[Organizers] Dipping and aerials

Allison Bell via Organizers organizers at lists.sharedweight.net
Tue Apr 5 08:06:13 PDT 2016

Thanks Eric Black! Great comment, well worth reading and thinking about.

Sent from Outlook on iOS

On Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 10:00 PM -0700, "Eric Black via Organizers" <organizers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

An aerial move is one where a dancer’s both two feet leave the floor with the assistance of another dancer (i.e. for more than a single unassisted jump/leap). Doesn’t need to be a spinning top with feet flaying everyone in a 4 foot radius. It includes adults lifting a young/small dancer off the floor, as well as adult acrobatics.

In our style of folk dancing (contra dancing), in general every dancer has at least one foot is on the floor at any given moment except for occasional solitary leaps due to enthusiasm for the music. Our group considers it unsafe and does not permit one dancer to lift another off the floor.  Dips, where one dancer “levers” another dancer off the floor but still solidly connected, are a different problem due to the much higher likelihood of injury to innocent bystanders just because of the extra lateral space required to raise feet in the air and not kick someone.

A sensible and observant dancer will avoid participating in such moves if:
 - the partner has not given permission in advance
 - the partner is not known to be experienced in performing the move
 - the conditions (spacing, timing, other nearby bodies) contraindicate

High kicks on a balance are not “aerial” and are not “lifts” nor “dips” but are also potentially dangerous and should be forbidden in a crowded hall, if not in general.

Making a dancer late for the next move because you have delayed him/her in a dip or other flourish marks you as an unskilled dancer. Making an uninvolved dancer late because they had to dodge your foot in the air also marks you and/or your partner as an unskilled dancer. Please encourage your dancers to avoid demonstrating that unskilled dance behavior.  Newcomers may be watching, and might mistakenly think that it is something to be copied.

No matter what rules your organization might have (or not) against aerials, lifts, dips, etc., there will be instances of such now and then. We’ve found it most effective to take the offender aside and talk about it, and not spend time lecturing the group or posting lots of printed rules. No one listens to announcements, no one reads posters.  But if someone does something that violates a group policy, especially an issue of safety, take that person aside and talk individually about the incident, the reason for the rule, and ask for their help in setting a good example for the mutual enjoyment and safety of all the other dancers.


On Apr 4, 2016, at 8:32 PM, Walker Sloan via Organizers <organizers at lists.sharedweight.net> wrote:

> Thursday Night Dance at Scout House in Concord MA prohibit aerials.
> Dips seem pretty universal.
> What's an aerial? Practically, anything that makes the organizer nervous. You absolutely do NOT want to rigorously define it or you will get into endless arguments about it. Between us organizers, I call it when a woman's navel gets up to a man's solar plexus. These are approximately the woman's and man's centers of gravity. But as I say, do NOT give dancers limits to "game" on.
> Mac Sloan
> Thursday Night Dance Committee
> Concord Scout House, Concord MA
> On 4/4/16 23:00, Orin Nisenson via Organizers wrote:
>> At a recent Friends of Greenfield Dance board meeting the topic of
>> dipping and aerials came up.
>> Have other organizers had problems with these dance moves and how have
>> you handled them?
>> Thanks,
>> Orin

Eric Black
eric at mirador.com

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