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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!
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by Danceforfun
8/11/2008  9:25:00 AM
Polished, sorry to confuse you. You got it backwards. I was suggesting that Diva's form was likely more pleasing to the eye than the people claiming themselves to be "just social dancers". I was happy to hear she understood what I was saying. Diva, I too am a TOTAL exhibitionist! That's half the fun, heh heh! It really sounds like you don't like the snobbery-side of ballroom (I TOTALLY agree with that). I am not interested in watching someone's feet at a social (though I did just see a fantastic performance by Victor Fung at a local comp.). As far as social dancing, I can have an absolute blast at a hustle party...there are some amazing hustle dancers out there, and I consider myself lucky to dance with any of them.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by kaiara
5/3/2009  8:59:00 AM
"I'm beginning to think there is "social ballroom dancing' and 'social dancing'....qualify as 'Social Ballroom Dancers' and can now proudly sign our names with SBD after them! "

oo, Count me in! Or at least, i am a social ballroom wannabe! LOL!

I have enjoyed every bit of this long thread. Reading the discussion was very interesting and I found it helped me to see these differences.

I love all the differences.

Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by kaiara
5/3/2009  5:31:00 PM
Not in our classes. Where I take lessons we learn the steps properly and there is a lot of opportunity to develop as a dancer however you want to improve.

There are just classes, Level I, II and III. Level one is basics and is taken as often as needed to improve. Level II is for more advanced steps building on having gotten the hang of the basics, and level III tends to be whatever the advanced students are currently working on improving.

Social is the setting for us, not the aim for learning.
Re: Define "Social"...
Posted by kaiara
5/10/2009  2:07:00 PM
To many of the people in our dance classes doing the step correctly is very important even if we know we will never compete. I want to be that good even if I never step onto the floor at a competition, and this is what I work toward.

I know that many people who work their way into the upper levels of dance classes here are just as serious about their own improvement.

My chiropractor competes and we have the same attitude toward getting things right. She drives a couple of hours to work with her pro and her partner in a nearby city. My plan is to add occasional lessons in a nearby city as well to give me a different perspective on my dancing. Unlike my chiro, I will probably never compete.

It is perhaps true that in social settings the majority of people come out to play and have no desire to be any good at dancing.

But it is not true that all social dancers are careless in learning the steps. There is a pleasure in getting things right and you can feel the difference when you dance--it is worth it for the personal satisfaction.

Whether or not a step is done wrong matters to the individual or it does not matter to the individual, but it is unfair to classify social dancers as not caring if the step is wrong, AND equally wrong as some have done, to classify competitive dancers as snobs who have no consideration for the other people on the dance floor.

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