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Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/3/2008  6:38:00 PM
I've also learned that the people who complain the most about a social dance (the irregular music, the contra-LOD couples, the icky floor, the inability to ask EVERYBODY to clear off the floor so THEY can do THEIR awesomeness)... are actually the ones who able to enjoy *any* dancing the least due to their own inadequacies. Blame it on everyone else- the band, the other people, whatever... never "well, if I'd danced IN this situation more often, it wouldn't feel so uncomfortable and foreign", or "if I'd practiced heel-leading, I'd have some semblence of muscle memory for it now, and I wouldn't have to worry about it AND the granny with gold shoes and purple hair spinning right for us" (have you noticed that some of 'em do jitterbug, or what they call JB to *everything*?)

If dancing was choregraphed to the tee in every situation, it wouldn't be dancing, it'd be a drill, not a dance. Do you *like* doing the exact same thing over and over again? That's another thing- a lot of places teach "steps" the way we learn singular "words", and never teach people how to either take them OUT of the routine used as a sentence, or put back INTO a routine to complete a thought.

Just because Polished gets nothing out of going to a particular dance doesn't mean that the rest of us can't deduce something entirely different. Even if you *don't* dance at a social, you can still sit and watch find things you need to work on. Granted, it's not very much fun to go to a dance and not dance... then it'd be called a "sit". It's so sad to see something like that keep you from the floor though. All those dance opportunities gone.

There are very few things you can do to "ruin" your dancing. That rings familiar of people who don't deign to dance with beginners, because they might "pick up bad habits"- when actually, I've learned that it can also be the other way around sometimes, too. I'm wondering how long it'd take someone like Erminio Stefano to be "ruined" if he started dancing socially...

And define "ruined dancing" anyways. If it's just social, there aren't any adjudicators present to gauge what you've ruined and what you haven't. Dancing *is* as much a spectator event as a participant event, though, but if the object of social dancing ISN'T about pleasing an audience... ?

Part of what makes a good dancer- competitive *or* social- is the ability to adapt to a situation at hand with as much suavete as possible. If it means going from Slowfox to Argentine Nightclub(colloquialism) after the Dance of the Living Dead has begun, so be it?

*snicker* Geez, don't they teach that to competitors? Best not dance with any of them- might pick me up some bad habits
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by anymouse
8/3/2008  9:08:00 PM
"A Social Dance is where it is inmpossible to do even the very Basics steps on their correct alignment without having to bend your Feather Step around some couple who have every right to be on the floor even though they haven't a clue of what is required."

Not always.

This can be a problem, but it is not a constant one all evening at all venues. It may take some time and some frustration, but its worth discovering the socials that you can actually dance at.

"If you have gone there to practice its an absolute waste of time."

A social is not about practicing, it is about using what you have learned in your training, practices, and even competitions, to finally just dance for the enjoyment of it. Everyone who would call themselves a dancer needs to do this from time to time. Otherwise you are merely a student, competitor, teacher, performer - but not actually quite a dancer.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Polished
8/3/2008  10:54:00 PM
If you want to get yourself disliked just fly around dodging and glaring at a Social Dance. I know a person who was politely told that they were no longer welcome at this weekly dance. A few people had compained that they thought at times he was going to plough into them.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/3/2008  11:56:00 PM
... Who 'flies around dodging and glaring', much less *said* anything about something that maniacal?

Are you *sure* you're thinking of dancing, not Quidditch?

Only a most un-Polished dancer would try to play bumper-cars with the unwilling.

There was likely another reason or so that your Capital Letters Social Dance Guy got asked not to return.

You can't get kicked out just for looking and swooping- even The Law agrees that until a crime has actually been committed, there's nothing they'll do. Maybe he actually *DID* plow someone.

There's a big guy here that rams people by going contra LOD all the time and nobody does or says anything to him except with the occasional elbow. It's just part of dancing- and I've seen worse on comp floors willfully wrought upon one another in various forms.

It doesn't matter how many rhinestones you're wearing- you can still be a douche with bad floorcraft while social dancers can dance circles around you.

If you want to control the setting, build a "dancing room" in your house and put "NO BAD DANSURZ ALOWD" on it, have a password (Joe sent us!), and play only strict-tempo Marilyn Hotchkiss-style music.

Holy- I think I just described a studio in my area... I better get out the kevlar...Eh, at least anymouse got what I was trying to say :)
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Ladydance
8/4/2008  9:42:00 AM
We go to a 'social' dance every Friday and deal with all the problems that have been mentioned. As DivaGinger says, "you can't control the setting" and I wouldn't want to dance all by ourselves in dance room. However, I don't think a few ignorant couples should be allowed to ruin the experience for everyone else. I will tell a couple going against the LOD, that they are and hope they correct their ways. Once the man just said 'thank you' to me and continued the quickstep for the whole dance going the wrong way. I don't think these people are social dancers...there is nothing social about them. No awareness, no etiquette, just a selfish disdain for the feelings of others (to paraphrase Jane Austen.) I think they believe everyone is watching them because we think they are such great dancers when in reality we watch out for them because they are wackos on the dance floor.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/4/2008  10:14:00 AM
One of the "rules" of floorcraft, that I was taught very early on, on the social floor, was always to dance into a corner (and NEVER across it), and then to come straight out of it again on the new LOD. It is amazing how many times you see the rule broken by people who should know better.

Worse, are the dancers (although they are "borrowing" the title, and aren't entitled to it in their own right) who actually CAN'T start anywhere, except at the start of a "side" of a floor, and who will stand there - on the exit line from a corner - while waiting for their partner to join them, or waiting for the start of a new eight bar phrase (this being bar two), and who are completely oblivious of the chaos they cause.

Give me very old people shuffling about ANYTIME - I can just dance around them - not by altering the standard alignment of figures such that I would do violence to the integrity of an amalgamation, but by chosing suitable figures to get around them in the first place, and expecting my partner (who can't see where we are going) to follow me through the gaps.

Social dancing is both good fun, and hard work. Most competitive dancers (ie the overwhelming majority, that don't win or get placed) wouldn't last five minutes, or be able to take any pleasure from the process, because they have forgotten (or never knew) what dancing is actually FOR.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by anymouse
8/4/2008  10:18:00 AM
"One of the "rules" of floorcraft, that I was taught very early on, on the social floor, was always to dance into a corner (and NEVER across it), and then to come straight out of it again on the new LOD. It is amazing how many times you see the rule broken by people who should know better. "

This is by no means an absolute rule.

For example, it does nobody any good for you to try to dance into and then back out of a corner that is already full of people.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/6/2008  7:44:00 AM
No rules are "absolute", but it's still a good rule. No one has any really good reason (and certainly not at a social dance) to hang about in a corner. The least obtrusive dancers on the floor are maintaining steady progress around the LOD at about the same pace as the other couples around them. The nuisances are either making no progression at all, or are whizzing about, usually in all directions.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by anymouse
8/6/2008  12:55:00 PM
"No one has any really good reason (and certainly not at a social dance) to hang about in a corner."

Good reason or bad one, you see clusters of people stuck in corners a lot. Sometimes it's due to inexperience, sometimes due to people who should know better trying to do things they shouldn't, and sometimes its due to aspects of the room such as furniture, food table, roof pillars, etc that partially obstruct the line of dance.

"The least obtrusive dancers on the floor are maintaining steady progress around the LOD at about the same pace as the other couples around them."

Which is precisely why you might want to cut off a corner that's filled with a traffic jam. If you go into it, you just add yourselves to the traffic jam and bottle up the flow even worse for those behind you. If you avoid it skillfully, you help keep things moving and hopefully let the jam in the corner start to dissipate.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/6/2008  10:26:00 PM
We reverse lead/follow roles frequently, and one of the things that still gets me when I lead is The Corner... I get stuck in a box (I can only dance bronze figures when I lead, and that's not the best, and if NOBODY is on the floor- or looking for that matter- some open footwork) and I just keeeep rotating, hesitating, rotating, hesitating until I'm "lined up to go"... it's very sad really.

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