Partner rotations at congress workshops

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by RugKutta, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. RugKutta

    RugKutta Tumbao

    Maybe this just me, as I only get to go to one or two congresses per year, but it seems more and more people are declining to rotate during partnerwork classes at congress workshops. I'm not sure what the case is; maybe the couples are actual dance partners and they prefer to learn the pattern together, or they're w/ their SO, or maybe they think the other person is cute or such a good lead/follow that they don't want to change partners. I'm not knocking anyone, you do what you do, but personally I prefer to rotate because I just like meeting different people and making connections (ok, ok, it doesn't hurt if she's cute), it helps to try to lead the pattern w/ different levels of followers, and it makes it easier to get dances later on that night. Plus, partner rotation during any class already seems to be unnecessarily complicated when it shouldn't be, and the more people that decline to rotate, the more it seems like rocket science when it really should be as simple as basic math.

    So how do the rest of you feel? Do you prefer to change partners during a workshop, or do you like staying with the same person? Either way, why?
  2. vata07

    vata07 Descarga

    its not exactly cool if you get stuck with a newbie follower (not that noobs are bad, they just make learning new patterns that much tougher) so i'd have to say that i like the rotations and for the same reasons you mentioned. you go to a new city or have new people come over so its always fun to meet and dance with new people as much as you can as most salsa scenes are small to begin with.
  3. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'll find it interesting that you mention this issue here, since another guy brought it up in workshop at my latest congress. I can understand your argument that trying a pattern with different followers _might_ be helpful in learning it but I don't think it's always true. What about some people in a workshop who end up in class that is over their head (level-wise)? Or what about you being stressed out or just a tad tired and not getting along with the follower who rotate to you? I've been in a similiar situation at my latest congress and I didn't help me a single bit with learning the pattern. Also I've found that basically for all the patterns that I learned at a congresses, I need to later spend some time with my dance partner practice it and therefor really learn it. But I disagree with you that it helps you make connections for the party at night. Except for one or two followers (with whom I had taken some workshops before), I've never had felt that any rotation gave me an advantage for the party at night. I'll rather always simple go around and ask any lady (especially those grooving around on their own) for some dance.

    Also I've noticed at least for my last two congresses a trend for people to show up together with their dance partner. This meant that at my second to last congresses I end up for half of the workshops with out a dance partner and simply had to watch it. So I went to my last congress together with a (favourite) dance partner of mine so that neither of us had to sit around and watch some workshop. We followed the idea of rotation only twice and I got once burned again for some time as I ended up with no partner. And I can tell you from my own experience that it's really frustrating to spend quite some money on a congress and not be able to completely participate in a class because you end up without a dance partner.

    So nowadays I prefer to only go a congress with one of my (favourite) dance partners and stay with them. Except if the workshop is completely balanced out and a rotation won't lead me to stand around solo.
  4. vata07

    vata07 Descarga

    that's exactly the point..what if there were NO rotations and you get this person in the beginning and you're stuck with them...FOR THE WHOLE TIME!! that's the nice thing about rotations, the great follower who happens to be really cute as well is just a few rotations away so you're not stuck with ms. "i don't like you for no apparent reason" or your ex, or ms. "know it all" or smelly girl.
  5. RugKutta

    RugKutta Tumbao

    I 2nd that one. It sucks to get stuck w/ Ms "I don't like you for no apparent reason" or Ms "know it all." Both seem to just ooze of disdain w/ out even saying a word.

    What also sucks is when that cute, excellent flower is right next to you at the beginning of the class, but the instructor decides to start the rotation flowing the other way, meaning it will be the end of class by the time she gets to you, if at all :-(
  6. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's true that in such situations rotation can provide a relief, but what about those situations where rotation isn't going to work, ie. there are more males then females? Will you really be happy to spend at least a quarter of the time or more without a partner and not really learn the pattern? Or what if you met up with your dance partner before to avoid the situation you describe above and to be able to take workshops together and now due to rotation you end up without a partner? Will you be happy about such a situation and the rotation at that moment? And what about the money you invested to go to the congress to take workshops and learn something but instead ending up watching others learn a new pattern?
  7. vata07

    vata07 Descarga

    haha, that again is the point. in my level 3 class, there are often more males than females. if there were no rotations, and you didn't have a partner in the beginning, then you're stuck not having a partner. in this situation, my teacher instructs us to make sure we position ourselves in the rotation circle such that we don't have 2 rotations in a row without a partner..also i'm never ashamed to get my invisible partner involved..:D she's a perfect follow..and super hot!!:cool:

    in our classes, rotation is only an option. its perfectly ok not to rotate if you came with your usual partner. lots of couples don't rotate at all.

    at our first congress this year, i was volunteering taking ticket stubs for one of the workshops. there were more females than males and there were no rotations. i spotted this girl who had to take the whole workshop alone. i felt so bad for her i really really really really wanted to leave my post and partner her but i obviously couldn't as i was volunteering. she paid $20 for nothing as she couldn't learn the pattern without a leader. if there were rotations, this wouldn't have happened.
  8. sac

    sac Tumbao

    How did the instructor allowed No Rotations when there were more females than males?Arent they supposed to decide if there should be Rotation or not?
  9. Jolinia

    Jolinia Descarga

    Personally, I don't mind rotations, exactly because I have congress experience where I paid over 100 EUR for a congress and watched half the classes because I had no dance partner and when the instructors asked students to rotate, nobody would rotate. Finally, at the last workshop of that congress I got a dance partner who turned out to be a know-it-all, was smelly and almost pulled my arm out of its socket and I was stuck with him for the whole class.

    To solve the rotation problem, maybe congress organizers could publish rotation policies, such as:

    - "This is a rotation congress, so please rotate if you're asked to". or
    - "This is a non-rotation congress, so please come with your dance partner, otherwise you'll be screwed."

    Then everybody knows what to expect in class and if someone doesn't agree with the policy, s/he can decide not to attend.
  10. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    Right, but I wasn't talking abour your level 3 class or any other local class, but about workshops at a congress. In case of your level 3 class or any other local class you can always repeat that class after some time or simply talk to the instructor next week about the pattern and your problems with it. But in case of congresses, that's often not possible, since the instructors are often from far away. I see a difference between rotation in your local partnerwork class and in a partnerwork workshop at a congress.

    True, if you really got more females then males, rotation would be fine with me. That's why I mentioned that I'm accepting the idea of rotation if the class is well balanced out (or if there are more females). But if there aren't enough females, then I don't want to see rotation as mandatory, specifically if I brought my dance partner along. An instructor might ask people to rotate if they like, but if they don't want to, then respect that as well.
  11. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    That's terrible :(

    I haven't seen this in UK congresses, where all just rotate without question. This very occasionally happens in classes with the odd couple who lack confidence of dancing with others. Isn't rotating useful to see if you really have the lead correct or the girl is simply helping? Different heights, tensions, etc. Perhaps it depends if you want to learn to lead socially or just learn a pattern with your partner?

    Part of the charm of salsa for me is that I can go alone to classes or congresses if I choose without having to organise a partner so I would be pretty fed up if I went to either and stood out the whole time because noone would rotate. Understand their individual motivations to a point but seems pretty bad mannered to watch a poor girl the whole class without offering once. And who was the instructor!

    Jolinia is right - promotors should make it clear at point of sale so everyone knows what they are paying for.
  12. KP-salsa

    KP-salsa Shine Officer

    That sounds incredibly selfish. If numbers aren't even, every couple who refuses to rotate makes the problem that much worse. Surely the only time when it's acceptable NOT to rotate the partners is when there are exactly even numbers of leaders and followers. Just because you've brought a partner doesn't mean that the people who came on their own shouldn't get the opportunity to practice.

    Imagine a class with 20 guys and 10 girls - at the start they're standing out every other rotation (most women will be familiar with this). If 5 of those guys refuse to move their partner on, you've got 15 guys sharing 5 women so suddenly you're only practising once every 3 rotations but there are five couples practising it constantly.

    I think a teacher of that class should be allowed to evict those refusing to change partners.
  13. KP-salsa

    KP-salsa Shine Officer

    But that's exactly the situation where you HAVE to rotate - same if there's more followers than leaders. It's selfish to say that "I'm going to have to stand out therefore I'm going to keep this particular good partner for the whole class". It might help you, but makes it that much worse for everyone else.

    As I said in an earlier post - a teacher should insist such couples leave their class if numbers are unbalanced.
  14. KP-salsa

    KP-salsa Shine Officer

    She really should have had the guts to raise her hand and say "oi! move the partners round so I can get a go - and if the teacher still wouldn't she should have complained in strong terms to the congress organisers and insisted on a full refund."

    I can give a benefit of the doubt and suggest that if she was the only girl without a partner the teacher might not have noticed - if she actually pointed out she didn't have a partner, the teacher is a disgrace.

    Personally, rotation should be manadatory unless it's a booked-in-advance masterclass. For my money anyone who refuses to let go of their safety blanket of a partner needs the variety and experience of dancing with others more than most.
  15. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    I would say rotation is extremely useful in beginner through to higher intermediate stuff, but I can see why it might annoy people: when class entry is uncontrolled and congress attendees are suffering from too much positive thinking, you can go to a class that just stretches your skills but have to try the moves with many partners who are hopelessly out of their depth. Also, as mentioned on the other thread, when rotations occur after every run-through, you don't get enough time with any partner to debug the last attempt.

    So there are two good reasons to refuse to rotate, which I think shouldn't be valid reasons as (1) the instructructors should allow 2 - 4 runs through with each partner before changing, and (2) in an ideal world, people would be able to join workshops at about their own level, and would quit the workshop if they found they were out of their depth.

    I have no idea how to fix point 2 without introducing some sort of certification system, which is anathema to me.
  16. sac

    sac Tumbao

    im tempted to create another thread for point2
  17. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    I have - and have been in the same situation as the girl vata mentioned. For some reason it's always American teachers who don't rotate partners (and when they say "rotate" it just means people from the front row moving to the back) - I was wondering if it was the norm in the US.

    Most of the people I see refusing to rotate when the teacher says rorate seem to be performing partners. I see a lot more of this behaviour at advanced-level workshops taught by famous teachers.
  18. spotcat

    spotcat Banned

    I'm either very confused or quite angry about this post.
  19. chrisk

    chrisk Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm well aware that my opinion on the idea of rotation is egoistic, but if I spend quite some money on a congress, I'ld like to get something back from it. And that something means to me that I'm able to take those workshops that I like and really learn the pattern instead of spending my time watching and later having to find out with video how that pattern works.

    I'll can see how for uneven numbers rotation can make the situation worse. But think about the typical situation at a congress workshop (especially with famous instructors and lots of people taking the workshop), how is the instructor supposed to make sure that people who had no partner rotate in and later out again? How do you ensure that a person without a partner in the beginning is really getting a partner later? And what about the situation that I mentioned before where you brought along a dance partner but after the next rotations end up without a dance partner for the rest of the workshop?

    And I don't think that evicting people from a workshop for not rotation is a good idea or really helpful in enforcing rotation. If you really want to introduce rotation into workshops at a congress, then you need to have the organizers first ensure that number of female and male attendance is balanced out. This isn't going to give anybody a guarantee that he's going to have a partner for a workshop. But it's already going to reduce the problem compared to a congress with 1/4 more male attendees then female.

    Just as I'm writing this, I remember one workshop where the instructors used another way to solve the issue of people without a dance partner. Instead of asking for rotation during the workshop to bring those people in, they asked some couples to accept a third partner and then have those small "threesomes" work out their own routine of rotating whenever they wanted. I'm tempted to see this as an alternative to solve the issue of people without a partner.
  20. crazygirl

    crazygirl Rhythm Deputy

    Eek before we know it salsa congresses will become the preserve of couples only :(

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