strathspey Archive: (Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Mus

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(Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Mus

Message 13754 · Alastair Murdoch · 24 Oct 1998 20:49:12 · Top

>Hi, Alistair
> Do you not think that some of this is down to the teacher? I like
>teachers who endeavour to ensure that teeth are bared while dancing
>and eye contact maintained.
> I also like the exercise where one side of the set gets the
>instructions for the dance and have to communicate with their
>partners without words. No options there!
Now there's an excellent idea I had not heard of before. Anyone
else tried this?

Alastair Murdoch
Faculty of Management
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Canada R3T 5V4
E-mail: alastair_murdoch@UManitoba.ca
WWW site: http://www.umanitoba.ca/9.305/
Phone: 204 474 8439 Fax: 204 474 7545

(Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Mus

Message 13755 · tlb · 24 Oct 1998 21:23:58 · Top

>> I also like the exercise where one side of the set gets the
>>instructions for the dance and have to communicate with their
>>partners without words. No options there!

>Now there's an excellent idea I had not heard of before. Anyone
>else tried this?
>Alastair Murdoch

Alan Twhigg did something similar in class this week.

He called all of the first ladies over and told them the figure for the
first eight bars of the dance. Then he called all of the second ladies over
and told them the figure for the second 8 bars. First men got the
instructions for the next eight bars, and second men got the instructions
for the last eight bars.

So, each person in the set knew just one figure of the dance. It was an
interesting exercise in both giving cues and picking up cues from other
dancers.

~~~ Terry Barron,
San Jose

Non-verbal cues (was Beginners/Advanc...)

Message 13808 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 26 Oct 1998 10:32:24 · Top

Terry Barron recalls an exercise done in class:

>He called all of the first ladies over and told them the figure for the
>first eight bars of the dance. Then he called all of the second ladies over
>and told them the figure for the second 8 bars. First men got the
>instructions for the next eight bars, and second men got the instructions
>for the last eight bars.
>
>So, each person in the set knew just one figure of the dance. It was an
>interesting exercise in both giving cues and picking up cues from other
>dancers.

This and similar exercises appearing in this thread describe techniques
that demonstrate the power and effectiveness of non-verbal communication.
However, something that has been knawing at the edge of my consciousness
tells me that while these are interesting (and usually fun) demonstrations,
they don't actually enhance our non-verbal skills in real dancing
situations. All of these techniques involve handicapping the set so as to
deprive some people of information they would normally have. So, if I
wanted to have some fun with the class, I would use one of these
techniques, but I would not confuse that with providing the dancers with a
useful skill.

I prefer to develop behaviors that apply in real situations. For example,
suppose I am going to dance rights and lefts. First I pull my body into a
posture that indicates to anyone watching that I am about to begin dancing.
I look directly into my partner's eyes with the expectation that she will
do the same. The "expectation" might be accompanied by a small inclination
of the head that could be interpreted as "are you with me?" or "shall we
dance?". Even before I begin to raise my right hand I will rotate my body
slightly to the left, presenting my right side to my partner. The raising
of my right arm as I step is the final invitation. It can be quite a thrill
to find your partner doing the same things in sync with you of his/her own
accord rather than in response to you.

Some dancers do these things automatically, either because they get the
idea right away or because the saw how effective they were when somebody
else did them. Some need to be shown in detail how to make that kind of
communication.

Ah! I just read Malcolm Brown's contribution on this topic and I very much
agree with his points about the non-verbal language and that it needs to be
taught.

Cheers, Oberdan.

Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: ootto@tvt.com

Non-verbal cues (was Beginners/Advanc...)

Message 13811 · Dewdney Andrew · 26 Oct 1998 11:20:40 · Top

Non-verbal communication is vital - one of the main points I try and
emphasise to beginners is to watch their partner (and keep a firm grip
(sorry, arm)) - so many subtle clues can be given without the need for
violent gesticulations or a shove! It is also necessary when dancing
internationally: many engagements with dem teams over the years have
involved visitors from overseas - the delight on their face at the end of a
successfully accomplished dance is great to see - all the more because we
can't actually talk to each other! (it does of course have practical
applications when you are the foreigner!)
The various excercises mentioned, (closing eyes, splitting the information,
etc) encourage dancers to develop these skills.
The ability to communicate like this and respond to a partner's needs (watch
for the look of panic, or the indecisive hand hold) increases confidence and
reduces the reliance on a walk through. It encourages the set to dance
together and cooperate, it IS social dancing, after all! One can become
complacent and inattentive if spoonfed too much! Becoming a dancer is much
more than knowing dances!
Andrew Dewdney

(Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Mus

Message 13764 · Malcolm and Helen Brown · 24 Oct 1998 21:38:53 · Top

Alastair asked, in reply to Ron's comment;

> > I also like the exercise where one side of the set gets the
> > instructions for the dance and have to communicate with their
> > partners without words. No options there!

> Now there's an excellent idea I had not heard of before. Anyone
> else tried this?

Sure have, although I usually limit the exercise to something basic
like cross and cast up / cast down or Turn RH / turn LH - one side
looks away, while I hold up cards with the big letters on them,
e.g. U & D - for their partners to read; Everyone knows they are
going to cross and cast, but only one side knows whether they are
going to cast up or down;

Its all part of the idea that when we dance we are communicating
with our partners and the rest of the set; good dancers are good
communicators, and when they are dancing together there is a
conversation going on - "any idea what comes next?" "yes, you cast
off" "thanks" "don't mention it" - and all done without words!

However I think that beginners do not realise that there is a
language, and it is up to teachers to tell them; first they
need to know it exists, (so that when they are given a signal
they don't just assume they are dancing with a group of people
who suffer from nervous ticks and flailing limbs); then they
need to be taught how to read the language (when someone stops
holding their hand it means they should also let go - if someone
looks at them they probably want to do something with them, like
turn, whereas if they aren't looking they should probably be
turning someone else); and finally they should learn how
to speak the language themselves, so that they can communicate
with everyone in the set.

What is even more amazing is that not only do
we dance the same dances all over the world, but this non-verbal
communication language is also the same. Pretty neat, eh?


Malcolm

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Message subject

Message 13816 · Rita Hamilton · 26 Oct 1998 16:04:50 · Top

This would have been the subject of this message:
Re: (Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Music

Now this is plain stupid. So I didn't let it go that way. Would you guys
and gals please be considerate and edit the subject and eliminate all the
many "Re:" 's and the " (Fwd)"'s?

Thanks

Rita
May neither your strings nor your spirit ever break,
May your harp and your soul always be in tune.

Message subject

Message 13835 · Loren Wright · 26 Oct 1998 21:49:11 · Top

The "subjects":

Re: strathspey-d Digest V98 #262

and

Unidentified subject

are also pretty non-informative!

Finally, if the subject changes drastically, it would be nice if someone
would take the time
to identify the new thread in the subject. Much as I'd like to follow
every thread, I don't have time to do it.

Loren Wright

>This would have been the subject of this message:
>Re: (Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Music
>
>Now this is plain stupid. So I didn't let it go that way. Would you guys
>and gals please be considerate and edit the subject and eliminate all the
>many "Re:" 's and the " (Fwd)"'s?
>
>Thanks
>
>Rita

Message subject

Message 13863 · kerstin kuhn · 27 Oct 1998 19:58:10 · Top

> This would have been the subject of this message:
> Re: (Fwd) Re: (Fwd) (Fwd) RE: Beginners/Advancement/Explaining Music
>
> Now this is plain stupid. So I didn't let it go that way. Would you
guys
> and gals please be considerate and edit the subject and eliminate all
the
> many "Re:" 's and the " (Fwd)"'s?

Thanks, Rita, I agree.

And one additional request: Even though I lurk most of the time, I do
read strathspey with pleasure, but to cut down EMail floods I tend to
delete messages if the topic no longer interests me. TOPIC??? What
topic? Topics move on, subject headers don´t, unfortunately. I found
myself missing interesting bits because I believed what was in
"subject".

So _please_, everybody, when you change the subject, change the
"subject", too!

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