Meredith & Harold

ROUND DANCING — CHOREOGRAPHED BALLROOM

EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES

MAJOR SECTIONS: Figures | Articles | Links | Alph. Index | Search | Home

BROWSE
Figures in the Smooth Rhythms
Foxtrot
Quickstep
Waltz
Viennese Waltz
International Tango
American Tango
Two Step
Five Count
One Step
Polka
Rhythm
Figures in the Latin Rhythms
Cha Cha
Rumba
Jive
Single Swing
West Coast Swing
Lindy
Hustle
Bolero
Slow Two Step
Mambo
Salsa
Samba
Argentine Tango
Merengue
Paso Doble
Dance Articles
Articles Home

Dance Figures

Dance Rhythms
Lead and Follow
Dance Styling
Fred Astaire Album
Other Sections
Dance Links
Music Clips For Each Rhythm
Instructional Books and Videos from Amazon
Search Site/Web
Sources
Contact Me

Smile!

by Annette Woodruff

Both in round dancing (and in challenge square dancing), the lack of a smile has been a recurring reproach. We don't smile, so we can't possibly enjoy it.

Strangely, you don't hear the same reproach made to tennis players, golf players, card players, amateur gardeners, stamp collectors, horse riders, bird watchers, bicycle racers, painters, musicians, etc. . . .

Somehow, they get away with straight faces. Nobody has doubts about whether they enjoy painting, playing, collecting. It is assumed that they enjoy their hobbies even though there is no smile on their faces as they hit the ball, carefully place a stamp in an album, adjust their binoculars, or gallop through the woods.

A child may laugh with delight, swiftly coming down the slide, but the same child does not smile when building a sand castle. There may indeed be a frown on his face, and he may stick his tongue out a little as he carefully adds a tower to the construction.

The answer: concentration and smiles simply don't go together. So, yes, we may well smile when dancing Hush and Mexicali Rose, and we probably frown when dancing The Children or Symphony, but concluding that we enjoy Mexicali Rose more than The Children would be quite a mistake. And as experience and self-assurance increase, there may well be a time when we can do The Children with a big smile on our faces, which will simply indicate that it is time to move to something harder to keep us interested and challenged.

Regrettable as it may be for spectators, most of us dance for ourselves, for our own (hidden) enjoyment, for the satisfaction we derive out of performing a routine without mistakes. Often, we don't even notice that there ARE people watching, and if we do, I'm sure that we try to quickly put a momentary smile on our faces for their benefit, but on the whole, we enjoy our activity in a smile-less fashion -- so what?



 

Reprinted from and article in the ROUNDALAB Journal, summer 2000, by Annette Woodruff, in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, October 2011.



If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.
If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors quarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles by
Jim & Barbara German, ca. 2000-2001
Chris & Terri Cantrell, 2001-2005
Harold & Meredith Sears, 2005-present

Some articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid


Go beyond this site. Good instructional books and videos, both new and used, are available at low prices from Amazon. Find other references on our Sources and Links pages.



Alphabetical Index to
Figures
and Technique
Dance
Figures
Dance
Articles
Dance
Search
Dance
Links
Dance
Home
Glossary of Terms
and Abbreviations
Fred Astaire
Album
Reader
Comments
Dance
Videos & Books
Sources Harold Sears
Home
Online since 2001 İHarold and Meredith Sears, Boulder, CO, harold@rounddancing.net. All rights reserved.