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Thread: Lead Signals

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Never use force, always invite your partner to move where and how you want to.
    I have as much problem with beginner leads who use no force as with beginner leads who use too much, and invitational leading is not beginner leading. I think this is something that needs individual feedback rather than general guidelines.

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    What I was hoping for ... was some real world examples of how to convey to a partner ... what is coming next in as clear a way as possible.
    Yeah, it's better to talk about individual examples, especially as a beginner. Eventually the more general rules will become clear, but that takes a while. Going through the examples you've used so far:

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    a push-spin instead of a wurlitzer
    For a push-spin, don't touch the follower's left hand.
    For a wurlitzer, see your previous thead:
    http://www.cerocscotland.com/forum/b...wurlitzer.html

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    a catapult not just a right handed rotation/return thing
    For a catapult, see here:
    http://www.cerocscotland.com/forum/b...-catapult.html
    What problems are you having with right-handed returns?

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    a ceroc spin?
    Take the follower's right wrist with your left hand. Move her right wrist in a circular motion around her waist and let go.

    Any other moves that you have trouble conveying?

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    It is to do with feel and that a 'highway code' for Ceroc dance moves isnt likely to help.
    It is to do with feel, but each move has a different feel, and that can (and should) be taught. If it isn't, ask us, or ask a teacher, or ask someone else.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    4. Smile.

    Ah yes, smile. Thing is they probably wont notice as I will be reading the highway code

    Joking aside, I really have found that a few words before the dance and contact/comms throughout the dance make it much more fun. Of late the ladies have even taken the step of passing on tips to help, in the nicest possible way.

    After the first 5 or 6 weeks of stress (what comes next, how do I do this) it is beginning to flow a bit and is much more relaxed and even.... fun!

    On the subject of comms, in another tread a poster (Lory I think) was saying how she hates guys talking to her about what they are going to try. Is this common amongst ladies? I often talk to my partner during the dance and if I wont to give something a shot that I am not fully confident of the lead for (i.e First Move Columbian) I might say a few words to ask if that is OK. Is it a case of 'shut up and dance'?

    (Funny aside, a dancer asked my wife 'Do you do drugs', surprised she replied no.
    'Pity' he said, 'I love doing drops'

    The danger of talikng on the noisy dance floor.)

    Cheers
    Mark

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    Hey Lee. I live near Buckingham and regularly go to the classes there. I have also been to a few other nearby venues (Bicester, Milton Keynes etc). I guess I have been bitten the the 'pure dance addiction' bug and just want to progress, probably quicker than is realistic to expect.

    I hear the advice you give about trying to feel what I am doing (other than the signal) that tells the partner what I am doing and that making it possible to lead with anyone. A big frustration is learning new and interesting moves but not being able to 'communicate' my intention to do them in a clear way.

    Thanks for the advice...
    Mark
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    As the only person on this thread who doesn't teach signals, has taught for years and teaches beginners lessons 3 times a week I can tell you that you don't need signals.

    What you need is a teacher who teaches you how to have a gentle lead - you also need partners who can follow a gentle lead. If you have partners who are waiting for a signal there is a good chance that you will not have a partner who can follow a gentle lead. If you attend classes where they teach signals you will get partners who are looking for signals rather than a gentle lead.

    My advice is to find a class where the teacher does not teach signals.
    Hi Mark - Welcome to the forum and the dance scene! As Helen says, Marc Forster (my other half) has recently started teaching at Buckingham, and is also the dj there. Prior to Buckingham, he taught at MK for 6 years, and also teaches Luton on Tues, and other venues around the area. So you will probably have met him several times.

    He's also registered on this forum (as Marc Forster - surprisingly!), so you can always PM him.

    Forgive me for not having read this whole thread (I'm at work ) but I would definitely recommend going to speak to Marc during one of the Buckingham nights. Even if he's dj'ing, he will always be more than delighted to talk to you and demonstrate some leading techniques or answer any questions you have.

    You will also find from Marc's classes that he doesn't teach signals or any moves that rely on choreography. And he will talk about lead, follow & connection quite a lot during the beginner & intermediate lessons. So you should pick up quite a lot from there.

    A lot of the forumites know Marc and will be able to tell you about his dancing/teaching style. You might also want to ask him about other classes or workshops he's running, if you're interested.

    Unfortunately, due to logistics (as I work in Peterborough) I rarely get to come to the Buckingham nights. However I am out dancing in the area quite a lot, so ask Marc to introduce us sometime, and I'd love to have a dance with you.

    Hope to see you around soon,
    Rachel

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    I often talk to my partner during the dance and if I wont to give something a shot that I am not fully confident of the lead for (i.e First Move Columbian) I might say a few words to ask if that is OK. Is it a case of 'shut up and dance'?
    The First Move Columbian is pretty much not worth even trying in freestyle until you've been dancing a year or so - certainly not something to bother with in week seven. It's probably the hardest leadable move that Ceroc teach in regular intermediate classes.

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    On the subject of comms, in another tread a poster (Lory I think) was saying how she hates guys talking to her about what they are going to try.
    Yeah, well, don't listen to her.

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    Is this common amongst ladies? I often talk to my partner during the dance and if I wont to give something a shot that I am not fully confident of the lead for (i.e First Move Columbian) I might say a few words to ask if that is OK. Is it a case of 'shut up and dance'?
    I think the standard convention is that ideally you should only ask permission if it's a move that may be risky or may cause / aggravate injury - airsteps, deep drops, that sort of thing.

    But I never talk anyway, so what do I know...

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    .....But I never talk anyway,
    something to do with hiding that Lundin accent?

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Yeah, well, don't listen to her.

    And don't listen to him!

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    On the subject of comms, in another tread a poster (Lory I think) was saying how she hates guys talking to her about what they are going to try. Is this common amongst ladies?
    It could have been me, I'm not sure?

    But hey, I'm not against beginners asking for help or saying what they'd like to try and lead. Hopefully, I'm even seen as quite helpful sometimes!

    What I don't like, is when men who've been dancing for years, rely on verbal leads. To be honest, I couldn't tell you the names of more than about 4 moves, so their completely wasting their breath on me.

    Other times you get a guy who think that the lead to make you turn, is to twist your fingers and shout 'turn'., well of course I'm going to turn but thats just to stop him snapping them off!
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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by Lory View Post
    Other times you get a guy who think that the lead to make you turn, is to twist your fingers and shout 'turn'

    To which you reply 'duck'...which he'd be advised to heed carefully

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    What I was hoping for (and did get in some cases, thanks to all for that) was some real world examples of how to convey to a partner (signal/lead/communicate/ask/request/feel/blah) what is coming next in as clear a way as possible so we can both enjoy the experience of moving to the music.
    What you are really asking is how to lead better. And that's an ongoing development that will last the lifetime of your dancing.

    The basics you probably already have: the follower follows their hand. You move the hand and the follower moves to track it.

    A little bit more advanced is how the follower follows and how you lead it: often referred to as "frame". We have a skeleton- we're not all squidgy. We use the muscles to maintain a "pose" so that when one part of the pose is moved, the rest of it must move. If you move a follower's hand and you find they move after it (like their hand is connected to their body with elastic) then they are reacting to your lead rather than following it. When they move instantly it is because their hand is connected to their 'frame'.
    But frame is not only for followers: you could lead just by moving your hands, but it looks like you are guiding a bezerk aircraft into land. If you have a frame engaged, you can lead by moving yourself as a whole rather than your hands.

    More advanced concepts are ones of tension and compression within the lead hand: push and you are providing compression, pull and it's tension. The follower always tries to maintain the same constant 'background' of tension or compression in the connection. If you change it, they will move their hand (and remember they follow this). So put a little tension in the connection and to get the follower to step back, you just need to release it a little bit rather than apply compression.

    Then there are body leads; making sure that your 'body language' compliments your lead rather than distracting from it. There is floorcraft; getting the follower to go where you want them and moving yourself in relation to them & the rest of the floor.

    Then, as well as the "how" and "where" you have the "when" - and that's got a lot to do with musicality. The "what" is to do with styling and moves.

    I agree with the comment made earlier about Ceroc claiming you can dance in 45 minutes. You can wobble about and crash into one another but you certainly cant 'dance' in that time.
    You can. You just have to broaden your definition of "dance"
    If you look at a nightclub full of people "dancing", you soon realise that yes, you can actually dance... it's just that some people can dance much better than you. and me.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    The best way of doing this, I think, is to make sure you prepare for the lead in advance of actually doing the lead. This "prep" or "pre-lead" makes it much easier for the follower, who will automatically react to your pre-lead, making the actual move you lead less jerky, feel more smooth, and generally be All Good.
    What people are referring to as signals (eg the "how" of a neck-break or the "karate hand" of a manspin) are actually preparations. Only the follower should think on them as 'signals' because they are large enough preparations that they see them and know what's going to happen next. To the lead, they are preps.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
    The basics you probably already have: the follower follows their hand.
    This simple fact has been a revelation to some followers when I've mentioned it after they say they don't know the moves I'm leading.

    Sean

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
    Hi Mark - Welcome to the forum and the dance scene! As Helen says, Marc Forster (my other half) has recently started teaching at Buckingham, and is also the dj there. Prior to Buckingham, he taught at MK for 6 years, and also teaches Luton on Tues, and other venues around the area. So you will probably have met him several times.
    Hey Rachel

    Yes I do indeed know Marc as the Teacher/DJ at Buckingham, great he is too. I really like his style of teaching; fun, informative with tips beyond the basic moves. He plays graet music too particulalry the more latin feel stuff that I really like.

    BTW, are you the Rachel that was taxi dancing this week? Maybe just a coincidence.

    I will chat with Marc about this next week.
    Thanks for the info
    Mark

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    Re: Lead Signals

    As a general rule I think the most useful thing you can do is think (in advance of the beat slightly if you can) of where you want the lady to move to, and gently move you arm to that position. Eg if you want her to turn, raise your arm slightly above her head (so she's not stretching her arm), slightly in the direction you want her to turn, let her follow and when she's round to face you bring your arm down. If you want to lead her into a first move for example. step forward to meet her and bring your right arm to her right hip, your left arm to your left shoulder, then push gently on her hip to turn her out, whilst pushing down and across your body with your left arm. It's all about where she's got to go. Unfortunately this may not work too well if you're dancing with a girl with spagetti for arms, which is where the frame/tension comes in, but at least it'll work for the rest Hope that helps - Trish

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    Re: Lead Signals

    I was somewhat surprised to read the following in a "hints-and-tips" email (from a Ceroc teacher):

    Only by seeing lead / follow as in fact signal / application can your dancing become smooth and effortless. If I wish the lady to step forward I pull very gently towards me (the signal) and the lady applies the movement, I do not literally pull her, I just signal.
    Comments, anyone?

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote:
    Only by seeing lead / follow as in fact signal / application can your dancing become smooth and effortless. If I wish the lady to step forward I pull very gently towards me (the signal) and the lady applies the movement, I do not literally pull her, I just signal.
    Never afraid to be in the minority, I think she is right. If one applies enough force to get the follower to be where you want the follower to be you are "yanking". MJ involves the equivalent of power steering. There is a control signal from the leader and a feedback signal from the follower.

    It is however not useful to use the term "signal" like this, because it gets confused with the "raise eyebrow" type of signal, which has no inbuilt immediate feedback.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    Never afraid to be in the minority, I think she is right. If one applies enough force to get the follower to be where you want the follower to be you are "yanking". MJ involves the equivalent of power steering. There is a control signal from the leader and a feedback signal from the follower.
    Actually, I agree with you, in the context in which you are using the word "signal". But very few dancers actually use the word in this way. (And from the entire email, I'm afraid I don't think the teacher does, either).

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    Re: Lead Signals

    The technique description doesn't sound bad or anything, it's just that the terminology is maybe a bit iffy.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Only by seeing lead / follow as in fact signal / application can your dancing become smooth and effortless.
    You could also take issue with this statement. Certainly this way of leading can result in a smoother dance, and is the way I would teach it. However it is not the only way, nor does it guarantee a smooth dance.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by from that email
    Only by seeing lead / follow as in fact signal / application can your dancing become smooth and effortless.
    Depends on the meaning behind the words:
    - If by "seeing" the author is using the word instead of "comprehending" (ie having 'seen the light' or 'I see what you mean')
    - If by "signal" they actually mean "communicate intent"
    - if by "application" they mean "result of the communication"

    ... then I still disagree. Because it take more than the realisation that what you as a lead do results in an action from the follower to make a smooth lead. And appearing 'effortless' takes lots of work and lots of effort. (as well as not being the "only" way to be smooth and effortless.)

    But it is a good start.
    Last edited by David Bailey; 10th-June-2008 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Fixed quote

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Just been thinking about this a bit more...

    The less friction the follower has, then the less force is needed to lead them. It is easier to apply a small amount of force smoothly than a large amount. This means that it is easier to lead a light, responsive follower smoothly than a heavy reactive one.

    What is a "smooth" lead? I think it is the gradual application of force and re-directing/guiding existing momentum that the follower has.

    I think that the author was trying to say is that you don't need to move the follower to get the follower to move ~ just move their hand and the rest will follow.

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    Re: Lead Signals

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin View Post
    I was somewhat surprised to read the following in a "hints-and-tips" email (from a Ceroc teacher):

    Only by seeing lead / follow as in fact signal / application can your dancing become smooth and effortless. If I wish the lady to step forward I pull very gently towards me (the signal) and the lady applies the movement, I do not literally pull her, I just signal.

    Comments, anyone?
    If you do not literally pull her then you can accomplish the same thing by not holding on at all and using a "come hither" sign with a finger. As others have said though, its the terminology at fault here - its a nonsense statement; you can't possibly "pull very gently" whilst "not literally pulling"

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