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Thread: Lady needing guidance

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    ... I am beginning to appreciate that my frustration may well be due (in fact probably is due) to the mindset I have been dancing within for the last 5 years...
    it is always difficult to enrich an existingl mindset. It is only when it is a "mind set" that it becomes a real problem.

    ... the SCD group with which I’ve done most dancing takes a slightly unsual approach to getting beginners hooked. Essentially, at the start of the dancing year, it is expected that the experienced dancers fulfil a role functionally equivalent to that of a taxi dancer in Ceroc...... this method really does work: our beginners learn fast ... they gain confidence ...
    The Taxi Dancer is one of the big ideas in Ceroc.

    ...Dancing within this philosophy has meant that I think that I have become conditioned to the idea that I have to learn everything to the point that if required, I can demonstrate and explain it to someone else...
    It sounds to me that you are training yourself to be a MJ Taxi-dancer. Be happy with who you are. My guess is from the volume of thought you have put into this that this is only the first step.


    As for back leading, when I’m doing dem ’n’ drag, generally the only way to get a hapless male through a couple dance is to back-lead.
    This is another big Ceroc "secret". It is a lead follow dance, but they do not stress that in beginners class. I find it hard to recall it being mentioned. I find most beginners leave their first lessons in a state of mental overload, trying desperately to remember something of what they have been taught. Many ladies accept their first invitaion to dance with trepidation. It is only when they find themselves on the dancefloor doing moves that they have never been taught that the reality of their role as a follower sinks home. Meanwhile many of the men are finding that a little bit of back-leading is more essential than evil.

    However, from what has been said in the preceding posts, I am moving towards the conclusions that in Ceroc:
    • Ceroc is not a team matter – or at least not in the way I am used to. If my partner messes it up, it’s not my job to try to get him back where he’s meant to be.
    Be yourself. Some guys will hate it, and not ask you again, others will regard you as a Sister of Mercy and seek you out.

    Helping to show beginners what they are meant to be doing so that they keep coming back is no longer either my problem or my responsibility
    It can be a self-appointed task. Taxi-dancers come from somewhere.

    So – I don’t need to learn how to generate the structure of the dance, as opposed to being led within the structure (that’s the bloke’s problem)!
    Choreographers come from somewhere too.

    Result – should be liberation……. and ability to follow Freudian Hips’ tips and allow my brain to switch off without guilt...
    You get to be one thing one dance, and something completely different the next, go where music, mood and partner take you.

    Actually, "Liberation Jive" might be a good name for what we do.


    Shameful confession no 2 – and I do really blush to say this one ……. I’ve always had a natural following ability .
    I suspect that you have natural leading ability too. I would encourage you to Dance your own dance

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    I am moving towards the conclusions that in Ceroc:
    • Ceroc is not a team matter – or at least not in the way I am used to. If my partner messes it up, it’s not my job to try to get him back where he’s meant to be.Well, yes and no. It is a joint responsibility IMHO. You don't know where he is meant to be but if he fluffs a lead, make the most of it and turn it into something fun and probably unique!!
    • Equally, it’s not my job to try and get him there in the first place (and I really have been doing my utmost not to back lead in Ceroc, and to make the bloke lead…. honest!)Make and let the bloke lead definitely
    • Helping to show beginners what they are meant to be doing so that they keep coming back is no longer either my problem or my responsibility Yes and no. If we want to encourage good lead dancers, we followers need to give "good dance"!
    • So – I don’t need to learn how to generate the structure of the dance, as opposed to being led within the structure (that’s the bloke’s problem)!Yes but you can style it in so many different ways.
    • Result – should be liberation……. and ability to follow Freudian Hips’ tips and allow my brain to switch off without guilt...
    One of my great life lessons this year is to think less and feel more. Ceroc is a perfect physical expression of that way of being.

    Now you can all jump in and tell me that I’ve got it wholly wrong, have expressed the above in too-absolute terms, and that they should be subject to 1001 caveats! only a couple!!

    OK, now for the shameful confessions …. Tramp – while I’ve only been doing Ceroc since the start of September (Sept 6 if you want to be picky), I’ve actually been going along to the intermediate class since mid October. Great! I did the same on the grounds that after 20 odd years of dance, an intermediate class wasn't going to hurt - and it hasn't! Maybe Trampy will disagree

    Shameful confession no 2 – and I do really blush to say this one ……. I’ve always had a natural following ability You are lucky! Keep a hold of that. Some of us have to work like crazy at letting go!
    Keep dancing and smiling! Hope to meet you soon

  3. #23
    Lovely Moderator ducasi's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    Dear all, ~~ big snip! ~~
    Thanks Heather for the interesting and insightful followup post. I think you're on the right road.

    There's only a few points I want to make...
    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    However, from what has been said in the preceding posts, I am moving towards the conclusions that in Ceroc:
    • Ceroc is not a team matter – or at least not in the way I am used to. If my partner messes it up, it’s not my job to try to get him back where he’s meant to be.
    • Equally, it’s not my job to try and get him there in the first place (and I really have been doing my utmost not to back lead in Ceroc, and to make the bloke lead…. honest!)
    • Helping to show beginners what they are meant to be doing so that they keep coming back is no longer either my problem or my responsibility
    It's not your job really, especially if it detracts from his learning, but any assistance you can give, short of doing the move for him, is good. However, it's in your interest to get the guys with potential coming back, so at least some encouragement is a good thing. (And it's sometimes hard to tell who are the guys with potential, so you might just have to be encouraging to everyone.)
    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    • So – I don’t need to learn how to generate the structure of the dance, as opposed to being led within the structure (that’s the bloke’s problem)!
    Absolutely. Well, you want to the learn the vocabulary and structure of the dance, just not how to put it together yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    • Result – should be liberation……. and ability to follow Freudian Hips’ tips and allow my brain to switch off without guilt...



    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    I’ve always had a natural following ability
    This much was apparent to me on your first night at Ceroc – no need to blush.


    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    (with the exception of flashlighting. slots and spotting, as I don’t have a clue what these terms mean – could someone please point me in the direction of the relevant thread so I can learn?
    Flashlighting is when you focus yourself on your partner, so you are facing them, and giving them attention. The term has been borrowed from Swing dances, I think (thus the Americanism), but applies just as much in Modern Jive. Imagine you have a torch embedded in your body – where it is pointing? This is much more important to the leader than the follower in my opinion, though when you are supposed to be facing your partner, you should be facing your partner.

    Slotted dancing – again, mostly borrowed from West Coast Swing. Imagine a set of tram lines on the floor, the girl dances back and forward mostly within this "slot", with the guy at the centre, getting out of the girl's way as he leads her. WCS has quite a rigid slot. MJ is almost always taught in a slot, but is not always danced in one. I try to dance in a slotted style.

    Spotting is the spinning technique you have doubtless come across where you keep your eye on your partner (or traditionally, a far point), while you spin and only turn your head at the last moment to restore your gaze back onto the spot you were looking at an instant before. This technique has been the subject of much controversy here of late. I shall say no more, in case I stir it up again!


    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    BTW, what is hijacking, and what is the difference between that and back-leading?
    Hijacking is basically when you stop being lead by your partner and start leading yourself – and sometimes also your partner.

    Some hijacks are done for fun to catch out your partner, or because you want to bring some of your own musical interpretation to the dance.

    The simplest hijack you already know – do a double spin instead of a single. Good for filling to the end of a bar before a break.

    One that Sheena likes to do a fair bit is to slow down a turn to last two or even three beats.

    The best hijacks will fit in with the flow of the dance, and not upset the leader's lead, though it is important that it you do steal the lead from your partner that you return it in a way that he will understand. See Frank's workshops for more detail.

    Oh, and hijacking inexperienced dancers is a bit mean, especially if they don't know you. That said, often it is with those dancers that you'll find yourself wanting to do more things for yourself.

    Almost all my favourite dancers like to hijack to some extent. And I like it when my partner can bring her own ideas to a dance. Just because it's a male-lead dance, doesn't mean the girl has to be completely passive.

    (That said, apparently there are some folks who really hate women who hijack. )


    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    Sorry this has been such a mammoth post, but you were all so helpful and thought provoking that I wanted to make some sort of an adequate response.
    Thank you again, much appreciated.
    Let your mind go and your body will follow. – Steve Martin, LA Story

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    If you are dancing with a partner that likes to take a turn as a follower a simple hijack is to stop a spin facing away from them with arms extended behind you as in a "Catapult".

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    As for back leading, when I’m doing dem ’n’ drag, generally the only way to get a hapless male through a couple dance is to back-lead.
    But then, how will us poor men ever learn how to lead properly? A short sharp shock in leading early on is much better for us than after a year or so of doing it badly but being "helped" along.

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    [LIST][*]Helping to show beginners what they are meant to be doing so that they keep coming back is no longer either my problem or my responsibility
    Officially, no. Unofficially, in MJ classes we mainly pull each other up by our bootstraps, so it's both ethical and good practice to dance with beginners.

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    BTW, what is hijacking, and what is the difference between that and back-leading?
    Hijacking is also Evil.

    Good followers don't do it.

    Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidJames View Post


    Hijacking is also Evil.

    Good followers don't do it.

    Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you otherwise
    Hijacking is a must now and then especially if you want to be a little bit cheeky or are having a boring dance.

    So general rule of thumb for all leaders, dont let the follower get bored or she/he will take over.

    DJ - you must suffer a lot of hijacking JUST KIDDING.XX

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    Registered User Lynn's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    DJ - you must suffer a lot of hijacking
    Why do you think he dislikes it so much?

    OK - I know we've had this conversation before. Backleading is evil. Hijacking is evil if the lead doesn't like it. Hijacking to me is taking over the lead. What's 'decorating'? And is it evil if not invited? Or is it evil for the lead to not allow the woman to 'do something interesting'? (We can't have it just the woman being evil, can we?)

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    Hijacking is a must now and then especially if you want to be a little bit cheeky or are having a boring dance.
    Yes, that's what a lot of Bad Dancers say...

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Personally, I enjoy being hijacked now and again.

    Coincidentally, I made reference to hijacking on a post in 'Adult' forum about 30 minutes ago - and what it connotes according to the Institute.

    See http://www.cerocscotland.com/forum/s...t=10898&page=2

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    I have read pretty much all of this thread and suggest the following:

    1. Learn the names of the moves in the class and write them down. Advantage: you can go back to the teacher and the taxis at any time and they will refresh your memory.
    2. Dance with intermediates and find 6 men who are keen enough to go over the class in freestyle (mixing the moves in to moves you know) - men who know the names of the moves themselves.
    3. Dance loads and avoid bad dancers.
    4. Find "strong leads" .
    5. "Backleading is caused partly by followers stepping into the next move ahead of the beat; try to sustain the current move and "finish" it properly by extending your arm to its full extent.
    6. Learn to spin and turn adroitly. You can learn to spin on the lino at home.
    This is essential - you must get round in one beat to allow the routine to flow.

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Damn

    'Lady needing guidance!' it said


    I thought wheyhey! a little bit of bondage for newyears eve.


    Boy was I disappointed!


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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by purpleheather View Post
    I have, however, posted a summary on my blog HERE if you really want to see it.
    So you've tried Petronella, Duke of Perth, Strathspey, Tap, Ballroom, Cuban Salsa, Flamenco, Tango, Scottish Country Dancing (again) and now Ceroc.

    Read and imbibe this paper - it will solve your "problems".
    http://www.stanford.edu/group/dance/...ach_learn.html

  13. #33
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Just to clarify. Petronella and Duke of Perth are both (relatively easy) SCDs. Strathspey is a form of SCD, with a unique "dotted" rhythm.

    *goes into SCD-geek mode*

    Just to confuse you, Petronella is also a (16-bar) figure besides being a dance (the dance includes the figure). And there is also the "Petronella Turn" (2-bar figure)

    *evil grin* (why isn't there a smilie for "evil grin").

    Duke of Perth also goes by the names "Broun's Reel" and "Clean Pease Strae".

    If I listed every SCD I've done, you would be all day reading it.

    *reverts to SCD-geek mode*

    Apparently, there are (allegedly), over 9,000 dances which have been compiled as "Scottish Country Dances". (Scottish Country Dance being the form, rather than indicative of the country of origin ). Originally, there were rather fewer. The RSCDS (http://www.rscds.org/) was originally set up with the aim of, inter alia, recording and preserving SCDs. However since after Book 24 (ie book 25 onwards), the contents of the books have been "compiled" dances rather than "collected" dances. (The number of non-RSCDS-published dances has far outstripped the RSCDS-published dances. However, for RSCDS competitions, the dances used must come from the official RSCDS books.)

    Also, people keep devising new ones all the time, including the wonderful John Drewry (who is, so they say, the most prolific SCD deviser living) who devises dances with the loveliest "flow".

    I may say I have NOT done all 9,000-plus dances

    All things which I bet you never wanted to know.

    Anyway, I'll respect the fact that this is a ceroc forum and stop wittering on about SCD.

    And it wasn't Tango. It was billed as "Flamenco Tango" (though I never actually worked out why Tango was part of the name - it just seemed like flamenco to me, as it was a solo dance. Maybe Tango was something to do with the tempo. Who knows?)

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    Registered User Msfab's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidJames View Post
    Hijacking is also Evil.

    Good followers don't do it.
    This attitude belongs mainly to leaders who are too wrapped up in their power to determine every step of a dance between a "partnership"!

    Hijacking/stealing is not evil if done correctly, in time with music, in time with movement and space. This topic has been covered on another thread not sure where, though im sure someone will point us in the write direction

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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Dear Heather,
    Why not spend some time at:
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...hamstercam.htm
    It works for me.
    Mike.

  16. #36
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Msfab View Post
    This topic has been covered on another thread not sure where, though im sure someone will point us in the write direction
    I think for a beginner Cerocer, "hijacking is evil too" is a reasonable simplication. However, check these threads when you want some deeper answers:

    Sabotage
    Ladies taking the initiative
    It's official - ladies can lead a break
    Backleading??

  17. #37
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper View Post
    I think for a beginner Cerocer, "hijacking is evil too" is a reasonable simplication.
    I totally agree with you! (I hadnt read the first post! )


    Thanks for posting the links!

  18. #38
    purplehyacinth
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Msfab View Post
    Thanks for posting the links!

    MartinHarper - I'll add my thanks for the links too.

  19. #39
    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    Quote Originally Posted by Msfab View Post
    This attitude belongs mainly to leaders who are too wrapped up in their power to determine every step of a dance between a "partnership"!
    Yep, that's me, power-crazy fool that I am - I believe the phrase is "Mwa-ha-ha"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Msfab View Post
    Hijacking/stealing is not evil if done correctly, in time with music, in time with movement and space.
    Transfer of lead is not evil, as long as it's done correctly - that is, with a proper handover at the start and the end.

    Non-consenting transfer of lead is, IMO, just wrong. It's an interruption of the conversation, and ruins the flow. It doesn't matter if it's done "stylishly" or not - the non-consenting aspect is the problem.

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    Registered User Beowulf's Avatar
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    Re: Lady needing guidance

    This is a very interesting thread. Well done PurpleHeather for starting it.

    As a male lead I'm "supposed" to know what I'm doing. After many months of dancing (and many more months of NOT dancing in between.. therein lies my problem) I still have difficulty in knowing the moves, but as many people have said before it's not about moves it's about (As Ducasi so eloquently put it) learning the vocabulary.

    I know some very excellent female dancers who dance as leafs as well as followers, There's a couple who go regularly to my Aberdeen venue (and who are also well known forumites) who dance the lead role much better than I do if that's what you want to do then do it. You're here to have fun and enjoy yourself.

    You sound like you're already a great dancer and the fact that your thinking about this in depth shows you're also a conscientious dancer too. I think you'll be a great addition to the MJ family and look forward to having a dance with you next time you're around this area.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper View Post
    • A beginner says in a class "I've forgotten what the next move is". You answer "it's an arm jive next", and wait for him to lead it.
    • A beginner in freestyle stops dancing and says "I can't think of any more moves". You prompt with names of moves they might have been taught.
    • A beginner pauses halfway through a move, looking confused. You say "now push on my hand to get me to spin round". When he does so say "that's it!" and give him a smile.
    You've just described me there Martin. After all these months / years I still forget what I'm doing Must be my Muscle memory has amnesia

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper View Post
    Possibly kiss him, if he's cute.
    except that never happens... well not to me at least

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