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Re: Where does 'syllabus' originate?
Posted by terence2
4/24/2017  10:34:00 PM

You're welcome..
Re: Where does 'syllabus' originate?
Posted by A_Swing_Learner
4/23/2017  3:43:00 PM
Thanks, Terence2. That's very helpful.
Re: Where does 'syllabus' originate?
Posted by terence2
4/23/2017  8:37:00 AM

There are several claimants for todays " Syl "..

Laure Haille ( spelling may be different ), who worked briefly for A. Murray's in the late 40s and 50s,put the 1st one together at that time.

There have been additions over the years , from several sources . And, there are steps in the Syl, that were co-opted from other dances .

If you want a detailed history, go to Dance Forums and the Swing section. There is a biographer (Steve Pastor ) who has written numerous articles, on Swing in general.
Where does 'syllabus' originate?
Posted by A_Swing_Learner
4/22/2017  9:07:00 AM
This is a naive question, I'm sure.

By googling, I found this East Coast Swing syllabus:


Since I'm new to the concept of a Bronze/Silver/Gold syllabus in dance (I'm aware of syllabi in other fields, so I know what a syllabus is), I'm curious as to who defines this ECS syllabus. Presumably, some dance organization.

Thanks in advance for enlightening this newbie!
Video has no sound
Posted by mark2014
4/21/2017  10:32:00 PM
It is this video

Cha - Basic in Place.

It has no sound at all.

Is this video going to be fixed?
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Swing2016
4/21/2017  10:57:00 AM
I understand your point but I personally would prefer people be honest with me and not pretend to like me. In the long run, it's more hurtful to find out that while they are praising me to my face, they are actually bad mouthing and gossiping about me behind my back. And that goes for anyone that I will ever have any kind of dealings with.

It's not that I have any kind of proof that this is happening to me personally at the studio I go to (I'm a FADS student) but I have my suspicions because I've witnessed it happen to a friend of mine who used to take lessons there but has since moved on.
Re: "Diagonal to centre"?
Posted by socialdancer
4/21/2017  9:51:00 AM
Guest, kudos to your teacher for making you dance a full spin turn along the side of the room. Many take the easy option of putting the spin turn in a corner as less turn is required. The problem is that this goes into muscle memory as the default action for a spin turn which then tends to be underturned everywhere and it becomes awkward to make the full amount of turn when needed, let alone an overturned version.

I'm afraid your explanation confused me as I was not sure where the corner was, so let me elaborate on my earlier comment.
Consider a typical beginner routine of repeated natural turn, change step, reverse turn, change step (different teachers will have a favourite starting point in this cycle). When danced near the beginning of a long room, the natural turn (6 steps) will end facing DC which may also approximate to facing the physical centre of the room which is why we need to be clear about what we mean by DC. There is now plenty of room to continue the routine with change step and reverse etc.

Eventually we get close to the corner. The full natural turn still ends DC although we are now long past the physical centre but there is now no room to continue with the change step and reverse. The usual approach is to turn the corner by underturning the natural to end DC on the new LOD. This can lead to the pupil turning the corner too early, potentially impeding the couple behind them. We can minimise the early turn by ensuring the first step of the natural turn is taken into the physical corner rather than DW which is possibly what provoked Phil's original question.

Another approach is to recognise that the full natural turn to end DC (side 1) is also now facing DW on the new LOD (side 2), so we can continue straight into another natural turn having effectively turned the corner.

I refer to side 1 & 2 above only for clarity as I try to wean my beginners off routines as soon as I can and encourage them to decide for themselves which figures to dance next, based on where they are in the room, which way they are facing and which foot is free to move.
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by nloftofan1
4/21/2017  9:45:00 AM
I'm also not a professional, but would like to pass along something a professional instructor I know teaches: Try to give the lady no other option than what you want her to do. That doesn't tell you specifically what do do in a given situation, but it's a very good mind-set for a leader. You know what you plan to do next, but--unless she's telepathic--the only way your partner knows is through your lead. Your lead gives her information. That doesn't mean you use force; dancing isn't arm-wrestling. And if your partner doesn't interpret your lead in the way you hope she does, that gives YOU information.
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by phil.samways
4/20/2017  4:30:00 PM
hi Joelbean. I'm not a professional dance teacher, but I am an experienced well trained dancer (international style) and have helped quite a few beginners and social dance regularly. Some general points I would make first.. There should be no difficulty for an experienced dancer to lead the steps you mention - provided you can have reasonable contact with your partner (which may not be welcome in all cases at social dances). Your message implies that they know you quite well, and i sort of get the feeling that they are 'trained' by you. This should make it much easier. Secondly, as the more experienced dancer when dancing with someone for the first time, you must start with basic figures to assess the lady's capabilities; you must be aware of what the lady is doing and especially which foot she is on, so that you can make appropriate adjustments to keep her happy. This would include 'giving up' what you hoped to do if the lady is obviously not in a position to do it.
On your specific question. On the chasse, you don't mention what the preceding figure might be, or if it's a closed chasse or in promenade position. If it's a whisk or an open telemark, there should be no problem with a promenade chasse because you'd be in a promenade-type position already. Opening a lady to promenade from closed position requires a more subtle body action which needs good contact and of course the lady must recognise the signal, but this can be done without any words. The back lock out of a spin turn is something i wouldn't attempt unless I'd recently taught it to the lady.
Good leading requires at least a reliably maintained frame for the lady to dance in, good and appropriate body action (strong cbmp action to lead a lady outside you for a back lock, for example) and good control of body weight. It also requires a lady with appropriate skills. Only you can assess these as you dance with the lady. I can assure you that well trained dancers can dance reasonably complex groups of figures the first time they dance together.
Re: Arthur Murray Stinks
Posted by Mondo
4/18/2017  5:26:00 PM
It is expensive. $140 per 40 minute lesson they charge the credit card on the 1st of the month for one lesson per week which is $560. Ouch. Or it can be $700 if there happen to be 5 lessons in the long month. Plus every once in a while I'll take an extra lesson per week because I really like the lessons and oh yeah I fell in love with my instructor LOL. The instructors are good at making you fall in love with them.

I know they do a lot of sales and a lot of feeding the ego. But I don't mind so much. I've always been socially awkward - a loner - and am newly separated from my wife. So rather than be a lonely old man, I get to go do this fun thing, and try to learn how to socialize. It's difficult for someone like me, I'm really out of my comfort zone but I'm forcing myself to try.

I don't feel like they're "scamming" me; I feel like I pay for the service they provide which yes, does include being extra nice to me and being flirty. Every job involves "acting" in some way if you think about it. I have tried seeing therapists for my socializing difficulties, and they never helped much. In many ways going to AM is like going to a therapist, only a lot more beautiful therapist where I get to have fun dancing and exercise. Dancing is both physical and mental exercise which creates endorphins. I always feel better when leaving the studio.
Re: "Diagonal to centre"?
Posted by Guest
4/18/2017  12:33:00 AM
You`ve lost me here On the bit were you say in paragraph two, " at a corner ".
Look at the top left where it says Re " Diagonal " . Stand in Reply and step towards the D. of " Diagonal " with the R.F. Now step across to the top of the D. with the L.F.and bring the feet together having now made 3/8`s of a Turn. You are now facing strait down the floor against the L.O.D. It doe not matter if you are on side one or side two thats how you should complete the first three steps of a Natural Turn. Now turn the whole thing a 1/4 of a turn to the left The words Re Diagonal would be at the bottom left corner you are now on side two. And proceed with you Natural Turn. Which of course would be at the top starting side two
In the first Medal I took which was Bronze . In the Quickstep half way down side one we had to do a complete Natural Spin Turn to finish backing Diagonal to the Center with the L.O.D and continue down the floor to the corner with a Progressive Chasses and a Lock Steps .Still on side One.
Re: "Diagonal to centre"?
Posted by socialdancer
4/17/2017  6:58:00 AM
I also have a science/engineering background so I may be biased, but I believe it is important to teach beginners the correct alignment of figures. It is part of the basic groundwork they need to be able to properly progress around the floor without impeding other dancers. Being pedantic, alignment refers to where you are facing and direction refers to where you are moving which is not always the same thing.

I spend quite a bit of time with my beginners working on alignments in the hope that a steady drip, drip, drip will evenually make its way into their memories. I always make the point that Centre does NOT mean the centre of the room, especially approaching a corner. It takes a while before they grasp the concept that, at a corner, DC is the same as DW on new LOD, but once they get it, it sticks. I also get them to consider the alignments as they apply to a non rectangular room as we have a few odd shaped village halls around here.

I can see that a teacher may suggest a pupil takes a step towards a corner, but only when close to the corner, not from halfway along the hall.

My real bugbear is when pupils come from other teachers who a) don't tell them the names of the figures, and b) teach them to "turn to face the piano"! I must stress that the local pukka dances schools do not teach their potential medallists/competitors that way.
Re: "Diagonal to centre"?
Posted by terence2
4/15/2017  9:54:00 AM

Tech. books are essentially a guide, and also to standardise universal teaching methods.
One does not need a slide rule, to meet that minute precision you seem to need .

Adjustments whilst dancing, often require imprecise amounts of turn etc.

IF you were dancing for a medal test exam, or, being examined as a prof. then unwise to deviate from the " book"
Re: Wedding Dance
Posted by ladydance
4/14/2017  7:07:00 PM
That song is a Samba.
Re: Which style dance for this song?
Posted by AnnTwinkletoes
4/14/2017  6:49:00 PM
Hi Lizzie Kate. Am I too late? Are you well and truly married now? Either way I hope you'll be very happy.

Do you insist it must be Dino's version? If so, a Rumba would be more elegant as a Wedding Dance, but, if it doesn't have to be Dean Martin's recording, then please, please, try to get hold of "Sway" by Peter Cincotti. I'm sure you'd love this piano /vocal version. And it is most definitely a Rumba.
Re: Which style dance for this song?
Posted by nloftofan1
4/14/2017  2:23:00 PM
You didn't say what country you're in (or what style of dancing you favor). American Rumba is faster than International (as we in the U. S. usually call it) Rumba. And American Cha-Cha is slightly slower than International Cha-Cha (the NDCA specifies 30 measures/minute for Cha-Cha and 32-36 for Rumba--American style, that is). "Sway" is usually a Cha-Cha, but you could do a Rumba (American) to it.
Lindy Hop: Rock Step or Draw Step?
Posted by Jacksonuk
4/13/2017  1:44:00 PM
I've been dancing Lindy Hop for years and have always taught my Follows, for the Open Swingout, that it starts with two forward steps/swivels. Recently, I was introduced to the concept of having the Follow start with a rock step which isn't foreign to me, but feels counterproductive and rushes the Swingout.

My question: What's a good way to explain to my students that the Follow can be lead into an Open Swingout by starting with a rock step, and how can they feel the distinction between a rock step and a draw step?
"Diagonal to centre"?
Posted by phil.samways
4/13/2017  10:45:00 AM
Hi again everybody. Now this will sound like a trivial question but I'd like some views on it please. We all hear about diagonal centre DC and DW and any diagrams in books or web-sites show the classic 8 directions along and backing LOD (which is unambiguous ) to wall, to centre, and backing these. Then we have directions which are 45 degrees (2/8 of a turn)to these - DW, DC, and backing these.
Now I've (a senior pre-champ international standard dancer) heard some teachers say things like "take that DW step towards the corner" .I understand that the 45 degrees are not meant to be at protractor precision, and of course in an actual competition, some compromise might be unavoidable. My difficulty with the "aim for the corner" concept is 3-fold:
1) that on a long, narrow floor, this could become almost LOD and the figures (e.g. outside change to PP) would dance differently. And I daren't ask how DC might be interpreted from halfway down the long side of the floor.
2) all technique books talk about "3/8 turn" between steps 1and 2 (for example) which strongly implies from backing LOD to 45 degrees DW (as an example).
3) why not just call it "TC" (to corner)?
Sorry to seem a little pedantic, but it's bothering me and causing some partnership problems (and thus important to clarify). You may have guessed that my background is in science. But please don't be upset by that - somebody has to do it.
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