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  1. #1
    V.I.P. khanjar's Avatar
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    Default Speed - reaction times ?

    What the hell is it I do not know but I seem to be slowing down, slowing down in that I just can't move my body fast enough to keep up with the movement, where it seems I excel in the slow sensuous stuff of which I liken to moving meditation, where i do have fluid movement but when speed is demanded that is fast movement in accordance with fast tempo stuff I lose it rapidly. Yeah it starts off okay but quickly degenerates into well out of sync movement and when I detect that it get's far worse to the point I want to go away and hide.

    I have questioned my tutor as to why I am experiencing what I am, why I just cannot seem to respond to anything requiring rapid movement where I have been told the key is practice and yes I agree but I practise daily and attend two classes a week but nothing improves. I can execute movement with precision but when speed comes into the mix my precision dies rapidly.

    Anyone experience this and perhaps more importantly, can anyone offer any guidance to sorting this stuff out ?
    Last edited by khanjar; 05-02-2013 at 02:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Well, I could never sprint though I could run a long, long way. I learned to run my own race and leave sprints to someone else. You may be facing a similar type of physical limitation in dance. "Practice" is the best advice I can give you. Learn the movements in slow motion first and speed up gradually.

    I assume you realize that your movements have to be smaller and tighter as you go faster.

  3. #3
    Member AndreaSTL's Avatar
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    I had the opposite issue - I could dance quickly and always wanted to follow the drum. I didn't need no stinking melody! Slowing down and maintaining form was hard for me. Maybe you could try what worked for me in reverse?

    I put on music that was rhythm oriented and would make myself do one repetition over 8 counts of music. The move had to flow, I couldn't just do, say, a hip drop for two counts and wait out the other six. Nope, I'd drop for four and lift for four. Excruciatingly slow! I had to learn to sink into the music and not just dance on top of it. When I'm doing improv I usually still revert to dancing faster rather than slower, but I don't freak out if a taxim comes on. Well, not too much anyway. Sticking with the hip drop example, what if you made the move take 8 counts, then 4, and then 2? After you get down to 2, work your way in increments back to the slower, more comfortable pace. Maintain each speed for about 32 counts before you increase or decrease. This gives you some time to work and practice at each speed before you move on, but not so much that you can't feel the shift. If it's too long extend it, and if it's too short lengthen it.

    Hopefully this helps! I find it interesting that the way we learn this dance can be as personal as the way we express ourselves with it.

  4. #4
    Premium Member Aniseteph's Avatar
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    Random thoughts...

    Last night in class we were doing a lot of fast percussive stuff, and I was losing it through sheer tiredness. A couple of times works, then my body goes, "nah, not playing any more" and everything gets super sloppy. It's mental and physical - on one level it's having the stamina in the muscles, on another the brain is fogging out after a long day at work. I notice this in Zumba too - some weeks I can throw myself into the fast changes and by controlling it and not flailing about I nail it. Other weeks - pfffft.

    Technique matters. I have a tendency to try to Learn Things Properly (), which in dance terms for me translates into big and obvious (). This is doable when it's slow, but making it smaller and snappier to be able to do it faster without losing the definition is a whole 'nuther learning curve for me. You need all the stamina and muscle control that you had for doing it big, and now you have to learn another level of control to be able to rein it in. It sounds easy to say "yeah, just make it smaller" - has to be easier, right? - but I don't think it is.

    Watching footage of myself I see how big some of my movements are and how they could be a lot smaller and still show up just fine - maybe watching some video of yourself would be helpful feedback.

    Oh, and when you are practsing fast moves e.g. to a speeding up drum beat, stop when you lose it and start back slower. I think the rationale is that you want to get the controlled move into your muscle memory, not flapping about trying frantically to get it back!

  5. #5
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    Some dancers look a little too frantic to the fast music. What if you dance half-time, i.e. at half the speed of the rhythm, or dance by the musical phrase. I have been told to find the slowest beat in the music and dance to that. Maybe it will just be your personal style. It can look fab if your timing is good and you hit the right accents. You move smoothly across the phrase and then crisply hit the accent. Try it.

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