Notes to self 9 – Momentum issues

What’s the problem?

To make certain (Balboa) moves work I need to spin out of a move on an arc but I am coming out of the move in a straight line which means I end up slightly in the wrong place.

Why am I coming out straight?

Because I am using my own momentum to make the turns work. If I used only the momentum I was given I would slow down. If I slowed down as I turned I would come out on a curve.

Why I am using my own momentum?

Because I am making moves work by building up the tension within my own body to create a spring to rather than using my partner and creating the tension together. I start the move by myself and kind of keep on going by myself.

What am I doing that?
Many reasons:

  • Most leaders are so used to followers doing what I do (i.e. faking the move) that they don’t need to lead the move properly to make it work in class and we’re all stuck in a vicious circle.
  • Previous feedback (in different contexts) has included:
    * Followers should always keep going as if on frictionless ball bearings
    * When doing multiple turns you need to keep turning down the line and not wander off
    * I am slowing down whilst doing multiple turns
    * When doing multiple turns you need to keep stepping on the beat and keep the timing even
  • No doubt all of those bits of feedback were relevant at the time/for the move being taught but they got stored somewhere and now they are subconsciously influencing my dance in ways that aren’t always helpful.

How am I going to fix it?

Hmmm…. it’s proving to be one hell of a difficult habit to break and it’s going to take a lot of work to undo.

Do I really want to fix the problem?

Fixing me means I need to practice, which means that I have to stop being nice and I need to ‘break’ a lot of partner’s moves in class. If I really follow what the leader is doing then I’m not going to be going anywhere half the time and their leading skills are going to need to dramatically improve.

This should be a win/win situation but then classes are on a Friday night, perfecting one’s dance technique is only a small part of what people are there for….  ‘difficult’ follows don’t get dances…



One response to “Notes to self 9 – Momentum issues”

  1. ray says :

    I think you’re concentrating too much on being a ‘difficult’ follower. You won’t be ‘difficult’ for the whole dance. I think most leaders are more forgiving than you think. Ultimately the ‘difficulties’ will go away and both you and the leaders will benefit. You’ll end up enjoying your dancing more than you do now.

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