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Thread: Building on my dance ability

  1. #21
    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie M View Post
    Should have said, this is only my opinion, which is based on my own experience.
    And as a very experienced MJer/Swinger your opinion carries due weight.

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    Minnie M (2nd-April-2011)

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    What concerns me slightly is a seeming basic assumption that to improve your MJ dancing you need to look outside Ceroc/MJ I would suggest that for the vast majority of dancers there is more than enough content and knowledge INSIDE MJ than they could hope to learn. I've dancing and teaching MJ more years than I care to remember but I'm still learning from MJ 'purists', e.g. Chris Baker.

    When I wanted to push the boundaries and take from other dance forms, why go through the highly inefficient process of doing salsa, tango etc myself when I can learn from top notch MJ teachers who have done that already. If I want to add Tango feel, go to Amir or Will & Kate, if I want WCS, go to Simon & Nicole, if I want Ballroom technique go to Dave & Lilly, if I want Swing or Blues go to Nigel & Nina, if I want salsa go to Viktor etc. does that make somekind of sense?

    Note: I'm not saying the above is the TRUTH .. just my view of things. Happy to debate

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    Minnie M (2nd-April-2011)

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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Thanks all,

    To answer David's question, what am I looking for. I don't know if I can articulate it all that well. Let me ramble.

    For me its more thinking about steps and moving myself. I noticed at Manchester Swing masters in Aug that line dancers seemed to be able to pick up WCS effortlessly. And then some of the dancers I like have come from a line dance background and I suppose that makes them comfortable moving themselves, with footwork and other things.

    I'm supposed I am bored with my dancing and trying to figure out what I need to do to stop this. I realise its not all about moves, I have a reasonable idea of connection with my partner, just want to get myself up to a very high social standard. I have no desire to either compete or just learn choreographed routines. I suppose I would like to be at a weekender and be at the level I see Silverfox, Rocky, Lory, Deej are at.

    Privates can be expensive and you need a definite plan for what you want to achieve, which is ok, I just think I am in the place to articulate things. Teachers I like, Mr Baker is obviously very good and so is Adam in the MJ world.

    Phil

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    Senior Member Minnie M's Avatar
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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    What concerns me slightly is a seeming basic assumption that to improve your MJ dancing you need to look outside Ceroc/MJ I would suggest that for the vast majority of dancers there is more than enough content and knowledge INSIDE MJ than they could hope to learn. I've dancing and teaching MJ more years than I care to remember but I'm still learning from MJ 'purists', e.g. Chris Baker.

    When I wanted to push the boundaries and take from other dance forms, why go through the highly inefficient process of doing salsa, tango etc myself when I can learn from top notch MJ teachers who have done that already. If I want to add Tango feel, go to Amir or Will & Kate, if I want WCS, go to Simon & Nicole, if I want Ballroom technique go to Dave & Lilly, if I want Swing or Blues go to Nigel & Nina, if I want salsa go to Viktor etc. does that make somekind of sense?

    Note: I'm not saying the above is the TRUTH .. just my view of things. Happy to debate



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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    The other thing that I would really recommend is going back and doing the beginners classes. You'll know the moves inside out but it gives you an opportunity to really test your lead and it also gives you space to really think about how your lead affects your partner.


    I absolutely agree with this. Going back to basics is a fantastic way to improve your MJ. And this is more true for MJ than most dances. That's because, in the headlong rush to learn moves, early lessons in MJ do not really focus the basics. That doesn't mean the basics aren't there: they're just swamped by the stream of mechanical instructions, "left hand to right shoulder", etc.

    When you revist the beginners lessons as a more experienced dancer it's surprising what you learn. Speaking personally, I think I learn more from attending other teacher's beginners lessons than I learn from intermediate lessons. The last time I learnt something really new in a MJ lesson it was a beginners Ceroc lesson in Haywards Heath a couple of months ago.

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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    Good grief, I couldn't agree with Gus more...

    Competition dancing and freestyling are two entirely different things and regardless of what people tell you it's obvious that most freestyle competition winners do masses of choreography. In my experience some competition winners are also amongst some of the worst freestylers..

    Apart from obviously taking private lessons, freestyling as much as possible with as many different people as possible AND thinking about what you are doing and how your follow is responding to that is a great way of improving you dancing.

    The other thing that I would really recommend is going back and doing the beginners classes. You'll know the moves inside out but it gives you an opportunity to really test your lead and it also gives you space to really think about how your lead affects your partner.
    I agree with you both. This relates to any Social dance form.

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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie M View Post
    hmmmmmmm........... I disagree completely

    Yes, if you want to learn WCS - Cat is your gal but.............. if you want to improve your current dancing skills, learning a different style, especially someone who doesn't social dance MJ can be stressful, confusing and could hamper your confidence.

    The best way to improve is watching your fave dancers, if they teach ask them for a private and freestyle with as many great followers as you can.
    Cat has taught numerous other dances including MJ with Amir.

    I have had the chance to dance MJ with her and it was real fun, she was more than able to change her dance style and still follow every thing I through at her.

    Her knowledge of dancing is exceptional, I am sure she has lots of knowledge that could help any MJ dancer. My WCS is OK but not great but the knowledge I have learnt about lead and follow has improved my MJ.

    Lastly you can be a great dancer but it doesn't always mean that you have the ability to pass on your knowledge to someone that is a talent in its own right

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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Lastly you can be a great dancer but it doesn't always mean that you have the ability to pass on your knowledge to someone that is a talent in its own right
    Gerry is right in this. The two talents are unrelated.

    There's 2 types of bad dance teacher who we've identified.

    1. Champions who can't teach because they have no communication skills or teaching ability.

    2. Teachers with great communication skills who can't dance.

    I can still remember the whole tribe of dancers in the New Forest area who danced MJ on the 2. They must have been taught by someone. And that teaching must have been very effective because it was impossible to get them to dance on the 1.

    We seem more inclined to discuss Group 1, the champions who can't teach. They're easily identified because they wear a shiny medal. But what about Group 2, people who'd get knocked out in the first round of a competition due to their poor dancing but teach every week? Should they be teaching at all? I think not. But who is going to stop them? And how is a new dance student going to be able to work out who they are as they have no frame of reference - it's a Catch 22, they need to be taught to dance before they can judge who should be teaching them to dance.

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy McGregor View Post
    ....But what about Group 2, people who'd get knocked out in the first round of a competition due to their poor dancing but teach every week? Should they be teaching at all? I think not.
    I'm not sure about this. Although there are obvious targets for people who shouldn't be teaching, this is generally down to the fact that they can't teach! Whether or not you are any good at competition dancing is (IMHO) totally irrelevant. There was a chap I saw teach as LeJive years ago in the N \West. Massively unimpressive to watch dance but on several occasions I saw him successfully teach routines I would probably have failed with.

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    Re: Building on my dance ability

    Quote Originally Posted by rtwwpad View Post
    I am now looking to get back to improving my dance skills, moving my body more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    What concerns me slightly is a seeming basic assumption that to improve your MJ dancing you need to look outside Ceroc/MJ I've dancing and teaching MJ more years than I care to remember but I'm still learning from MJ 'purists', e.g. Chris Baker.
    I don't think Phil mentioned that it was his MJ dancing, specifically, that he was looking to improve. I'd also say - based on one class at Southport admittedly - that the routine Chris Baker taught was based very heavily on WCS and was far, IMO, from 'purist' MJ

    Quote Originally Posted by rtwwpad View Post
    I'm supposed I am bored with my dancing and trying to figure out what I need to do to stop this. .... I suppose I would like to be at a weekender and be at the level I see Silverfox, Rocky, Lory, Deej are at.
    Everyone gets bored with their dancing from time to time including, I am sure, those people you mention. Bear in mind also that those people you name have all been dancing for quite a bit longer than you (or I come to that) and in my experience there are some aspects of dancing that need time and dancefloor miles to develop. Of course I am not saying that there isn't a huge amount that can be learned (and different people will flourish at different paces of learning) from classes and other forms of teaching nor that there shouldn't be people to aspire to (though I find these role models change quite frequently as one does gain experience).

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