Those who know me from the tango world probably do not realise that we are very active in other dance scenes as well, and it is amazing how the difficulties encountered in one scene cross over to others.
We have known that for years “sequence dancers” get bored with social dancing, and try to introduce all their new dances to social events. This causes all sorts of frustrations to those who choose, because of time constraints or just can’t be bothered, not to learn a new dance every week. There is an obsession with learning more, where does this idea come from, that the best dancers know more moves (or dances)?
(almost) Anyone coming into dancing now is inspired to do so by shows such as “Strictly”. What we do cannot be compared, but it is worth a look at what they do; They learn a minute and a half routine, they learn it well, They practice it until it is perfect, then they practice it some more. The judges do not look at how many dances they can do, but instead look at how well they do the dance they are performing at the time.
The same should be true of those of us who are not performance dancers. We dance for our own pleasure and the pleasure of our partners, but we try to do it the best we can. I see “sequence dancers” who know all the routines, but they will never be dancers. I see old dancers who simply never learned a sequence yet they dance with a grace and musicality that I could never aspire to. I know which camp I would prefer to fall into, although, in truth, I probably fall somewhere in the middle.
The other area of difficulty that seems to be the same is the music. We dance Jive and rock and roll, not the best in the world, but we get by. We dance Rumba, although these days our ballroom Rumba has taken a back seat to the sequences we know. So WHY, do they insist on playing Rock and Roll and announcing a Rumba? To me this is as bad as what they keep trying to do to Tango, and I always leave the floor.
Dance to what ever you want, enjoy the music, just keep moving . That after all is what it is all about, but every musical genre has it’s dance moves. They were designed to match the music as it was written, this was done by people much better at this than you or I. So what makes us think we know better, and can re-write musical history?
Sod this I am off to salsa, at least so far they have not tried to do that to a Paso Doble or Bosa Nova………..