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Thread: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

  1. #121
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
    Hmmm.... you may know the spiel, you may know how each partner should be on each count, but I have danced with many, many, many followers. There is only one in a thousand who genuinely pick things up and learn how to follow rather than learn the moves. ... Then they try and learn how to dance 'properly' and loose a lot of that! (but it does come back)
    Well what can I say i'm one in a thousand . No...but the instructors do ask me to help the men with the basic moves (i'm good enough at least for that), and i certainly do not let them forget they are supposed to lead me into them. I refuse to move unless I feel their lead. They soon get the hint. I think some men are afriad of women who can follow and know the lead as well - it means we're twice as smart.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget View Post
    The follower on the other hand, they only have to try and 'switch off'. To become aware of the lead and ignore the actual moves. To just go where the lead is guiding them. Once they get that, they are free to listen to the music and concentrate on improving their own dancing. { - I can't do it. I'm too much of a control freak }

    A good follower with a new lead will make the lead feel that they can lead anything and the follower will glide to their beck and call, making the dance stylish and mind-reading at the same time. (At least this is how I felt as a new lead with good followers)
    The feminist in me would like to believe we do a bit more than just 'switch off'. And that the dance is not only successful because the man is leading it. I also think, if a man leads well I will follow the move...but i am certainly aware of the moves. I'm not blank when i'm dancing. I'm always aware of what moves the man is doing so if he ruins his lead we don't have to stop the dance as I will follow his bad lead anyway. Thats probably a bad habit though on my part?

    A good lead with a new follower will make the follow feel that they can dance and move on the dance floor, responding to the lead's movements and dancing together as one. (And this is how I try and make followers feel.)
    how generous of you to make the follow feel she is actually contributing something to the dance.

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Jo~ View Post
    The feminist in me would like to believe we do a bit more than just 'switch off'.
    See, it's got nothing to do with feminism.

    And this misconception leads to an "empowered women sabotage" mindset. Which we've just had a major debate about...

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Jo~ View Post
    And that the dance is not only successful because the man is leading it. I also think, if a man leads well I will follow the move...but i am certainly aware of the moves.
    And if the leader doesn't use moves?

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Jo~ View Post
    I'm not blank when i'm dancing. I'm always aware of what moves the man is doing so if he ruins his lead we don't have to stop the dance as I will follow his bad lead anyway. Thats probably a bad habit though on my part?
    Yes. It's not your job to worry about what he "should" be leading - especially during social dancing, as effectively you're just reinforcing bad habits for your leader. If he messes up, then it's his problem and he needs to learn not to do it again.

    You should ignore the "moves" and focus on the lead.

    Or, failing that, learn to lead if you want to do that role.

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    Registered User Phil_dB's Avatar
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Well, as a man, I’m certainly not scared of a female follow who can also lead (I’m not sure why anyone would be), I’m not scared of dancing with an “advanced” dancer, or anyone else. Nor do I view dancing as any kind of competition in regards to, who has the hardest job, who’s the better dancer, who learns quicker etc etc.

    I’ve come across women AND men with fantastic co-ordination, sensitivity, fast reactions, rhythm; - and plenty others who, after years of dancing, still clump about, have floppy frames, no sense of rhythm etc etc, we’re all individual.

    As far as I’m concerned, this is a PARTNER dance, not battle of the sexes.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    I agree Phil, I hate it when follows go through the move without being led. It stops me learning to lead.

    Incidentally, going into week 5 this week I'm going to have an early punt on the intermediate class. I'll let you know how it goes! I've already picked up a couple of beginner variations (thanks to a combination of DTS and Youtube) but want to test how well I'm really doing!

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    Formerly known as DavidJames David Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    I’m not scared of dancing with an “advanced” dancer
    Christ, I am.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Christ, I am.


    I have no idea how to rate her, but I remember dancing with one amazing dancer on my second lesson, - her movement, style etc dazzled me so much I couldn't think straight at all, - I was like a rabbit caught in headlights

  7. #127
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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by frolicols View Post
    I agree Phil, I hate it when follows go through the move without being led. It stops me learning to lead. Incidentally, going into week 5 this week I'm going to have an early punt on the intermediate class. I'll let you know how it goes! I've already picked up a couple of beginner variations (thanks to a combination of DTS and Youtube) but want to test how well I'm really doing!
    Enjoy! I'm sure you'll be fine from what I’ve read. Let us know how it goes.

    A simple, but fantastic piece of advice (given to me on this very thread by Lyn IIRC) has made a night & day difference me in intermediate. Just before the class is about to start after freestyle, grab a partner and get to the front of the hall near the stage. Thankfully, there are usually more women than men, which means that you’ll stay at this prime position for the duration of the lesson. I am convinced that part of the reason some men find it hard following routines is because they can’t quite see what’s going on from the back!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    Enjoy! I'm sure you'll be fine from what I’ve read. Let us know how it goes.

    A simple, but fantastic piece of advice (given to me on this very thread by Lyn IIRC) has made a night & day difference me in intermediate. Just before the class is about to start after freestyle, grab a partner and get to the front of the hall near the stage. Thankfully, there are usually more women than men, which means that you’ll stay at this prime position for the duration of the lesson. I am convinced that part of the reason some men find it hard following routines is because they can’t quite see what’s going on from the back!
    Good advice! Thanks! Tomorrow night I'll be reporting in, front and centre!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_dB View Post
    Enjoy! I'm sure you'll be fine from what I’ve read. Let us know how it goes.

    A simple, but fantastic piece of advice (given to me on this very thread by Lyn IIRC) has made a night & day difference me in intermediate. Just before the class is about to start after freestyle, grab a partner and get to the front of the hall near the stage. Thankfully, there are usually more women than men, which means that you’ll stay at this prime position for the duration of the lesson. I am convinced that part of the reason some men find it hard following routines is because they can’t quite see what’s going on from the back!
    Excellent piece of advice mate.

    Last Wednesday I put an idea to our venue manager that beginners are encouraged to be at the front of the stage for lessons as they will get a much better view of the lesson. Hopefully this will become the norm at stevenage soon.


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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave the scaffolder View Post
    Excellent piece of advice mate.

    Last Wednesday I put an idea to our venue manager that beginners are encouraged to be at the front of the stage for lessons as they will get a much better view of the lesson. Hopefully this will become the norm at stevenage soon.


    DTS XXX XXX
    At Leeds we try to do this as much as we can. I am one of those that cannot "Get it" from the back of the room. A Im deaf from being a DJ. B Eye sight going with age C Can't remember what C was due to age.

    However not everybody likes the limelight and I have seen several begineers move to back again.

    Chrisu

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisU View Post
    At Leeds we try to do this as much as we can. I am one of those that cannot "Get it" from the back of the room. A Im deaf from being a DJ. B Eye sight going with age C Can't remember what C was due to age.

    Chrisu
    Oh, I do so empathise.

    (But a DJ must have a phenominal memory so I fear you may be dissembing a liitle on point C.)

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisU View Post
    At Leeds we try to do this as much as we can. I am one of those that cannot "Get it" from the back of the room. A Im deaf from being a DJ. B Eye sight going with age C Can't remember what C was due to age.

    However not everybody likes the limelight and I have seen several begineers move to back again.

    Chrisu
    Few teacherscan resist "No, the other right hand." (Well they are there to learn. If they would only come back next week they would learn some more.)

    Have you ever noticed, in a few classes, the big gap between the class and the stage?

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Jo~ View Post
    ~ I refuse to move unless I feel their lead. They soon get the hint. I think some men are afriad of women who can follow and know the lead as well - it means we're twice as smart.
    As long as it's in a class situation and it's what the leads are told to accept. Out-with this and I would be careful for your own safety - some leads may take inaction as a signal that they are not leading strong enough... wrenching and yanking may ensue

    There are a couple of ways of following - one is only to move how/where/when you are led: the lead stops and so does the follower. Another is to keep on moving in one direction until the lead re-directs your momentum. There are varying amounts of 'gravity' a follower applies to themselves, but the easiest to lead and tend to be weightless.

    Note that this is the follower still following: in 'waiting to be led', they are not stationary - they are just in a 'hold pattern' of the last movement the lead put them in. For beginners, stationary emphasises the point to leads; but for dancers beyond that, I would be recommending the 'hold pattern' style of following.


    The feminist in me would like to believe we do a bit more than just 'switch off'. And
    that the dance is not only successful because the man is leading it.
    The dance is only successful because the follower is following it. And the lead is leading it. And they are both moving with the music.
    You should be aiming to do nothing more than 'switch off' to what the lead is doing and simply letting the lead guide you as the music embellishes the dance. Once you have a dance like that - where the lead is a presence moving with you - where the floor moves to be under your feet - where other dancers melt away - where there is no sound but the music and you hear every overlayed note - ... Once you have a dance where you just 'switch off', you spend the rest of your dancing life looking for another.

    I also think, if a man leads well I will follow the move...but i am certainly aware of the moves. I'm not blank when i'm dancing. I'm always aware of what moves the man is doing so if he ruins his lead we don't have to stop the dance as I will follow his bad lead anyway. Thats probably a bad habit though on my part?
    Yes - probably a bad habit to develop. I understand completely why, but instead of stopping the dance or continuing the move you think they were leading, try something else. Anything else. Just don't stop dancing and make your right hand available for the lead when they recover.

    how generous of you to make the follow feel she is actually contributing something to the dance.
    Not quite: I said that's what I was aiming for - whether I pull it off is another thing. (generous? )

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdjiver View Post
    Have you ever noticed, in a few classes, the big gap between the class and the stage?
    This is caused by some of the people who choose to be nearest to the stage continually stepping away from the stage. I use dancers from the back or people joining the lesson after it as started to in-fill the gaps that are left - and those same guys who were at the front still keep moving towards the back - I've no idea why they do it, you just have to live with it and manage the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    ... loads about teaching, dancing, coaching, etc ...
    Gadget must be a fabulous teacher. It's such a shame he's so far away

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Well I did my first intermediate lesson tonight, and feel I did ok! I've done 4 beginners lessons and did both beginners and intermediate at Stevenage this evening. I was rather nervous at first, but having managed to walk through the first move I got a bit of confidence and made it through.

    I even managed to work all three moves into the freestyle afterwards (with mixed results admittedly!) One of the moves I really didn't like (I think it was a hatchback-duck-logwalk or something?). The other two were a basket-tango twist-first move finish and a first move seducer. Will certainly try to work those two into my repertoire!

    Apologies if I've got the move names wrong, I'm still on a bit of a rush!!!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by frolicols View Post
    Apologies if I've got the move names wrong, I'm still on a bit of a rush!!!
    Cool.

    Don't worry about names - they are only there as a way to communicate moves and only any use if someone actually knows the move you're talking about. Everyone makes up their own names like "duckie twiddly thing with slide ending", so call it what you will

    Any move where the lead has to duck their head (or the follower for that matter) will tend to look and feel really clumsy - I've only seen really good dancers make them look good because they seem to duck using their whole body to move the head... I wouldn't be too disappointed about not liking that one

    And for managing to remember the moves into freestyle- I've been doing this quite a while and I am lucky if I remember one move out of them when freestyle starts!

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by frolicols View Post
    I even managed to work all three moves into the freestyle afterwards (with mixed results admittedly!) One of the moves I really didn't like (I think it was a hatchback-duck-logwalk or something?). The other two were a basket-tango twist-first move finish and a first move seducer. Will certainly try to work those two into my repertoire!
    Well done for getting the moves. I always watch the freestyle to see if people are doing the moves I taught in the lesson. I feel a small amount of pride when I see people doing the moves I taught, especially if they are still in the same order - I'm sure your teacher was delighted if he/she spotted you.

    Don't worry about remembering the names of moves. And please don't shout them to your partner as a verbal lead. My advice is to pick one intermediate move from each routine you're taught and learn that move well enough to remember it the following week.
    Last edited by Andy McGregor; 12th-February-2009 at 09:03 AM.

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Well done frolicols - Top man! Glad you enjoyed!

    We were taught a duck on Sunday also, straight after a left hand comb...

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    especially if they are still in the same order
    Would it not be more pleasing if they blended them in seperately into freestyle?

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    Re: Bridging the gap from Beginner to Intermediate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven666 View Post
    Would it not be more pleasing if they blended them in seperately into freestyle?
    I'm sure it would - even more so. But a man needs to take his pleasures wherever they appear. As Andy says as well most new leads don't pick up all of the moves so if someone does and dances them in order that is often unusual in itself.

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