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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is For Hold

The most difficult part of dance for the beginner is the hold, meaning the connection between the couple. The hold must be mastered absolutely, before dance training can begin.

If I'm teaching a beginning couple, they make faster progress if the gentleman learns the basic "hold" in a private lesson before the couple begins working together. I can feel when he is relaxing his arms and when that happens, the lady can get stepped on.

The gentleman, as the leader, is responsible for maintaining the correct connection between him and his partner. His leads must be immediately recognized by the lady. If the proper Hold is not held throughout the dance, the couple has no way of maintaining their distance from one another, they step on each other, get discouraged and probably never try dancing again.

Beginners have enough to work on with balance, sway, posture, footwork and timing,  so the hold needs to become the first part of their muscle memory.

The video below will explain the basic hold for American and International  category.
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45 comments:

  1. There is so much to think about dancing, no wonder I haven't mastered it...to much brainwork!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poke the rock
      It's the man who has to do the thinking. The lady just goes along for the ride.

      Delete
  2. I learned about the hold while watching the movie Dirty Dancing. There's a type of dancing that I wish I could do!
    It's one of my favourite movies, just for the dance scenes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      I still love to watch that movie. Did you know Patrick Swayze's mother was a dance teacher?

      Delete
    2. Yes, I did. I read Patrick's bio somewhere sometime.

      Delete
  3. The American way allows more leeway in movement! I see now!! Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Old Kitty
      Because in American dance, the couples can break, it may look more difficult, the International is more challenging because of technique.

      Delete
  4. Have to hold and lead, sounds like a marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am with Poke The Rock. No wonder I don't dance, I have a hard time walking down the street, let alone thinking about what I have to do next.

    Have a GREAT day Manzi. Love to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry
      Since I've been using the mag. oil I sleep later, not walking around like a zombie, either.
      As I said to Poke, it's the gentleman who has to do the thinking. :)
      Love to you

      Delete
  6. Wow! I loved this post. I could see how couples dance through life - different levels of intensity, speed and closeness - a trip can bring people unexpectedly closer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elaine
      Thank you for stopping and the comment.
      Just trip the light fantastic throughout life. Hahaha

      Delete
  7. This is sooo interesting and fun! Agree with River...Dirty Dancing!!! love that movie.

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    Replies
    1. turquoisemoon
      Me too. I wonder how Swayze's mother ever got him to practice ballroom when he started so young.

      Delete
  8. This is great! I really like your post, your writing, your topic . . I like knowing American Style has more freedom (isn't that just like us?) Of course, this is way different that the way we danced as teenagers . . (I'm silvery) - and, i suspect - IF I had taken lessons with anyone i know today - we would have gotten into a slap fight - and made you - laugh.
    Happy A to Z!!!
    -g-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggid
      We did a lot of dancing as teenagers and the only thing we lacked was style. All the boys danced too. We called the swing type dances jitterbug back then but we mostly danced the smooth dances. Loved those guys, they were always ready to dance.
      Thanks for stopping. It's my pleasure to meet you.

      Delete
  9. Well I think I could get the holding part down, as long as I didn't have to move.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yaaaay Pat
      I think you've got it!!!!!!
      LOL

      Delete
  10. Our folkdance group does quite a bit of ballroom dance (mostly waltzes) and you're so right, if the hold isn't right, it doesn't work.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen
      I'm with you
      You can't be so bold
      If you ain't got that hold.

      Delete
  11. Although I can't dance for nuts, I like to see people dancing. Loved your blogpost!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sunday
    Dance for nuts..... I like that expression.
    Thanks for stopping by

    ReplyDelete
  13. Spin around and side by side. The Husband and I must practice that. We are spinning crazies. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Su-sieeeI
      I remember, you like to spin in the kitchen...LOL

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHO ARE YOU? And what are you doing here?

      Delete
  15. We have a community college close-by. Next semester, I am dragging hubby to an evening class, no question.

    It also has a newly built Planetarium, so we'll stop by there as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan
      That sounds interesting. Back to school. What will you and hubby be taking, astronomy?

      Delete
  16. I never knew that arms were so important to avoid being stepped on. I seriously thought it was the feet (and I'm not being a wiseguy. Astonishing, but true).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al
      The gal is walking backwards and you want to begin dancing. If you stick your foot forward ...... she can't see it and you will kick or step on her. But, if you both have very strong and wide open arms with a lot of energy, You lean slightly forward with your whole torso and the strong connection of the arms will be felt by her and she also moves back. You literally push (gently, of course) her back and out of your way. Then you take another step forward, etc. Dancing.... Yay

      Delete
  17. I guess the man feels a bit of pressure, especially at first! I tried to get my husband to take a ballroom dance class a few years ago, I thought it would be good exercise...but I have to be honest, I think we'd do better at square dancing! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Brown Recluse
      I'll also be honest..... No one can learn to dance in a 6 week group course at the Y. It's a start but the teacher usually does not have time to give any individual instruction or teach this important hold. Those beginner courses prob. scare away more wanna-be-dancers. The best thing is to take a few privates from a good teacher, get the basics and then decide if you want to continue. If you begin dancing with the wrong hold, wrong foot pattern, wrong body position, it takes forever to drop the bad habits and learn the right way.

      Delete
  18. Well, now I'll be able to recognize American/International dancing! It seems like such a minor thing, and yet it is everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bish, you will rarely ever see any social dancers doing International in the US

      Delete
  19. That was extremely informative. I had no idea that was what separated the two styles from one another. International is far more restrictive. I can see why points would be deducted if you broke hold doing an International Dance!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin
      You also dance a lot closer and when I competed the 2 bodies had to be touching slightly all the time. Try that and take those long gliding steps. The 2 partners have to be so much in sync. We used to practice closing our eyes and just breathing together so we could feel each others breath. It's not sexy like so many people think. It's just plain hard work. And in the Latin, when it looks so sexy, all an act. They are prob. screaming at each other just before they go on, do a sexy dance, go off and continue screaming at each other. Not always but often. LOL

      Delete
  20. Loooove dance! I could have danced all life, but alas, my husband never liked to dance. End of dance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna,
      Get a dance partner. I never once danced with my husband. Believe me, it works better than way.

      Delete
  21. Do you mean there is a difference between "Hold" and "Bear hug"?

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bear
    Nope... same same. Bear hugs mean hold. You are so smart, bear, now why didn't I think of that?

    ReplyDelete
  23. I so suck at dance...my daughter loves to...she goes out waltzing and line dancing and whatever is offered at the local 20-something hangouts....not sure she's my kid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. M
      Often we just need a little instruction as it helps in any sport. I was really sucky in golf until I took some lessons and after a year of practice I took home some little trophies.
      Congrats to your daughter on her love of dancing.
      Thank you for visiting.

      Delete
  24. I can't dance to save my life but neither can my husband so we even out. lol

    Dark Thoughts Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary
      There's life besides dancing. I used to like to go out and do a different dance once in a while. (I know, mine is still dancing, though) like perhaps going to a polka fest, or a salsa dance.

      Delete