Hey, let’s talk about idioms for a moment…
Look, I get it. You may be nervous or worried about what seems like a pretty big wave sweeping over the community right now in competitions, classes, and event focus. That’s totally understandable and I figured why not go over a few of the questions I’ve gotten in emails or other spots to hopefully alleviate any fears…
Why are we focusing on idioms?
I would argue many in the community have been focused on this for a while and it’s just now caught on. It’s certainly how I was originally taught, but I’ll concede many didn’t know or emphasis it. Nothing to freak out over, but that’s why it’s really cool we get to dive into these now. Here at BluesGeek, we believe focusing back on the blues idioms will help sharpen your toolbox. Knowing which dance fits the right musical style can improve your social dancing and lead to stronger choices when you “freestyle”.
Why is that thing I learned a few years ago different now? Do I need throw everything out?
It’s entirely possible you learned the right thing with the wrong name or used the umbrella terms (Jookin’ or Ballroomin’) instead. Or maybe you actually learned something else that’s not blues. Don’t take it as an offense and no one is telling you to throw out everything you’ve learned. Just use this opportunity to challenge your dancing, see where you can grow, and take this step forward with us together.
What’s the purpose of having idiom specific comps? What were the comp we did before?
Idiom specific comps are aimed to reinforce the idea that these individual dances and not simply movements by themselves. The comps preceding this would be what we call “freestyle” or dancing in the aesthetic. We are not making a value judgment on either style. With Idiom specific, we can demonstrate a basic as historically accurate as possible while freestyle lets us add onto that framework. When we say your toolbox will be sharpened, it’s because we believe focusing on idioms will help you make better aesthetic choices when you do freestyle comps again.
Do you think the scene is ready for idiom comps this soon?
Ehh…there’s never going to be a perfect time. However, with that said, we have balanced what idioms you are expected to know. Right now, competitors are only throwing down on ones that have been danced in the scene at large, dependent on level (Novice, Open, Advanced).