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Observation

Notes Vocabulary

Crystal Cruz

desktop support 10/29/13 10:17 AM


Comment [1]: Absolutely fantastic project! I really enjoyed reading, and I felt like I learned a lot about dance. You certainly went well above and beyond the guidelines for this assignment-great work! : ) For the final portfolio, I do have one thing I want you to add: Add some pictures of these dance practices/events that you have observed. You describe them quite well throughout, but I still think having some sort of visual would be helpful to me as a reader. You may consider taking multiple pictures and creating a slideshow with captions--this I think would be the best method.

Ballroom Dance sets of dances performed by couples that originated in Europe as a form of entertainment to the Kings and Queens, now performed in both Europe and the United States. Couples dance partners in a ballroom setting, traditionally one male and one female. Routine a series of motions that is carefully choreographed and rehearsed. Foxtrot - a fast pace ballroom dance consisting of short steps and long steps in technical sequences. Waltz a ballroom dance, at various speeds, in which couples move in a circle taking one step per beat to the song. Bachata Latin dance consisting of three steps back and forth in a sideways direction. Salsa both a Latin dance and a style of music that is up-beat and of Puerto Rican origin. A Figured World: Though physically there is only one world. There are many worlds within this geographical world all organisms live in. A figured world is a culturally built and socially constructed community in which certain people play specific roles in maintaining and representing the norms of the figured world. These worlds are comprised of their own norms and rules of appropriateness, standards, and social responses. My chosen figured world is cultural dance, specifically on the UNC Charlotte campus. Cultural dance on campus serves as the umbrella figured world in which I observe three separate communities within that world. Encompassing a love for my own culture and an appreciation of others combined with my passion for dance guided me towards further delving into this world for examination. Summary of Rules and Conventions Dance and culture have always been two things to which I am passionate about. For the purpose of this assignment I'm integrating these two things to look at different styles of dance in different cultures that will comprise of the cultural dance figured world. All kinds of people can participate and practice dance. The beauty of it is that the history of dance has not been known to discriminate against social class, race, sex, gender, or sexual orientation. Dance can be performed anywhere. Outside or indoors; however, if people are dancing indoors then a large open space is required and preferably with mirrors so that dancers can see themselves move and correct mistakes. Music is usually played and it is normal for things to be loud depending on the style of dance that is being performed.

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

Firstly, Ill be looking at ballroom style dancing which is practiced in both the United States and Europe, its origin. For ballroom dancing, music is not meant to be played extremely loud like hip-hop would be. It is normal for the level of proximity between dance partners to be close, in fact it is expected. The same rule of proximity is applied to Latin forms of dancing as well. However, since posture is important part of technique it would probably be inappropriate to place ones hands somewhere outside of the proper technique zone. It would still be inappropriate to touch his or her partner in order to demonstrate a move. Generally speaking, since ballroom is a coupled dance, with one male and one female it would be outside of the normal literary practice to dance with the same sex, unless they are teaching, or to do a routine with more than two individuals. The same is true for Latin dances, but is not uncommon for two females to dance together in an informal setting. Bollywood dance is structured similarly to any dance team on campus, however within that community rules would include performing to some form of a bollywood style song, and incorporating/ expressing traditional bollywood moves and costumes for performances. Literacy Practice: a literacy practice can be thought of as the rules and conventions for a specific figured world put into action. A literacy practice takes apart the rules of behavior of a group and breaks it down into just how they implement and express those behaviors in practice. Literacy Practices Ways in which you learn: dance is a skill that is taught; therefore, each person goes through their own process to learn steps, routines, and technique and style. Visual/Observational Learners: these individuals learn by seeing someone else perform a move and then they imitate it. Auditory Learners: these individuals learn by hearing the instructions of each step and then following. For example, Forward Left, right, clockwise turn, back left right, dip.. Spatial Learners: these individuals learn best by viewing a mapped projection of where they need to go and what steps they need to perform.

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

Description of the Location Observation 1 (Ballroom Practice): The venue in which the couples practice is a very large space. The floor is similar to a gym floor but much slicker. Objects are removed from the floor for maximum space, and all of the dancers personal belongings were compiled in the far corner. The front wall is lined from top to bottom with full-length mirrors, very similar to a ballet room. The temperature is cold and the lighting is very bright. However, during a performance piece traditionally lighting is dim. The temperature is regulated by the building and it was probably cold to due the room being used for physical fitness classes. Observation 2 (Adaa Dance Group) This dance team holds practices in an open area inside of a lounge on the third floor of Witherspoon hall on campus. The area in which the majority of the members practice has a smart podium with a large screen for presentations. They use the podium and its cords so music can be played from the laptop. The floor is carpeted and the temperature is comfortable. There are tables to the back of the room and a free open area past the corner wall equipped with a pull-down screen and smart podium. The lighting is brightly focused on the open area where most of the dancing takes place. Observation 3 (Latin forms of Dancing) Note: This observation was not of an organization on campus. It took place at an informal party composed of mutual friends. A party is taking place for a mutual friends birthday at someones apartment just off campus. There is a long, medium width, decorated entry-way with pink string hanging from the ceiling. The entry-way comes to a small wall with the kitchen on the slight left and the living area on the slight right. The kitchen is filled with food and the center living room is cleared for dancing. There is a black couch on the right wall and a large wallmounted tv on the left wall. Underneath the tv is a tv stand with a laptop on it from where the music is derived, but the video images appear on the screen above. Overhead lights are off; the only resource of light comes from the kitchen and tv. People migrate all over the apartment, some sit on the couch; others stand in the kitchen or entry-way to socialize, while the majority are in the middle of the living room dancing. Actors : individuals who belong to a figured world and engage in the appropriate behaviors of that world and maintain its unique meaningful acts while adding dimensions to its complexity. Leaders in Ballroom Observation: The Experienced Couple in ballroom dance set the standard for what others strive for. The most experienced couple in the room is essentially the role models for other couples. They embody the goal of ballroom dance while also assuming a priority in practice. The Leaders in Latin Dance Observation: Males are obviously the leaders when dancing because they guide the lady into the next step, but before dancing even begins the real leaders are the ones who are bold enough to

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

start dancing when no one else is. These individuals play an important role in maintaining that cultural sense random motions that make dancing in the Latin community unique. Adaa (Bollywood Dance Team): The leaders: This particular dance organization is defined under UNC Charlotte as a club, so they do not have captains and co-captains, those who hold a leadership position such as Founder, co-founder, president, vice president, and secretary take lead of the team and the main responsibilities. These individuals make sure members stay on track and work hard to convey the mission of the team. However, everyone contributes to choreography. Discourse Communities: a discourse community is a group of people who share commonalities within a figured world. These commonalities could range from personality traits, similar behaviors, titles, positions, or class standing in comparison to the rest of the members of the figured world. As a whole all the leaders within a dance team, or environment, compute a group of people who take responsibility for the organization of a dance group and the final product of routines, etc. Besides captains or presidents, the initiators within the Latin Dance community also serve as a discourse because their carefree personality sets them apart from the other individuals who take part in dance. Zooming out for a bit: Ballroom Dance, Bollywood, and Latin Dance all serve as discourse communities under the umbrella of Cultural Dance on Charlottes campus because they embody different styles of dance but function under the same light.

Artifacts- artifacts are material objects or non-materialistic entities that describe or express meaning to a figured world. Within the dance community artifacts hold a major role in the visual expression that sets each style of dance apart from others. Without artifacts all styles of dance wouldnt have anything to hold on to in order to represent its work and unique history. Costumes The costume a group or couple wears makes a statement. They represent the theme of a dance, the cultural being of a dance or group, and the tone of the dance. o For example, to perform the Waltz costumes are usually classy, sometimes full length, simple, and elegant. When a couple performs the tango or foxtrot, costumes, females in particular, can be shorter, sassier, and more revealing. These two different costumes embody the different styles of dancing. o The ADAA Bollywood Dance team wears garments that represent India a major characteristic that both keeps them together and makes them culturally different from other groups. Music

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

In the world of dance music is not just something you listen to, music is a signal to start dancing. If music is playing and then it suddenly stops, then the dancer stops as well. Dancers also understand beats within a song. As soon as a song plays he or she knows what type of dance goes with the song by the instruments, melodies, and beats. For example, Salsas music is composed with lots of trumpets, congos, and other unique Caribbean instruments. The sounds these combinations produces is evident to a dancer and almost innately recognized by a Hispanic person who grew up around this music.

Start Phrases Go or 5,6,7,8.. are universal ways of getting ready to begin a routine, whereas outside of the dance world these are just a serious of numbers or a general signal to move. Gestures An extended hand by a male (traditionally) symbols a request to dance. Usually, a pose such as a squat, dip, or freeze symbolizes the end of a dance. Both dancers collectively do this at the same time. The Observation (49er Ballroom Dance) 7:38pm Everyone stretches on their own. Appropriate dancing shoes are being put on and everyone talks to each other while stretching despite the loud warm-up music in the background. The music is pop, unusual for a ballroom practice. A gentlemen dressed in all black, seemingly older than the average college student, tells another boy that the music is his and continues to jump rope during this exercise phase. One couple discusses one kind of dance theyd like to work on, while another girl fixes the strap on her heels. They also discuss light topics such as classes, how tired they are, days of the week, tv shows, etc. At this point everything is informal and not very structured, and no set figure of authority such as a leader or captain amongst the dancers. The gentlemen in all black stays engaged into his personal set warm-up routine. 7:48 It seems as though the rest of the dancers wait to start until the most experienced dancer is sufficiently warmed up. 7:50 Three couples start practicing on the waltz on their own. Practice ranges from all levels of experience. Males are leading; bodies are connected at a central point throughout the dance no matter where the couple travels. Movements are slow, speed up, and then slow again, but everything flows into the next movement. The dance is elegant. The womens head is always tilted and elbows are up with females hands and arm resting on top of their partners hand, which is at her middle back. Partners faces never look at each other. The couples are comfortable with the close contact, however the discomfort shows in the couples are learning steps for the first time and are not used to it yet. This particular couple tends to back away from their partner more often.

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

8:00 Two couples start dancing to the same song of Waltz, the song they will use for competition. While practicing, couples do not interact with other couples. The couple with more experience seems to dictate when the song changes to a different style of dance. However, nothing was aggressive about the switch and other dancers are encouraged to go at their own pace. 8:11 Collectively the couples take a break, seems like 10 minutes of dancing is the usual lapse time before a break or transition of songs when there is a group practice such as this. 8: 17 The more experienced couple breaks off and works with the couple whos in the middle in terms of how experienced they are with dance. The gentlemen dressed in all black works with the male of the middle couple and vice versa. Now theyre working on technique for the Foxtrot. Interactions are friendly and instructive but voices are kept at an even keel so the music can still be heard. Male and female roles seem to be interchangeable only when two females are working together. The more experienced female lead assumes the role of the male at times when teaching, but the two males working together will not interchange their roles and hold each other in the traditional positions to teach. When both couples start dancing they initially begin at the opposite ends of the room to allow each other ample space. At times, they may bump into each other or have to adjust their pathway because of how much they each travel around the room. 8:30 Everyone finishes up the techniques they were working on. Original couples talk amongst themselves about various topics, what plans they have for the weekend, what they want to work on more, etc. All dancers take off their dance shoes and gather their belongings to leave. The Observation (Adaa Bollywood Dance Team) 5:00pm The group warm ups up by playing songs with old dance routines. People join in to the parts they remember. Others stand around and stretch, Im assuming they do not know the particular dance routine being done. The music is played loudly and everything is semi-informal. The music is a melody of several songs mixed together. 5:20 By the command of one girl, the captain. Everyone collectively comes up with ideas for new choreography. No ones input is turned down and every voice is appreciated. Most of the members seem to be close with one another. The atmosphere is friendly, fun, and light. 5:25 Announcement was made by captain about the September 28th performance on campus and each members availability on that day. After announcement is made the group becomes more relaxed and side conversations begin to form, some people sit down

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

while others remain standing. Not long after two members bring the group together and get the people who are sitting off the floor and bring everyone into a big circle formation. These two leaders ask everyones input on ideas for the next move of choreography in the circle. Off to the side, the captain is sitting at a table with another girl. They look like theyre examining some papers and talking business. Back in the circle, the team works through a move for the beginning of a song. Some people have more positive reactions to the progress while others are just sort of there. They run through the move several times until theyve got it matched correctly with the music. After that, they try to figure out what they are going to do to get out of the circle formation. 5:40 The captain takes the three males out of the circle and tells the rest of the group that she will return at 6 and everyone needs to have contributed and present what theyve done. No sitting on the couch, everyone contributingIm serious about this because we really dont have a lot of time. New members need to learn old choreography and new choreography. And old members need to come up with new choreography and teach. She then moves to another side of the room with the three male members and proceeds to teach them a series of steps while the remaining girls stay work on the circle choreography. The movements the captain are teaching the boys involve legs and hands. They remind me of hip-hop like steps to Bollywood music. She moves at a fast pace but is always friendly. One male helps another with a particular step he is confident in. The Observation (Latin Dances) Note: This observation is not a structured practice. It took place at an informal party amongst friends. 10:30pm The apartment is decorated, amenities and condiments are all set up, music starts playing softly in the background. Those who decorated the apartment are starting to relax and wait for people to show up. They text on their phones trying to make sure people show, talk amongst themselves, and make double check everything again. 11:26 Friends start arriving and greeting everyone. Owner of the apartment makes sure everyone has food or drinks. They stand mostly in the kitchen at first, and then migrate towards the living area to sit and socialize; the apartment is moderately filled. People, both male and female start taking notice to the music playing, bachata, and sway in their seats or where they stand, or singing along. 12:18 The entire apartment is filled with people. The dance floor, though small, is packed with partners dancing. Turns and intricate moves are performed by one or two partners but no one is intimidated by their moves, in fact, those who are not dancing encourage and applaud them with smiles and comments. Most people bump accidentally

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

bump into others due to the tight space. Some partners converse with each other while theyre dancing, mostly into each others ears so they can be heard by the music, whose volume has increased to a very loud level. Females who do not have a male partner to dance with will usually dance with another female. 12:50 the music has switched to merengue, whose dance is very simple. All one has to do is shift their body weight from one side to the other, incorporating knees and hips simultaneously. Not as many males seem to want to dance to this type. When the males leave the floor females dont seem to care and bunch up together in a circle and continue dancing. 1:14am A salsa song was thrown in and more than half of the dance floor cleared. These people went to the kitchen for drinks, socialized with other people, went outside for air, or sat down wherever they could find a seat. 1:20am a mix of reaggeton and bachata songs are played and the dance floor fills up again, following the same trend until the end of the night when people start going home. However, the dance floor does not go from packed to empty in one instance. Music is played until the very last person who does not live in the apartment leaves, and dancers trickle off little by little until everyone is gone. Interview (David* from 49er Ballroom) 1. What brought you to this dance community? How long have you been a part of it? The thing that brought me to this dance community was that i was very bored and needed something to do. The first semester fo my freshman year, I was one of those students alone, and qute depressed sitting in my dorm room all the time and i went on the Student orgs website and found this club. 2. What does dance fulfill in your life that you do not get anywhere else? The dance community was like a second family away from my family,Dance helped me find a group of people that I could be myself around and not be embarrased as well as provided a needed place to blow off steam when i get stressed or overworked. 3. In what ways has dancing influenced you since you've started? Dancing has influenced me to be much more open to people, and share more of myself because if I can dance infront of the large crowds that accumulate at ballroom competitions; I can talk to people and not be a shy person anymore. 4. Describe your experience with this group? What have you gained from it? Do you feel as though it's benefited your overall college experience? My experience with the 49er Social and Ballroom dance Club has been an amazing year and a half Because of everything that Ballroom has done for me .

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

The club has made me more focused and has improved my leadership skills through my current officer position as president. 5. Why do you think dance is so popular amongst youth? Well i have two answers to this it really depends on what the term youth means because the very young most of the time aren't extremely interested in ballroom rather the parents live vicariously through their kids. In the other case though, the youth our age just like to do ballroom because it is a great way to meet each other and have fun alot of fun. 6. If you could change anything about this world that you are a part of, positive or negative, what would it be? I would only change the amount of people that are involved with this amazing world of ballroom dance. How would you describe the type of dancing you perform in the group? The type of dancing that my group performs and practices is Competitive Ballroom dancing and competitive Latin dances including but not limited to ,Waltz, Tango , Quickstep , Foxtrot,Rumba Cha Cha , Samba,and Jive. Yeah the waltz tango foxtrot an quickstep are called standard and the other four are considered to be Latin styling Tell me about the the cultural diversity within the members of team. If, any? Among Ballroom Dancing there is a wide cultural diversity because this is a world-wide hobby , but among my group there is almost a large cultural diversity because we get all of the different cultures on campus to come because around our age everyone wants to dance andthe contact dance hold provides lol Why is this style of dance important to you? This style of dance is important to me because first, it is the only dance style i know , but on the other more effectual reason is that all of my true friends have come from the world of ballroom dance or the world of higher education so it is one of my best social connecting occupations of time Tell me about the cultural/ethnical ties that are expressed during choreography, performances, and group members. Since the choreography for ballroom is pretty much all the same the only time where cultural ties are expressed is in the technique and the gusto that the dancers express through the choreography. Explain your thoughts on how other people outside of this community might perceive the style of dancing you do? People outside of the dancing community see ballroom dancers as rich and highly snobby , but this is not true we are some of the most welcoming people that you would ever meet especially at competitions the sportsmanship that is displayed is amazing. I see, what brings you to that conclusion?

Observation Notes

Crystal Cruz

Most people think when you say ballroom they think of standard which is a bit snobby and refined and is dressy where as Latin is a bit more loose and fun Have you gotten negative responses from people in the past or is that just a general conception? General conception and it comes from people that come into the club their first time *Disclaimer: Specific Names and titles given to persons mentioned in this document were falsified to protect the persons anonymity.