In Dance Epiphanies on October 14, 2010 at 9:13 pm
Every time I think about how much pulsing is at the core of so many Lindy Hop questions/problems/solutions (for both leads and follows , I get super excited about the potential to spread the love of pulsing! Wow, I feel like I’m selling an item on an infomercial… Here are a few of the benefits…
1. The Pace-keeper: Ever find yourself too far away from your partner either during or at the end of a move? It’s probably because you stopped pulsing while leading/following the move. Keeping the rhythm in your body makes you place your feet down (helping you regulate how big your steps are) and stops you from traveling too far!
2. The Time-filler: Pulsing helps you keep time by filling all of it out. It becomes really, really easy to get ahead of the beat if you have nothing to keep you on beat! Filling out your pulse completely can help you fill time completely.
3. The Efficient-mover: Ever feel like you (as a lead) are not sure when to lead your follow to switch directions? Or, do you ever feel (as a Follow) like you have to be tense all the time to try and be ready for any lead? Pulsing is the solution for you! As a lead, when you pulse and connect with you follow, you are leading her to also bend her knees in time with you. So when you move, it will make sense for her to move too. As a follow, pulsing will help you to be ready to move at the same time as your lead and also release a lot of that unnecessary tension.
Go Pulse…and be FREEEEEEE
In Dance Epiphanies, Uncategorized on September 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm
Naomi (in class at Lindy on the Rocks, addressing the followers): “Only think about one direction at a time.”
This is the best advice I have found to help follows continue through with their momentum in dancing. We follows can get stuck trying to guess the next direction, or even if we know the next direction we will cut off our momentum! By only thinking about the direction we have been/are being sent, we don’t have to worry about the next one – which allows the lead to truly lead the new direction!
As an example, the other day in class, James and I were teaching the difference between a forward swingout and backwards swingout. The only way to lead the difference (in this move and many others), is if the follow doesn’t cut her momentum short! She really has to let the lead direct her on counts 3&4, or the difference becomes nigh impossible to lead.
Think about it!
In Dance Epiphanies on April 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm
I continue to write a lot about “6″ and have truly begun to think that it is possibly the most fun and hardest part of a swing-out for a follower to master. But, I have some advice to make it easier!
Many follows tend to collapse their frame on count ’6′ by allowing their elbow to cave into their side and/or dip to the right with their shoulder (using their shoulder to lead into the connection). Try to avoid both of these by 1. using your back muscles to keep your shoulder blades back and down and 2. don’t collapse one side of your body/lean (straighten as if you didn’t want to wrinkle a shirt you were wearing on either side).
In Dance Epiphanies, Uncategorized on April 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm
During your next practice, dance with your eyes closed.
It really is as easy as that. If you are having trouble following through with momentum on turns, swingouts or really any move – closing you eyes can help tremendously. Grab a lead and dance a bunch of songs with your eyes closed the entire time (works for both Balboa and Lindy). This really helps because what holds a lot of follows back is that they let what they see take over and forget to feel (Example: If the lead sends you back wards and then starts triple-stepping forwards, you still need to keep traveling backwards until he leads you forwards.)
Close your eyes and really focus on feeling what he is leading!
In Dance Epiphanies on March 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm
1. Let your pulse drive your footwork. Instead of thinking about creating the rhythms with your feet – create them with your body. While your body is pulsing, let that rhythm flow from your core to your feet to influence what your feet are doing.
2. Use the floor to move. Instead of floating above the floor and gliding along, actually use the floor by pushing into it by starting with the pulse in your body that will drive your legs down and into the floor, and…
3. Bend you knees. If your pulse is only in your ankles, your pulse will be very small and you will dance lightly over the floor. Bending your knees will help you to push through the floor to move. (there is variation on how much to bend depending on the music – but as a general rule this is is a good idea)
Soon, you and the floor will be the bestest of friends
In Dance Epiphanies on March 8, 2010 at 12:28 am
I love dancing different types of dances because they all have a different feeling to them…and whenever I dance Balboa I love that it makes me really feel beautiful and womanly. I get to dress up, wear twirly skirts/dresses, heels and turn a lot! One of the major differences between Lindy and Balboa is the posture. In Lindy, we generate connection is through counterbalance. This is very different from Balboa where follows remain over their own weight and and over the balls of their feet (more “forward”, if you think of counter-balance as defaulting “backwards”). Many great Balboa follows have this amazing posture where they posses this awesome womanly power in the dance.
I have been working on my posture recently in Balboa and trying to find that middle ground between erring too far forward and “giving” into the connection before the lead is leading me too, and erring too far back (forcing it into a counter-balanced position that makes it look too much like Lindy).
Check out the Balboa youtube videos from ILHC here to watch some sweet follow posture action
In Dance Epiphanies on November 16, 2009 at 6:45 am
As follows, if we begin styling (from basic rock step to swivels and beyond) and disconnect our upper body from what our feet are doing – it becomes very hard to leads us. When the lead can feel where your weight is, it makes it much easier to lead us into variations. Basically hiding where your weight is makes the dance a guessing game.
Things that might mean this is you:
- your stylings are always behind you
- your feet slip out behind you a lot (especially when you try to dance fast)
- your upper body stays very stationary and isolated from your legs
So here is the deal, to reconnect your feet to your body, make sure that your body is moving with your feet. The way to do this is to make sure you never give your frame up. Your arm needs to always be connected to your shoulder.
The reason why your feet are slipping out/behind you is because your chest is ahead of the balls of your feet. In order to dance in a balanced position, they need to be under your chest in order for the lead to feel where they are. Play around with how much your feet are ahead, under, or behind your chest and the feel with each of those differences in each part of your basic.
Now, this isn’t a hard and fast rule, sometimes you can disconnect and it is perfectly ok…just not as your default vanilla basic