Wednesday 15 September 2010

Take-home happiness, and I don't care about styles much

It's a good night when you have a totally joyous last tanda, to keep for the whole weekend. Que lind@. Big smiles. Or "<3" as they say on Facebook.

I've been lucky enough to dance with wonderful dancers who have quite big differences in what is laughingly known as "style", and in aspects of technique that go with so-called style and personal preference.

As far as I'm concerned, nearly all of these differences are completely trivial and meaningless compared to the differences in personality, musical response, and interaction between two actually-good dancers whose 'style' looks technically the same. Once you get into people who actually dance well, who have something that works for them, so that their own personalities and joy come through, it just does not matter much.

This is not a standardised dance. People use the techniques that they need to do what they judge will make a good dance, and leave out the ones that they don't.

I like to be able to deliver whatever it is they need to dance their dance. I don't want someone who dances well to adapt to what he thinks I want. I need him to adapt to what I can do - but not to what he thinks I want, because I don't know anything. I may have preferences or favourites to some extent, but go ahead, persuade me to change my mind. I want my partner to dance this dance the way he thinks it should be danced with me.


ghost said...

Someone asked me on Tuesday why I don't get bored dancing Ceroc and half my answer was basically what you've just said. Except I turned it around slightly saying that the different ways the followers expressed themselves and the interplay between that and the way I express myself is what keeps me interested.

The other half was that I just like laughing :o)

Anonymous said...

Lots of parallels here between fine art (drawing, painting) - where technique is fine, but it's your expression using selected technique that is important. Also perhaps some hints for teaching - basic techniques, some history of the landscape, and then off you go doing your own thing - not imitating someone else. Illustration is not the same as art.

Andreas said...

This is the kind of post that makes me read your blog, after I have given up on most others. Most excellent!

msHedgehog said...

@Andreas, no pressure then! ;)

Relja Dereta said...

The last paragraph is something followers should really take to heart - it strikes just the right balance between a healthy does of ego of the good sort (you are a person with your needs, you have something you want and don't want from a dance) and complete openness to experiencing the best dance possible in that moment (if the lead dances sincerely and not to what he thinks you might want etc.)

For me, one of the most delightful feelings is when you enter an embrace with someone with a personality who's not afraid to enjoy whatever comes out of the two of us and will contribute equally to the dance we're creating.