Many thanks to Robin Young for enabling us to post the following remarks. Please feel free to comment or debate!
Is Ballroom really Round Dancing?
All dancing is related! From the beginning, anthropologists theorize that dancing came before singing, music, art and architecture.
Ballroom is NOT even ballroom anymore! They admit anyone who wants to dance and can pay the door price into a "ballroom dance" these days, unless it is a private party! There are very few real "Ballrooms" left !
The Social Couple Dances of courting and learning manners and dance figures for socialization in many different cultures has evolved over the centuries from folk dancing in the meadows and streets to elegant soirees in palatial ballrooms to barns to bars to grange halls and public schools, church recreation halls, private country clubs, studios, City recreation centers, community centers, Senior Centers and to convention hotels and centers where portable floors are laid over carpet/on concrete to accomodate dancers maintaining their heritage dances as well as dance/atheletes who practice and compete in DanceSport. International and American and "other" rhythms.
Many of the figures used in Round Dancing are extracted from the ISTD syllabus. Some also come from the Ballet - Pas d' Basque - waltz balances - some come from 'Folk dances' - Schottische shuffle steps, Argentine Tango Corte', Cuban Rumba, Dominican Merengue, American Bandstand ECS - Jive.
Is Round Dancing related to Ballroom - YES, most of the top Cuer/Instructor/Choreographers have ballroom coaches.
Do ballroom dancers memorize amalgamations of figures to fit a particular rhythm? YES and so did Round Dancers in the 1970's - before cuers. BC - Ballroom instructors teach introductory lessons by 'cueing' the dancers a string of figures.
Dance is a civilizing force and an expression of emotion all at the same time.
Dancing may start with the feet and work the entire body to the Top Line. If you turn off the music and watch a video of a floor of Ph 5-6 Round Dancers, you would say that they were amazing Ballroom dancers - a formation team - much more highly organized and executing a far greater number of difficult figures than the random, independent, colliding, not necessarily "on the beat" typical ballroom dance couples.
So in my humble opinion, Round Dancing is a more highly evolved form of Social Dancing which used to be named "Ballroom".
-- Robin Young, Rockin' R's
Location: Somerville, MA
Only in a world where average ballroom dancers are too wedded to their routines would someone like Robin be unable to see what is missing in round dancing as a social form.
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