As per the request of one of the DanceNet readers, here are copies of the past ramblings of the DanceNet Webmaster.
To all dance venues who are listed on this website:
When sending mail to inform me of incorrect information, *please* include the correct information in your email. This makes it much more likely that I will be able to make the changes in a timely fashion (as opposed to blowing it off until the next week when I have more time to look it up)
Over the years I've been raving about Bob Thomas' Dancers' Workshops that I took back in 1992. These were 10-week semi-private lessons that focused on how to dance better. We didn't learn any new moves, but we learned how to make a "presence" on the dance floor. Many of the good dancers from that era took Bob's classes. I myself took that class three times, and while I would like to think that I would have gotten there eventually, I think the workshops improved my own dancing faster. I've been asking Bob over the years to hold his classes again, but his schedule hasn't permitted it.
I think that many swing dancers are tired of classes that feature only new moves that they have a hard time remembering anyways. Marie Lawlor's Musicality classes, I hear, are a good start, but more teachers, with their variety of experiences, need to feature classes on "how to be a better dancer" as opposed to "learn all 200 swing moves".
I suppose I made some dance teachers think about last week's soapbox. I think that's a good thing.
Last week, I indicated that some dance teacher should offer a class dedicated to just dance technique, learning to "dance" and move without having to learn any dance figures and without any preference to any dance (WCS versus ECS versus Lindy). One of the weeks during Bob Thomas' 10-week technique class was dedicated to just "walking" which was important when I was learning the Argentine Tango years later. One reader wrote to me about Kate Ford's "Critique" workshop which turned out to be a "feedback" session where Kate danced with everyone in the class and offered comments on what they needed to work on (technique instead of moves), which, by the way, was also one of the weeks in Bob's class. I think a class like this, without the distraction of learning new moves, would be welcome by the dance community.
To be fair, I know that some dance teachers do mix in dance technique during their classes. Imagine offering a Cha Cha class without teaching Latin hip movement? The problem is that most beginning students are too busy trying to figure out the dance moves that they tune out the teacher when he or she is offering good technique advice. Someone told me that 75% of the population learn by "doing"; the others learn by "thinking about it". That means while they're practicing the new moves of the lesson, they're not listening to the teacher. As an example, one teacher (who shall remain nameless, but we all know who it is) has a reputation for talking too much in class. It's not that he's talking too much; the problem is that not enough students listen to the wealth of knowledge that he's trying to share.
It's hard to concentrate on both the moves and the technique at the same time. A class without the distractions of new moves would be nice.
Thanks to the DanceNet readers who wrote in about last week's soapbox. Also, thanks to the teachers who took the time to put in their two cents.
I remember that it took about a month for me to find the URL for this website, www.havetodance.com, because all of my other choices were already taken. I'm still not satisfied with my choice, though many readers have said that it was good that an informational website has an easy-to-remember address.
I have a hard time understanding how anyone can demand that much for a website address with such a limited market. For the most part, most dance businesses are local and shelling out $2500 for a URL for a dance studio (for example) seems extravagant. Also, a ".net" domain implies an ISP or group, not a business. Having a coveted ".com" address makes all the difference in the world in demanding a high price.
The ones who would be the most appropriate recipients of that URL might be a purely national non-profit dance organization or some free dance information group. I hope that none of them are stupid enough to shell out $2500 of their members' money to pay a URL squatter.
I think that this cross-breeding of students would help local dancers by exposing them to different teaching styles and help them get class material that they might never have seen. While there have been dance weekends that performed this function, I haven't seen one that featured only *local* teachers; these are the ones who would be here all year long to help us with our dancing, as opposed to those who come in for a weekend, dance some new material that no one will ever use again, and then fly off, never to be seen again.
Something to think about...
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