Ballroom Conversations

Becoming An Adult, Parents with Radically Different Views, Advice Needed

Dance Forums - Fri, 08/03/2012 - 12:54pm
I'm in college, and nearing adulthood. My parents and other adults have told me that as an adult, I become responsible for my own decisions. Any decisions, be they monetary, medical, political, etc. I understand this, but the viewpoints of my parents can be so radically different that I'm rather torn when it comes to making decisions. Questions for debate that frequently come up for debate include.

Should I vote?

Should I see a doctor, or should my children have one?

Are pharmaceutical companies trying to deliberately make us sick just for profit?

I know these questions seem crazy and their answers, painfully obvious. But, it's not really about the questions. I respect both my parents, and consider both their views, but I want to find a way to reconcile myself to make my own decisions without obtusely following in one or the other's reasoning. I know I'm not alone here on DF, and I need some advice on how I can put my big girl trousers on, and eventually deal with these controversial questions myself.

2012 Olympics

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 11:59am
Anyone watching much of the Olympics?

Cha Cha Cha Forward Checks: Straight or Bent for Non-Supporting Leg?

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 10:04am
Hi all!

In the forward checks of the cha cha box-step, should the non-supporting leg be straightened or bent? Or are both acceptable? While I have seen and have been taught that the non-supporting leg be straightened, I have seen examples where the dancers' non-supporting leg is bent.

What brought my attention was a particular video with basic cha cha cha steps. (I can't post links at the moment, but the video can be found on YouTube by searching for “Sergey Melia Basic Cha Cha”)

Right at the beginning, you can see Mr Sergey Surkov's non-supporting leg is bent for the checked forward walk (is it what it's called?). This is done throughout the dances shown in the video for that particular step.

Also, secondly, I've also noticed that for the same step, his supporting leg doesn't seem to be fully perpendicular to the floor. That is, it is at an angle like “/ ”, and not the usual “|”, where the dancer's weight appears to be fully on it.

Are these alternative styles and/or interpretations for the forward checks? Or are they different steps altogether (with different names)?

Mr Surkov does not do the same in the rumba video. Would it be because it is idiosyncratic to the cha cha cha? For speed?

This seems to be more common with male dancers, at least from the videos I've seen.

(on a similar note, I've seen what appear to be like New Yorks to me, but also done with a bent supporting leg. Or are they Cuban breaks? I'm not sure...)

Thank you for your time, everyone! Have a great day! :)

Red and Black Burlesque Ballroom Dress for Sale

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:54am
Tired of the classical princess style dress? Try something new and exotic with
this Burlesque style dress. This corset style bodice is accompanied by a top layer of black sequinsed skirt and 2 lower layers of red skirt. This dress will certainly get the attention of the judges and the audience! Comes with necklace and gloves.

Designed and sponsored by I&C Evolution, made in Italy. Worn only once. European size 38-42, US size 4-6-8. Dress fits a lady with height 170-180cm.

Price: €1800 (Euro) or USD $2300
Price does not include shipping. Package will be shipped from Italy.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzwBzCkAcCo

Non-Supporting Leg in Cha Cha Box Stepdt: Straight or Bent?

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:17am
Hi all!

In the forward checks of the cha cha box-step, should the non-supporting leg be straightened or bent? Or are both acceptable? While I have seen and have been taught that the non-supporting leg be straightened, I have seen examples where the dancers' non-supporting leg is bent.*

What brought my attention was this particular video with basic cha cha cha steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7I5BFenFGw

Right at the beginning, you can see Mr Sergey Surkov's non-supporting leg is bent for the checked forward walk *(is it what it's called?).**This is done throughout the dances shown in the video for that particular step.

Also, secondly, I've also noticed that for the same step, Mr Surkov's supporting leg doesn't seem to be fully perpendicular to the floor. That is, it is at an angle like “/ ”, and not the usual “|”, where the dancer's weight appears to be fully on it.*

Are these alternative styles and/or interpretations for the forward checks? Or are they different steps altogether (with different names)?

Mr Surkov does not do the same in the rumba video. Would it be because it is idiosyncratic to the cha cha cha? For speed?

This seems to be more common with male dancers, at least from the videos I've seen.*

(on a similar note, I've seen what appear to be like New Yorks to me, but also done with a bent supporting leg. Or are they Cuban breaks? I'm not sure...)

Thank you for your time, everyone! Have a great day! :)

Red smooth/standard dress for sale

Dance Forums - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 4:45pm
Red smooth/standard dress made in Russia by REST Elegance in 2009, for the owner who is 5'4", around size 8 with a larger cup. The dress has standard and smooth accessories. Asking $1300 OBO.

More pictures and a link to action videos here: http://public.fotki.com/tsmt1001/dan...st-elegance-b/

I will bring the dress with me to Heart of America if someone wants to try it on.
Attached Images RedDress 004.jpg (91.6 KB)

Judgemental comments from other students

Dance Forums - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 1:33pm
This is going to be a bit of a vent! Apologies! (Maybe there is already a thread on this...)

I'm getting a lot of flack from fellow students at the studio for "sandbagging" competitions (even funnier cause i've only competed once). I don't see that I am doing this; i think it's that our perspectives are completely different and i find it a little offensive that they like to pass this judgement on my choices. Here is a better description of my situation:

My [Arthur Murray] studio is primarily social dancers. There are only maybe 5 students of the entire student body that are even into the idea of dancing competitively (not just dancing at showcases). I've been dancing there for almost 4 years, however i've always had to take 5 months off every year to focus on preparing for my other competitive hobby. Now that i'm 'retiring' from that, dance has now becoming my competitive outlet.

[And on a side note---dance is SO much more fun and satisfying ;-P ]

This is the first year i've been able to be at the dance studio year-round. And this year was also my first (and so far, my only) pro-am dance competition. My current level is "associate bronze", partly because of my past schedule (on again/off again with lessons) and also i never really pushed to want to test...i just enjoyed dancing and it didn't really matter to me what 'level' I was. When i was younger i did martial arts and I always remembered that being a higher belt color did not mean you were a better martial artist. So i suppose I kept this philosophy with dance and didn't see the reason to rush through testing levels. My teacher was always willing to throw figures at me that were above associate bronze if he felt my skill was capable (maybe this is good, maybe bad? LOL). Earlier this year, when i decided to compete, my focus became the quality of the basics in each dance (technique and stylistically), and then perhaps i'll test after the comp. What also threw in a monkey wrench was that i couldn't compete with my normal teacher pro, so i had to cram in a bunch of extra lessons with a different pro so we could get used to each other. We also have no routines; we just freestyled in both the closed and open categories.

Before going to the comp, a few other students at the school made snarky comments about how it wasn't "fair" that i was competing as an associate bronze (and in this event---not sure if this is normal or specific to Arthur Murray things---they let you compete one level above as well, so i also did 'full bronze'). I thought it was a strange remark considering none of these 'commentators' were competing or really ever planning to compete. It has nothing to do with them. Also, they are coming from "social dancing land" which is NOT the same thing as "competition dancing land". While both are great and one is not 'better' than the other.... they are simply different. So in social-land, i look like a really advanced student comparative to our school's average (almost all social dancers). In competition-land, I felt like i fit in exactly where i should be in terms of skill/level.

I've discussed with my head coach (our "dance mom" LOL) some shorter & longer term goals and how i want to eventually dance in scholarship (long-term goal) and do 1-2 competitions a year until then (always comes down to money LOL i'd otherwise do more!). Also, my 'competition pro partner' is not my normal instructor so we've also talked about how to arrange my lesson times to keep dancing with him as well and start putting together routines for long-term so i don't have to re-learn how to dance with him every time a comp comes up (we have fabulous dance chemistry; i'm quite pleased with this arrangement ;-P).

I want to be a quality dancer, I need more competition experience, and also, i haven't even touched bolero, samba, VW or quickstep yet. So I decided not to rush the testing (originally i was planning to test after the competition) and instead, focus on improving my technique, learning the dances i don't know, learning some routines, and possibly competing again as an associate bronze before testing. My Dance-Mom agreed with these plans and we both felt it was realistic and appropriate. And again, this decision prompts comments somewhat negative from fellow students.

I never make comments about their dancing and whatever level they happened to be at and whether or not it's "fair" or appropriate. I'm always super laid back at the school and just enjoy myself, and i feel like i generally emit a positive aura, stay humble (i don't want to come across as a dance-snob cause "i'm a competitor now")....but now these comments are making me a little pissy. I think their comments are out of pure ignorance----if they saw a competition i think they'd see that i wasn't out of place. But they don't see that world. And suddenly they are all the dance-level police and i'm not competing "fairly". I admit, i take this a little offensively; good sportsmanship is something i do care about, and it's not in my nature to purposely compete with an unfair advantage. Besides, there's no fun in that anyway... if i do well, i want to have fought for that, not "win a gold medal just cause i showed up and everyone else sucked" type-thing.

I'm certain others of you have experienced similar situations? How do you handle this? Inside i want to tell them to **** off, but i wont ;-P I try to politely explain that the competitive world of dance is just different and all the other associate bronzes dance like i do. However it seems my efforts are lost in translation :(

Shoes Question: And good for a female ?

Dance Forums - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 6:42am
I need to buy a gift for a friend online. I would like to buy shoes online if possible and get the shipped directly to him. Is it possible to order from the US and ship to Canada?

Asian dance with claws

Dance Forums - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 5:36am
There is a asian dance where you can use claws. Has someone an idea of the name of this dance and can you give me a little description?

Thank you for advance, Wendy

Corky Ballas Syllabus DVDs

Dance Forums - Tue, 07/31/2012 - 11:30pm
Does anyone have Corky Ballas instructional DVDs ? I have the whole set to gold and I don't understand why I can't find the lock step for Cha Cha in the DVDs

teotjunk

Standard: The Right Height

Dance Forums - Tue, 07/31/2012 - 5:37pm
I have always been under the impression that the girl should be slightly shorter than the guy in ballroom dancing. Research shows that the height ratio between man and woman for optimal romantic attraction is 11:10, man:woman (that's a 6'0 man and a 5'5-5'6 girl, for example).

But that gets me thinking: If the girl in a partnership is shorter than the guy, won't she not be able to lower as much in standard, and wouldn't that then mean that she gets less movement than the guy?

In order for both partners to lower and move the same amount, wouldn't it be better for both people to be the same height?

Morning routines?

Dance Forums - Tue, 07/31/2012 - 9:31am
I wake up, roll out of bed, push-ups, sit-ups, warm glass of milk, some tricep extensions, bicep curls and shrugs. A walk or bike ride and I am done with my morning start. The exercise for em is not about killing myself and sometimes I might do 5 push-ups and another day 35. It is about making it a regular part of my daily life.

What about you? Do you have a morning routine? Does it change between work days and weekends/holidays?

Any steps in your routine you can't name?

Dance Forums - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 7:03pm
I was getting some choreography from a World class coach, and there were couple of steps that he showed us that I had not seen before. I asked for the name of the step and he said "I don't know". I suppose it is not that important. Do you have any steps you can't name in your routines?

(for us a couple of examples were a "sort of hover telemark" and a "sort of double reverse spin", but definitely not what you would think of these as being)

WCS in the Bay Area in Oct

Dance Forums - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 6:11pm
I'm planning to attend Boogie by the Bay in San Francisco from Oct 4-7 then stay for a week before returning home to Toronto. What are some good places to dance west coast swing during the week between Tuesday and Sunday in the Bay Area? Thanks!!

Classic ballroom dance songs

Dance Forums - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 5:04pm
So, I'm not a dancer. At all. I'm a classical musician. My string orchestra is going to play for a ballroom dance in a few months, and I get to find the music. I want to make sure the dancers have a great time, but I don't know the first thing about dance!

We're supposed to have:

Waltzes
Marches
Cha-chas
Foxtrots
Tango
Swing
Polka

So, I was hoping I could pick the collective brains of this dancing community and ask a couple of questions.

1. What are some of the most classic, must-have pieces that fit into the categories above? If you were going to a dance, what would you want to dance to?

2. What are some things we should know, as an orchestra—like what might we inadvertently do that might drive the dancers crazy? The guy booking us mentioned keeping a steady tempo. Is there anything else we should pay attention to?

It is hard enough finding dance music for a string orchestra, but I think it will be easier if I have some specific titles to look for. I just want to make sure that we can do our part to make sure people have an enjoyable dance.

In any case, thanks in advance for any titles and advice you may be able to give!

Strange results in China

Dance Forums - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 1:18pm
Just curious, if I am seeing this correctly.

the results are showing Victor and Anastasia in Semi Final???

http://dancesportinfo.net/Competitio...6/Results.aspx

Romantic interest in instructor

Dance Forums - Mon, 07/30/2012 - 8:40am
For several months now, I've been romantically interested in my instructor. I actually feel like I'm in love with him, and sometimes, it's so emotionally draining b/c I know that I can't talk to him about or expect the same feelings in return b/c of our studio policy that forbids student-teacher relationships. He is always professional, but it's hard wanting something I know that I can't have. Maybe it could be possible if I stopped being a student at my studio or if I became a pro, but I do not plan on doing either.

Sometimes, I wonder if he feels the same, though, maybe not to the extent that I feel, but I at least know that if we didn't have a student/teacher relationship, we would be good friends outside of the studio (he basically said that to me as well since we relate quite well to each other). Our personalities suit each other really well.

Sometimes, I feel like I should just quit being his student for my own self-preservation, but I know that I would be SO unhappy not seeing him anymore, not just b/c I really like him but also b/c he is a really good teacher, and his teaching style fits me better than the rest of the instructors at my studio. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on this or can relate to this situation. I know it's not uncommon for students to develop crushes on their teachers, but I feel like this is more than just a little crush since it's gone on for so many months.

Salsa in Latin America

Dance Forums - Sun, 07/29/2012 - 7:09am
Hi all,

This is a similar request to others, but I’m hoping for some specific help. I’m taking a career break and at the end of September I will be going somewhere in Latin America to improve my basic Spanish and salsa for 6 months or so. I’d say in terms of importance, it’s about 50%/50%, or maybe slightly in favour of Spanish. But, I’ve really got into salsa too.

The salsa part probably needs a bit more explaining. I have been learning LA style for around 9 months in Sydney (Australia), which is an environment I consider to be of a high standard. I’ve had classes with 6 times world champion and others who have learnt from him. The classes have been great and the salsa scene in Sydney is strong. I have recently started Cuban style and love that too, but I’m still very very much a beginner.

From my research, it seems like the places that are good for salsa (PR, Colombia, Cuba) and not so cheap to learn Spanish. Good places to learn Spanish cost-effectively (Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala and other places in CA) are not known for salsa. This is my dilemma – to find somewhere where I can progress in Spanish and salsa; and in LA style initially so it’s useful when I go back to Australia.

I’ll spend time in a few countries over the 6 months or so, but the first place will be important to give me some momentum and help my confidence (for speaking and dancing). I’ll go to Cali and Cuba at some point, but it’s too expensive to learn Spanish.

A couple of other things to consider:
- I love hot weather (dislike the cold)
- I’d like to be somewhere that’s not too unsafe (I’m blonde and am clearly not a local)
- I want to avoid somewhere with too many foreigners (eg. Antigua)

I’m hoping some people can recommend some specific locations and good quality salsa schools (for LA style) rather than merely suggesting countries. That would be hugely appreciated.

Note: I’ve traveled to LatAm before, so it’s not completely alien to me. This time I want to live the culture, not pass through. I’ve traveled around: Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Panama and Peru.

Huge thanks everyone,
Stephen

Club dance lessons?

Dance Forums - Sun, 07/29/2012 - 6:18am
I've read through a few threads on here regarding "club" dancing, and while there is a lot of useful information, I'm curious about lessons.

I've always been *extremely* insecure about dancing. I've had girlfriends and friends tell me I'm being stupid, and that I'm better than a lot of guys on the dance floor, but it doesn't matter to me - I still feel horribly insecure and can't relax. I have to drink a ton of alcohol to feel at all comfortable. In recent times, if I'm at a club and my friends decide to go to the dance floor, I'll pretend to get a drink or talk on the phone to avoid it.

I've been a musician my entire life so keeping time or rhythm is not at all an issue. It's just that I never seem to know how much to move my feet/legs, or how to hold my arms, or where to put my hands/how to hold my hands... Everything feels foreign.

A combination of an upcoming wedding and recent breakup has caused me to find this forum and try and find out - are there teachers to help someone learn basics? I've watched plenty of youtube videos, read a ton of posts on various forums, and watched people in clubs. No dice...

Probably a long-shot but I'm in Santa Monica, CA, and would really appreciate lessons if possible. Obviously, if this is teachable over forum posts then fantastic, but I'm not sure that will get me out of my lifelong insecurity..

Thanks! If I could get over this, it would literally change my life.

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