It's a styling thing. Ballroom dancers tend to be more upright in their posture and a little more...I don't know...ballroomy in their arm & body styling. "Street" swing dancers have a more forward posture, a bit relaxed and, dare I say, sloppier in their technique and styling.
Originally posted by twnkltoz: It's a styling thing. Ballroom dancers tend to be more upright in their posture and a little more...I don't know...ballroomy in their arm & body styling. "Street" swing dancers have a more forward posture, a bit relaxed and, dare I say, sloppier in their technique and styling.
I'm with twnkltoz on this one. Ballroom ECS looks ballroomy: precise and exacting. The non-ballroom ECS is very relaxed and free flowing, sometimes moving back and forth between single time and triple time. In my experience, anyway, 8^)
East Coast Swing (Triple-step), like Salsa, was never meant to be ballroomish. Swing is a down & dirty, very loose, anything goes social dance. Yes, some frame & a lot of tone are required. However, the body is never upright & the knees are always bent. If you don't, you will be hurting for quite a while. In addition, ballroom swing "just ain't right!". :)
Stephen: Yee Haa.. You are right on! The best thing you could've said, you said. "Some frame and a lot of tone are required" Most ballroom teachers are looking out for their pocketbook rather than the benefit of the student and they forget to preach no, hammer to their students the benefits of frame and tone. Owen
Agreed -- some dances don't translate well into the Ballroom scene. ECS and Salsa are not meant to be danced upright in a fixed rigid frame. And that doesn't mean they are danced "sloppier" outside the ballroom world either.
WCS is the same way -- I absolutely hate dancing West Coast with people who learned it in the Ballroom world. They are very "heavy" to dance with and their style usually looks really bad.
Ironically, I believe ECS is best done in the Country Dance (competitive) world. I would have thought the Lindy Hop scene would have been the best, but they tend to write off ECS as an inferior form of Lindy. Competitve country dancers have given the dance a unique style as it's own dance.
As a ballroom dancer who has competed in American Rhythm (where both ECS and Mambo are done)and performed and social danced the street styles of the dances as well as competed in the Country Western form, I can tell you what I teach to be the difference. Swing, in it's basic form is two triples and a rock step, social leaders need to be aware of their followers and the music, followers need to be aware of their leaders and their balance. Once you get beyond that, East Coast Swing was created by the ballroom system, as was Jive. They are versions of swing that fit the techniques of Latin and Rhythm styles. Lindy Hop is the original swing and has no hip action, a prone posture, and a downward bounce. West Coast Swing is a derivative, like East Coast and Jive, of Lindy Hop. It comes from California, where movie directors wanted a version of swing that didn't rotate so much. That way you didn't get a camera full of someone's behind. The current style of West Coast swing has a lot to do with the music it's danced to.
Salsa/Mambo is pretty similar to the ballroom style. The Ballroom style tends to be more presentational and with straighter legs, but it should still have the same elements of hip action and connection.
Hope that was helpful Solomon www.solomonsinger.com
I think the biggest difference isn't just the frame, but the attitude. In the ballroom world, the dance is more upright, the posture is "tall", and the attitude is very much more about precision. In the non-ballroom (nightclub or street) swing, EC still should have frame, but the anchor is down more so. The posture has bent knees, and and the shoulders should be more even. I think in recent years EC has become more codified, and my own person teaching style is based on the posture and frame of smooth-style Lindy.
Looking at the syllabus video for the "throwout" in EC swing, I can tell you that the non-ballroom version would not have the lady facing away from the man at any point in that move. The quick reason for that is responsiveness: as EC moves to faster tempos, turning away from the lead delays reaction time, and you can't follow as easily into the next move with effortlessness and ease. When I teach, this is a correction I make right away. Once in a while, I will have a student that learned in a ballroom heavy studio, and they will fight me on this point up until I move the tempo over 120 beats per minute.
Also, non-ballroom EC leaves much of the presentation up to the dancer. Once you teach the basic 10 or so moves (I only teach single and double time for a total of 15 minutes combined in a 6 hour series, the rest is all triple-step) I really work with my students to express their personality in the dance. Yes, in the end, their style will resemble that of their primary instructor, but I aim to make my influence more of a nuance in favor of their own style. I prefer that my students don't look like cookie-cutters of me or each other.
Have a couple of issues with your " take " on the step comparison .
As to turning out, its more of a style point, and of course, the speed of ALL music determines to a greater or lesser degree , the style we wish to impart .
I believe that from your post, you have come to a conclusion, that ALL EC dancers ( B/room trained ) look the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth . have taught EC, WC, Jive et al since the fifties, and hopefully I have adapted the style with specifics in mind
1-- the type of music
2-- the speed of the music
3-- social or comp.
4-- age and ability .
That format has to be observed , no matter the genre .
Creativity has to be encouraged , to the degree of the students capabilities .
As to codification-- the whole point of social dance ( to a large degree ) is the abilty to dance with all and sundry, no matter the venue -- its very nature demands a certain "likeness "-- thats what has made it so successful.
Terence Did you notice that your writting is dated 3/26/08 and the one below 1/12/05. Was all that time abducted by aliens. Are we living in a time warp. Never the less. Put one of those Posture Frames on to feel the correct stance for Modern Ballroom. They use them for Latin also. In the Jive it wouldn`t interfere with what is called an A Frame Posture . The heads are closer than the feet and the arm at waist level completes the A Frame Posture. I saw an old movie in which the scene was an American Jiterbuging during the war in a forces club like Grovesnor Square in London. They were really bent forward at the waist. The knees appeared to be very permanently bent.
As to J/ Bug-- you dont need to tell me-- I danced thru the war time period in the UK doing that,( as well as my B/Room ) , and competing in same on numerous occasions.
Many dance halls held weekly comps.
ALL styles of dance over the yrs have been modfied to gain social acceptance-- and do you honestly believe, because some one was performing in a specific manner, that makes it right ??. You only have to look at the " pitch " in B / Room for empirical evidence .
Terence. I always thought that with the acrobatics that went with Jitterbug the stance had to be bent forward at the waist. When the lady flew onto the mans left side and without touching the floor to the right side and then through the legs and back again. Try that standing up straight.This is what I watched on a program on the cable which was about the time a travelling group of dark people were performing in clubs through the US. The films were as was and were not studio movies.. Todays Jive . I think it is always taught today that the weight is forward over the balls of the feet. Very rarely would the weight be anywhere else and the knees are not straight. Which is simular to Jitterbug.
Now lets talk realism-- how many people have you seen of late in a public forum being flipped over some ones head ??
Again , modification took place --- if you really want to go back to the roots of dances, then we would have to abandon all and start again !. Good technique sometimes has to supplant " style " as in the original .
Social lindy events I've attended show few people dancing Savoy style (leaning forward from the waist). Most people have upright posture. The main difference I have noticed is the spectrum of "up" feeling from Jive (way up), to West Coast Swing (mostly up), to Lindy (down into the ground feeling, not up like waltz). Since I first trained in Lindy I find dancing with Jive/Ballroom people very, very hard to lead. They don't seem grounded and don't follow well but seem to be trying to bounce up to the ceiling. I think dances with African roots (Argentine tango, salsa, lindy) direct energy down. The ballroom world seems to direct energy up no matter the dance.
Goastdancer do you know what your name really means and what American Indian nation(s) use that as a religious name, it means something of great honor and belief, not to diminish your self as a person, if you use this name you must also answer the call of a Gostdancer when it is put forth. A real Gost Dancer sent this. PS THee Gost Dance religion is the only religion OUTLAWED by the USA.