strathspey Archive: re:Mistakes & Cues

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re:Mistakes & Cues

Message 19168 · mlbrown · 30 Oct 1999 22:23:18 · Top

Greetings;

Why is it that the sets which you join as 4th couple are the ones which require
most assistance, so that the only cues you can give to start with are verbal? -
And this sometimes means that nobody gets to see what first couple should really
do until the last two repeats. (OK I know I should have been a bit quicker onto
the floor, but you know what I mean)

Thinking about it, I suspect that non-verbal cuing works with one person at a
time, say your partner, but if you need to control a few more then you need to
use words.

I suppose like most teachers I'm a little schizophrenic about getting the dances
done correctly - part me likes the approach that mutters "details" as they go
the wrong way, and defines a successful dance as one where everyone is in the
right place on the final chord; the other part really does care, because I spend
so much time in class trying to get them to phrase and cover and all those other
things, including performing the dance as the deviser intended. I usually give
in to my instincts to help, on the grounds that people will feel more
satisfaction the closer they get to doing the dance "correctly"; - they usually
thank me, but I'm never convinced that they really mean it!

I think that as well as teaching "recovery" - (what do do when a mistake is
made) - 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.

Malcolm

re:Mistakes & Cues

Message 19241 · Armin Busse · 3 Nov 1999 18:09:12 · Top

At 07:24 PM 10/30/1999 +0100, "mlbrown" <malcolm@mlbrown.netlineuk.net> wrote:

...
>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.
>
>Malcolm

Hallo Malcom, Hallo Helen, Hallo Friends,

Usually during the dance everybody is watching the dancing couple. This is
good as well as helpful. If you see a dancer getting/searching eye contact
with you because he/she has the opinion that you are the next person to
approach and you are not, try the following:

Make a good eye contact with this dancer and then look to the correct next
partner for this dancer.

Sorry, lots of words for a fraction of a second task, but this is my
preferred cue.

Armin.

Focus (was Mistakes & Cues)

Message 19244 · Trans Vector Technologies, Inc · 3 Nov 1999 21:33:52 · Top

>[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.

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

Focus (was Mistakes & Cues)

Message 19248 · Norah Link · 3 Nov 1999 23:37:21 · Top

> From: Oberdan Otto [mailto:ootto@tvt.com]
> Sent: November 3, 1999 2:34 PM
>
> 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.
>

Yes, I have a new dancer in my class who (for the moment at least) is a joy
to watch because she really DOES pay attention to ALL the cues available to
her - verbal, and especially cues she picks up by WATCHING, WATCHING,
WATCHING - from getting the shape of a figure, to which hand to give, to
phrasing, to using the correct steps. Okay, so there is lots to teach her
about the details of execution, but it is such a pleasure to see someone
having so much fun and with (apparently) a natural ability to mimic what she
is seeing, at least enough to get through simple dances with a minimum of
instruction. As always, this discussion is making me think about my own
teaching methods... maybe it is time to shift attention away from "your
partner will get you through it" to "you can get yourself through it by...".

cheers,
Norah

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