Dancing within a phrase

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    Janet Hanseth

    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Simple question (I hope) about dancing within a phrase.br/br/An Egyptian should always start on a 1 or a 5 (if you count in 8s), correct? br/br/So, you could do : Arabic (1,2), Arabic (3,4), Egyptian (5,6,7,8).br/But you should not do: Arabic (1,2), Arabic (3,4), Arabic (5,6), Egyptian (7,8,1,2).br/br/I was never actually taught how to dance within a phrase like this, but I feel like this is right. Sometimes I see my students (when they are dancing in groups) start their 4-count moves on a 3 or a 6, and it feels off to me, but I thought I would check if it is just a weird habit of my own, or if there is a rule. I dont want to correct something that doesnt need to be corrected.



    Originally posted by Shay M on tribe.net.In general, starting a new move when the musical phrasing calls for it is the best choice, as it will make the dancing and music synch up best. Most of the time that will happen on a 1 or a 5 of an 8 count (at the beginning of a 4-count measure when using 4/4 music). But there are definitely occasions where the music changes in what would be considered the "middle" of a measure (we call these "dangling sixes", where a the music builds over 4 counts, and then only does 2 more counts before a new phrase begins), and to change there is lovely and fabulous--shows that you really know, hear, and respond to your music.br/br/If the changes in movement appear to be mostly random, without connection to the phrasing of the music, then it might behoove you to do some lessons on responding to musical phrasing: how it is not the same as "beats", and where and when you can make the most powerful musical interpretation choices, which allows them to present the clearest leadership to their followers. If you all know when a change is coming in the music, and you honor that change in the music with a thoughtful change in movement, everyone looks stellar!



    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Yes, I totally agree about knowing music well so that you can match the music with your moves, and trying to hit the changes in the music with the moves - like coming in with a shimmy when the drums pick up, or in slow, hitting a dramatic change with a camel. I suspect this type of musicality is more of a level 3 concept, though?br/br/I think what I am asking is a bit simpler - like if the music was a fairly steady rhythm (like Helms Karachi), or if it was a song you hadnt heard before and were playing it safe, or if it was a 32-count section of a song where everything is steady before a change (and you likely wouldnt want to dance the same move for 32 counts straight) - in those situations, would you change into a 4-count move on a 3 or a 7?



    Originally posted by Wendy on tribe.net.Yeah, I get what youre saying, Jennifer, and yes, Id avoid changing into a 4 count move on the 3 or the 7.



    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Thank you, Wendy - just wanted to make sure this wasnt something Id made up, since I hadnt actually been taught this (though I do only changes moves on the 1 or the 5, which is why it seems weird to me when I see my girls do differently), and hadnt seen discussed here before.



    Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Not that Im really adding anything to the discussion, but Ive found when people start off-the-count, it throws the whole thing off later on.br/br/ Ive been pondering creating an entire class for my advanced students to clarify phrasing, counts, beats and LISTENING to the music. I tend to do this naturally, so Im often boggled when people cant do it. And I used to be at a loss as to how to explain it.



    Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Said Ms. Shay: "(we call these "dangling sixes", where a the music builds over 4 counts, and then only does 2 more counts before a new phrase begins), "br/br/See, your "dangling six" to me is a four with a bridge.



    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.Im with you, Valizan - I think to start, I will just spend some time next week talking about 8s and getting everyone to count, and try to hear it in the music - standing in a circle and clapping on the 1, that sort of thing. Then, get them to dance with everything in either 8, or maybe 16 to start. In later weeks, I think Ill get more into musicality - really listening to the song, discussing which types of moves fit best where. Im certainly open to hearing anyones lesson plans around counting and/or musicality!



    Originally posted by Brandi Mc on tribe.net.I too would love to hear advice/opinions re: lesson plans on counting and musicality. This is something I seem to get naturally, and am unsure how to explain to others.



    Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.I use "Mary Had A Little Lamb" to explain changing the move on the phrasing. It is simple and most people already have it in their memory banks.br/br/Mary Had A Little Lamb = 4 countsbr/Her fleece was white as snow = 4 countsbr/Everywhere that Mary went = etc...br/The Lamb Was Sure To Go.br/br/It followed her to school one daybr/Which was against the rulesbr/It made the children laugh and playbr/to see a lamb at school.br/br/Some of my students try to change the move at "Fleece" or at "that" in the first phrase. I tell em, you can change at "Everywhere" or "The Lamb." Not at "Sure."



    Originally posted by Carrie on tribe.net.Jennifer,br/br/You may or may not want to start with eights, but fours instead. If youre dancing to 4/4 music, then you should probably use fours. In my classes, I only use fours.br/In Level 3, everyone stays on beat, but there are still problems in Level 2. When they are dancing to their first fast song in groups, I count during the music while they are dancing. I show them that when I say 1, and we are only using a three move combo, there are only a small number of places that they can be. Example: Stepping forward on the R foot with Turkish, weight in the Right with Shimmy, Right hip up with Egyptian, etc. So, if I say 1 and they arent in one of those places, they need to hold on until the next 1. They typically get it. br/A couple years ago, I used eights, then realized how much simpler my life became when I switched to fours.br/br/Obviously, for eight count movements they can either count to eight or four twice. I find that with fours students switch the move more often. If they are in Arabic and ready to get out on the 2 then they can get out after 3,4. If they are use to counting until 8 theyll stay in Arabic for 3,4,5,6,7,8. br/br/Does that make sense?



    Originally posted by Rita on tribe.net.I do a quite a lot of verbal counting while drilling moves, especially new ones. This has been very helpful to them in developing their sense of the music and how the "count" fits in with the steps. It is amazing to me that students who profess to have had some music background/training still have trouble finding and staying with the beat at times.



    Originally posted by Jennifer on tribe.net.I do this, too - when we do arabic, for example, in level 1, I will count "1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,chest,pelvis,chest,pelvis,chest,pelvis,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2" and then break for a bit to rest my voice, and then resume counting. They have definitely figured out how many counts for each move - no one is trying to do double-time Egyptians or anything, and everyone does stay on a beat - but then some of the women cant seem to hear that "1" is not just the first of 2 counts for an arabic, but that it happens on a 1 in the music.br/br/Valizan and Carrie - if you count in 4s, do you want them to do moves only for 4 counts and then switch? That is what I was thinking for 8s or 16s - to do Egyptian for 16 counts, then Arabic for 16 counts then Turkish shimmy for 16 counts, etc., and then maybe do 8s, so that they can hear in the music when a 1 is, and have time to settle into the move before choosing the next one. br/br/I do like the idea of counting in 4s instead of 8s though (have actually been discussing 4s instead of 8s over email with one of my students who is trying to figure this out at home on her own), and "Mary has a little lamb" is great, too. The studio owner where I rent recently installed a white board in the studio, so I could even write the rhyme up there to demonstrate/walk through.br/br/For anyone else considering lesson plans around this - I also had my student watch FCBD YouTube videos, and count "1,2,3,4" while she watched - she said that really helped it make more sense to her.



    Originally posted by Valizan on tribe.net.Jennifer: "Valizan and Carrie - if you count in 4s, do you want them to do moves only for 4 counts and then switch? "br/br/Nope. I want them to understand phrasing and counts, but not to stick to only doing a move for four and changing. Or only doing eight and changing. Thats another drill in my class. 😀



    Originally posted by Sandi on tribe.net.Not to kill your buzz on the YT videos, but be aware that sometimes when videos get uploaded to YT, the sound and video dont always synch up. So, watch it first to determine if it matches, then recommend them. Ive found several of our (and others) videos where that has happened. Oh, technology. ;}

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