joy of dancing

Anselm Lingnau

Message 7370 · 14 Apr 1997 20:11:47 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Kerstin Kuhn <xxxxxxxxx@x-xxxxxx.xx> writes:

> Maybe the standard of "advanced" classes is often too intermediate to
> teach a dance which really challenges advanced dances in terms of
> complexity, or maybe the teachers get too advanced and only like simple
> dances ;-). But I find I´m quite disappointed when, on an "advanced"
> weekend, there is not one single "advanced" dance in this sense.

You can only play a Chopin prelude on the piano if you have spent years and
years laying the appropriate foundations, but then it isn't too difficult
(I'm told). You need to practice scales and things and do all kinds of
weird and neighbours-annoying exercises, and, what's worse, in order to
stay able to play the Chopin you need to keep up the nasty scales and
exercises, too!

What I'm trying to say is that it is much the same with dancing. You
need to work up to the level of being able to do, say, Dugald Dalgetty
(to name one of the dances Kerstin may be thinking about) in a way that
does the dance justice, but then after a while you find you can simply
do it *and* enjoy it at the same time, rather than plod through it,
always consciously trying to remember what comes next, to stay covered
with your partner, to do a good skip-change of step etc. From the point
of view of a `virtuoso' in dancing, step practice and non-intricate
dances take the place of scales and Hanon exercises on the piano. If you
do these until you can just fly through them, they'll take you a long
way towards the equivalent of the Chopin prelude.

I'm all in favour of teachers of advanced workshops throwing in a
`Chopin prelude' every now and then, but the circumstances must be
right. The good news is that, unlike Hanon exercises, even the
non-intricate dances can provide an inordinate amount of fun, which of
course is what we're all after, and which you can have with them even if
you're a not-quite-virtuoso-yet and the `Chopin preludes' still require
too much effort to feel good. I can't blame a teacher who goes for these
(or the Bach inventions or Mozart sonatinas) because there is still a lot
to learn from them even if you're very, very good otherwise.

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau ......................... xxxxxxx@xx.xxxxxxxxxx.xxx-xxxxxxxxx.xx
Excuse me while I open Pandora's box. --- Ed Berard

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