Intellectual Dancer's Newsletter #021
Current State Of Mind
Evolution of Awareness
I’ve had this idea of the three spheres of awareness one can have on the social dance floor for some years now. It’s been awesome to see how that idea has evolved and also re-presents itself in different ways along my journey.
You can see my original video on this topic here and the blog that evolved from it some years later. One thing I’m becoming more aware of is the limits of how many things we can consciously be aware of at at given time.
Across these spheres of awareness we juggle on the social dance floor, musicality tends to be one that tends to get abandoned due to so much focus being used to lead/follow. Yea, we can listen to music all day and passively train our ears, but it’s another level to study the music and its structure to begin to recognize the patterns in the music.
The better we can analyze and understand these patterns, the more we can improve what we can choose to express the music. I really need to keep working on my musicality course.
A quote from Secrets of Musicality For Dancers by Kristofer Mencák I like on this topic is:
Musicality for dancers is how we hear the music, how we interpret it and then express it in our dance. What sounds are there? Which sounds do we choose to dance to? And how do we express those sounds with our bodies?
Lead/Follow Ratio In Today’s Scene
Do you feel it's fair to change dance passes specifically at festivals from leader and follower to male and female in order to help the lead/follow ratio?
The argument against it is women can lead too, but I feel the majority of women who lead do so as a secondary option when there are no leaders available so they can keep dancing but this female lead typically would definitely prefer to follow if there were leaders available.
This also gets into the nuance that a leader pass should be someone that's going to lead 90%+ of the time at the event and yes there are more and more ambi-dancers (majority of them female) but I wonder what the spread of their social dancing time is between leading and following.
I've noticed more and more female names buying leaders passes for festivals but there's no way to verify they are primary leads or what they will do at socials or workshops. I’ve also noticed more events tightening up the description of what a leader pass entails meaning i.e. participating in the leader role 90% or more of their time at the event.
What are your thoughts?
Song I'm Currently Jamming To
This song by Burna Boy is kizzable and zoukable! 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾
- A podcast that is interviewing Jurcic from Montreal!
- A lot of coding work has gone into where we are now live in beta and are starting to grow our list of events at Wherecanwedance.com!
- A post explaining a bit of urbankiz J&J terminology and the use of the word "champion".
- I created a page on my site that has the Urbankiz J&J results for the 3 J&Js that I've done so far!
- A FB question I posted asking where leaders actively focused on phrasing and if follower’s noticed phrasing in the dances had very nice constructive comments
Photo of the Week
My father passed away last week and I’ve been having a lot of existential thoughts. I didn’t have the best relationship with my dad, so it’s a complicated subject.
One thing that has been really touching is that several friends have reached out expressing gratitude for him playing a part in my being here and also gratitude for the role he played in me becoming the person I am today.
Here’s a photo of him holding me when I was little probably in Lubbock, TX.
Also, I wanted to express lots of gratitude for everyone that has been sending me messages and calling to check on me, it has been awesome to have an overflow of love and support.
Cool Video I'm Watching
This video about why 80% of Americans live east of this line was definitely interesting to learn about! I wonder if this plays for number of dance events in a given year…
10/27-31: Teaching & DJing at Bailame Dance Festival - Minneapolis, MN
12/2-5: Attending Elevation Zouk Festval - Denver, CO
12/16-18: Neokiz Weekender in Denver, CO
1/13-16: Teaching & DJing at the Interfusion Festival - Arlington, VA
2/3-6: Kizouk Connections - Denver, CO
2/23-27: Salsa In Hawaii Festival
4/2023 - 5/2023 - A potential return in Canada?
Question Of The Week
What role does gender play in larger dance festivals that have a bad leader/follow ratio with too many followers?
Answer Of the Week
I was recently asked by a leader how can they become more aware of their follower’s weight transfer. I feel like this definitely ties into the 3 sphere’s of awareness I mentioned at the beginning of the newsletter, and this highlights of sphere of your partner.
In a nutshell, my answer would be to get as comfortable as you can in your own basic steps and weight transfer and steps to set the stage for you to have enough awareness to begin to build experience listening to the follower following you. I’m going elaborate on this more in an upcoming blog.
Have a question you want to me answer?
Reply to the email with your question and I’ll choose one to answer in the next newsletter!
Dope Dance Resources
- A cool project to create a global directory of dance events.
- Find out how you can thrive at your next dance event with the Ultimate Dance Event Survival Kit.
- Find out how you can organize your dance journey with the Dancer’s Training Journal.
You can view past newsletters here.
Thanks for reading!
Thoughts and feedback on the newsletter or on anything covered within are always welcome, just hit reply. The thing I love most about writing this newsletter is follow-up interactions with readers.