are valuable but I doubt their honesty. I once watched a finals in Atlanta where the nations top amateur couple was dancing.

The lady was ill and she ran off the floor and vomited in the lobby during the final heat.

Not only did she fail to complete the competition but her performance suffered and she was still granted with the #1 trophy. I had never before seen a sports meet where someone abdicated but still won.
Re: Men as followers
Posted by jofjonesboro
3/14/2011  5:17:00 PM
Now as far as Amateur competitions go, I think they are valuable but I doubt their honesty.

Sadly, you're correct. USADance has given up any pretence of integrity to chase after the pro/am dollar.

Not that pro/am competitions ever had any integrity to begin with.

Re: Men as followers
Posted by dancesportdave
3/14/2011  5:26:00 PM
I was referring to a time when they were known as USABDA and there were no professionals.

I hope I have answered your question about why professional partners can be good for amateurs
Re: Men as followers
Posted by nloftofan1
3/15/2011  9:54:00 AM
With respect to leading (and following), I remember two pieces of advice from two professionals:

1. A lead is a suggestion.

2. Leading is (usually) influencing the motion of a partner who is already moving.

In my opinion, following is harder than leading. A professional partner knows how to follow.

(There is a third piece of advice, for followers in a competition: If he falls, fall with him. But don't hit the floor first.)
Yes, following can be difficult.
Posted by jofjonesboro
3/15/2011  10:28:00 AM
But you will learn to lead better by working with an amateur partner. An amateur woman who applies herself can learn to follow just as well as a pro.

Re: Men as followers
Posted by terence2
3/21/2011  1:54:00 AM
Because, sometimes, partners of equal skill level are not available.

In addition, there is also ( in the US ) an age problem. many older ladies cannot find partners who are willing to dance in the comp. arena.

Proo/Am has " driven " the dance profession for over 60yrs.. it has, thankfully, produced some very fine dancers, Pro and Amat .

Would that have happened without that system?.. moot point .

Sometimes in the world of dance, we make do with the situation at hand, it may not be the most ideal, but it serves a purpose . And, by the way, that system is being promoted by the WDC .
Why in the US?
Posted by jofjonesboro
3/21/2011  5:51:00 AM
In addition, there is also ( in the US ) an age problem. many older ladies cannot find partners who are willing to dance in the comp. arena.

I'm curious. Why do you suggest that the problem of unpartnered widows is peculiar to the US? Are surviving-spouse demographics that much different in Europe?

I'm not taking issue with your point. I would just like some clarification.

Re: Why in the US?
Posted by Ladydance
3/21/2011  7:01:00 AM
There just aren't the numbers needed. In Europe, there are far more men that know how to dance. A competitive couple from our studio went to a comp in Italy. In the senior 2 category (over 55, I believe), there were 85 couples entered!
Also, I find that the older gentlemen who persevere and really learn how to dance, suddenly think they are hot stuff and want a younger partner. Younger women don't want them, but that doesn't stop them from trying and rejecting women their own age. These are my observations from managing a studio and trying very hard to match women up with appropriate partners.
Old and unwanted (sniff).
Posted by jofjonesboro
3/21/2011  7:35:00 AM
Younger women don't want them, . . .

I'll never dance with a young woman again!

Seriously, I had a much younger partner for about a year and a half. She put up with me because she wanted the dance training and had zero prospects for another partner (this was not in Atlanta). As should have been expected, we never really learned to communicate with each other but were wise enough to understand the value of the partnership (even though, competitively, we were a terrible couple - she never wanted to practice).

My experience tells me that your comment about skilled older leads - while not pleasant to contemplate - may be true more often than not.

However, I can honestly say that I've never rejected an older woman in favor of a younger one. At the time of my partnership with the younger woman, I had not danced in a few months and had no other immediate prospects.

Thanks for the explanation about the situation in Europe.

And bless you for helping students to find partners.


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