Monday, February 22, 2010

Israeli Partnership Dancing(tm) book finished

Finished Israeli Partnership Dancing(tm) book.

This is a shorter version of Partnership Dancing(tm) specifically for Israeli dancers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

20100126 Partnership Dancing new verison online at

Hi Partnership Dancers,

Thank you for your support of Partnership Dancing(tm).

Have started this newsletter to keep you informed. If you do not want to receive it, you can opt-out. If you know someone that wants
to signup, send them to

You can now find a new version of the book Partnership Dancing(tm) online at If you do not remember your
password, write to me.

Some nice West Coast Swing.

Happy Dancing,

Andrew Weitzen

In this newsletter:

1. Have moved to a new framework.
2. Changes in new version of the book.
3. The book is not understandable unless you already understand it.
4. Companion Workbook and Videos with Exercises and Explanations.
5. Israeli Partnership Dancing(tm).


- Have you heard of tension and compression? It is hooey! You do not need it to dance. ~ Joel Green, Swing Dance USA Champion and
Dance Instructor

1. Have moved to a new framework.

Your username and password should work there too. If not let me know. On this website there is a Forum, which you can update. I will
be using this website to provide you with information to help you in your dancing. Intend to have a members area and plan to move
the book there. Will archive the newsletters there too. Let me know if you need anything that we can help with.

2. Changes in new version of the book.

This version of the book is getting pretty close to the final I intend to release to the general public. I have tidied up a lot of
loose ends. See the Version section at the beginning for major changes. Some of them are:

- Added an Objective section before the Overview.

- Under A for Attitude, added a new page called Requirements and re-did the principles, into Social Values (safety, courtesy,
comfort), Dance Values (natural, freedom, partnership) and Communication Requirements (clearly defined, easy, fast, universal).

- Under C for Connection, explained the details of how to get out of Closed position.

- Expanded D for Direction into chapters. Expanded on the rules for visually following.

- Added some items to the appendix: Logical Principles, Growth of Partner Dancing, Man's Movement and Mixers. Under Man's Movement
explained why it is not possible for a woman to go first and signal all the man's choreography.

3. The book is not understandable unless you already understand it.

There are still sections of the book that are not that understandable if you do not already know Partnership Dancing(tm). One day I
may add a clearer explanation.

For now, the book Partnership Dancing(tm) serves as the rule book. You can refer back to the book to see what the rules are, even
though you might not understand their implications the first time you read them.

4. Companion Workbook and Videos with Exercises and Explanations.

To get better, we need exercises.

To help you understand how to apply the rules and improve your skill, I am preparing a Companion Workbook and video of exercises and

5. Israeli Partnership Dancing(tm).

Since each different style of dance has its own characteristics, I am working on Quick Start Guides to help you apply Partnership
Dancing(tm) to your favorite dance.

The first one will be Israeli Partnership Dancing(tm).

You can find this Gainesville Dance Swing Newsletter online here

To subscribe go to
Copyright (c) 2010 to present by Bronze Inc. Gainesville, FL

You may forward, print or post any part of this email provided you include this copyright notice. All other rights reserved. Contact
us for other uses.
Andrew Weitzen,, 352-327-3672, Gainesville, FL
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Partner Rotation at Workshops

Sent the following to a friend of mine that organized a Tango workshop about partner rotation. Maybe this sounds like sour grapes.
Poor me, no one wants to dance with me. Still, I think it has some merit.


Thanks for running the workshop with Ney and Jennifer.

I enjoyed them as teachers and learned a lot.
Thought you did a good job in organizing the workshop.

The only issue was the rotation, which I thought was bad,
though better than prior workshops. At least we are improving.

You rotated and are a good community participant.
There is no fault with you. Others messed us up.

I just got back from taking 11 workshop sessions at the Tampa Bay
Classic in West Coast Swing. Each session had 50 to 200 people.
Every session started with the teachers organizing a rotation,
which everyone stuck to strictly. Only one time did I come across
a couple that was not rotating. At this event, everyone was treated
the same and had the same opportunity to learn.

In contrast, at our Tango workshop, those people that stuck to the
rotation were screwed. Since this is an ongoing problem with our
Tango workshops, we should seek a solution. Here are some of the
problems that I experienced.

1. Many of the more experienced dancers partnered up and did not rotate.
It would be one thing if they only ever danced with their spouse,
which would be sweet, and I would have no objection. However, all
these people regularly dance with different partners. Maybe they wanted
to learn with someone they could practice with later. Not an objectionable

However, the result is they do not take their turn without a partner,
they do not take their turn with the less experienced dancers, and
they make it difficult for the rest of us to have an orderly rotation.

2. There were more men than women, still some women wanted to dance lead.
This took two women out of the rotation for the men.
The women that did dance lead, did not do it in the context of the rotation,
but grabbed an experienced woman to follow. So not only did they take two women
out of the rotation, but two experienced women.

Imagine there being more women than men and some men wanting to dance follow,
and those men following dancing only with the experienced men leaders. The
women would be upset if that happened.

It is fine if women want to dance lead. They should do it in the context
of the rotation and take their turn dancing with novices and sitting out.
Or they can find themselves a partner and dance outside of the rotation.
What they should not do at the workshop is grab their favorite partner
when they want to try something out.

3. Even though Ney and Jennifer told people to stay in the circle in order,
a number of people ignored that, passed people during dancing and grabbed
their favorite partners during rotation. This make rotating orderly a
problem for the rest of us.

4. Because of 1, 2 and 3 the rotation was a mess. Some of the experienced people
that would normally be happy to rotate, left the rotation, formed little cliques
and only changed partners among themselves, going backward or across the circle.
They took themselves out of the rotation and made things even more difficult for
those trying to rotate orderly.

5. Consequently, those of us that behaved according to the teachers instructions,
spent much of the time without a partner, dancing with inexperienced people who
could not do the things being taught or dancing with other men. All of those things
are fine, but it would be nice to dance with an experienced female partner too,
since that is what we are going to the workshop to learn how to do.

I do not know the exact numbers, but here is an estimate.
Say there were 12 men and 11 women and say 3 men and 3
women were inexperienced. Say that half the experienced
people did not rotate and either paired up or formed cliques,
and one woman danced lead and grabbed a partner.
Here is how it breaks down.

Leads Follows
======= ========
6 men - 6 women : paired up, formed cliques
1 woman - 1 woman : woman dancing lead with preferred partner

What is left in the rotation is 6 men and 3 women, composed of

3 men experienced - 1 woman experienced
3 men inexperienced - 2 women inexperienced

That means these 6 men have no partner or are dancing with other
men half the time. Most of the rest of the time they are dancing
with women that do not have the skill to dance what is being taught.
Only 1 time in six do they have an experienced female partner.

This feels pretty accurate according to my experience, especially in the
later workshops when a couple of the nice out-of-town women had left.

Proposed Solution:

A. When you plan a workshop, decide if the workshop is going to
have a rotation or not and let us know. This way, if there is
not a rotation, we can arrange for partners beforehand. If there is
a rotation, then be clear about and enforce the rules of the rotation.
Following are the rules I propose.

B. Everyone who wants to rotate dances in the circle of rotation.

C. Those who do not want to rotate, dance on the far side of the floor,
outside the rotation.

D. Those in the rotation, stay in order and do not pass anyone else.
If they happen to get out of order during dancing, the man returns
the couple to the correct position as soon as the dancing stops.

E. Those without a partner, stay in order in the rotation and do
not change their position. The person can practice by themselves
in position. Or, if the person stepped out of the rotation during
the dancing, they return to the same position in the rotation after
the dancing.

F. Everyone rotates one partner in the rotation when the instructor
calls for the rotation. If there are people the person does not
want to dance with, they need to find a partner and not dance in
the rotation.

G. If you are concerned about different experience levels, the class
itself should have an experience level associated with it. If people
do not have the prerequiste level, they can arrange for a partner
and dance outside the rotation. Everyone in the rotation should have
the prerequiste level. For me, there is no problem mixing levels.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shooting is the easiest skill in basketball

(Cut from PD)

Shooting is the easiest skill in basketball.
All you do is line up your wrist, elbow and shoulder with
the basket, then extend your arm, hand and fingers perfectly
straight towards the rim.
If you do that, the ball will be on target and
all you have to do is adjust for distance.

You have to practice a lot of hours to be able
to shoot effectively under game conditions.
You can imagine a big, strong athletic guy,
six feet four, 190 pounds, with long arms,
who can run and jump, trying to stop you from shooting.
You have to move fast, fake the guy off balance, spin
and get your shot off quickly and accurately if you
want to score.
You have to train your brain and body to automatically
get you into the correct position so you can shoot straight
and instinctively apply the needed force to get the
correct distance, all in a fraction of second.

The way you train is to practice fundamental elements
After you master fundamental movements,
you add on additional ones.
In the case of shooting a basketball, you must first
perfect the alignment of your shoulder, elbow and wrist,
so you can extend your arm and fingers straight towards the basket.
Until you perfect this movement, your shooting will be ineffective.
After you perfect this movement, there is still much
work to do, but at least you can shoot straight.
To perfect this form you have to drill.
You have to repetitively practice exercises that
will develop the pathways in your brain to cause
your body to perform the perfected movement.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Signal with Your Body - Not a Light Lead

A number of people have mentioned to me about my policy of a "light lead" and I want to clear up what I mean.

I do not advocate a light lead. I do not like the term "lead" at all. To me the term "light lead" implies there is a range of how to lead a woman, going from light, to medium to strong. If you lead by pushing and pulling the woman then this is true.

Pushing and pulling directly affects the woman's balance. I do not advocate leading by pushing and pulling the woman, so I do not advocate light, medium or strong leads.

It is not a matter of degree. Pushing and pulling leads by coercing the woman into movement.

Partnership Dancing(tm) provides a different method of communicating that is the opposite of pushing or pulling.

In Partnership Dancing, the man does not do anything to the woman. He moves his own body and the woman moves on her own in response to how she feels the man move.

I advocate the man signaling the woman by using his body and inviting the woman to respond.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tango Provides Another Challenge Met By Partnership Dancing(tm)

Partnership Dancing(tm) meets another challenge. This time one provided by Argentine Tango.

Tonight in Tango class, Andrea tried to lead the women in class in a particular step and they all did it wrong. Only Brian followed and that was because Andrea has been working with him individually much more and had already taught him what to do.

This was a step I have been struggling with for a long time and was glad it came up. I was not able to do this step and and did not know what was wrong. I did not know why Andrea could lead this step and I could not. (I know now, she told them what to do.) To get them to do what I wanted, I had developed an awkward method of twisting and leaning my body, which worked, but was uncomfortable and incorrect.

When Andrea explained what the followers were supposed to do, she said they had to be loose and feel what she was leading. They did not get it at first.

I saw right away that what they were supposed to do was follow the laws of Partnership Dancing(tm).

That excited me. For a few reasons.

First, Partnership Dancing(tm) explained exactly what the woman was to do by following the general principles, without needing to know the pattern.

Secondly, the author of Partnership Dancing(tm), me, could not do the step and did not understand why, but Partnership Dancing(tm) still worked. This is an indication of how powerful the principles of Partnership Dancing(tm) are, that they transcend the ability of the author.

Lastly, I was excited to see that Partnership Dancing(tm) worked for Argentine Tango and was more precise than the instructor's explanation.

Here is what we were doing.

The step, for the man, is a forward rock with the left foot, step behind on the right with a quarter turn to the right and close with the left.

For the lady the step is a back rock on the right, a forward step with the left
and a forward step crossing in front with the right, finishing with a quarter turn to her right and close with the left.

The lady's that did not know the step, all followed the same way. They naturally turned on step three closing with their right without crossing in front.


1. Left forward
2. Right behind
3. Left close and turn 1/4 right
4. Right in place

(A) Lady Not Disassociating
1. Left back
2. Right forward
3. Left close and turn 1/4 right
4. Right in place

(B) Lady Disasociating
1. Left back
2. Right forward
3. Left forward crossing over with a full step
4. Right close and turn 1/4

The key moment is on step 3, where the man gets out of the woman's way after she has started her forward movement.

Without instruction, women naturally do (A). When they feel the man turn, on step 3, they turn on step 3. This is not what we want.

What we want is (B). On step 3 we want the woman to complete her forward step and cross over.

Every woman in our class did (A) until she was instructed to do (B). As a general rule, how does the woman know to do (B) not (A)?

Partnership Dancing(tm) answers this question. Here is how.

1. At the beginnning of step 3 the woman is given the signal to step forward.

2. According to the Law of Direction she is to continue in the forward direction until she is stopped.

3. She is stopped if she is blocked or when she reaches the end of her connection.

4. Since the man stepped out of her way, she is not blocked, so she is to continue forward until she reaches the end of her connection.

5. When she completes her forward step, she is at the end of the connection and stops going forward.

What is wrong with option (A) is that in number 4 above, she cuts short her forward step and turns to face the man. This violates the Law of Direction which is she is not to stop her direction until she reaches the end of the connection or is blocked.