strathspey Archive: joy of dancing

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joy of dancing

Message 7368 · kerstin kuhn · 14 Apr 1997 18:46:33 · Top

Thanks, Oberdan, for the term "playfulness" which I think names the appeal of simple dances very well. I, too,
enjoy them much more now than I did, say, ten or fifteen years ago, especially in a social dance in a set full of
playfull peolpe. I also agree that the longer you dance the more you enjoy opportunities to phrase and cover well
and dance in harmony with the other dancers.

But complex dances have their appeal as well, and my impression was that they tend to get neglected on courses.
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.

Enjoy dancing,

Kerstin Kuhn
Proitzer Mühle
diemuehle@t-online.de

joy of dancing

Message 7370 · Anselm Lingnau · 14 Apr 1997 20:11:47 · Top

Kerstin Kuhn <diemuehle@t-online.de> 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 ......................... lingnau@tm.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de
Excuse me while I open Pandora's box. --- Ed Berard

joy of dancing

Message 7376 · Martin Sheffield · 15 Apr 1997 12:26:10 · Top

Kerstin wrote:
> But I find I¥m quite disappointed when, on an "advanced" weekend, there
>is not one >single "advanced" dance in this sense.

If we could only agree on what was meant by an advanced dancer / class / dance.
When one kind of adnvaced dancer ("I've been dancing 5 years and know all
the steps") meets another kind ("I"ve been to all the best places and have
learnt hundreds of dances"), there will inevitably be a clash.

Likewise there are dancers who have been to classes for several years, but
will be eternally beginners, and there are the godsends that remember
everything they have seen and are out of the beginners' category in a few
weeks.

Whatever term we use, beginner advanced, experienced, new, old, ..., the
teacher's opinion, the individual's own self evaluation, and the opinion of
other dancers rarely coincide.
I have given up trying to organize beginners' classes or advanced sessions,
and content myself with whoever comes. If they are ready to join in and
enjoy themselves, the dances and the company of others, what more can we
hope for?

Yours,
Martin,
Grenoble, France.

joy of dancing

Message 7377 · The_Healys · 15 Apr 1997 14:11:39 · Top

At the risk of repeating something I may have posted before

IMO - There are *no* advanced dances - there are just dances you
know and dances you don't know: unfortunately some of the ones you
don't know are more complex than others.

This was demonstrated to me one evening at a local club in North
London when a complex all_four_couples_moving_all_the_time dance
was announced and the young woman sitting next to me leapt up and
announced - "Oh! Good! This is the first dance I ever learned!"

Jim Healy

joy of dancing

Message 7392 · Hanny D. Budnick · 16 Apr 1997 14:32:34 · Top

Hi, Jim -
I only joined the strathspey list a few days ago and enjoy all those pertinent
dialogs....
Since I'm the sysop for DANCE and FESTIVALS! on the MUSICARTS forum on
CompuServe - and since you have a CServe account, I want you to know that both
those sections welcome announcements, information and dialog. ALL kinds of dance
are up for discussion, and ALL kinds of festivals. The membership is quite
diverse, and one can reach folks who would not be reached through a specialized
list such as this strathspey one. Anyway, I just want to alert you to this
opportunity to proselytize....

Hanny

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