Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oriental LAGS

By Frank Liu, Honakai Hale
The Importance Of Basic Techniques Over Variations

For no known reason, many studios, especially those in Hong Kong, China, Korea and Japan, have LAGS (Latest And Greatest Syndrome.)  Instead of focusing on getting the basic techniques right, they tend to teach more variations than basic techniques to group classes. Perhaps there is a marketing intention behind it. And it is true that many beginner students feel that a teacher is more knowledgeable if he or she can teach variations in a class.

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon

These students do not understand the importance of basic techniques. They are too eager to learn a few moves quickly and hit the dance floor, like stars, right away. And the situation seems to be more widespread than that. Recently, more dance studios tend to teach many variations in both Ballroom And Latin group classes. In many of these classes there are more female than male students. The proportion is about 20 females to just 6 to 8 males. The complicated variations are what throws the males, because they have to lead.

"Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen

Some 30 years back in Japan, Ballroom Dance beginners did not learn any variations at all in classes. Only those professional or amateur competitors with fixed partners or demonstrating teachers would dance variations. Variations are not for the regular recreational dancer. They are ninety per cent done to be seen and when done by more seasoned dancers they can be beautiful as we can see on most of our exhibition dance floors.

A ballroom like this somewhere in West Oahu? Da Berries!