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Re: your claim is absurd, its been this way for ag
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/2/2008  8:31:00 AM
The point of the quoted stipulation is that there is no official prohibition of the inclusion of the Fox Trot at the Bronze proficiency level.

The omission of bronze foxtrot is a reflection of the expected path of progress in the sanctioning body's impression of how dancing works. Their impressions are usually not perfectly accurate (they are volunteers, not dance experts) but are not inaccurate in this case. I would guess it will continue to be left out of their national championship - and that you'll continue to see a lot of faked heel turns and too-early weight changes in the silver version.

My goodness. Aren't we wearing our snobbery on our sleeves these days. Your contemptuous attitude toward dancers who may have less experience or less money to spend than you explains your behavior on this board perfectly.

Tango has been part of Silver and NOT part of Silver over the years. The schedules change.

Poorly executed moves can be seen at all levels of amateur and many levels of professional competition.



jj
Re: your claim is absurd, its been this way for ag
Posted by anymouse
11/2/2008  8:32:00 AM
"My goodness. Aren't we wearing our snobbery on our sleeves these days. Your contemptuous attitude toward dancers who may have less experience or less money to spend than you explains your behavior on this poard perfectly."

It's a lot simpler than that. A dance student fundamentally needs to develop some physical skills and strengths not present in the non-ballroom population (ex-ballet people included) before it will be possible to attempt to execute the actions of international foxtrot in a way that will flow naturally.

How do I know this? From watching, teaching - and most importantly, from trying to do it too early in my own development. Until you can sustain a gliding movement of your weight and roll your feet properly, no action in the foxtrot is going to be anything other than fake.

For this reason, most thought-out dance programs delay the introduction of the foxtrot until after a healthy amount of work developing the concepts and foot and ankle strengths of the swing dances has been done in the context of waltz, quickstep, and perhaps the rhythm foxtrot or its American cousin. It's useful to be able to give these students some real-world competition experience in the dances they are practicing on a day to day basis, hence the bronze competition division - usually offered without a foxtrot to complicate things. About the time students are ready to start working on foxtrot in lessons, they are making the bronze finals if not winning, and their first competitions ventures in foxtrot will naturally coincide with their transition to the silver division.

"Tango has been part of Silver and NOT part of Silver over the years. The schedules change."

Offerings of individual competitions may change frequently. Recommendations in sanctioning body rulebooks much less often. I think if you dig up an old rulebook, you will see that tango has a long history of recommendation at the silver level.
I understand perfectly.
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/2/2008  8:46:00 AM
How do I know this? From watching, teaching - and most importantly, from trying to do it too early in my own development. Until you can sustain a gliding movement of your weight and roll your feet properly, no action in the foxtrot is going to be anything other than fake.

You are correct. It is simple. As a beginner, you had difficulty with bronze Standard Fox Trot so it MUST be too difficult for every new dancer and they shouldn't even be allowed to learn it.

What better way could there be to develop those gliding movements than to practice figures which involve them? Unless, of course, you lack the stamina to spend enough time doing so.

Recommendations in sanctioning body rulebooks much less often. I think if you dig up an old rulebook, you will see that tango has a long history of recommendation at the silver level.

Again, you're trying to put words in my mouth. I never claimed that Tango has NEVER been part of USABDA's Silver Standard schedule. My point is that the offerings change and will continue to change.

If you dig into old rulebooks, you'll also find that Fox Trot has been part of the Bronze Standard schedule in the past and will be so again.

jj



Re: I understand perfectly.
Posted by anymouse
11/2/2008  8:57:00 AM
"How do I know this? From watching, teaching - and most importantly, from trying to do it too early in my own development. Until you can sustain a gliding movement of your weight and roll your feet properly, no action in the foxtrot is going to be anything other than fake.

You are correct. It is simple. As a beginner, you had difficulty with bronze Standard Fox Trot so it must be too difficult for every new dancer."

No, you absolutely do not understand.

As a beginner I did not have difficulty with foxtrot that I could attribute to those issues. Instead, it was only later in retrospect, looking at others and comparing to my own previous dancing that I understood what was fundamentally missing in both cases. At the time I had been quite exasperated by the lack of foxtrot offerings in bronze. Only later did I come to understand the good reason why that was so.

"What better way could there be to develop those gliding movements than to practice those moves which involve them? "

You actually can't build them this way, because without the underlying strength you will end up doing the wrong action. Only by building the foundation skills doing simpler actions (waltz, quickstep, etc) can you get to the point of physical readiness to do the foxtrot in a way that reinforces good habits rather than bad ones.

Essentially, if you start in doing all dances, your early foxtrot efforts are wasted (or in reality, counterproductive) and it is your waltz and quickstep efforts that may eventually lead to the first hints of genuine foxtrot action.

"My point is that the offerings change and will continue to change."

Not disputed. However, official recommendations have been fairly stable, and it's official recommendations that tend to be reflected in the more important competitions - for example, the national championships.

"If you dig into old rulebooks, you'll also find that Fox trot has been part of the Bonze Standard schedule in the past and will be so again."

No, you won't, because there is no "schedule" in the rulebooks. What there is is a recommendation. Can you cite a year in which the rule book included international foxtrot in the recommendation for bronze? Can you site a year in which it was competed at the USABDA national championships?
Re: I understand perfectly.
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/2/2008  9:35:00 AM
You actually can't build them this way, because without the underlying strength you will end up doing the wrong action. Only by building the foundation skills doing simpler actions (waltz, quickstep, etc) can you get to the point of physical readiness to do the foxtrot in a way that reinforces good habits rather than bad ones.

OK, the rule for taking any profound action is "take seven deep breaths"and not "take seven hits from the bong."

Your statement is so ludricous on its face that I wonder about your sanity.

And how do you build those foundtion skills? Through other exercises? Guess what - you can do those other exercises incorrectly as well.

The reason for taking instruction is to learn to execute the actions properly. Practice follows instruction.

You've been accusing me of having a limited vision based on poor quality instruction. The statement quoted above clearly demonstrates that you do not understand how to use instruction.

The rulebook does not make such a recommendation. It lists which dances must be included.

With some research I will answer your questions.

jj

Added: That was easy: 1999 (1999 USABDA National Results). You can page down to or just search for "Heat 52": "Adult A Bronze International Standard (W/F/Q)."
Re: I understand perfectly.
Posted by anymouse
11/2/2008  9:45:00 AM
"And how do you build those foundtion skills? Through other exercises? Guess what - you can do those other exercises incorrectly as well."

Yes, you absolutely can do them incorrectly as well. However, when you have foot rise without outside partner in the rise condition as in waltz or quickstep, you have a much better chance of getting the elements right in isolation.

Similarly, when you have drawn out slows in rhythm foxtrot without foot rise, you have a much better chance of getting the rolling through the feet correctly.

Finally, quickstep presents the first opportunity to learn about continuity of weight movement in a situation where you can let the movements run-out safely, something that won't be possible in foxtrot until the underlying technique of the more challenging positions is sound enough to accomodate that much carry-over of movement.

What waltz and quickstep let you do is build the skills one at a time, where you have a fighting chance or practicing them right. Foxtrot makes you deal with it all on the same step, with the results that the student invariable adopts a "fake" version out of pragmatic necessity.
Re: I understand perfectly.
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/2/2008  9:57:00 AM
What waltz and quickstep let you do is build the skills one at a time, where you have a fighting chance or practicing them right. Foxtrot makes you deal with it all on the same step, with the results that the student invariable adopts a "fake" version out of pragmatic necessity.

Nonsense.

Do you have an amateur partner?



jj
Re: I understand perfectly.
Posted by anymouse
11/2/2008  4:10:00 PM
"What waltz and quickstep let you do is build the skills one at a time, where you have a fighting chance or practicing them right. Foxtrot makes you deal with it all on the same step, with the results that the student invariable adopts a "fake" version out of pragmatic necessity."

Nonsense."

Well, you can either continue to demonstrate your ignorance, or you can crack open the syllabus book and notice that bronze foxtrot has foot rise and outside partner coinciding while bronze waltz and quickstep go outside only when coming from a lowered position where the body is easily projected by a standing foot that is flat on the floor.


And your point would be . . . ?
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/3/2008  4:50:00 AM
Well, you can either continue to demonstrate your ignorance, or you can crack open the syllabus book and notice that bronze foxtrot has foot rise and outside partner coinciding while bronze waltz and quickstep go outside only when coming from a lowered position where the body is easily projected by a standing foot that is flat on the floor.

So what? The variance in styles does not prevent anyone from practicing all of the different movements.

You learn the moves from a competent instructor and you practice them until they are mastered.

Time on the floor is the most important aspect of any dance student's education.



jj
Re: And your point would be . . . ?
Posted by anymouse
11/3/2008  7:01:00 AM
""notice that bronze foxtrot has foot rise and outside partner coinciding while bronze waltz and quickstep go outside only when coming from a lowered position where the body is easily projected by a standing foot that is flat on the floor."

So what? The variance in styles does not prevent anyone from practicing all of the different movements."

It is a not a variance in style, it is a huge variance in physical difficulty.

Both the necessary body movement for sound outside partner action, and foot rise, are substantial challenges.

Waltz and quickstep present these challenges in isolation from each other, where the student has a chance of developing them properly.

In contrast, foxtrot's most characteristic figure, the feather, requires projecting the body into an outside partner position that is supported from the toes of one foot. Beginners cannot do this yet, so they try to dance an outside partner position without projecting the body, which is to say a fake outside partner position.

The readiness of a student to meaningfully learn the feather step is easily determined by the state of their inside partner body projection from the toe - for example, can they sustain forward movement on step two of a waltz or quickstep natural, or are they still turning off of it too early in order to keep their body weight on the strong ball of foot without having to carry it through the still weaker toe? If they haven't solved this problem in waltz or quickstep, they should keep working on it there where the substantially greater demand of body projection for outside partner does not add its requirements to that particular action.

And that's the forward half - there's a whole other class of combined issues with ankle stability in high heels when going backwards, that are again practical to sort out in the inside partner and seperately the no (body/partner) rise outside partner cases and impractical to approach in the combined case.
Why don't you stop whining?
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/3/2008  11:20:00 AM
It is a not a variance in style, it is a huge variance in physical difficulty.

If a transfer of weight is executed differently in one style or dance compared to another then there is a variance in style or dance.

"Huge variance"? Oh, come on. Like a Fox Trot heel turn is so much different from those in Waltz and Quickstep that they require different training regimens.

Still waiting for an answer on that question about your having an amateur partner.



jj
outside partner technique
Posted by anymouse
11/3/2008  11:50:00 AM
"If a transfer of weight is executed differently in one style or dance compared to another then there is a variance in style or dance."

The issue is not in the transference of weight, but in the projection of the body weight from the standing foot which must long precede the weight change. This is not a difference of "style", its, it's a drastic difference of situation and requirement.

A feather step requires that the already challenging large projection of the body required for an outside partner position be generated not from a flat standing foot as in waltz or quickstep, but instead from the toe of a risen standing foot.

Most beginners (indeed most dancers of any period of experience) who have not had focused physical training for competition purposes simply cannot do this. The result is that their outside partner actions in the foxtrot are "fake" and will remain "fake" in the sense that they are missing the required body projection.

Dancing foxtrot badly without this element does not lead towards ever developing it. Instead, drilling full actions in the context of waltz and quickstep is what tends to lead towards building the physical capability to attempt the more difficult projection-from-risen-toe action required in the foxtrot.

You can continue to ignore this, but the more you claim it to be nonsense, the more you hint that this action is probably still missing in your own dancing.

""Huge variance"? Oh, come on. Like a Fox Trot heel turn is so much different from those in Waltz and Quickstep that they require different training regimens."

I never suggested there was a huge variance between waltz and foxtrot HEEL TURNS, instead my comment that you quoted above was in a message entirely about the substantial differences in outside partner requirement, a message that made no mention of heel turns at all.

Where heel turns are concerned, my implicit raising of the SIMILARITY of the requirement between waltz and foxtrot was how we got onto the subject of bronze foxtrot in the first place. In pointing out that the double reverse spin is often not advantageous to a bronze competition effort, I raised the relatively rarity of foxtrot (which we should all recognize as the dance where heel turns are effectively mandatory, rather than optional) being offered at bronze. From there we got into the other reasons why early attempts at foxtrot are unproductive, such as the risen outside partner issue.
Re: outside partner technique
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/3/2008  2:23:00 PM
A feather step requires that the already challenging large projection of the body required for an outside partner position be generated not from a flat standing foot as in waltz or quickstep, but instead from the toe of a risen standing foot.


On which step of the Feather is this "projection of the body" generated?



jj

PS
Obviously, you do not have an amateur partner.

Strange.

Still, your secret's safe with me. I won't tell anyone else on the board. I promise.
Re: outside partner technique
Posted by anymouse
11/3/2008  2:49:00 PM
"A feather step requires that the already challenging large projection of the body required for an outside partner position be generated not from a flat standing foot as in waltz or quickstep, but instead from the toe of a risen standing foot.

On which step of the Feather is this "projection of the body" generated?"

I probably should have chosen my word more carefully, as it is ideally "generated" during the downswing of the previous measure. The subject challenge however is to carry that movement energy right through the arrival onto step two so that it can result in projection of the body into an outside partner position over and beyond a risen standing foot during the portion of step three before the third step has been placed. The weaker foot of a newer dancer is not yet capable of this, especially over the lengthy amount of time that this body projection must be sustained to match the tempo of the slow foxtrot.

In contrast, in waltz or foxtrot we would be carrying the downswing's energy into an outside partner projection on step one, where the standing foot supporting the projected body is still in the much stronger position of being solidly flat on the floor.

Practicing this in the waltz and quickstep helps set the idea of what will need to be done in the foxtrot outside partner, while practice dancing a foot rise dance builds the foot strength. Finally, striving to keep the feet acting forward during steps one and two of the waltz natural briefly tests the capability of supporting the body weight in front of the toe of a risen standing foot needed for foxtrot, but without actually ruining the dance when it's not there.
Re: Bronze Waltz
Posted by Polished
11/3/2008  2:42:00 PM
All Emsachez wanted to know was how to start his Waltz.
If I were in a competition or on a crowded floor I would most likely start with a Whisk on side two ( the short side ) depending on the width. If I wanted to start on side one I would most likely start with a Travelling Contre. diag to centre. A Quick Open Reverse and leave all the others to struggle out of that side one corner. To coin a phrase. Courses for Horses depending on the situation.
Which brings me to. Thats why I would have my groups eight bar phrased. I can choose which one I will used and which to to be followed by.
Never become one who has to start exactly on that spot with exactly that routine.
Re: outside partner technique
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/3/2008  2:50:00 PM
I probably should have chosen my word more carefully, as it is ideally "generated" during the downswing of the previous measure.

But isn't that energy "generated" from a flat foot after the downswing of the first step and not a preceding figure?

What possible preceding figure would lead into a Feather on a downswing? If one did, you would have no energy for the rise at the end of step one.



jj

Re: outside partner technique
Posted by Polished
11/3/2008  2:55:00 PM
Just follow and teach the correct technique which is for the Waltz Commence to rise at the end of step one. If it is Foxtrot Rise at the end of step one. All Bronze Medal stuff.
Re: outside partner technique
Posted by anymouse
11/3/2008  3:15:00 PM
"But isn't that energy "generated" from a flat foot after the downswing of the first step and not a preceding figure?"

Supplemented a little from a muscular push, but no, most of the energy in an upswing comes from the previous downswing or body speed of the previous measure.

"What possible preceding figure would lead into a Feather on a downswing?"

The feather is not on a downswing, it is preceded by the downswing of the previous figure.

Any time we have two figures with rise with an intervening lowering we see this - the actual cycle of a swing is from step three of one measure, down, then back up to step three of the next.

An alternate source is the situation of the prep step, where you descend from standing height while also getting an additional step to gradually contribute movement energy from your muscles.

Choreographically, there would a greater number of clear downswing-upswing energy carry over opportunities for the feather finish and the back feather than for the ordinary forward feather. But regardless of where the energy came from originally, the challenge during step three of the feather action is to sustain that projection forward of the toe of a risen standing foot.

"If one did, you would have no energy for the rise at the end of step one."

The projection and body drift in step three comes from having more energy than is needed for the rise - the body does not stop in waltz, it drifts right on through while only slowing. That this movement continues into a projection of the body into an outside partner position beyond the risen toe of its standing foot is what makes step three outside partner in foxtrot so much more challenging than the step one outside partner encountered in bronze waltz and quickstep.

Waltz & Quickstep: project body into outside partner position supported from a standing foot that is flat on the floor

Foxtrot feather action: project body into outside partner position supported from the toe of a risen standing foot
I think you're completely wrong.
Posted by jofjonesboro
11/3/2008  3:36:00 PM
The energy for steps 2 and 3 of the feather comes from the power generated during the first step.

Also, this "projection of the body" that you describe as part of this difficult movement is really no big deal. The man simply comes out of the first step with a left-shoulder lead. Doing so from a toe (shorthand for "risen foot") is just as easy as doing so from a heel.



jj

Re: I think you're completely wrong.
Posted by anymouse
11/3/2008  3:57:00 PM
"The energy for steps 2 and 3 of the feather comes from the power generated during the first step."

Only if you dance in the "wasteful" way using muscles to do everything rather than letting it come from your downswings. Some people do that because they feel it makes it easier, but it makes the dance look heavy rather than effortless and floating. And it doesn't change the challenge of projecting in the risen outside partner position.

"Also, this "projection of the body" that you describe as part of this difficult movement is really no big deal."

If it was no big deal, then people would get it right. They don't - in large part because they lack the foot strength to do it. You can see the same lack of strength in the temptation to depart step one of the waltz natural sideways from the ball of foot, rather than continuing forwards over the toe, though it's not as drastically detrimental to the flow of the dance there as failing to project forwards from step two of the feather is.

"The man simply comes out of the first step with a left-shoulder lead. Doing so from a toe (shorthand for "risen foot") is just as easy as doing so from a heel."

Doing it from a toe requires that he support the entire weight of his body not just from the ball of his left foot, but ultimately from the toe of it - not because he is going up, but because he is projecting his body beyond the standing foot. In waltz or quickstep he could project from a supporting foot that is flat on the floor rather than risen.

Most newer dancers, males especially, cannot stand on one foot with the ball of the foot slightly off the ground and the toes taking the weight, which is an equivalent challenge even though the application in foxtrot is forward projection rather than vertical rise. But dancing a lot of waltz and quickstep can develop the foot and start to build that capability.

Lighter females, especially those with some childhood ballet background may be able to do it, but unfortunately in the feather they are not asked to project from a risen standing foot, instead they are asked to send their body weight backwards to and ultimately through the standing heel, something that those with either a ballet background or simply reflexes for self-preservation when wearing ordinary high heels tend to be very hesitant to do.

It occurs to me that bronze foxtrot might work better if we had the ladies do the forward outside partner action projected from a risen toe, and the men roll through their standing heel!
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