Why do it Posted by Serendipidy 2/11/2008 6:25:00 PM
Surely it would be more benificial to a pupil if the Jive is counted from a Fallaway Rock to Change of Paces Right to left Left to right.as. 1 2 34 5 67 8. instead of 1 2 3 and 4 3 and 4. If you watch the best Jiving and can pick up the eight count with the music.and count in eights you will see that`s exactly what they do. The lack of timing in the Jive has been critised as not being good enough by a panel of experts looking at the recent UK titles. This wouldn`t be the Semi`s or Finalists otherwise they wouldn`t be there. It`s the also ran.
Generally I say, every dancer may count like he individually is able to recall the steps he wants to dance. So he may even count "boom, boom, doub di dooo, doub di dooo". But it's also worth to think about what the teacher counts to the pupil. At first, there are the Laird technique with "QQ QaQ QaQ" and the ISTD with the same. This count is the standard for professional examinations. Now for teaching the instructor may decide to follow this or might use other counting methods (sometimes I use different for the same figure, depending on WHAT I want to explain.) I agree that the often used "1,2 3a4 3a4" [I hope with 'a' and not with "and"] is a little bit strange because "pseudo-beats" are used to hide the problem of dancing SIX beats at a 4/4 time signature. Your method (step numbers) could be used for a situation when the teacher wants to refer to single steps for many times in his explanations, e.g. "at step 5 the lady has to be already slightly in advance to the man". BUT I don't use that step number count, because many people are not able to count the right rhythm, especially the quarter beats. So to cover all these problems most of the time I count for the people something like "rock, step, chas-sé-step chas-sé-step" (of course in German, but here in translation). This shows I often try to find a count that combines the action and the rhythm, as this is possible.
As GermanDanceTeacher says, the method of calling or counting used by a teacher will often vary according to the result they are try to achieve with the student.
As suggested, the 8 count might be useful when referring to a particular step but I do not think I would ever use it.
Two problems I see with the 8 count: 1) I see little benefit in teaching someone to count 8 steps in 6 beats of a 4/4 rhythm. I think most would find it confusing. 2) The count allocates the longest word (seven) which also happens to have two syllables, to one of the shortest timeslots.
The most logical count suggested in the book is 1 2 3a4 5a6 but I do know many teachers who use the 1 2 3a4 3a4 count which always felt strange to me. I think they may do it because it produces the same sound for each chasse.
My preferred count is similar to GermanDanceTeacher's and reflects the fact that for beginners at least the chasses come in pairs, so for the examle given I would say "back, replace, chasse one, chasse two".
I`m not sure if I can put in writting why I believe it is better to count steps in both the Jive and the Samba as well as the Quickstep and not the beats. If you were to count Q Q Q and Q.Q and Q. All those Quicks look the same to me. But if I count in steps that becomes 1 2 3 45 6 78 . I know that last quick is the eighth step. Scatter Chasses in the Quickstep very much the same. I will always know when to come out of them with the music. And when a person is putting together a routine it is a must.
"If you were to count Q Q Q and Q.Q and Q. All those Quicks look the same to me. But if I count in steps that becomes 1 2 3 45 6 78 . I know that last quick is the eighth step. Scatter Chasses in the Quickstep very much the same. I will always know when to come out of them with the music"
Your example has a duration of 6 beats or one and a half measures.
How in the world is saying "eight" on beat 2 (or 6) which is in the middle of a measure going to help you with fitting it to the music?
If you can't say the quick's with a measure inflection, then perhaps you should count it 12 3&4 5&6
The linear numbering of steps used in technique book charts is not intended to represent beats of music.
I'm a veteran musician and a novice dancer. I think it is important for dancers to understand something about music. "1 2 3 a4" communicates one thing, q q q aq communicates a slightly different thing. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with an instructor who insisted on going over steps multiple times, one (or more) time "counting" quicks and slows, one (or more) time counting the beats that a musician would count ('and' and 'a' are not the same, as samba dancers know), and another counting the steps in a phrase, where the confusion about the number of beats being different than the number of steps gets resolved. They are all invaluable. Must say, though that '3 a4, 3 a4..' would be baffling, I think.
I thought i would pop this bit of information in also. Jive. If I am practising Jive Chasses only with the music. No Fallaway Rock or a Link. I must let 1 2 go by and pick it up on 345678. And repeat by letting 1 2 go by. This is being techniqually correct which does help to understand the music in the Jive. If I started the Jive Chasse on beats 1 2. I would be out of rhythm
Dondon. You are of course correct. All the others only need to look at column one in Wally Laird`s to see there are eight steps and beside that timing and beside that we have the beat value. And beside that go to Michael Wentink`s DVD Out of Africa and tell me that he doesn`t count his choreography in eights in the Jive. Next time your out watch some of the others and check to see who are on 1 2 LF back for the Fallaway Rock with the music. In the Jive it is easy to pick up the eight count and if they do a Fallaway Rock or a Link or a Kick Ball Change see how many are on the correct beat.