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Fuck, I Can't Dance (coordination)

MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
For the past year I've been attempting the art of dance, specifically swing dancing. The style and customization is very attractive to me, and I feel there's a lot of personality I can put in to it, but I've come to the slow, sad realization that my legs, hips, and the rest of my body are not cooperating. I daresay I have rhythm, but when it comes time to coordinate with a partner, let alone myself, my direction seems to falter. I've started working out a bit more to build muscle, which in my understanding helps a lot, but I'm still left cursing my whiteness.

Any suggestions? Methods do not have to cover swing dancing specifically.

THE END.
Mertzy on

Posts

  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Go to a dance school, really it's one of the things you can only get better at if you actually do it. Preferably with an instructor.

    Falx on
  • DustyBottomsDustyBottoms Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, I started swing dancing with my girlfriend about six months ago. We had an experience with it before that, but we didn't really have anyone to help us out and give us pointers. We started going to the dances held by a local organization, and they always start with a lesson. Furthermore, the people there are very helpful and supportive, even if you have no idea what you're doing (which was me when I started). Note that the last time I danced (I'm 22 in three weeks) was in middle school, and it was the "latch onto the girl's waist and sway back and forth" style of dancing. Now, I do pretty well with swing. Having someone who knows what they're doing and can tell you what to do is extremely helpful.

    My advice, then, would be to find someone you can practice with. Having a girlfriend helped me, but maybe you can even just grab a friend who's also interested, if a s/o is not a possibility. Head to Best Buy, buy one of their cheap $5-6 big band compilation CDs, pick out the tracks that are at a comfortable rhythm for you, and just practice.

    Also, from what I can tell, muscle doesn't really have all that much to do with it. I'm in about average shape and I had no trouble getting started. For communication with your partner, it's all about frame and distribution of body weight. I'd explain those better but I'm not really good at that - I have just enough of an understanding to be able to lead effectively.

    Just out of curiosity, what style of swing dancing are you attempting? My first experiences were with East Coast style, but I've seen West Coast and have tried Lindy Hop.. I find those significantly harder, at least for me. Maybe you can look into trying a different style and see if that works with your abilities better?

    DustyBottoms on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If you can find the time and cash, classes at a good school (don't just pick one at random) in Jazz would proably help tremendously.

    Or ballet, or ballroom. Anything that helps conenct you to underdstanding how your body moves will help.

    Improvolone on
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  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    What kind of music do you like? I have no rhythm but I found I can dance to goth/industrial pretty well. Dance to what you like. Dancing should be fun!

    LondonBridge on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    It kind of hurts when I hear "I have no rhythm, but I can dance _______"

    Improvolone on
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  • The Raging PlatypusThe Raging Platypus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    What kind of music do you like? I have no rhythm but I found I can dance to goth/industrial pretty well. Dance to what you like. Dancing should be fun!

    If you don't mind me asking, how does one dance to goth/industrial music?

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  • ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    It kind of hurts when I hear "I have no rhythm, but I can dance _______"

    meh, if the person has fun dancing the way they want to, why not? It's only truly troublesome with specific dance styles, ie jazz, modern, swing, ballroom, etc


    I second the motion to pick up some classes. If you really want to learn, you need an instructor who can help you out. Here at least, you can find about 2-3 months worth of intro classes for a decent price (sometimes coming twice a week, some places once, sometimes you can choose to drop in on extra classes). Hunt around a little, check out places where your first class is free so you can see if you learn well from the instructor, etc

    ihmmy on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    What kind of music do you like? I have no rhythm but I found I can dance to goth/industrial pretty well. Dance to what you like. Dancing should be fun!

    If you don't mind me asking, how does one dance to goth/industrial music?

    Generally, it's 4/4 so pretty much everything works. But 2 step is pretty universally.

    Rook on
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Mertzy wrote: »
    For the past year I've been attempting the art of dance, specifically swing dancing. The style and customization is very attractive to me, and I feel there's a lot of personality I can put in to it, but I've come to the slow, sad realization that my legs, hips, and the rest of my body are not cooperating. I daresay I have rhythm, but when it comes time to coordinate with a partner, let alone myself, my direction seems to falter. I've started working out a bit more to build muscle, which in my understanding helps a lot, but I'm still left cursing my whiteness.

    Any suggestions? Methods do not have to cover swing dancing specifically.

    Continuous classes and practice.

    Professional dancers have generally been dancing since they were babies.

    I've been doing various styles of dance for about 2 years and would consider myself a beginner/lower intermediate, for example.

    Serpent on
  • MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I'm not dancing any specific traditional swing. I've been covering east-coast, west-coast, lindy hop, and charleston. I'm not exactly sure of any dance schools around here, and I probably should have added that my budget is pretty tight. There's a somewhat local hangout that charges 4 bucks for students along with lessons before each session (Tapestries to all you Twin City folks) and I've also been trying to partner with a friend who has a few years on me, so I sometimes feel like I'm just a bore. She has a lot of patience and just loves to dance, though. We go every thursday, but I'll probably try and get at least an extra day a week to practice.

    Mertzy on
    THE END.
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Alot of my friends who've danced for years love teaching as well. If you can't afford class, ask around. Hell, maybe you can trade some of your services for it.

    Improvolone on
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  • pinenut_canarypinenut_canary Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Classes and practice. I've never taken dance lessons, but I had to do some traditional Korean dances that were really slow for a festival, and I don't really have the best body or style of movement for it. We practiced for a whole month, I did some yoga and core exercises, and I did all right. I didn't look as good as some of the other more graceful people, but I didn't screw the whole thing up either.

    Also, the first few times I played some local shows with my band, I was a statue. I was nervous, but I also didn't really know how to move around to the type of music I listened to, but after I really got in the mood and played a few shows, I was really into it.

    Good luck, I think you're going to have a lot of fun. Once I get married, I want to take some form of dance with my wife for fun.

    pinenut_canary on
  • TaterskinTaterskin Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Rook wrote: »
    What kind of music do you like? I have no rhythm but I found I can dance to goth/industrial pretty well. Dance to what you like. Dancing should be fun!

    If you don't mind me asking, how does one dance to goth/industrial music?

    Generally, it's 4/4 so pretty much everything works. But 2 step is pretty universally.

    There aren't specific steps or moves like Swing dancing. Industrial music is generally a faster beat compared to goth music. Then again, following the beat is optional.

    I will say goth dance or a rivethead stomp isn't good for partner dancing.

    Taterskin on
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