Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Changing Partners: Or Who Is Next?

Changing partners has been a point of discussion many times.  At some point I was convinced it was only people new to the scene who don't believe in changing partners in class, but it turns out I was wrong. There are some Lindy hop schools that explicitly say that you don't need to change partners if you don't want to.

Most of the time, though, you run into this phenomenon in beginners classes, where new couples wish to stay together. This post talks about why changing partners in class is good.

Here is a list of various facts:
Firstly, problems solve themselves.
      Have you ever noticed that the couples who don't change partners in a beginners class usually have the most problems and also the most questions? Sometimes simply changing partners a few times solves problems, answers questions, and helps people succeed.

Secondly, Lindy hop is a social dance and changing partners is one of the the best ways to learn how to social dance.  With each new partner, you get a variety of requests/responses and you learn how to adapt.

Leading and following is much like a conversation. So, unless everybody already knows how to speak understandably, without errors and mumbling, as well as to how to listen and respond, there is a good chance that they'll miss parts of the conversation (or even the entire thing!).

What happens when you change partners?
What happens is that you can test your conversation capabilities by having the same conversation start with a variety of people.  This will give varying results and the easiest and clearest feedback to refine your actions.

Another advantage to rotating partners is that it allows students to get to know the "other half" of the class. This contributes to a more relaxed atmosphere, which is good for learning.