>[Malcolm:] we need to remember to explain to our newcomers that there is a >non-verbal language, so they will have to watch carefully. You can come >unstuck >even if they do know, especially if you emphasise the need for eye contact - >they look so hard into your eyes that they fail to see the subtle hand gesture >you're making showing them which way to go! >Not that eye contact isn't important - if I have a choice of two people to >>turn,then I like the correct person to look at me, and the other to look >>elswhere.
This reminds me that in recent years I have de-emphasized the notion of
"eye-contact" per se in favor of "paying attention to" or "applying focus
to" the person(s) with whom you are dancing. These are whole body concepts
which include eye-contact as one component of the whole process.
The notion of Focus has some useful extensions such as "appropriate focus"
(paying attention to the right people in the right way), "inapropriate
focus" (not paying attention to the right people or paying attention to the
wrong people), "transferring focus" (changing who you are paying attention
to and when and how to do it, e.g. what happens in Rights and Lefts and
Reels of 3). I believe that the attitudes which accompany the notion of
Focus can help dancers become better social dancers.
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