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Thread: Leading moves without a change of places

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    Red face Leading moves without a change of places

    A number of moves seem to have two variations - one in which there is a change of places, and one in which there isn't. Some examples: yo-yo, back pass, man's spin, shoulderslide, underpass, figure of eight, should all be doable without a change of places.

    However, I have great difficulty in leading the variations that don't change places. I have no problems keeping myself in the same spot! However, whatever I try this, the girl manages to mystically dissappear and reappear behind me with a slightly perplexed look on her face. If I'm doing particularly well, she appears on my right hand side, so I can turn to face and act like this was my plan from the start. Anyone have any success with this? Do I need to learn slotted dancing if I'm to have any chance?

    On reflection, I realise I need to add returns to the above list of moves, though on a good day I can sometimes lead a non-travelling return...

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Do I need to learn slotted dancing if I'm to have any chance?
    IMHO Martin, it's certainly a good starting point!. As Simon White (Fleet) or Nigel (Everywhere) would say, "step left of lady's line"......that tells her she's going to travel. Stay put and she can go nowhere!

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by Gojive
    IMHO Martin, it's certainly a good starting point!. As Simon White (Fleet) or Nigel (Everywhere) would say, "step left of lady's line"......that tells her she's going to travel. Stay put and she can go nowhere!
    That's the *theory* at any rate....

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by Gojive
    IMHO Martin, it's certainly a good starting point!. As Simon White (Fleet) or Nigel (Everywhere) would say, "step left of lady's line"......that tells her she's going to travel. Stay put and she can go nowhere!

    Or you could take it a step further (no pun intended) and "step to the right of the lady's line" - then she really has nowhere to go.

    You are probably finishing leading moves when your hand lowers - just letting it fall naturally; this lack of lead invites the lady to switch off and finish the move as she has done a million times before.
    To lead variations (inc. static ones) you need to concentrate on the path your hand follows while lowering it. Think it through during beginner lessons, where everything is done slowly; maintain the same (light) tension all the way through the move and draw a definite smooth path through the air with your lead hand(s).

    I also think that consistancy has a fair bit to do with it: if a move is lead "correctly" every time, then the slight variation in lead for an altered move is much easier for the lady to feel. I find that I get lazy too often and just let the natural momentum carry the lady into the next move without too much guidance: It's like bumpers they put down a bowling alley for kids. The narrower the lane, the more precise the motion and the destination is easier to predict. The wider the lane, there is more room for deviation and who knows where it will end up!

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    Registered User Gojive's Avatar
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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkles
    That's the *theory* at any rate....
    Of course there will always be that one lady who refuses to follow

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    The natural inclination for ladies is to move while dancing. And many of them do have a tendancy (some greater than others!) to 'circle' round you while dancing.

    Slotted dancing does have the advantage as has been said above, that if you are both doing it, and you are in the ladies way, she can't move forward. On the other hand, doing it with a non-slotted dancer, will mean that she'll just go round you anyhow

    Trampy

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    Registered User ChrisA's Avatar
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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper
    Do I need to learn slotted dancing if I'm to have any chance?
    Dancing in a slot is not some mysterious new technique that only a select few know how to do.

    Every Ceroc class, indeed every MJ class of any denomination that I've ever seen, is taught in a slot. If it wasn't, the class would be chaos, whereas with people in lines, the slots are all parallel so there's no bumping.

    I don't understand why people have such trouble with dancing in a slot, given that.



    The only reason I can think of is that ladies who find it hard to turn/spin on the spot, will tend to travel while turning during freestyle - which most people then get used to. I suppose imprecise leads also contribute to this tendency.

    But dancing in a slot is not new, or different from what you do all the time in the classes.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisA; 2nd-September-2004 at 10:50 AM.

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    Dancing in a slot is not some mysterious new technique that only a select few know how to do.

    Every Ceroc class, indeed every MJ class of any denomination that I've ever seen, is taught in a slot. If it wasn't, the class would be chaos, whereas with people in lines, the slots are all parallel so there's no bumping.

    I don't understand why people have such trouble with dancing in a slot, given that.



    The only reason I can think of is that ladies who find it hard to turn/spin on the spot, will tend to travel while turning during freestyle - which most people then get used to. I suppose imprecise leads also contribute to this tendency.

    But dancing in a slot is not new, or different from what you do all the time in the classes.

    Chris
    What about those who learnt in a large circle? . I find the ones at the corners of the circle tend to have a problem though

    Seriously though good points Chris, and I agree it isn't really a new concept when you look at it this way

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by Gojive
    What about those who learnt in a large circle? . I find the ones at the corners of the circle tend to have a problem though
    This may well be so...

    However, all that's going on here is that the slots aren't parallel; I think you'll find that the moves are still taught as slotted.

    I've demoed at quite a few Ceroc beginner workshops over the years (which have been mostly with the couples arranged in a circle) and the moves have always been taught exactly as they would be in a standard class.

    I guess that, particularly for beginners, this is a fairly subtle point to appreciate though, and I'd not be at all surprised if people travelling a bit (or even quite a lot!) when they shouldn't goes unnoticed in that sort of class.

    That said, though, I still think it's largely the difficulty beginners experience with turning and spinning on the spot in the early days that contributes most to the 'unwanted travelling' phenomenon - judging by how infrequently spinning is taught, and how relieved the beginners and improvers in my taxi review classes sound when I offer to do a spin teach.

    Chris

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    dancing in a slot is not different from what you do all the time in the classes.
    Well... in the classes I can rely on the couple next to me kicking my partner if she tries to move off the "line". In freestyle I have to rely on my fearsome leading skills, which seem less reliable. Just because I can stay in a slot most of the time during a class, doesn't mean I can do slotted dancing...

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper
    Well... in the classes I can rely on the couple next to me kicking my partner if she tries to move off the "line". In freestyle I have to rely on my fearsome leading skills, which seem less reliable. Just because I can stay in a slot most of the time during a class, doesn't mean I can do slotted dancing...
    It's just practice. And try as hard as you can to lead turns and returns that keep the lady on the spot.

    My point was that it's nothing new, and if you (and your partner ) do the moves as you learnt them, you are 'doing slotted dancing'

    But there's almost nothing you can do about a follower who is determined to dance round you. If you insist on stopping her, she won't understand why and will think you're a crap dancer for doing it. The circlers also make it wayyyy harder to keep clear of other dancers on a crowded floor.

    So practise as much as you can with those that don't, would be my recommendation.

    Chris

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    My point was that it's nothing new, and if you (and your partner ) do the moves as you learnt them, you are 'doing slotted dancing'
    Hmmm, going to agree to differ here

    There are a number of ways teachers describe getting to a side by side position.
    • Some say "Guys step forwards and lead the lady diagonally in to your right side"
    • others say "Guys move diagonally forwards-left and lead the ladys diagonally forwards-left so that she comes in to your right side."
    • and yet others say "Guys move left off of the lady's line, and lead her forwards -- so that she comes in to your right side"


    The first two options (and especially the first) make the lady circle the guy.
    Don't know that I necessarily call the last one "slotted dancing" but it is subtly different -- especially in that the lead is a nice easy "move forwards" one.

    SpinDr.

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by spindr
    There are a number of ways teachers describe getting to a side by side position.
    • Some say "Guys step forwards and lead the lady diagonally in to your right side"
    • others say "Guys move diagonally forwards-left and lead the ladys diagonally forwards-left so that she comes in to your right side."
    • and yet others say "Guys move left off of the lady's line, and lead her forwards -- so that she comes in to your right side"


    The first two options (and especially the first) make the lady circle the guy.
    I don't see how, providing neither partner is pointing in a different direction at the end of that part of the move.

    Indeed if it it did, the class format wouldn't work with the moves being taught that way - it's perfectly possible to bring the lady diagonally into one's side without either partner changing the direction in which they are facing.

    I concede that I'm straying slightly from the stricter WCS definition of a slot, where the lady doesn't move laterally off her original line, and the guy moves out of her way, but this doesn't change the fact that there is no need for the orientation of the dancers to change during a dance, other than by 180 degrees when they change places completely.

    If the lady turns on the spot, there is no travelling, and the orientation of the slot doesn't change. It's just a wider slot than in WCS, that's all.

    And I still maintain that it looks and feels far better if changes in slot orientation (which are fine in all sorts of circumstances) are intentional, led, and followed, rather than just being caused by a random amount of unled travelling during a turn.

    Chris

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    I concede that I'm straying slightly from the stricter WCS definition of a slot
    Incidentally, Amir, possibly amongst others, has recently been teaching variations of jive moves where the lady does stay on her line as in West Coast.

    This is harder to lead and follow - and requires considerably more effort from the guy - but mostly because it's unfamiliar.

    Chris

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA
    I don't see how, providing neither partner is pointing in a different direction at the end of that part of the move.
    Depends how you think of moving diagonally. You can keep your current facing and take a diagonal step, or rotate your facing slightly and then step straight forwards?

    SpinDr.

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by spindr
    Depends how you think of moving diagonally. You can keep your current facing and take a diagonal step, or rotate your facing slightly and then step straight forwards?
    Well indeed, but let's not play semantic games

    Conventionally, in all the classes, the "current facing" as you put it, is maintained.

    And so, the slot, albeit wider than a WCS slot, is maintained in its starting orientation.

    Chris

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper

    A number of moves seem to have two variations - one in which there is a change of places, and one in which there isn't. Some examples: yo-yo, back pass, man's spin, shoulderslide, underpass, figure of eight, should all be doable without a change of places.
    It seems to me that what Martin is saying here is that many moves can end either with a stationary return or a travelling return.

    I too started with JazzJiveSwing and one of the things I quickly noticed, perhaps as a consequence of "letting the feet look after themselves", was that one or two men were very adept at hardly moving their feet or their bodies and letting the ladies do all the movement. It was all armwork for these men. "Where's the enjoyment in that I thought."

    Perhaps, in reaction to this, I find that I almost always lead travelling returns and maybe this is why I so often feel whacked at the end of a dance. Maybe, also, I'm depriving some ladies of the chance to show off their "classy" returns.

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitebeard
    It seems to me that what Martin is saying here is that many moves can end either with a stationary return or a travelling return.
    Not quite....

    For example, take the Ceroc back-pass ("1st man's spin" in Jazz Jive). Starts R-R

    Travelling version:
    1) circle and step back
    2-ish) lead lady to move forwards (to your right). Meanwhile, move forwards yourself (to the left) and make 1/4 turn anti-clockwise. Switch the lady's hand from your right to your left in the small of your back.
    3) lady continues to move forward and is led to make a 1/2 turn clockwise. Man continues to move forward and makes another 1/4 turn anti-clockwise. You have now changed places and are facing each other.
    4) Return, travelling return, or something else.

    Static version:
    1) circle and step back
    2-ish) lead lady to stay roughly where she is (how?). Meanwhile, spin 1/2 turn anti-clockwise. Switch the lady's hand from your right to your left in the small of your back.
    3) continue spinning to face. Lead lady to step back in preparation for...
    4) Return, travelling return, or something else.

    So far, the main piece of advice for leading the difference seems to be a WCS-like style: so in the travelling version move notably to the left, and in the static version move slightly to the right. Hmm.
    Last edited by MartinHarper; 3rd-September-2004 at 10:03 AM.

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper
    Static version:
    1) circle and step back
    2-ish) lead lady to stay roughly where she is (how?). Meanwhile, spin 1/2 turn anti-clockwise. Switch the lady's hand from your right to your left in the small of your back.
    3) continue spinning to face. Lead lady to step back in preparation for...
    4) Return, travelling return, or something else.
    Subtally different, but the way I do it is:
    1) circle & step back (R-R)
    2) lead lady into a turn anti-clockwise
    3) when lady's back is to you, start rotating yourself so that you are at 90º to her when she comes round to face
    4) while lowering hand, turn a further 90º so that your back is to her at the low point of the arc - smoothly swap hands and continue turning
    5) another 90º while raising your hand to begin the lady's second anti-clockwise turn
    6) lady's back is to you while turning and you are now facing them ready for them to exit the turn and you go into the the next bit of your dance. (lower into another move, take over head for comb, do it again,...)

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    Re: Leading moves without a change of places

    That sounds to me like a half windmill with no change of places? I can imagine that being a pretty fun move.

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