After yesterday's crabby post, I want YOU to chime in on today's topic.
The classic artistic dilemma: quality or quantity?
Or, in ballroomy terms, lovely basics or flash & trash?
I go back and forth on this subject A LOT.
I generally believe that the foundation of any art is the most beautiful part. Punctuation in writing? Great Scales in music? Great. A box with rise and fall in Waltz? Great.
But then I go to competitions and see that, often, quality doesn't win.
GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! HOW DOES QUALITY NOT WIN?
GAH. I don't know.
The obvious answer is to obtain both quality and quantity. Just be really really ridiculously good... Period. Like these fools.
I mean, I get it. Open routines look like fun. Turning, tricks, dips, splits: all that crowd-pleasing stuff (now you have to admit you were suckered in by the crowd-pleasing effects, which, 90% of the time, are the easiest part of the routine) is Neat. When it's done well.
I worry about those people who have barely touched Bronze before they're clamoring for their Open routines.
Fucking "Open". It's not candy, people. You'd think it was the hottest day of the year and Open is ice cream, the way people drool over it. Open is a pain in the ass. And you look like an asshole if you jump into it too soon. Please God, learn how to do a toe lead before you start your Gold Waltz choreography. Maybe even know how to do an open break before you break out your Open Rumba Showdance.
I'm not sure why many people think having the better label on their dancing is better than being a better dancer. There's no fanfare that plays when the Gold/Open people take the floor or even free ice cream. There's not even a membership card.
There is, however, a general sigh of relief when a good dancer takes the floor. I know that there will be a minimum of awkwardness with a maximum of knowledge being portrayed in the dance. It sucks when it's the other way around.
But the question remains: should I show something done correctly, that's not super-impressive or should I do something that seems impressive, that isn't actually being done correctly?
Some people would probably say neither. What would you say?
I'll leave you with this, a quote from an awesome former student of mine:
If you don't know or understand the basics, you'll never get better, and if you forget the basics, you'll never become great.