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Walk to work

Walk to work

By Greg Dyke
Thoughts about dance, music and teaching: blues, lindy hop, bal folk and other related topics
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Episode 80 - New Teaching Partner Checklist
Some things to think about when teaching dance with a new partner for the first time
February 08, 2020
Episode 79 - Are You Getting in Your Own Way?
How do we get in our own way. Why does it hold us back and how do we fix it?
January 17, 2020
Episode 78 - Doing nothing or not doing anything?
Musings on the art of not doing anything, rather than doing nothing or doing something meaningless.
January 11, 2020
Episode 77 - "X is a racist"
Describing someone as "racist" in a racist society is a bit meaningless. What can we do instead? (I don't actually have an answer to this one)
January 06, 2020
Episode 76 - How to solve a Rubik's Cube
Anyone can figure out how to solve a Rubik's cube. It only takes 3 key insights to develop your own solution!
December 27, 2019
Episode 75 - Live music and the wall of sound
Blues dancers can probably learn to like (and even enjoy) live music sets with a low dynamic and rhythmic range
December 19, 2019
Episode 74 - Cats and Dance Journeys
An extended metaphor to illustrate some of the difficulties of changing while being oneself. Featuring cats!
November 28, 2019
Episode 73 - Story Arcs and Partnering Styles (musings on teaching at Lil' Taste of Fusion)
Jess and I taught at Lil' Taste of Fusion : 3h each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with blues on the first day and fusion the other two. We tried to give the weekend a focus, while also creating a story arc for each afternoon.
November 21, 2019
Episode 72 - Codes of conduct
What purpose do codes of conduct serve, what should they include, how do they for into your organisation's wider safety strategy?
November 14, 2019
Episode 71 - Preparation Steps (and Anchor Steps)
In response to Basil's questions. A bit about anchors and a lot about preps.
November 08, 2019
Episode 70 - When is it step step vs triple step?
1) It doesn't matter much 2) it's simpler than you may think 3) why do we ask the question?
October 31, 2019
Episode 69 - Talking with Tara and Michael about their Experience Parenting Aroha (part 2)
Tara  and Michael treat their daughter Aroha like a person (because she is  one). We discuss the language they prefer to use to discribe Aroha, the first time Michael met Aroha, elimination communication (also known as natural hygiene),  and the pressure or lack thereof that Tara and Michael put themselves under as parents.
October 25, 2019
Episode 68 - Talking with Tara and Michael about their Experience Parenting Aroha (part 1)
Tara and Michael treat their daughter Aroha like a person (because she is one). We discuss how they encourage people to seek Aroha's consent before interacting with her, how they respond to Aroha's feelings if she is hurt or upset, the extent to which they allow the needs of a baby to impact their lives, the importance of co-parenting, and some of the strategies they use to understand and respond to Aroha's wants and needs.
October 09, 2019
Episode 67 - White Fragility Self Test
CW: white dude discussing his white fragility - answering the questions asked by Ally Henny to reflect on one's white fragility. 
October 03, 2019
Episode 66 - Safer Spaces (part 2)
Why do we need to make our safer spaces intersectional? Why do dance spaces in particular need work to make spaces safer? What are the means by which we can go about making spaces safer?
September 26, 2019
Episode 65 - Safer Spaces (part 1)
Why do we need safer spaces? What kinds of issues are we trying to address?
September 19, 2019
Episode 64 - Talking with Stefanie Buller about Alexander Technique (part 2)
Stefanie is an Alexander Technique teacher who works with regular folk, but also elite athletes. We discuss how working with athletes is different from regular folk and how to make movement yummy!
September 12, 2019
Episode 63 - Talking with Stefanie Buller about Alexander Technique (part 1)
Stefanie is an Alexander Technique teacher who works with regular folk, but also elite athletes. We discuss her approach to Alexander Technique and how she came to work with world class rowers.
September 05, 2019
Episode 62 - Talking with Catherine Palmier about Private Escapes
Catherine Palmier teaches at/organises various events including Dancemode Immersions and Mountain Blues Camp. She is based in Puerto Rico, where she invites dancers to join her for a "private escape". We discuss how and why this is a great opportunity for change.
August 29, 2019
Episode 61 - Talking with Jenny Sowden about Be-Bluesed (part 2)
I sit down at Mountain Blues Camp to talk with Jenny Sowden about her experience teaching at Be-Bluesed (which I previously discussed in episodes 27-29 and 31)
August 22, 2019
Episode 60 - Talking with Jenny Sowden about Be-Bluesed (part 1)
I sit down at Mountain Blues Camp to talk with Jenny Sowden about her experience teaching at Be-Bluesed (which I previously discussed in episodes 27-29 and 31)
August 12, 2019
Episode 59 - Teacher activities and talking
Discussion of different teacher activities borrowed from Kira Emslie and SwingStep, with a little extra in depth on the kinds of talking we do
August 08, 2019
Episode 58 - Cultural appropriation is a thing (part 4: ...and it's not about *you*)
More myths about cultural appropriation: a) sourcelanders and diaspora have different perceptions of racism and cultural appropriation b) the question is not "is lindy hop cultural appropriation?" (it is), but "how can we reduce the harm we are causing" and c) it's not about getting a "free pass". It's not about *you*
August 01, 2019
Episode 57 - Musical Notation and European Traditional Music
Semi-rant about how Western musical notation shapes our assumptions about what music "is".
July 26, 2019
Episode 56 - Guided Exploration of Postural Improvement
Let's get physical! Explore how different approaches to posture have functional impact on your body.
July 18, 2019
Episode 55 - Talking with Samuel Tinguely about Posture
We revisit my weak muscle chain fallacy episode to discuss how training muscles for strength and flexibility across their whole range of motion is key to postural improvement
July 11, 2019
Episode 54 - The Shoulder
The shoulder is very multifunctional and has surprisingly complex movement to help move the arms.
July 04, 2019
Episode 53 - Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a holiday to celebrate the end of slavery in the USA and commemorates the announcement of freedom of slaves in Texas on June 19th 1865. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Article on PBS “What is Juneteenth” What my father and juneteenth taught me about having Expectaitoins (Danielle C Belton) Juneteenth: Why Celebrate (Racism Review) by Jessie Daniels When Black Joy Has White Witnessesby Dominique Matti Juneteenth:  A RedSpot Day on the Texas Calendar in Juneteenth Texas: Essays in  African-American Folklore by William H Wiggins Jr Juneteenth – It’s always right to celebrate freedom Dr Charles Taylor (speech from 2004) What Is Juneteenth, How Is It Celebrated, and Why Does It Matter? Jameelah Nasheed
June 27, 2019
Episode 52 - First Annual Review
A review of a year of podcasting.
June 21, 2019
Episode 51 - Cultural appropriation is a thing (part 3: three more myths about cultural appropriation)
In part 3 I cover a) "you can choose to be offended" b) "mixing of cultures is enrichment" and c) "This one Black person says it's OK" and "You're not black, so why should I listen to you?"
June 13, 2019
Episode 50 - You can't learn the same thing twice
Musings about my experience with Alexander Technique and how the goal is not to find a new, better way, but get comfortable with always finding new ways.
June 06, 2019
Episode 49 - Turn taking, self-expression, self control (Part 4 - Black and White Styles in Conflict)
Part 4 of a multi-part series about the book "Black and White Styles in   Conflict" by Thomas Kochman. This episode covers the third part of   describing classroom modalities of participation in Black American  culture - specifically how turn taking rules differ in black culture and how that relates to both self expression and self control.
May 30, 2019
Episode 48 - Struggle is necessary for discussion (Part 3 - Black and White Styles in Conflict)
Part 3 of a multi-part series about the book "Black and White Styles in  Conflict" by Thomas Kochman. This episode covers the second part of  describing classroom modalities of participation in Black American  culture - specifically how struggle is an important component in a good discussion and carries expectations of how to be a responsible discussion participant.
May 23, 2019
Episode 47 - Grounding
Grounding is a physical and mental state that can be used for practical and aesthetic purposes. I talk more specifically about what (psycho-)physical grounding is.
May 16, 2019
Episode 46 - Cultural appropriation is a thing (part 2: myths about cultural appropriation)
Myths? Poorly thought out arguments? Let's talk about them!
May 09, 2019
Episode 45 - Cultural Appropriation is a thing (part 1)
Fueled by recent events, I discuss why cultural appropriation is a thing and how it relates to racism and colonialism.
May 02, 2019
Episode 44 - Flow: more on leads being intimidated by follows
Bringing together the idea of flow, male leads being intimidated by women follows (and black american gender roles)
April 26, 2019
Episode 43 - Black debate is mistaken for hostility (Part 2 - Black and White Styles in Conflict)
Part 2 of a multi-part series about the book "Black and White Styles in Conflict" by Thomas Kochman. This episode covers the first part of describing classroom modalities of participation in Black American culture - specifically how argument for persuasion and argument for venting of hostility are considered different by Black people but not recognised by White people.
April 18, 2019
Episode 42 - Recognition of Black Culture (Part 1 - Black and White Styles in Conflict)
Part 1 of a multi-part series about the book "Black and White Styles in Conflict" by Thomas Kochman. This episode covers the introduction and the recognition of Black american culture as a African-derived culture in its own right, not merely an inferior version of White culture.
April 12, 2019
Episode 41 - Combining teaching of blues idiom dances and partnering technique
Why I no longer want to teach partnering technique in isolation/out of context. A podcast version of
April 04, 2019
Episode 40 - Dance Learner Psychographics
I borrow the idea of psychographic profiles from Magic The Gathering design, where Tammy/Timmy, Jenny/Johnny and Spike describe the player who likes to win big, the player who likes to win quirky and the player who likes to win often. MTG card designers often checklist that they have cards that appeal to each profile, and I think dance classes could be checklisted in a similar way (assuming we could come up with a good set of psycographics for dancer learners)
March 28, 2019
Episode 39 - How to Lead and Follow Anything
Leading is moving our body. Following is tracking our lead's body and moving our body in a way that matches somehow. This breaks down into weight/axis shifts, steps and pivots, and shaping (and giving resilience to a shape)
March 21, 2019
Episode 38 - Dancing on the Head of a Femur
"How do I know if I'm on my femur heads?". I was asked this question in a private and have some answers, including what femur heads are and why we would want to be on them.
March 15, 2019
Episode 37 - Posture and the Weak Muscle Chain Fallacy
Postural issues are often diagnosed as "x muscle chain is too weak/loose and y muscle chain is too strong/tight". But this is typically the symptom, not the root cause. We also shouldn't try to fix postural issues by "holding" a given posture as it's not feasible and will hinder breathing, balance and movement. 
March 07, 2019
Episode 36 - Men are not actually interested in having awesome dances ...
... they are interested in having dances where they are seen as awesome! This explains why followers get less popular as they improve whereas leaders get more popular. (It's also both clickbait, and the ego shadow of who we fear to be)
March 01, 2019
Episode 35 - Blues Idiom Dances
Blues dance is an umbrella term covering a multitude of blues idiom dances. What are they, and how are they relevant?
February 21, 2019
Episode 34 - Perceptions of dance vs gender roles
Although dance roles don't have to be related to gender, in mainstream culture they are. Seeing how men (those who are also primary leads) perform "following" may tell us what they think it means to be feminine (and vice versa).
February 15, 2019
Episode 33 - Why race is relevant to blues and lindy hop
1) Because black people tell us it is! 2) Because there are reasons these dances are no longer popular with black people. 3) Because without understanding black values and their ties to oppression, these dances don't make sense.
February 08, 2019
Episode 32 - BE-BLUESED part 5 (lessons learned for teaching)
Last in the 5 part series. More lessons learned and wrapup!
February 01, 2019
Episode 31 - BE-BLUESED part 4 (lessons learned - teaching team)
The first set of lessons learned from be-bluesed is that the format works, especially if you have a great teaching team
January 25, 2019
Episode 30 - Fusion
My approach to fusion is that intrinsic musicality and cultural musicality define a range of appropriate movement to a given music. This is the approach I take with fusion music/dance, but it's also the same approach I take with all dances.
January 18, 2019
Episode 29 - BE-BLUESED part 3 (Sunday classes)
Sunday classes from BE-BLUESED 2018
January 10, 2019
Episode 28 - BE-BLUESED part 2 (Saturday classes)
Saturday classes from BE-BLUESED 2018
January 03, 2019
Episode 27 - BE-BLUESED part 1 (an immersion based workshop concept)
BE-BLUESED is an annual blues workshop weekend held in Bern (Switzerland). The past three years, the organisers have hired teachers to teach in an immersion based style: all 4 teachers dance at the same time, with minimal verbal instruction, so that students can take from everybody's movement.
December 28, 2018
Episode 26 - The Foot
The foot cycles between lever mode and raft mode at every step. It's super important to allow it to do that to protect your knees and to allow the rest of the leg spiral to work. Barefoot shoes!
December 21, 2018
Episode 25 - Respect and Meaningfulness
The dances and musics I do are all cultural practices that exist outside of their culture of origin. How can cultural practices find respect and meaning in such situations?
December 14, 2018
Episode 24 - Revivalism and Diaspora
Revivalist and diasporic dance communities have in common the attempt to try to recreate cultural practices outside of and in limited/proxy contact with their cultures of origin
December 07, 2018
Episode 23 - The Pelvis
The pelvis plays a major role in force absorption and restitution. Learn how to use it to protect your back and your knees!
November 29, 2018
Episode 22 - Franklin Method
Franklin Method is a posture/alignment/body mechanics modality that focuses on changing the mind in order to change the body
November 23, 2018
Episode 21 - History of European Folk Dance (part 2)
Revivalism from WWI to the present day and some key takeaway points for revivalist and diasporic practices
November 15, 2018
Episode 20 - History of European Folk Dance (part 1)
From circle dances through chain dances to partner dances, quadrilles and the end of peasant society in Europe.
November 09, 2018
Episode 19 - Metaphors of leading and following
Navigating and driving a car? Drawing and colouring in? Having a conversation? How do these metaphors affect our perception of leading and following?
November 01, 2018
Episode 18 - Narrative Equity
This one time, in dance class... Narrative Equity is a term borrowed from game design. It's the capacity of a game to generate stories that you can later tell. In this episode I discuss it's applicability to social dance and dance class
October 26, 2018
Episode 17 - Epistemic Frames
Learning is not just about knowledge and skills, but also about values and identity. Together they make up an "epistemic frame". [I incorrectly refer to this as "epistemological frame"] (Towards the end of this episode I mention going to Berlin for training "next week" - I usually record a week ahead of publishing - this time I'm two weeks ahead)
October 18, 2018
Episode 16 - European dance vs African-American dance
African-American dance is often described as "unlike European dance, which is upright and with a strong downbeat...". This is description that is othering and plays into poorly understood stereotypes of European dance
October 11, 2018
Episode 15 - Taking privates
Why don't we take more private dance classes? (and why we should!)
October 04, 2018
Episode 14 - Alexander, agency and attention
My Alexander Technique teacher makes the difference between attention and awareness. This distinction ties in to some ideas about consent and agency.
September 27, 2018
Episode 13 - ZPD, Scaffolding, and Interleaving
Three learning-related concepts that have in common the improvisation/execution demands that they place upon teachers
September 21, 2018
Episode 12 - Trad and folk aesthetics of Bal Folk
French folk dancing is not oriented around conservatism vs progressivism but around culture vs social cohesion
September 08, 2018
Episode 11 - Alexander Technique
I describe some of the principles of Alexander Technique and how I feel I've benefitted from it
August 30, 2018
Episode 10 - Learning, prior knowledge, and transfer
In which I talk about learning (including "what does it mean to have learned something"), the importance of prior knowledge, both to avoid cognitive load and to create the cognitive conflict that allows knowledge to stick
August 23, 2018
Episode 9 - Lines in African Dance Class
I talk about a formation common in West African dance classes that many people are not familiar with. Although my "swiss" interpretation of it is a bit too rigid, it makes class very hard for me when people don't use the supportive elements it provides.
August 17, 2018
Episode 8 - Starting with the Basics?
Do we need to know the rules before we break them? Yes, but also no!
August 13, 2018
Episode 7 - Connection, Counterbalance and Stretch
A mostly controlled mini rant about the differences between connection, counterbalance and stretch. These three concepts often go together but they don't have to!
August 03, 2018
Episode 6 - Body Mechanics for Partner Dancing, Part 3
7-10 of 10 ways working on body mechanics can improve your dancing
July 27, 2018
Episode 5 - Body Mechanics for Partner Dancing, Part 2
4-7 of 10 ways working on body mechanics can improve your dancing
July 20, 2018
Episode 4 - Body Mechanics for Partner Dancing, Part 1
1-3 of 10 ways working on body mechanics can improve your dancing
July 13, 2018
Episode 3 - Dance philosophy and the Magic colour pie
Magic the Gathering is a card game featuring 5 colours. Each colour has a philosophy. And this relates to dance, somehow.
July 06, 2018
Episode 2 - Dancemode Immersions
Why are Dancemode Immersions the best thing to improve your life and your dancing? What expectations should you have if you sign up for one? Next one in Europe is in Berlin, Oct 8th-14th!
June 29, 2018
Episode 1 - Beginner Dance Classes
Why a podcast? Some thoughts about beginner dance classes
June 22, 2018