Tips from the Giants – Carmen

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Pearl of Wisdom

The one information that my teacher told me which made a big impact in my dance career, that gave me a lot of clarity and understanding is that I do not have to compete with the energy of my partner. That was a huge revelation because I always felt I had to put the same energy, and same usage, to not look weaker than my partner. The understanding that no two people, man or woman, will ever look the same – nor should they – nor the energy input should be the same.


On Today’s Dancing

A lot of things have improved a lot in today’s dancing versus our past.

To start with, everybody has a great fit body. The availability and flexibility of nowadays schedule allows a lot more for training and been able to remain fit outside of dancing. In our days we knew we had to be fit but it wasn’t as present, as available as today.

The availability of mental coaching wasn’t as such in our time either. That is something positive for this generation.

I term of dancing, the biggest change in this generation is the variety of choreography from outside and inside influences. But there is a lot more awareness or priority into choreography and also into speed and dynamic changes of energy. It doesn’t mean we were not energetic, but it wasn’t the full ground produced through power and energy and through choreography. There are  few elements which were more important in the past generations which is partnering – skills of partnering, body rhythm and musicality were a little more in the foreground of our generation. I think too often we replace instead of add, and if we could add the speed, the choreography and great bodies of todays to the qualities of the past generations, that would be an ultimate power.

How to deal with Disappointment?

To start with, the first question that has to be asked: What can I do better? What did I not do go enough? What could I have done better? Because everybody looks at outside answers: the judges, the teachers, my partner,  the music…

The first question has to be asked: What can I do to make this different, or change? What have I done NOT as good as what I could have done today, to deserve this kind of results?

I think also it is very important that people go watch the next round or watch the final if they didn’t make the final. Or watch their competitors because they most often pack their bag and go away and don’t look at how the others compete and look on the floor. Not to emulate or copy them but to understand what it is they did in comparison to you, and what you can make stronger, not to beat them with their weapons but with your own weapons.

I think Mentally it is very important to stay focused, and clear on the path. Any result, any competition is a stumbling block or a forward movement to the greater things which are there for you. We get often so bugged down by these particular competitions – and of course I know that this is important – but one need to take it around and take it positive and move forward with it, and not to linger and be negative with the whole circumstances.

Advice to Pupils on How to take a Lesson.

One would think It is not a very difficult question but having been teaching for many many years, this might be a good question.

I think common sense, behavior skills, is to start with the first one. Nowadays general behavior skills toward elderly people and yes, I am a bit older than most pf my students, of how to conduct, how to say thank you and please, how to ask questions. I think there is a huge lack in that. It would be a nice things to see that pupils have a more cordial behavior skills toward their teachers.

Come Prepared! That is another one. If you’re a regular student, the teacher will come prepared and know what to do with you but if you are more of a guest pupil, it would be nice to know that you have thought about it, that you know what you would like to do with that particular teacher, and also that you are aware of how you conduct yourself, what you wear, and how you are with your partner. I do not want to be a marriage counselor not do I want to give brownie points to one or the other; if you have problems with each other you discuss it outside and during the lesson, you have a ‘dance’ lesson, that is what it is supposed to be.

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