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Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Danceforfun
8/9/2008  9:15:00 AM
Interesting thread. Diva, (back to your original entry), it doesn't sound to me like you are a social dancer in that setting (not that there's ANYTHING wrong with social dancing.) I think we all have an image that a "social" foxtrot is something quite different from a competitive-style foxtrot (and is taught quite differently, at least here in the U.S.) You are dancing in social settings without really being there for the social aspect of it. Nothing wrong with that and wouldn't call it snobbery as long as you follow the "rules". It wouldn't be MY "cup of tea". I don't compete either, but I still take my dancing quite seriously (I do it for fun and sport). I find it much nicer to dance on my own studio time when I can avoid an overly crowded dance floor and choose my own music. I can see why others would make a comment to you about "just being social dancers." There surely must be an obvious difference in the "way" you dance relative to them (is there not?)
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Polished
8/9/2008  2:28:00 PM
Danceforfun. Your last sentance. There surely must be an obviouse difference in the way you dance reletive to them
(is there not).Them. I take it is a competion dancer. Them learn to keep there feet pointing in the same direction and not have one pointing one way with the other pointing in another direction. ( This is not Latin where the turnout of the feet becomes part of the technique ). They also dance in time with the music and are concerned with there Posture. They would also have a collection of CD's. A Social Dancer in most cases the next time they hear a strict tempo piece of music will be the next time they go to a Social.But those feet. Next time your out take a look at those feet, even more so in dances such as American Smooth where there are Solo Turns.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by terence2
8/10/2008  12:06:00 AM
PLEASE.. SPELL check !!( and punctuation etc. ) an odd mistake we may all make.. but....
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/10/2008  1:47:00 AM
The differences you outline suggest groups of people who can dance (to some extent), compared with those who probably can't.

I don't recognise groups of dance sport competitors, and social dancers.

You have to BE a dancer, to be a social dancer. Those dancesport types who can do nothing but their "90 second routine", to order, like performing dogs, are not dancers in any sense of the word I would recognise, and their ability to commit to muscle memory several flashy amalgamations (which they probably couldn't dance with any other precedes and follows) wouldn't change my view one bit.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Polished
8/10/2008  2:06:00 AM
Clive. As a Social Dancer you can dance without rise and fall. You can dance with your right elbow pointing to the floor. As a Social Dancer it doesn't matter, you are answerable only to yourself. Give yourself a little test and go to the dance featured on the home page . Copy as slow as you like bars 11 to 13. Can you do that and keep both feet pointing the same way throughout. If you can you are well on your way to being a competitor. The Demo I am looking it is in Quicktime not Windows Media.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by CliveHarrison
8/10/2008  4:24:00 AM
You just don't get it, do you?

I have no desire WHATEVER to be a competitive dancer. I don't consider them to be a class of superior beings (quite the reverse on the whole), and I'm sure I'm not alone in that view.

Most competitive dancers will win little or nothing, no matter how long they compete. The tiny number of really first class dancers, who look to dance sport as the vehicle for their obvious dancing ability, are usually a joy to watch - but as for the rest...

Social dancing encompasses a very wide range of styles, a huge range of abilities (including the very highest), and is in NO WAY the poor relative of your silly fixation.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Polished
8/10/2008  1:28:00 PM
Clive. The discusion started by Ginger was Define " Social". When you answered and said. " We are untroubled by missing the odd heel lead, or dancing a phrase or two out of rhythm - no one is watching and we have nothing to prove ". That just about sums it up. Except by even mentioning being in rhythm and in phrase you have raised yourself above the average Social Dancer who doesn't know what dancing in rythm and in phrase means let alone do it.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by anymouse
8/10/2008  9:09:00 PM
"Them learn to keep there feet pointing in the same direction and not have one pointing one way with the other pointing in another direction."

Actually most dances frequently require you to point your feet in divergent directions - for example, on the inside of most turns.

The classic issue in the modern is not so much allowing the feet to turn out, as it is not tracking through the entire length of the standing foot. It doesn't really matter if this is because of misapplied latin turnount, or simply from placing the moving foot already turned on a forward CBM step, or from the toes being too weak to advance the weight forward through the big toe - in each case, the foot is unable to act as a little wheel carrying the weight forward in the direction of movement, which is what it needs to do for good dancing.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by DivaGinger
8/10/2008  9:59:00 PM
I'm gone for *one weekend* and you fellas get into the fingerpaints and glitter without me? *sigh*

Ok- going to go down the list, I think.

jofjonesboro:... *blush*... just... *shufflefeetmumble* wait "demure"? *giggle* I think I tried that once. Broke somethin'!

Danceforfun: I think I get what you're saying- we're "social", just not "social DANCERS"... else we'd have built our own studio and totally locked it up to "the oooooutsiiiide woooorld" (somehow said aloud with "spooky fingers" has a more impressive delivery... hmm.). Our weekend was in fact a social outing. Went with our friends to another studio's party, stayed the weekend to shop, dance, overeat, try on awesome shoes and "danceable dresses", and so forth... and we only danced within our group- myself and my partner, that is- our friends did get to dance with one or two other people.

Now, to combine The Last Sentence with Polished's:

Yes. There is a particular "way" we dance relative to them, and we *do* try to focus on some technique, but we don't obsess about it. We implement enough technique so that the level and figures which we dance looks and feels like what it should.

My personal philosophy is that in anything I do, if I love it and throw myself into it, I want to do "right", or as close to as I can. I'd, for instance, rather my partner and I look like dancers than two conjoined cats fighting over a clothesline. That being said, I might catch heat for that, but my reasoning is that dancing is as much exhibitionistic as it is voyeuristic... people ARE going to look at dancers on the floor when the music's on and people are going around. I watch other dancers, not to bash, but because it's oddly entertaining. I just like to watch the flow of people together with music. Call me weird.

I hope I'm not being awful when I say I couldn't really 'get' the rest of the post, and I'm sorry about that. I'd rather not get it *wrong* though. For all the work I do on my feet, they're still wrong... and when I practice, it matters. When I'm social dancing- for FUN, it doesn't matter. We leave it at the door, and just see what happens when we take a 'vacation from thinking too hard about things'.

And who needs CDs? I can has MP3s on those magical little bitty 2 gb micro SD cards so I can listen to tango and foxtrot in the car, on my phone, at the studio via a card reader, etc.! Before I even danced, I had a collection of ballroom music I loved to listen to. I couldn't tell you the top song on the radio today, but I can horribly warble "Why Don't You Do Right"- and a very bad approximation of cha-cha/ Spanish lyrics :) *preen*

I think this thread has shown me that I've just thought waaay too much about "labeling and finding myself"... and not enough time keeping my left foot straight when going to promenade from a twinkle.

This weekend only helped remind me why I love dancing- being on a floor with all kinds of people dancing all kinds of things with great music, chatting with people I knew, giving the hairy-eyeball to the one OCD Performance Princess and Hapless Slave-Dog Partner who loves to run over us as much as she loves to yell at her partner for not letting her backlead something properly (ah, backleading *fond sigh*), and then going out for awesome greasy egg-rolls later.

It's not any one thing- it's all of it rolled up (but not deep-fried- not always, at least).
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Ladydance
8/11/2008  7:51:00 AM
I'm beginning to think there is "social ballroom dancing' and 'social dancing'. We attended two such events this weekend. The first was at our dance studio. Everyone there works on technique, understands LOD and has a good working knowledge of all the dances (at different levels) and still has a good time socializing and chatting. The second dance was held at a community center, there was no technique, people dancing every whichway, and many did not know even the basic steps. They were all having a great time but the dancers looked terrible and chaotic. No one was on beat, ever. My husband couldn't stand it and insisted we leave. So Ginger, I think you and I qualify as 'Social Ballroom Dancers' and can now proudly sign our names with SBD after them!

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