Sunday, December 04, 2005


for those of you that dont know, i'm a bit of a dancing freak. i like swing dancing in particular - which includes: lindy hop, charleston, shag and balboa.

balboa is a more upright dance with intricate footwork where the follow is pretty much expected to be passive and allow the lead to put his grand scheme into play.

recently i've been working on this dance a little bit more and i'm becoming increasingly impressed with the mechanics of it all. it seems that while i do tend to get frustrated with the lack of improvisation possible by the follow, if i just relax into it and treat it like blues then i'm much more likely to enjoy it. focus on the all consuming connection.

i like the fact that there are a million different variations in footwork and that it is purely up to the follow paying attention every step of the way to make it work. you can be seriously musical with the millions of options available.

i'm still somewhat disappointed with the fact taht people are grinding* the differences between blues and balboa. how can they not realise that they are more closely related than any of the other dances. while balboa might also be danced with very earlier era music like charleston, i would still make links with blues before charleston. charleston is just too much FUN. ..oh dear i think i'm starting to get back to my 'bal = boredom' argument but when you compare charleston to balboa - i know which one i would prefer.

back to the connection: while it does require quite alot of precision and awareness of both parties i would argue that it would be less than what is required for blues dancing. due to the fact that the precision remains in the same axis the entire time (from head to toe following a straight line down the spine - it almost reminds me of yoga) where as blues requires an ever changing axis that can be moved and realigned at any time.

so if blues requires more awareness then how come blues isnt considered to be harder than balboa? i think blues is a more accesible dance than balboa. in blues you can get by with a few imperfections and issues and still have an enjoyable dance. whereas with balboa you either get it or you dont - there isnt really a whole lot of room in between. and not to imply that if you can follow balboa that you dont have anything more to work on, that would be rediculous. ..and i think i'm already teetering on the edge of sounding like a tool as it is.

*pardon the pun

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