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LeRoc - a street dance? Or a studio dance?
Like many other dances LeRoc started as a 'street dance' - the style found in French discotheques, danced by people who had no formal dance training.
During the 1980's and 90's it was first amateurs and later professionals who developed an extensive repertoire of moves for teaching at specialised clubs. This is great news for the dance but it also represents a danger. The process of defining, refining and recording a dance can, if we are not careful, cause it to lose that unique and exciting character that made it so popular in the first place.
LeRoc is the ideal dance for improvisation to any music so let us be careful not to extinguish this vibrant quality. We can do our best to teach it well but let us not presume to tell a pupil how it MUST be done. Ideally we would give pointers and tips to help the dance run smoothly (especially good technique for effective lead and follow). But when it comes to style points we should resist the urge and leave a lot up to the individual to interpret the music as they feel it.
This may not produce the same polished perfection that we see in the ballroom dancing world. But it means LeRoc will keep its integrity as a relevant social Party Dance.
A wide spectrum of methods is used for teaching LeRoc. It is often offered in a club style environment, taught in numbers of 100 plus and it lends itself well to this method as it is, after all, a club dance. Like Line Dancing, Reeling etc. it is great fun when learned and danced in a large group. In such classes the fast moving, party atmosphere must be maintained so teachers condense their instruction into skilful cueing of the moves. Other teachers choose a more academic approach, with greater attention to detail. While some cater for both casual dancers, through club-style evenings, and serious pupils through workshops and individual tuition.
The LeRoc French Jive Federation recognises that both ends of the spectrum - whether just for party fun or in pursuit of championship perfection - are equally valid. It is recognised that when teachers have very large numbers coming through their doors they must tailor their teaching methods to suit the size of class. It is important for teachers to remember that LeRoc is a fun, party dance and so we should keep a fun, social approach to our goals.