Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pop(turn) will eat itself

We've had a recent influx of new students over the last month, so we've been more focused on mechanical issues and leading/following fundamentals. Since most of the class is quite new, I plan to bring back the class on pop-turns tonight. It follows from our recent class topics pretty well and brings some light to the basics of the lead/follow dynamic.

Mechanics are important, vital even. However, I'm even more excited for the day that all these students understand the way their bodies interact and are ready to explore topics about enriching the dance: playfulness, music, improvisation. I think some of the questions are starting to be asked. A few days ago, I was asked how a follow could discern the lead's rhythm. Phrased the way it was asked: "how can I tell when my partner is on One?" I didn't really address the rhythmic cues in the pulse between the partners, mostly since we discuss it so much in class. I answered with regard to music. We were listening to CDs on a laptop computer, so it was especially tough to hear the bass line. I'm really looking forward to the day that I can explore this with the new students.

There are many more thoughts to consider, but thumb-typing is not conducive to long blog-thoughts. Anyone have input on their discovery of rhythm and partnering?


  1. I don't know that I have an answer as to why but I find that some people can naturally sync up with one another more easily than others. When it's not so easy, I would think it's an issue of how much enery the lead and follow are respectively putting into the dance.

  2. Whenever I teach basic rhythm and such, the first thing I have everyone do is stand still and listen for downbeats. Then I have them move/walk around trying to move with the downbeats, and then have them repeat the exercise moving their upper bodies as well. Then I have them partner up with someone and try to walk together on the downbeats, and then comes facing each other and starting to step side to side together. Change the song between each exercise, and make sure the songs are at different tempos.

  3. With regard to rhythmic connection specifically, I have observed so many people get stuck in their own feedback loop. Usually, if I see someone having trouble rhythmically, it's important to get them out of their head. I believe that rhythm is an extension of the sense of touch. I'll stand behind this statement: thinking ain't dancing!