Connection in Circle Dancing - 061026

Learn true connection. Without it, you cannot dance this dance the way you want to. Have fun. It shows. ~ Brent Key, 4-time US Open Swing Champion
What I feel is extremely important is connection. When one understands the feel of connection they are able to concentrate more on dancing to the music and having a conversation with their partner. This makes every dance that you do feel different and also makes every dance a lot more fun. ~ Tatiana Mollmann, 3-time US Open Swing Champion
Please remember that you are Dancing. Let the music move your soul literally. Pay attention to your partner and every movement he or she makes. Each movement or lead is a part of the connection and conversation. Let the momentum flow. ~ Kellese Key, 4-time US Open Swing Champion

Similar to the way we make connection in partner dancing, we also make connection in circle dancing. This connection is what makes holding hands in circle dancing so nice and enhances our experience.

Without this connection, we are experiencing only a part of the dance, like being partially color blind, when one cannot distinguish between red and green. Without connection, we experience only a part of what the dance and group has to offer.

Like partner dancing, we make connection through our hands, connected to our whole bodies. By maintaining our own frame, hand and arm positions, and moving to the rhythm, we can synchronize with those next to us.

We should not be leading others by moving our arms, or pushing or pulling them. We should not be grabbing their hands and lifting their arms for them.

Connection is by choice and established by mutual pressure. Each person dances in their own space on their own. Through choosing to maintain the connection, they keep pace with those around them, not through force applied by the people next to them.

When we dance in a line, like in many of the Arabic and Yemenite dances, such as Avraham Aveinu, Rona or Yaabud, there is one leader at the head of the line, and everyone else follows.

In circle dances, there is no leader.

In either case, we should not be leading the steps of the people next to us. We should not be giving people leads by extra hand pressure as to when to turn or go in a particular direction. Simply by dancing our part within our own frame, these directions will become obvious to those around us.

We also should not be giving verbal instructions or hand gestures as to what to do. If we want to help those around us, we can telegraph our moves by preparing our moves a beat ahead of time, which should be enough to let people easily follow us visually.

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