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Ballroom Dancing

Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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4/18/2013 5:16:28 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
The decline of ballroom dancing as a form of social dance was pronounced over the 20th century. Nevertheless, ballroom dancing is still seen as elegant, exquisite and of a more modest taste than lively and... questionable aspects of modern dancing. This is why I've embarked upon learning ballroom dancing through self-teaching myself, at least to the point of being passable.

Given some the calibre of DDO's members I figure that their advice on ballroom dancing would be most valuable. A few questions:

1. Are there any particular instructional videos on ballroom dancing online that you'd particularly recommend, based on personal experience? [please list accessible, free videos if possible]

2. Are there any particular songs or items of musical accompaniment that would serve well to practice to?

3. Are there any particular experiences of ballroom dancing that you wish to share?

I'm most looking for answers to the 2nd question at the moment, hence the italics. Now - as the instigator - I should feel obliged to answer a question; let's choose question 3.

Last year I was invited to a social event. I had full well expected an air of formality considering the dress code was semi-formal; I expected the event to resemble a classically oriented theme dance wise, hence ballroom dancing. However, the organisers clearly lacked an understanding of fashion terms, meaning semi-formal to be akin to smart casual; some 'halfway' compromise between casual and formal. In essence, the event devolved into very modern social 'dancing' and I was a bit of a klutz to say the least. But why tell the tale given it's supposed irrelevance? Because I did manage to get a ballroom song in their, only to discover my complete incompetence; I had done no practice at that time. The event was the cause for me to begin learning dancing, which I have begun to do so at the basics level.

So, do we have any dancers extroadinaire out there with advice? And please, if the questions sound stilted and limiting then just speak freely. And insights into dancing as a whole, especially ballroom dancing, will be most appreciated indeed!
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Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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4/18/2013 9:28:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've always wanted to learn ballroom dancing, as I love waltzes. I can certainly provide some insight into number two, and provide some nice dance genre pieces, though I'm not sure how good they are for dancing:

I've included a mazurka, six waltzes, and a mix of tango pieces.
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suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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4/18/2013 11:14:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/18/2013 5:16:28 AM, Logic_on_rails wrote:
The decline of ballroom dancing as a form of social dance was pronounced over the 20th century. Nevertheless, ballroom dancing is still seen as elegant, exquisite and of a more modest taste than lively and... questionable aspects of modern dancing. This is why I've embarked upon learning ballroom dancing through self-teaching myself, at least to the point of being passable.

Given some the calibre of DDO's members I figure that their advice on ballroom dancing would be most valuable. A few questions:

1. Are there any particular instructional videos on ballroom dancing online that you'd particularly recommend, based on personal experience? [please list accessible, free videos if possible]

2. Are there any particular songs or items of musical accompaniment that would serve well to practice to?

3. Are there any particular experiences of ballroom dancing that you wish to share?

I'm most looking for answers to the 2nd question at the moment, hence the italics. Now - as the instigator - I should feel obliged to answer a question; let's choose question 3.

Last year I was invited to a social event. I had full well expected an air of formality considering the dress code was semi-formal; I expected the event to resemble a classically oriented theme dance wise, hence ballroom dancing. However, the organisers clearly lacked an understanding of fashion terms, meaning semi-formal to be akin to smart casual; some 'halfway' compromise between casual and formal. In essence, the event devolved into very modern social 'dancing' and I was a bit of a klutz to say the least. But why tell the tale given it's supposed irrelevance? Because I did manage to get a ballroom song in their, only to discover my complete incompetence; I had done no practice at that time. The event was the cause for me to begin learning dancing, which I have begun to do so at the basics level.

So, do we have any dancers extroadinaire out there with advice? And please, if the questions sound stilted and limiting then just speak freely. And insights into dancing as a whole, especially ballroom dancing, will be most appreciated indeed!

If you don't mind piano music, try Chopin he's got tons of waltz, mazurka and many pieces of ballroom music.
Sui_Generis
Posts: 493
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4/20/2013 5:19:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you want to learn a fun, easy-to-get-into form of dance, try east coast swing. It's by far the most fun dancing I do on a regular basis. I go to ballrooms with live bands who play old big band music, but if you want to have a little fun, you can dance to "Clash" by Caravan Palace... little bit of electro swing. ;)

I have to say though, it's tough to learn by yourself... if you have a partner you're willing to go through the moves with, it shouldn't be too difficult. It's six steps. step onto your left foot, count one, two, shift weight to your right foot, count three, four, and then rock back onto your left foot and forward back onto your right foot. (five then six.) Repeat. various turns and moves are available from there. string 'em together and you got it.

other than that, I love waltzes. look up rotating box step, and venetian waltz
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DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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4/20/2013 9:06:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I learned the foxtrot to "Come Fly With Me," by Frank Sinatra.

So yeah--I'd recommend that song for the more waltzy dances, particularly foxtrot.
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R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,722
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4/21/2013 2:48:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've been doing ballroom dancing, on-and-off, for about ten years. I haven't stayed with it simply because I've never had a relationship that lasted that long. You say you want to learn by yourself, but I'm not sure how feasible that is... you need a partner who's at the level you're at and, as you said, since the genre is in decline, you can't just depend on always having random partners around who can do it with you (perhaps in a big-enough city there's enough to sustain you, but not where I live!).

I've danced with three of my past girl-friends, and since I'm single at the moment, I don't dance at all. I even have credit built-up with one of the local dance instructors, who is waiting for me to get a partner and come back so I can use the lessons I have paid for (over a year-old now, unfortunately). The only dancing I do now is to Deadmau5 and the like at the club, which is fun and all but only useful by myself. My favorite is when they play some Michael Jackson and I get to emulate his style.

Good luck doing it on your own, I am going to hold out until I start dating again and I can tell you that if she doesn't have interest in dancing, she is probably going to get kicked to the curb fairly quickly because I already feel like I've lost a lot of time and in a decade I want to be a seasoned veteran with a woman who is also. I've seen couples who obviously have experience and I envy them hard when I see them out there... in Green Bay we have practically zero venues for it but hopefully that will change at some point. To me the discipline is inherently shared and not an individual thing, but if you disagree then I'd be interested in hearing how you plan on advancing without an advanced dance partner... I want someone who is used to my cues and all and who will know what I'm thinking without the need to communicate it physically or verbally.
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