Work in progress

	I expect to write several articles (and a book) sometime soon.
	If there is much interest in a particular topic, I may complete
	that topic sooner.  Please send me email :-)

What is Traditional Social Dancing?

What is Swing Music?

What is Swing Dancing?

What is Swing?

What is Lindy Hop?

Is Dancing Sport?

	(Is sport business?)

Everyone's a Teacher, and that which is least mastered is most dogmatised.

Learning Lindy Hop

	Introduction and History
	Connecting with your partner
	Connecting with the music
	Connecting with the Universe
	Really Dancing
	Hints for learners

	  The music is most important.  Try to understand it, better and better.

	  Your partner is the most important person.

	  When teachers demonstrate, watch the teachers carefully; when
	  dancing with your partner, give your partner your total attention.

	  Dancing is not steps.  It is connection with partner, music, and

	  There are no rules,  There are only principles, which are entirely
	  natural.  If it feels unnatural, don't do it.

	  Don't measure your progress by how many moves you know.  Measure
	  it by how much your partners enjoy dancing with you, and you with

	  Don't try to absorb everything.  Take as much as you can master,
	  and leave the rest.  Teachers must address many learning styles,
	  skill levels, and peculiar needs simultaneously.  Just take
	  what's yours.

	  Beginning students should try to dance with more skilled students.

	  Beginning students with difficulties should especially avoid
	  dancing with newcomers.  This will infuriate your teachers, and
	  make the newcomers hate you.

	  Don't monopolise partners.  Change partners every dance.

	Hints for teachers

	  Respect the students' passion for the music and dancing.  Use
	  their natural way of moving.  Don't turn them into step-children.

	  Students have differing learning styles.  Address them all.  For
	  example, use absolute, relative, jibgle, and musical rhythm cues,
	  step cues, right/left cues, etc.

	  Students have differing strengths and needs.  Don't teach them what
	  they know.  Do give them what they need.

	  Catch bad habits early.

	  Don't explain what you don't understand.  Just show it instead!

	  Watch your words.  Students will hear what you say, not what you

	  Always show the big picture before doing details.  

	  When teaching sequences to be memorized, such as performance
	  routines, teach in reverse sequence|

	Hints for helpers

          The best help you can give is to be the best partner you can be.
	  Pay total attention to your partner.

	  Don't "teach".  Especially if you are not a *very* good dancer,
	  or if you have not had any dance teacher training.

	  How you were taught, how you learned, or how you now think of
	  something may not be the appropriate way to teach a particular
	  student.  A student may be confused or overwhelmed by a method
	  that isn't the one they need, given their learning style, etc.

	  Especially do not monopolise a partner to "teach" her.

	  If you notice problems with your partner(s), let your teacher(s)

	  If you would like to learn to be an effective helper, ask the
	  teachers what you can do to be helpful.  Some dance communities
	  and teachers don't appreciate others commenting on their dance
	  habits.  Others do.  Find out whether a particular partner is
	  intersted in comments from you, before you offer them.

	Essential answeres -- under construction
	Hints for dealing with the media -- under construction

	Hints for musicians
	Hints for organizers

	  Dancers need to drink water.  Lots of water.
	  Dancers breathe.  A dancer easily breathes 5 times as much as
	  someone just sitting there and smoking.  Dancers detest smoke.
	  Dancers are very particular about music.  

Swing Venue Failure Formula

-- Venue manager is doing this to make money fast
-- Venue manager thinks he wins by destroying the "competition"
-- Venue manager thinks alcohol sales are his money maker
-- Venue manager exploits dancers as freak-show entertainment for drinkers

-- Dance floor is concrete, slippery and sticky from spilled drinks, and
   with broken glass.
-- Dance floor doubles as major traffic hub between washrooms and bar
-- Walls, ceiling, furnishings, floor are hard, and the sound is managed by
   rock-music technicians, destroying the quality of the music.

-- Organiser/teacher wants to exploit the "Swing Craze" to attract people
   and then try to sell them something other than the Swing music and the
   dance that resulted in the "craze"
-- Organisers/teachers are driven by ego, greed, and ambition
-- Organiser thinks Neoswinq is the thinq
-- Organisers are empire-builders rather than community builders
-- Relationship between organiser and venue manager is not a partnership,
   based on mutual responsibility and benefit
-- Dance teachers are incompetent, teaching steps instead of dancing, unable
   to build community, using music unlike the band's music, teaching dances
   that don't fit the band's music, turning newcomers off dancing.

-- Band is not a Swing Jazz Dance Band - perhaps a "hypehenated" Swing band
   (Rockabilly, Jump, Rock-, Ska-, Punk-, 70's concert big band, Be-bop)
-- Same Band plays same set list each night
-- Band is too sure what dancers need
-- Band cannot tell difference between excellent dancers and drunken yahoos
-- Band is a show band, not a dance band

-- Dancers are selfish, cliquish, and unwelcoming
-- Dancers move like lemmings, going where "everybody" goes, rather than
   where they themselves feel like going.
-- Every Dancer is a "teacher"

Dancing.Org Peter Renzland Toronto (416) 323-1300 Peter@Dancing.Org