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Thread: The hardest thing when you started to learn...

  1. #1
    Omnipresent Administrator Franck's Avatar
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    The hardest thing when you started to learn...

    Hi all,

    I thought I would start a discussion about what you found the hardest when you started learning Ceroc (or any dancing)... I am sure we will find some common themes developing.

    When I started Ceroc, the hardest thing for me was to remember the moves and think ahead to the next move. I found I could do most beginners moves ok, but I became totally frozen towards the end of a move.

    A second thing I struggled with when starting Ceroc was learning to relax after doing a couple of years of Jive, the very strict footwork was deeply set within me and I literally spent hours trying to get rid of it.

    Apart from the 2 above, another memory is the fear of being asked by a teacher / advanced woman and realising that everything I had learnt had just completely vanished...

    Well things did get better, though I still feel under pressure when asked by more advanced women (with high expectations...)

    So go on, don't be coy, share your initial anxieties / difficulties with new Cerocers, let them know they are not alone, and that things do get better.

    Franck.

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    An Eclectic Toaster
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    Re: The hardest thing when you started to learn...

    Originally posted by Franck
    When I started Ceroc, the hardest thing for me was to remember the moves and think ahead to the next move. I found I could do most beginners moves ok, but I became totally frozen towards the end of a move.
    Yup, recognise this all too clearly...

    Originally posted by Franck
    A second thing I struggled with when starting Ceroc was learning to relax after doing a couple of years of Jive, the very strict footwork was deeply set within me and I literally spent hours trying to get rid of it.
    As someone whose ability to walk (even when sober) can at times look suspect, I can happily say I never had to unlearn any footwork...

    For me the biggest thing was more pyschological: learning what to do when I made a mistake. Since you'll always be making mistakes when dancing, the ability to shrug it off, make a joke with your partner, turn it into another move, or just simply apologise is the most important set of skills you'll ever learn in dancing IMHO.

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    The thing i found hardest when i was learning was the beat. The Ceroc beat is like 2 of any other beat. Took me a while to adapt and realise that for every 2 steps i took it was actually 1 in ceroc

    anybody get what i'm saying? not really sure how to explain it to someone who only knows the ceroc beat......

    Line dancing beat-: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    Ceroc beat-: 1 2 3 4

    ok probably too confusing...haha

    filthycute x x

    oh by the way.....like you Franck i have a lot of catching up to do.....i don't have my internet at home at the mo, so snatching time on my mums to catch up

  4. #4
    The Oracle
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    A simple summary of Ceroc for men - leading your partner to dance together with the music. I generally have problems with every single part of this.

    '... leading your partner ...'
    I first learnt Ceroc at Pineapple Studios in London in 1986. They just had classes, and did not have freestyle afterwards. After a couple of months, I went to my first Ceroc night, and realised I had a problem. I could do the moves ok, but I couldn't think of what move to do next! My first 2 dances must have been horrible for my partner, but it suddenly clicked at the start of the third. 16 years later I am still learning how to lead.

    '... to dance together ...'
    This is the hardest individual part. I can now lead acceptably well, and occasionally hit a break, but I still look like I'm a rugby player holding onto a dancer by one hand. This excuse is starting to wear a bit thin - I've now been dancing twice as long as I played rugby.

    '... with the music ...'
    Several years ago I got a copy of the US Open Swing Dance Championship video. I thought they were doing routines, because everything fitted so well with the music. But they were just doing freestyle. It was the first time I had seen musical interpretation - from the simple hitting of breaks, to dancing with the whole mood of the music. Breaks are relatively easy - it is interpreting the other 90% of the song that I have problems with.

    But the hardest part about dancing - trying to do everything at the same time!

    The easiest part is having fun!

    David

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    damn! i never previewed that last post and the count of the beats i did turned out completely different from the way i had it typed......oh well.....now it just looks daft

  6. #6
    The Oracle
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    Originally posted by filthycute

    Line Dancing Beat-: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    Ceroc Beat--------: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
    I know what you mean. It gets worse when the teacher counts through the step with the 'Ceroc beat' whilst teaching, then switches to the normal music beat as soon as the music starts. Unfortunately this is very common.

    It also causes problems if you go on to learn another style of dance (eg West Coast Swing), where you dance on every beat.

    David

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    Thanks

    Thanks for starting this thread, Franck - I thought it was just me! I definitely found myself getting stuck at the end of moves, and I also get intimidated by more experienced women (especially the first time I dance with them, which therefore turns out to be the last as well!!).

    I had the opposite problem with footwork, though - for ages I thought you were directly addressing me when you kept emphasizing that the leader should move, and not just yank the follower around (perhaps you were! ).

    The other thing I found was when thinking ahead to the next move I would corrupt the move I was doing, so ending up trying to lead "in between" the two moves, completely confusing my partner :sorry .

    Another thing I found difficult was recovering from a mistake. There are some moves where a lot of women instinctively offer their left hand instead of their right, and originally I had to just stop dancing and start again to recover from this , although I'd like to think my improvisation has got a little better since then .

    Of course, this is just what I thought I found difficult - maybe some of my partners could add a whole bunch more!!

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    For me it was the beat or the rhythm which is kinda strange because I've played in bands for over ten years. When I went to ceroc I was really surprised to find it hard to catch the beat. Funnily enuff I met another musician at Dundee a couple of weeks ago and he said the same thing, he had the same baffled expression I must have had when I started.


    the only other thing I found difficult was asking girls to dance when I only knew about 4 different moves.

    btw, filthycute, I know what you mean

    Fox

  9. #9
    Registered User dougmeister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Fox
    For me it was the beat or the rhythm which is kinda strange.

    The only other thing I found difficult was asking girls to dance when I only knew about 4 different moves.

    Fox
    I am only starting to appreciate that there is a beat. Up until now I have been reoccupied with trying to remember left & right hand moves. For a while I felt everything was left-handed and could never quite fathom out how to change to the right-side.

    As for rhythm...

    I have been lucky enough to find some women who have already sussed that one out. If I get a dance or two per night with them it seems to help. But, I know what you are saying...


    Keep on cerocing man!

  10. #10
    Funkmaster
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    W'oh, I totally agree with the difficulties for (male) beginners!

    Thinking of a move, remembering how to get through it, thinking ahead to the next move, neatly seque-ing from one move to the next, etc.

    And aside from all that, dancing in time to the music! It's rather embarrassing to be dancing with a (more experienced) lady and thinking you're doing OK and then she politely points out that you should dance in time to the music!

    And yes, dancing with an experienced woman is quite intimidating! :-)

    I'm sure (says he, optimistically) that it will all come with practice!

  11. #11
    Jon Lanceley
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    Past Experience

    When I started and as most of these posts have mentioned is that for men it's remembering a move and then linking it with another move. It's funny how many moves you can remember sitting down but when you get on the dance floor it's like your memory has been erased.

    What I did was when I learnt a new move I wrote down how to do it on paper. I then tried to make short names of routines that I could do e.g.: CAR would stand for Catapult, Armjive, Right hand pushspin. Then go armed with afew of these and it helped.

    Each week I chose some other moves I had written down to practice that week. And I found after a short time that I had alot of moves that I could do really well without thinking about them.

    Don't forget the beginner ladies though at least the men can do the moves they know the lady has no idea what is coming next so I think beginner men have it easier! Sorry guys.

    If you want to learn quickly then do the Workshops they really help. I did all the beginner workshops 1 a week every sunday and then did them again. I found doing them twice really helped hammer the moves in to my memory and they became natural.

    I've now done 17 workshops in the 8 months I've been dancing and I get alot of compliments from the ladies I've danced with, which is nice and I give compliments myself to women.

    I would say that now I am a good dancer and I change my dancing to the mood of the music. Musical interpretation is difficult to do but it makes the dance look and feel good. I think in general the ladys can do musical interpretation easier than the guys but the key thing for the guys is to listen to the music when the beat stops you stop, when it slows you slow down.

    Above all no matter who you dance with if both of you smile then you will already look 100% better to anyone watching. And it's all about having fun. After awhile it will become natural. Last week while dancing with a beginner lady she said 'Im tring to think what move your going to do next'. I replied 'That will be hard cause I dont even know'. It all depends what position we are both in at the end of a move which makes me decide in a nano second what move to do next. Basicaly I do whatever feels comfortable and natural.

    I see men leading moves which they think they know but don't. From experience I know that you need to MASTER the beginner moves then move onto easy intermediate moves. Take it slowly and the complicated moves will become easier. Besides the ladies much prefer a dance to be led well than doing lots of complicated moves that are badly led. Even the beginner moves can be made to look fantastic. I thought I had mastered the beginner moves then the teacher at a venue said 'right tonight we are going to look putting some Style into the moves'. They were still the same beginner moves but executed differently and they became a challenge to master again. So if you think you know lots of moves then have a look at your style and learn how to do the moves differently it's a challenge. But thats why Ceroc is fun and additive.

  12. #12
    Omnipresent Administrator Franck's Avatar
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    Re: Past Experience

    Originally posted by Jon Lanceley
    /SNIP some really interesting observations/
    Basically I do whatever feels comfortable and natural.
    Wow Jon, That was some post you made. I really agree with many of your observations and experiences, and I am sure a lot of Beginner men reading, will be encouraged to see your progression so clearly laid out, like a road map for them to follow.

    Ceroc is a fast-progress dance. You can go from complete beginner to expert in 6 months only, and typically, you can dance with confidence in 2/3 weeks and reach intermediate level within 2 months... In my opinion, this makes it unique and totally magical.

    Feel free to share some more of your views / experience in some of the other threads or indeed to create your own subject thead.

    Franck.

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    Omnipresent Administrator Franck's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Funkmaster
    And aside from all that, dancing in time to the music! It's rather embarrassing to be dancing with a (more experienced) lady and thinking you're doing OK and then she politely points out that you should dance in time to the music!
    Ouch, I empathize with that! :sorry
    Getting the beat can be quite a challenge, especially when you are already busy remembering the moves... CAT, etc...
    Though as you say, it all comes with practice and building confidence.

    Originally posted by Funkmaster
    And yes, dancing with an experienced woman is quite intimidating! :-)
    No wonder, based on the above...
    It just occurred to me that apart from FilthyCute, no women have posted on this thread... I wonder why?
    Is it because:
    - everything is easy for women (cough, splutter )
    - They are reluctant to admit to early failings
    - They blame the men for everything!
    - Not being as technically gifted as us men, they have not found the Beginners forum!!!


    Come on ladies, tell us why, and how hard it really was when you started!!!

    Franck.

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    Registered User Dancing Veela's Avatar
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    Ok - my first time on the forum - so bear with me - or should that be bare with me????

    Anyway Franck why have no women replied on this subject???? Because we were all born knowing how to dance - and in time to the music too!!!!!

    No seriously - the hardest thing for me was to let a man lead me (many men still make that complaint!!!) - it's very very hard when you are all beginners and nobody knows any of the moves - and in general the women do learn the moves more quickly than the men - so it was very hard not to lead the moves when the men couldn't do them - or remember what came next and when you start of like that it's hard to get out of the habit.

    The best advice I was ever given was by our teacher at the time (a woman) who said 'women please leave your brains at the door when you come into Ceroc - just relax and let the men lead you'

    Now that I've been dancing Ceroc a few years I do try my best only to lead men when they are needing a helping hand - some beginner men are lost and need a gentle reminder of what to do next and once they get the hang or the feel of it - then they usually manage to lead it.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Dancing Vila

    Anyway Franck why have no women replied on this subject????
    Which means i am??????



    filthycute x x

  16. #16
    Dougmeister
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    Talking

    Ok - my first time on the forum - so bear with me - or should that be bare with me????

    Been here before and still keep forgetting my password?????

    On with the real subject: Women leading.....

    It goes something like this; I being male starts the lead and the woman follows. Yes? No. My arm or arms get pulled from one place to another then woman I am dancing with will look at me with a blank expression indicating that I'm not leading, which by this point I no longer know what I was doing in the first place. This I may add gets worse when I bravely attempt an intermediate class, all I need is two women to come in a row who don't have a clue what they are doing and I'm blown away.

    I am sure there are times where I am lead and appreciated the help my partner has given. But beginners who demand that they must lead is worse than hell itself. How can I lead if I am being lead...

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    endings

    The hardest thing I still find is timing the end of a song with the end of a move, or as I gain more experiance, with a lean, dip or seducer.
    ...And getting out of a tangle of arms. {Although I've recently been learning that you just let go of one hand.}
    ...And getting my right and left mixed up.
    ...And remembering the move I was prepairing in my head; once I think 'I'll try that', I find I have the wrong hand, then do a move that swapped hands and got my partner into the correct hand in the correct positoin and promptly forget why I wanted them there in the first place and do somthing completley different.
    ...And not spinning my partner into other dancers.
    ...
    I still havn't got the hang of any of these, perhaps with experiance?

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by Dougmeister
    <-> How can I lead if I am being lead...
    Just as an aside, I have found that by not doing what your partner is expecting (or leading you into) and being more forceful about these moves, they relinquish the lead.

    OK so it sometimes takes two or three surprises.

    My very first ceroc dance was with a woman that lead very strongly from the off; mainly because she thought I didn't know what I was doing . {She was right, but when you are not given a chance to prove yourself it's very off-putting}

  19. #19
    Registered User dougmeister's Avatar
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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Gadget
    [B]


    First, I meant led not lead.

    Gadget, you have observed and made a fine point, but, why has no women Cerocers replied yet! Maybe Filthycute could ask her friends and give a woman's point of view on what you've just said. It's a while since Filthycute said anything! Especially, when you have been very frank and honest about what you have had to say...



    Keep on Cerocing man!

  20. #20
    Papa Smurf
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    I guess its different for everybody. I never really had a problem moving to music - my problem at the beginning was knowing enough moves to make it a proper dance. Once I got to 6 moves or so I felt I started to look a bit better, if repetitive .

    That was 2 and a half years ago and my problem now is lack of practice. I seem to be pretty much incapable of 'thinking' of a move, it just has to be there, which only comes with practice (demonstrated when my partner asks me to do a particular move and it appears 3 dances later ) Makes it all the harder when Im nervous as my brain seems to come up with yo-yos and first moves (regressing to those 6 moves again). So for anyone whos only danced with me once or twice, I was undoubtedly nervous and probably dire - we'll dance again...I get much better with familiarity . Strangely though, I have come across a few individuals who seem to fit in very well with my 'style' and then it seems easy, and Im not nervous . Very rare though.

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