When Social Dancing how does the lead indicate the intention of doing a shine?

Question By drecklia

In partner work, how do I indicate and transition into a shine?


Users obubaley 

I use an open turn as a precursor to starting a shine. It’s a natural way to break apart from your partner and can lead directly into some fancy footwork 🙂

Users panis69 

There are times in the music when it’s more appropriate to shine than partner dance. During those periods I generally find some way to break apart and just do my own thing.

Users double-you 

Why do you need to indicate it? You go into shines and your partner just keeps doing the basic, looking questioningly for 8 bars?

No, there’s no other indication than you letting go of the hands and starting to do shines. It probably helps to break eye contact for a moment. They tend to figure it out.

If they don’t then stop doing shines and get back to partnerwork. Not everybody knows shines, or is comfortable doing them.

You can, if you are good enough, lead your partner into doing shine footwork, usually by doing the same yourself. And if you at that point release the hands, then they’ll probably keep doing them.

Users CMEast 

As the others have said, when the music changes just do a move – any move really – but make sure you let go of the follower halfway through. If you see the follower look lost, then just do it for a bar and then save them so they don’t need to shine. Plus, a shine needn’t be fancy footwork, you can still dance with the follower with body rolls, pauses, dips (carefully) and anything else that takes your fancy.

If you’re a follower, this is a tougher question to answer. A good lead will give you space to shine at a music change, especially if you’re clearly styling and playing with the music during partnerwork. If they don’t give you space then there’s two options:

– Keep following, and in future don’t dance with that lead for songs you like to shine to unless you’re willing to have a chat with them afterwards.

– Or you can just let go. Start shining. You don’t really need their permission to dance. Some leads will appreciate it – I personally love it when a follower does something unexpected and plays with the music and my lead, it’s fun to offer a crossbody and watch them instead do something that totally fits the music. Other leads might complain that you’re not following – but tough, it’s a dance, you’re not just an accessory to be pushed and pulled around.

Users gumercindo1959 

When the music calls for it, both dancers understand that cue. However, for beginners, this is problematic as 1) transitions can be awkward, 2) unsure when exactly that cue is and 3) a follow might dread shining. I know many follows that absolutely dreaded when the lead let go. I’ve been dancing for a while and to me, shined are something that are complementary rather than featured. I think many folks tend to use shines to Show off rather than just do it as an accent to the dancing. If you do do it, I recommend finding a simple footwork pattern to start (heel/toe taps, Suzie Q) and keep it to a couple 8 counts. With shines, simple is often best I’ve found. Then you’ll have to figure out how to get back together with your partner after shining – that’s a challenge as well. Lol

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