I am enjoying this dialogue. And here is a note about the side slipping step:A while ago,
I attempted to show an elderly dancer the "correct" footwork, i.e walking
*forward* during swing,
rather than the awkward side-slip-backwards kind of thing she was doing.She kindly let me
know that her way does not aggravate her hip.Not sure how, but it's her body and she
knows it better than I do.
Just reminding people that when teaching, be careful to add -
"if it hurts someone else OR YOURSELF, it is probably not a good thing for you to be
doing,even if I say it is the *right* way. "
From: Read Weaver via Organizers <organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net>
To: organizers <organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net>
Sent: Sun, Jun 23, 2019 8:48 pm
Subject: Re: [Organizers] Tips for a swing workshop
I think this is quite good, though I’d add that it’s useful to specify some things not to
do, because I’ve danced with experienced dancers who clearly think you should give weight
by clamping your partner’s arm, or that you should lean your torso back or to the side.
And since they probably think they don’t have to listen, it may require emphasizing “even
some experienced dancers do this, but…”.
Also, it’s tempting when showing what not to do to exaggerate it, so people can see what
you’re talking about. But when you do that, people think you mean “don’t do it in this
exaggerated way” rather than “don’t do it at all."
Slightly more advanced (because not necessary, though easy) is to show people that you can
walk in a swing just as well as buzzstep. And I think it’s likely worth talking about how
to decline a twirl, and that it’s always fine for either partner to do so.
Consider discussing buzzstep vs slipping step, depending on what you’re seeing on the
floor—there’s a local dance where there are several experienced dancers who do a slipping
step, because no one at that dance has made a point to teach otherwise. It’s pretty easy
to never change it, if you’re never taught otherwise, since it’s in the same double-step
rhythm as a buzzstep (and why wouldn’t you lead with your left foot if you’re going
clockwise? easy enough to see how the mistake happens).
Read WeaverJamaica Plain, MAhttp://lcfd.org
On Jun 19, 2019, at 1:59 PM, Alexandra Deis-Lauby via Organizers
I’d suggest taking a moment in the evening dance after the 4th dance to go over swing
technique. Explain where we want both flat hands (on correct shoulder blades as heights
allow), squarish torsos, toes pointed in the direction you wish to walk, lots of
connection on the rounded end (no gaps between those arms), rounded frames with space
between the two people. Encourage and demonstrate feedback. “Higher hand please, I’d like
less/more weight please,” “ask for what you need to make the swing feel good for you” Have
them try the swing from both sides so they understand how symmetrical the connection is.
No one role is responsible for all the weight. They age equally responsible.
Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 19, 2019, at 2:20 AM, Karlsruhe Contra Dance via Organizers
By "proper" I mean something more focused than a beginner workshop. Something
you would not do during a normal weekly dance. But might have time to offer during a
special weekend, for example. I do teach the swing in my beginner workshop, but just to
help them get by in the dance. And to be honest, it's not the true beginners I am
needing to help. If they have only experienced my teaching of the swing, they generally do
fine. I have a number of dancers who have come from another dance group and have never
been taught how to swing well, but don't consider themselves beginners - and they
aren't. They also generally come after the beginner workshop. They know figures. They
are experienced at what they do. They have just never learned the importance of, and how
to really share a swing.
I don't want to be condescending to them, that's why I was thinking of trying to
sell it as a workshop to improve your swing or be more creative with your swing.
Hope that helps.
behalf of Alexandra Deis-Lauby via Organizers <organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net>
Sent: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:39:24 PM
To: Larry Koplik; organizers(a)lists.sharedweight.net
Subject: Re: [Organizers] Tips for a swing workshop What is a “proper” workshop? A
Sent from my iPhone
On Jun 18, 2019, at 5:31 PM, Larry Koplik via Organizers
Here's a video that Princeton Country Dancers created
about the buzz step swing that might be helpful.
On 6/18/2019 4:01 PM, Karlsruhe Contra Dance via Organizers wrote:
I know, we learn to swing by swinging with other experienced dancers. But my problem is a
lack of experienced dancers.
I would love to help my dancers get a bit more out of their swings the next time I have
the chance to offer a proper workshop (other than "the basics") There is
I was thinking of possibly selling it as "swings and swing flourishes" - but
based on the level, the flourishes won't have to be terribly creative.
I have never participated in a workshop of this type. Can any of you point me to some
resources or tell me about experiences that you have had? Or other ideas?
Rebecca in Karlsruhe, D.
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