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Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by nigelgwee
8/1/2008  3:08:00 PM
May I? Leaving out the competing vs. non-competing aspect, I would say you and your partner are sociable (sic) dancers with a very professional (redefining professional here) attitude. Bravi! Go for it!
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Polished
8/2/2008  4:51:00 AM
I only know what happens here. No competition dancer would go to a Social Dance here. They go to Practice and training sesions. The only Social that they might attend might be a Xmas dance run by the studio. And there apart from a few friends and reletives they would all be Competitors or Medalists. Medalists I doubt would qualify to be called Social Dancers either.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/2/2008  7:01:00 AM
Medalists don't exist as a separate group of dancers, do they?

If so, where, and what do they dance, and with whom?
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Ladydance
8/2/2008  1:16:00 PM
In my experience, social dancers tend to dance in the American style rather than International which needs more space than is usually available.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/2/2008  8:12:00 PM
Combining Lady and Clive's answer (saving paper, *snicker*)

We dance predominantly International when we dance. I've never understood the "not enough room"... we've learned to lengthen or compress our strides... in fact, I don't know how else we could have improved on it if we *hadn't* danced social.

When we're out dancing, we dance whatever the band/dj plays. Mostly it's foxtrots, waltzes, cha-cha, rumba, etc. and on occasion we get in a Sssssslow tango (we took some Argentine to help on that)... we dance both American and International wherever we go... with no problems.

To be fair, our studio is lucky enough to have a decent-sized floor, and everyone knows what floorcraft is (because they teach it in group class, the way they should, Lol).

I've never understood why competitive partnerships don't also dance "for fun" (since socially implies interdancing, I guess) elsewhere? Don't they need floorcraft practice? I know some do, for when they call for general dancing between heats at competitions, they can be looking riiiight at you and still almost plow right into you. They're so focused though. But then... it seems silly to think competitors don't also have to worry about floorcraft IN competition. Here they have a routine, AND they have to worry about whether or not that routine will encroach on someone else's space... or is it that they just don't worry..?

It's just always seemed weird to me that people spend thousands of dollars learning how to dance, and then let people tell them they can't because of this or that, here or there.

If you ever go to a seniors' dance and see a couple of early thirtysomethings feather-and-three-ing around the shuffly two-steppers, come say hi, LOL.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Ladydance
8/3/2008  7:34:00 AM
"We dance predominantly International when we dance. I've never understood the "not enough room"... we've learned to lengthen or compress our strides... in fact, I don't know how else we could have improved on it if we *hadn't* danced social."

Where we dance it is not enough to adjust our strides, there are just too many dancers at different levels to launch off into a slow foxtrot and expect to get down the floor. Beginners get flustered when they see dancers coming at them and although we are perfectly capable of getting around them, they often panic and do something quite unexpected. We hate stopping and starting so we stick to American foxtrot.
I always thought that 'social' dancing is more relaxed, less emphasis on technique, my head is not quite where it should be, my arms are kept close to my body, instead of fully extended (when doing a cross-over for example). We laugh and even talk sometimes when we're dancing.
There are a few competitors and instructors in our circle who seem to believe social dancing is beneath them. Or perhaps dancing has become a job and they have forgotten how to dance for fun.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Ladydance
8/3/2008  7:34:00 AM
"We dance predominantly International when we dance. I've never understood the "not enough room"... we've learned to lengthen or compress our strides... in fact, I don't know how else we could have improved on it if we *hadn't* danced social."

Where we dance it is not enough to adjust our strides, there are just too many dancers at different levels to launch off into a slow foxtrot and expect to get down the floor. Beginners get flustered when they see dancers coming at them and although we are perfectly capable of getting around them, they often panic and do something quite unexpected. We hate stopping and starting so we stick to American foxtrot.
I always thought that 'social' dancing is more relaxed, less emphasis on technique, my head is not quite where it should be, my arms are kept close to my body, instead of fully extended (when doing a cross-over for example). We laugh and even talk sometimes when we're dancing.
There are a few competitors and instructors in our circle who seem to believe social dancing is beneath them. Or perhaps dancing has become a job and they have forgotten how to dance for fun.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/3/2008  11:17:00 AM
I agree that International Slow Foxtrot is problematical on the typical social dance floor, but oddly, I see too many people trying to dance foxtrot, and almost never anyone (sensibly) dancing "social foxtrot" aka good old Slow Rhythm. But I don't do it myself, although its compact style and simple figures would better suit a lot of those present, and it would be much easier to get around the floor.

My usual strategy is to be first on the floor: once around, and then sit down again, before all the fun starts. Not, quite, the best solution, I'm sure.

The rest of the dances are easy enough to adapt to crowded conditions, but foxtrot beats me.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by nigelgwee
8/3/2008  11:39:00 AM
Clive. That's our strategy, too: start early and start often. Then quit while we're ahead. At the other times when we can't refuse the challenge of a crowded Slow Foxtrot, we make liberal use of figures that help avoid collisions, e.g., Change of Direction, Top Spin, Curved Feather to Back Feather, Curved Three Step (we call this the "U Turn" figure).

One thing does seem strange to me. The American Smooth style has open work, which is not always appropriate in crowded situations. Yet this style is often called "Social," and social usually means crowded, does it not?
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/2/2008  8:04:00 PM
*Blush* Thanks!

We've always just tried to have FUN dancing, whether or not we're working toward a particular goal, or just working on "getting better". Dancing's our addiction!

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