How to avoid getting injured dancing

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by David, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy Son

    Nice space awareness there! Me likey!
    Seemed a little rough pulling the ladies arm. I was in that situation, and the lady looked at me in shock. Had to explain to her if I hadn't she'd got hurt.
    He played it smooth. Most of us would stay angry and would try to dance around the standing girl.
    Still looking for a way to save my lady gently from bumping in to somebody in the same situation ;)
  2. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    I've noticed most if not 100% of all beginner/early intermediate (for lack of a better grouping) linear dancers step too big/don't keep their body over their feet - and I don't think most of these people are even aware that this is why they bump into other dancers on a crowded floor. I've gently told this to a couple of girls I've practiced with in private and both of them were totally unaware - but you could see the light bulb go on in their head! I only became aware of this issue myself a couple of months ago and it's very obvious how followers with big steps makes it harder to complete some moves smoothly even if there's space. Not very nice when I need to chase the follower around the dance floor :D

    I've found it useful to practice with 4 chairs set around us, physically limiting space. Start fairly big, then tighten space increasingly until it mimics a very tight dance floor. Very useful for dancing smaller! Doesn't explicitly help with the arm styling for the ladies, but ime girls automatically limit their arm styling more when space is physically restricted. Also useful for leaders to discover which moves can and cannot be done. Harder to do moves that require continuous forward/backward movement across two bars e.g.
    Groove On and MrNiceGuy like this.
  3. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

  4. khabibul35

    khabibul35 Tumbao

    That's pretty rude. Sure, I hate when people do this but a) there are better ways to address people invading your space, b) they had another foot or two of space behind them instead of focusing on the transgression.

    I might have found it a bit more acceptable if it was done with less force and if his face showed a more playful rather than angry expression. If I were dancing and my partner did this, I wouldn't be thrilled with the move.
  5. Al Israel

    Al Israel Tumbao

    Sounds a bit harsh, was he really hurt or just lightly stepped on before?
  6. calichris10

    calichris10 Sabor Ambassador

    He had some sort of wrist injury. And when I used him for light support I guess it hurt.
  7. sunchoboy

    sunchoboy Changui

    I have injured a follow before yesterday. I don't even know how this could happen. The move was a cross-body with an outside turn, right-right straight arms. I was sure everything went ok, failed to see this coming. She was a good follower for our venue, I triple-checked the move before to make sure it's safe when I lead. Nevertheless it's happened. I feel I should abandon this move even at the cost of some of my confidence. Leads, have you ever injured your follows? How did you react to this situation dance-wise?
  8. elanimal

    elanimal Tumbao

    I did injure myself once doing a 'contortion' type pattern where I bend down. I don't know what happened but I pulled a muscle in my lower back and was out of commission the next day. I felt like an old fart. My back freaking gave out while dancing :facepalm:

    Girls have been injured while dancing with me, because of getting stepped on. I'm more mindful of that now. For some odd reason, when I'm dancing, people tend to feel more comfortable invading the space on the girl's side, rather than mine. When I see someone unintentionally creeping up into my partner's space, I cross-body, and put myself in her place. 90% of the time, I 'reclaim it' and they give me some space back, just because I'm in the same spot. Sometimes it takes more than one 8-count, though.

    Otherwise oblivious bystanders have gotten a soft butt-bump.
    sunchoboy likes this.
  9. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    I have had plenty of smaller bruises - mostly from kicks or spinning elbows. But most of those are from dancing too wild with partners that enjoy that mode too ... :)
    Well, i have improved ...

    More scared i am about the girls that "nearly killed themselves" when throwing themselves into a free fall dip. Happened 4 times that i barely managed to catch them (2 times a misunderstood lead of very flashy dancers, 2 times a plain back leading where i found nothing that would indicate a dip).
    And the brutal rueda crowd, whose follows prefer to rip my arms from the shoulders to allowing me to lead just a single step after they think they know, what move i am going to do. Yes, counter leading is very common here ...

    While feeling sorry is a good motivation, you should not take that as a solution.
    Just not using the move (as long as it is actually a safe move and not some artistic madman exercise) is just reacting to feeling sorry.
    If you think there is a problem, analyze what actually happened and then you can find the problem. Sometimes it's good to find help of dancers - specially those who actually do not know the move, as those who do know often back lead them instead.

    I like to make up moves and while i got more understanding for the actual mechanics than the average guy around here (and most of the local teachers sadly), i am far from perfect and don't have a regular training partner for that. So i happened to use moves that did not really work out but the women were so used to bad leading, that they just went through with it.
    Until one - a tournament dancer - said something was hurting her. Then we went through some of these moves. Some ended to be just crappy, some were slightly changed and ended up being her favorites.

    If you think, that the source of the pain was in the lead-follow-system (and not just some tripping or other body control thing), then take a partner that does not know the move and analyze it with her step by step. Look, where you actually are applying force and how much force you give. Look, where the force is applied to the joints. Look, where it can be misapplied with a follow with bad body tension. Look, if that collides with her natural momentum ... etc etc etc.
    Why with a partner, that does not know the move ? Well, i don't know your venue, but around here you got a 50/50 chance that the follow, once she thinks she knows the move, will counter lead and not be willed to step back from that just a second even when asked to for training purposes. And many of the local dancers actually treat those as the "good dancers".
    I know, that many people sing the song of "light lead" where there is no kind of force applied. This in most cases either means, that the force is applied so lightly and so controlled to a follow with decent body tension, that it is not capable of hurting or - and that is something you got to be aware of - that they are actually celebrating a culture of counter leading about anything. Same word, different meanings. Sadly i know several teachers that belong to the 2nd kind and so it even might be that you AND the follow are thinking to do everything right and are actually doing what you have learned. In that case the main fault for the first incident isn't on your side but it is your fault if you don't improve.
    sunchoboy likes this.
  10. BMorin

    BMorin Son

    One of the challenges of trying to lead something you've seen but not felt (since most guys don't follow) is that there are details missing and sometimes there are illusions complicating what's really going on. Same issues can complicate sorting things out when taught the same thing differently by different people. To lead something well, you really need feedback from a strong follow with a teaching/leading background.

    Once you know what's going on, you can't help but cringe at some of the stuff you both see on the social floor and knowing how you used to lead a thing a few months ago...
    sunchoboy likes this.
  11. BMorin

    BMorin Son

    You mean something like this?

    Leading that one blind vs in a class or choero where the follow expects it can be totally different animals. Also people in a class setting may be more inclined to give polite rather than direct or accurate feedback. I've gotten awkward looks experimenting with that one and am super-careful how and who I lead it into because of that.

    I would make sure her momentum is forward and she's passing right in front of you before you initiate the windmill part. All of the lead should be light, it doesn't need to be forced at all. If the set-up isn't clean, consider aborting mission into a Rumba Walk instead.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    sunchoboy likes this.
  12. sunchoboy

    sunchoboy Changui

    Yes, a different in and out but the main part exactly the same.
    It's not that easy. Our scene is quite small and I think every follow here who can actually follow this move have come across it before.
    The problem is when the move is shown once she knows it :). I try to fight backleading of my regular partners collecting (and executing) as much different outs of every standard position as I can which will hopefully make guessing very difficult, if not impossible.
    Or a follow experience for myself. I haven't given it much thought but when it is said, I can only agree. By the way I asked my instructor what happened and her opinion was similar to mine (she managed to step forward with her left foot before she sensed the lead to windmill part). If I had started leading a tiny bit earlier or she had reacted slightly faster it wouldn't have happened :(.
  13. sunchoboy

    sunchoboy Changui

    BMorin, thanks for the video.
    Fortunately we don't have such a problem in our class. It's highly infected with counterleading though.
    To be honest, me too. In a sense the lady became a victim of my high opinion of her dancing :(.
  14. BMorin

    BMorin Son

    Having never seen you lead, I'm diving blind here, but I'll go one more round over the internets.

    My take on who I'm leading what into is more about how she dances and connects than "knowing the move." If we're on roughly the same timing, she controls her own balance/movement and we have a good physical connection more stuff becomes leadable. Without those tools, there is a lot that I'm not going to lead or going to lead very carefully/differently.

    Having a feel for where your partner's weight is helps a lot with stuff like this. Or if she's not weight shifting well, then knowing that and adjusting what you lead based on that.

    Have you tried following before? Following in class once in a while really opened my mind about how connection works.
    sunchoboy likes this.
  15. sunchoboy

    sunchoboy Changui

    My point was that every on1/on2 dancer is more or less of the same origin here (not long ago there was only one school here that taught it). Which means the repertoires of local leads intersect considerably. Good follows are experienced, so it's highly probable that a good follow knows almost every move I lead.
    This is new to me. How can I develop this feel? Now I totally rely on timing in order to know where her weight is.
  16. jaybean2000

    jaybean2000 Changui

    last weekend i see girl throw herself into dip. guy did not catch, he was trying to signal to another guy on side. i think girl will not do this again! maybe let people fall is best way to teach?
  17. BMorin

    BMorin Son

    John is exaggerating the movement for instruction and probably even in his regular dancing more than others, but it's there with strong dancers. Your shift of weight allows you to lead a tempo. Her shift of the weight gives you feedback where she's at as you can feel the hips and up through the center into the shoulders and arms as the weight shifts from foot to foot. That allows you to adjust the timing of leads to your partner rather than depending on specific counts in the music.

    For example, if I'm going to lead an inside turn from closed position On1, then I'm going to feel for her step forward on 5 and then lead her into the turn. Another example is change of position stuff outside of a right turn On1. I'm going to feel for her step back on the 1 and redirect the energy from her back break into a variety of change of position, open break and Copa sorts of moves. In either case, if she's off timing I'm not going to force it and if things have gotten way off, I'm going to back off into a basic or simple cross body lead or something to re-establish tempo and connection before progressing into more complicated things again.
    sunchoboy likes this.
  18. In dance school parties I always ditch my shoes and go with socks as I don't fear even a crowded place. I have always been able to trust in my space awareness as I have to navigate through the students in my classes for many hours every week.


    Some time ago I went dancing with a charming lady and in the middle of the song, when she looked deep into my eyes, I just froze. And in that exact moment, I got my first injury from the back-step of someone behind me!

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