[Callers] Implied Messages in First-Timer's Orientation (Was: Head Mikes and Mike Heads)
barbkirchner at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 1 11:42:42 PDT 2011
maybe you haven't seen how i teach a swing.
i start with allemande left and right, making good physical and eye contact with your partner, etc. then i have them get into allemande right position, next to each other and feet pointed opposite directions. i tell them that their feet do the same thing in a swing as an allemande right, it's just the top part of the body that's in a different position.
from here, i teach ballroom position. while the gents "hold their place", the ladies put their left hand over the gents' shoulder and lean back very gently. if they can't hold themselves up, their hand is in the wrong place. then i place the gents' hands and point out to the ladies that if it's uncomfortable they should tell the gent, as he probably won't know if you don't tell him. communicate!!
the other hands are the "pointy hands". push gently against those pointy hands and make a connection with your partner. look at your partner and walk FORWARD, NEVER BACKWARDS.
i think teaching the swing will DOES teach those points.
> Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 13:59:17 -0400
> From: twirly-girl at bellsouth.net
> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> Subject: Re: [Callers] Implied Messages in First-Timer's Orientation (Was: Head Mikes and Mike Heads)
> I agree the swing should be taught well, but I am curious, Barb, why you
> would not provide the dancer(s) with the main tool that will help them
> through all those figures we didn't teach, connection through shared
> weight and eye contact?
> On 9/1/2011 12:41 PM, barb kirchner wrote:
> > if i had just five minutes:
> > 1. teach the swing, teach it well. point out that the person always ends up on the right or left (dep on gender) and drill that in. tell them that if whoever they're dancing with doesn't put them on the appropriate side, just go there. then i emphasize that in teaching the first few dances (end that swing/right and left through/promenade/etc. wtih the gents on the left, etc). i also point out to them that the place where they swing their partner can be considered their "recovery point" if they get lost - just go to that place and wait and everything will be ok. now they have two ways to self-correct on the dance floor, which is empowering and tends to diminish that "frozen" feeling. i mention the recovery point during the walk-throughs of the first couple dances as a reminder.
> > 2. the caller's in charge of crowd control, anything that goes wrong is the CALLER's (MY) fault. take the pressure off.
> > 3. it's a party - let's go have some fun!
> > at the end of every class i teach, i have a huddle, a round of applause, ask them if they're ready to dance (make them yell "yes") - more like a pep rally than a class. in fact, i think of myself as the party hostess. i can't MAKE anyone have a good time, but if i'm a good hostess i'll set up the right situation so that everyone CAN have a good time. the biggest part of that is getting people to relax, and that means YOU have to be relaxed.
> > ***********************
> > most useful thing i EVER did to increase my calling skills was to start calling for non-dancers, ie wedding and birthday parties.
> >> Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 12:16:10 -0400
> >> From: twirly-girl at bellsouth.net
> >> To: callers at sharedweight.net
> >> Subject: Re: [Callers] Implied Messages in First-Timer's Orientation (Was: Head Mikes and Mike Heads)
> >> If I just had 5 minutes with a new dancer, I would teach three things:
> >> 1) We are all here to enjoy each other and the dance. Have Fun! 2) Your
> >> greatest survival tool is a firm connection through your hands to your
> >> body. Keep some tension in your arm so people can help guide you
> >> through the dance. Floppies=no connection=no help. Eye contact
> >> functions the same way. (OK, that might be slipping a spare in). 3)
> >> Swing. We do lots and lots of it, so it would be good to understand how
> >> it works. You and everyone else will enjoy the dance more if this part
> >> works well. Obviously, if I get to do a real lesson, many of the points
> >> Michael, Greg and David make are ones i would touch on. Many of the
> >> basic figure will be accessible to new dancers simply by observing the
> >> rest of the dancers. Little teaching is needed for them. CT is a bit
> >> counter-intuitive for some, but figures will come if you give the dancer
> >> and open mind and a little survival technique.
> >> Andrea
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