Vince Lombardi was once quoted as saying:
Football isn't a contact sport, it's a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.
And as good as the news was yesterday about restrictions being eased, contact sports for adults are still a no-go.
So we keep on waiting until Destine Dance can return
In the meantime - I hope all is well
Not much new this week so I simply wanted to share a video that I hope you will find motivating.
It is a video of Christina Morrison and Stacey Lopez. Very competent and experienced street Latin dancers. In this video, they are doing cha cha, you can tell from the music, but you will see a lot of improvisation and figures you have likely not seen before. I reckon they could be making some of these up as they go. Still, they are dancing with clear leads and follows - and they are well connected.
We do teach you a collection of figures so you have a toolbox of figures, but don't ever shy away from trying new things. Think of what we teach you as a foundation for your own development.
Looking forward to seeing you when we get back to dance
I hope you enjoyed the weekend weather as much as I did.
This week I want to talk to you about getting some of your technique back in preparation for the reopening of the studio. We have probably all become a little stiff, so it's smart to get the body moving again.
If you are keen, then I have organised something for you through a tango expert - Tomas Melgarejo. He is the guy that joined us when Destine Dance was on the TV Dance Awards.
Tomas is currently running online lessons on Saturdays in tango (and some other dances at other times). These are very much focused on technique - and ideal to help get you back in your dance groove.
The price is pretty good - $20 a month.
However, as a favour to me, Tomas will let you do the first lesson free if you want to test-drive it first.
You can learn more here - www.facebook.com/showydance
Or you can contact him directly to talk more about it.
Contact: 0431 037 786
All the best until next time
I hope the last week was good to you.
This is a short update.
As you know, the number of COVID infections is getting lower and there is talk of restrictions easing.
However, I am pretty sure that dance studios will be one of the last businesses to reopen.
That means we have time to get ready for it.
In the lead up, I will send out another survey to see what everyone is interested in. I reckon the last one would be dated.
So start thinking now about what you would like from dance upon your return.
Do you ever find when you are dancing - and concentrating hard on it - you are worried you will make a mistake? Or it's for a medal - that you get extremely stressed?
Sometimes people will realise that they were holding their breath while dancing. They were that stressed.
If you do, then the good news is that you can resolve this the same way you can resolve stress and anxiety in any situation.
One technique I have used in the past is visualising. Simply doing my best to imagine the situation so that I can induce the stress. Once the stress is induced, I keep imagining the situation while reminding myself to relax. I might also work on recalling things that I need to remember - the routine for example. As I do this a number of times - you can do this anytime and at many places - I am less stressed. I have found that while this does not remove all stress of the event, it does limit the stress considerably.
If you find that this is not enough, then try something more serious.
This is a weekly meditation and hypnosis session run online by a childhood friend of mine - https://www.facebook.com/groups/465533241019768 - it's free and you can make suggestions about what each session focuses on. I might even see you at one - I do them when I can. You will learn all sorts of things about controlling your thoughts and feelings. And that can help with more than just dance.
All the best until next time
I hope you had a good fortnight since the last update.
In this update, I want to talk about how you can keep your responsiveness and improvisational skills.
When you don't get a chance to dance for a while, you can lose these abilities.
Luckily, this is fairly easy to fix with mental rehearsal.
Try this around once a day:
1) If you are a follow, then recall the different leads you have experienced. Then imagine what you would do in response. Then try to quickly recall another and another. That will help improve your responsiveness
2) If you are a lead, then think of the figures you know. Imagine performing one and the follow responding. Then think of another one to do and another. This will maintain your ability to improvise.
I hope this helps. Shoot me a message if you have any questions or concerns about how your dance ability might have slipped recently.
Until next time, I hope things are well for you
I hope the week has been good to you.
A quick one this week.
If you want to work on your ability to hear when the beat is, then a good way is to make music of your own. And a fun way to make your own music is Jam Studio - http://www.jamstudio.com/Studio/indexStudio.htm.
I used this myself when I wanted to improve my ability to hear the beat and keep time.
You use a visual interface to make music so you can see it play. You can choose your instruments, tempo and chords. By watching the player move through the bars you designated you can see the change and note what to listen for. You then get a better understanding of music - and that makes you a better dancer.
It's also just fun making your own music.
I hope things are going well and you are noticing the longer days as I am – I always enjoy that aspect of the seasons.
In this update, I want to talk about touch.
This was prompted by an interview of Gene Wilder by Conan O’Brien I recently saw. You can watch the whole thing, but there is a part where Gene uses touch to communicate his message with remarkable efficacy. You can see what I am talking about below – it starts just before the time Gene uses touch.
You can get a sense of how that touch ads conviction to what Gene says about how happy he is. You can possibly also imagine how Conan would have felt when Gene takes his hand like that.
The thing many of us forget about touch is that it is the first language we learn.
Perhaps ‘know’ is a better word than ‘learn’. Without needing an explanation, we understand most of it.
And like with other language, we sometimes do not understand or miscommunicate. However, we also often overcommunicate. That’s because touch can send signals about how we are truly feeling without us realising it. Apprehension and nervousness are classic ones in dance – we don’t want to send those signals; but we do, and our partners pick up on it.
That is when we can be viewed as creepy. The way we touch does not align with the character of the dance. This incongruence cause discomfort that cannot be fully explained – and we use the word ‘creepy’.
So why am I talking about this now?
First, our ability to communicate with touch has taken a battering of late. Because of isolation, we have not had a chance to practice it. So some of us would be out of practice.
Second, when you come back to dance, this is something you can be mindful of to help increase the speed of your reacquisition of your dance ability.
So even if you are touching no-one at the moment (and the Chrissy Amphlett alternative does not count), then be mindful of what you interpret and what messages you might send via touch.
Until next time, I hope you have a great week
Sorry for missing the last update. I have been working every day for a few weeks now, and simply lacked the time.
Because we are back in lock down, I am going to focus more on concepts for you to think about as opposed to talking about upcoming classes and such. This will hopefully help your mind make the most of this down time so when you come back to dance, you have many things to try out.
In this update I am going to talk about manly dancing. This might seem like it is only for those interested in how to dance in such a way. But if you want to avoid manly dancing, then this is also good to use – don’t do what Donny Don’t does!
And to work out what manly dance is, we will defer to Gene Kelly. First off watch this video.
You will probably note that there is something about the way Gene Kelly moves. He has done other scenes that show that same quality. I recall as a child being transfixed by the dance scene he did with the animated mouse Jerry (of Tom and Jerry). But the scene above seems to showcase what I am talking about most. Not to mention the way they sync the 2 versions of him dancing together is pretty impressive – especially for the time and technology.
So what is it that creates this sense of more manly dancing?
Gene Kelly has also been described as an athletic dancer. And when he offered his opinion on his dance style, he linked it to his early days involved in athletics. He also made the following other points:
So if we are to (not) have a more manly dance, then (don’t):
But of course, all rules can be broken so don’t view the above as an absolute – use to as a guide to explore how you dance.
Talk more next time
I am sure that you have heard the news. We are back in lock down for a 6 week period. That means no dancing for a while yet.
But, as the subject says, spring is a nice time to dance. I look forward to seeing you then.
I know that this has been a shock to many. So I will keep the update short this week. Next week, I will share some stuff you can use to help augment your dance when you return. It will be on manly dance - which is actually good for everyone because you then know what to try or avoid depending upon what you wish to achieve.
I hope you have a great week
This blog is written by the staff at Destine Dance and is inspired by the questions and challenges faced by our students