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Thread: To bounce or not to bounce?

  1. #61
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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by frodo View Post
    I don't think bouncing feels bad at all, or gives a bad connection particularly when dancing with people from a lindy or rock and roll background, but I wondering why it would give a better connection than not bouncing.

    Would it be something to do with both moving together relative to the environment.
    Good question Sorry the answer has taken a while, but it's been a busy day, and I need some spare brainpower to get work out this post. Plus - while I was thinking about the answer, I ended up sidetracking and working out some useful exercises for our beginners'... anyway - I now have a teensy bit of time to take a stab at it.

    It might get a bit long-winded, as is my wont when we get onto technical stuff, so bear with me.

    First - have a look at - this is a sample from an idance.net lesson, so it's a tad exaggerated for teaching purposes. Important things to note: the bounce is on each beat, they bounce down into the ground, then back up (not t'other way around), they bounce with their whole bodies - feet, ankles, knees and hips are all flexing to achieve the bounce - and finally, their footwork does not change the bounce, so whether they're doing single time or triple steps, or anything else, the bounce remains the same.

    Whew. On to some of the actual benefits.
    1) it drives the movement in the dance. Try an experiment - stand normally, pick one foot up, move it forwards, step on to it. Now for the bounce method - sink down a little into the floor (as in the video), and as you bounce up again, step forward. In the first example, you have simply taken a step, but in the second, you have powered that step by the bounce, and you still have momentum from it, achieved with very little effort. The bounce drives the dance, and with practice, lets you dance with minimal effort at very high speeds by allowing you to work more efficiently off the floor.
    2) Connection. In simple terms, the follower will match the leader's bounce. (in reality, there's a little more give and take in that) Because of this, and because the bounce is a nice smooth one, one can maintain a connection that is just as clear as if one is standing still. It also lets you lead the timing of steps - if I have no bounce, and am effectively gliding, it's much harder for my partner to know when I'm stepping. With a bounce, she can feel it far more easily.

    It also gives me a much more powerful lead with far less effort involved - to give an extreme example, if you want to push, say, a car that is stuck, you don't stand up straight with straight legs and shove it with a purely lateral force. Instead, you sink your whole body down into so that you can work more effectively against the ground. The bounce gives (in a much more relaxed fashion) a similar way of working off the floor to give a smooth and relaxed yet powerful lead. Vital at the kind of speeds Lindy can get up to.

    I've turned that into a bit of a lecture - sorry about that - but for anyone who's still reading, I hope this makes sense.

  2. #62
    Registered User frodo's Avatar
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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    Snip detailed reply
    Wow.

    Thanks for the answer and the unexpected level of detail/quality of explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    First - have a look at - this is a sample from an idance.net lesson, so it's a tad exaggerated for teaching purposes. Important things to note: the bounce is on each beat, they bounce down into the ground, then back up (not t'other way around), they bounce with their whole bodies - feet, ankles, knees and hips are all flexing to achieve the bounce
    Interesting point that they're flexing lots of joints, not just the knees.

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    1) it drives the movement in the dance. Try an experiment - stand normally, pick one foot up, move it forwards, step on to it.
    The exercise illustrates the point.

    Potentially I guess that would allow you to use less force when leading.


    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    2) Connection. In simple terms, the follower will match the leader's bounce. (in reality, there's a little more give and take in that) Because of this, and because the bounce is a nice smooth one, one can maintain a connection that is just as clear as if one is standing still. It also lets you lead the timing of steps - if I have no bounce, and am effectively gliding, it's much harder for my partner to know when I'm stepping. With a bounce, she can feel it far more easily.
    This is the bit I was wondering most about, and the point about feedback makes a lot of sense, and gives a reason why it feels connected.

    I'm assuming it is also easier for the leader to know when the follower is stepping / gives better feedback on the results of leading.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post
    From what I've seen he does everything (including taking a shower) in a suit these days
    I don't think we're talking about his suits. Stop trying to get back on topic, the thread was finally getting interesting again.

    I tried last week to lead a Manhattan (for the first time). Seemed like a basic salsa step to me. But the footwork seemed to confuse at least half the ladies. That's what happens when there's no footwork in a dance - everyone's brain goes to mush ...
    Well, maybe you were leading them all wrong, of course, but it's equally likely that half the ladies were unaware of their own weight management and were unreceptive to your efforts to get them onto the right leg at the right time. And if the ladies "know the footwork" no power on earth will stop some of them doing it regardless of where you're trying to put them.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat View Post
    And if the ladies "know the footwork" no power on earth will stop some of them doing it regardless of where you're trying to put them.
    "Know the footwork"! There's footwork in MJ? Whatever next?

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post

    Good question - good answer.
    All this makes pretty perfect sense to me and is why, in another thread, I was questioning the concept that movement should originate from the 'core'. It may be useful to 'feel' that it does so but, in fact, we are connected/grounded through gravity to the floor and use it and our musculature in opposition to initiate and drive movement.

    Is it possible to 'just' take a step without first relaxing ever so slightly into the floor in preparation. I'm not sure that it is. Certainly not in normal walking where an exagerated trait present in my family is a distinctive very springy walk.

    So I'm sure that, although it may not be obvious, there is some bounce in MJ; but on every other beat, increasing as the tempo rises. In Lindy, because the bounce is so useful at the higher tempos usually used (I'm taking your word for this as I'm too decrepit for such antics), it becomes part of the natural style of the dance and, when it extends into rather slower tempos, may appear exagerated.

    At normal R&R speeds I would expect a good MJer to appear smoother and slower than a Lindy dancer? But beyond that ....... [A thought here, I would dearly like to see Nigel and Nina who span both disciplines professionally (and were awesome in the Boudoir at Breeze) perform in the style of each of them to the same track.]

    Although I reckon myself to be a smooth MJer there's no doubt that certain music does invite a bounce and I do often succumb to that. An example occurs, because of the influence of (MJ!) Blues, when I lead into a closed hold (not necessarilly ballroom type) and go into the basic weight change from side to side. The bounce may not be obvious but it's there on every other beat. Then I may start to raise one or both heels, then one or both feet, then a foot shuffle, then introduce a figure-of-eight hip motion, or initiate a definite bounce to every beat if that's what the music calls for, and all the time the left arm and shoulders are exploring rhythms within the music. It may not always look elegant but it's mighty good fun.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
    It may not always look elegant but it's mighty good fun.


    This is what MJ is all about - FUN!

    Looking good is just coincidence.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jack View Post
    Your point being? Do you mean it's ok to bounce?
    .
    In MJ there is often a pulse which can be interpreted as a bounce which I belive is a natural product of the dance

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    In MJ there is often a pulse which can be interpreted as a bounce which I belive is a natural product of the dance
    Yes - there's definitely a bounce element to classic Modern Jive.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    Yes - there's definitely a bounce element to classic Modern Jive.
    It used to be described to Ceroc classes during the early '90's as "a sort of bob, if you watch the heads of audiences on top of the pops you'll see what we mean."

  10. #70
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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prian View Post
    It used to be described to Ceroc classes during the early '90's as "a sort of bob, if you watch the heads of audiences on top of the pops you'll see what we mean."
    I'm not sure I'd use that terminology, but yes, "springiness" is part of the dance, as is a certain default posture and a certain amount of accordion-like motions.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bailey View Post
    I'm not sure I'd use that terminology, but yes, "springiness" is part of the dance, as is a certain default posture and a certain amount of accordion-like motions.
    And some of the teachers, the Cronins in particular used to do continuous semi circles (as in what Ceroc teaches on the step back), while they danced with each other. I still can't decide if I like this or not.

    Got a feeling this has been mentioned elsewhere.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prian View Post
    And some of the teachers, the Cronins in particular used to do continuous semi circles (as in what Ceroc teaches on the step back), while they danced with each other. I still can't decide if I like this or not.
    I remember this (or something like it) as one of Viktor's signature moves a few years back. As with many of his moves, it looked good (as I remember it) when Viktor did it. It didn't look so great when other people were copying him...

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
    Is it possible to 'just' take a step without first relaxing ever so slightly into the floor in preparation. I'm not sure that it is. Certainly not in normal walking where an exagerated trait present in my family is a distinctive very springy walk.
    It's possible, yes - just lock you knees and walk, for example. Somewhat inelegant, but possible. As for normal walking - yes - I think it's part of most people's natural gait. Hard to dispense with entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
    In Lindy, because the bounce is so useful at the higher tempos usually used (I'm taking your word for this as I'm too decrepit for such antics), it becomes part of the natural style of the dance and, when it extends into rather slower tempos, may appear exagerated.
    I wouldn't say it's exaggerated in slow Lindy - but it's just as important. It's used in blues in an exaggerated way though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard View Post
    At normal R&R speeds I would expect a good MJer to appear smoother and slower than a Lindy dancer?
    What would you say are normal R&R speeds? On the whole though, I personally think this is more dependent on the dancers than on the dance.

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    Re: To bounce or not to bounce?

    Quote Originally Posted by straycat View Post
    I remember this (or something like it) as one of Viktor's signature moves a few years back. As with many of his moves, it looked good (as I remember it) when Viktor did it. It didn't look so great when other people were copying him...


    This could be said of many of his moves.

    I remember him trying to teach beginners how to shimmy. NOT A CHANCE!!!!! But it was funny to watch, like a classroom of jelly.

    I did once have the privilege of seeing him Ceroc on ice.

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