(Blues) Dancing On The Other Side of the World

I went to my first London blues dance last week. It was an incredibly intimidating experience, and I only relaxed enough to move properly in the last five songs or so.

The instructor made an interesting observation when he danced with me: apparently ‘close embrace’ posture is different in Europe than in NA. Here, your back is completely straight (they actually said to make sure we were NOT doing a Lindy stance) and connection is more between the follow’s abs and the side of the lead’s waist. This also means that your bodies make a ‘v’ shape (like in Lindy ?), rather than being square onto each other.

There’s a very good chance that the European/NA split was his way of making me feel better about what is actually just terrible positioning on my part, but if that’s /not/ the case, then it’s confusing. I know that Blues varies a LOT from scene to scene and instructor to instructor, but this is a fairly fundamental difference. I also found it really difficult to dance in this new posture and keep things decent, despite the instructors’s insistence that this is less accident-prone. Thoughts, anyone? Was he being nice, or is this a real difference in styles, and if so, what do you think about the two?

 

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