strathspey Archive: Teacher's tales

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Teacher's tales

Message 4013 · Campbell Downie · 30 Apr 1996 00:05:51 · Top

Most teachers have made memorable, or perhaps it should be forgettable,
announcements in the heat of the moment, but I would like to share an
amusing statement made in cold blood.

We were in the common situation of being short of a man for a demonstration.

One of our fairly new members, who I shall call Denis, frequently sings solo
tenor in front of large audiences. He is therefore used to presenting
himself to the public. When he dances his posture is perfect, he always has
a smile on his face, and he automatically acknowledges and maintains eye
contact. Also his handing is surprisingly good. But the least said about
his footwork the better (he's only just starting).

Someone suggested Denis for the vacant slot and after consideration one of
our teachers said, "No, he's not ready yet, but it is a pity. HE DANCES SO
BEAUTIFULLY FROM THE WAIST UP."

Cheers,


CAMPBELL DOWNIE
PO Box 10-1269, Scottsville, 3209 South Africa
e-mail:calm.down@pixie.co.za
Telephone: 0331-961238

Teacher's tales

Message 4020 · Andrew J. Smith · 30 Apr 1996 23:48:27 · Top

It strikes me that this isn't nearly as silly as it sounds. There are
lots of people who have good footwork and yet who don't dance well with
the upper body. I think we tend to concentrate too much on what the feet
are doing at the expense of the upper body. SCD is not a feet only thing,
and there are many instances where upper body is more important to the
correct execution of the dance than lower body.

I think I'd rather have a good upper body dancer with limited footwork
than perfect footwork with limited upper body technique. After all, it's
more fun to look at the upper body than at someone's feet.

Andrew Smith

>
> Someone suggested Denis for the vacant slot and after consideration one of
> our teachers said, "No, he's not ready yet, but it is a pity. HE DANCES SO
> BEAUTIFULLY FROM THE WAIST UP."
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> CAMPBELL DOWNIE
> PO Box 10-1269, Scottsville, 3209 South Africa
> e-mail:calm.down@pixie.co.za
> Telephone: 0331-961238
>

Teacher's tales

Message 4021 · Lynn Messing · 1 May 1996 00:09:39 · Top

I agree with Andrew Smith that the "dances beautifully from the waist up" comment
isn't as silly as it sounds...I danced perhaps 30 times with someone and had never
even noticed that he was bow-legged until someone else pointed it out! What I *had*
noticed all along was the smile he wore, his gentle (but accurate) handing, and his
overall demeanor, which always seems to say that he could imagine nothing better
than to engage in this dance with this partner. While he might or might not
be an appropriate choice for a demo team, he continues to be one of my favourite
dance partners...

cheers, Lynn Messing messing@asel.udel.edu

Teacher's tales

Message 4022 · Sandra Rosenau · 1 May 1996 00:24:38 · Top

I have a beginner's class which last night was attended by 8 very new
dancers, some with 2 left feet. After demonstrating the skip change and
having them try it with music, I spent the next 5 minutes working on
posture, heads up, eyes up, relaxing the arms, and smiling. The
footwork in every case improved by 100%!

And I never even mentioned extension, 3rd position, pointing toes or the
other details of the footwork, with the sole exception of "up on your
toes" for those who weren't. Interesting...

Sandra Rosenau
Dayton, Ohio, USA
sjrosenau@tasc.com

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