Bizarre “Blind Spot”

spinning with eyes closed

I spin like this — with my eyes closed, that is. 😛

Laziness can be inspiring.

Because I am too lazy to Google whether or not a term already exists for something I want to discuss here, I have instead come up with my own dance term: “blind spotting.” I am using it to refer to spotting with your eyes closed (or, “spotting without spotting,” since spotting entails focusing on a fixed point through a turn).

“Blind spotting” is the best term I can think of to describe what happens when I go into a free spin. I somehow always manage to end up facing my partner after doing free spins — even though my eyes automatically close during the spin and do not open until the spin is just about to end. This happens even though I don’t keep track of how many spins I am doing. (I’ve had a partner tell me I’ve gotten up to triples before. :D)

I don’t know how my body could do this without spotting, so I can only guess that my body is spotting blindly and unconsciously, knowing it needs to do so to get me to the next move quickly and efficiently. No matter how disoriented I feel during the spin, I always end up facing the right direction in the end.

At times, when a spin starts to run out of steam, I will push off my other foot to get it going again (with my eyes still closed), and when my eyes open, my head and body are facing my partner again, and I discover I have spun exactly the right amount I needed to spin, even though I didn’t plan for it. Sometimes, even as I am spinning with my eyes shut, I can actually feel my head focusing on something, though it manages to do so without my eyes actually looking at anything.

In an earlier post I did on a trick I discovered to help me with spotting, I said that I could only spot when I had a teacher directly ahead of me to focus all my attention on. Now, I think I should amend this to say that my body will spot without any help from me, as long as it knows I need to end up in a precise position in order to go into another move. My body doesn’t bother to spot to keep me from getting dizzy while being turned or spun by leads, because it takes for granted the fact that my lead will stop me in the position I need to be.

I guess I should be glad that my body at least tries to help me out with this much. I’ll take that to mean that I don’t completely suck at spotting, and hopefully one day I will be able to spot with my eyes open!

dancing spinning with eyes closed

There’s nothing quite like the sensation of losing yourself in a spin.



Filed under Dance Progess

4 responses to “Bizarre “Blind Spot”

  1. I see that with some professional salsa dancers! I think if you notice Liz Lira, she closes her eyes. I thought it was interesting since you have to focus on a spot to “spot” XD

  2. As a lead, what I find works is to spot my partner. It’s a bit difficult at first because they are a moving target, but what I find is the biggest problem with spotting is that it only works when you’re performing. In social situations, you’re constantly having to reorient yourself to your changing environment anyway. Also, I tend to only focus at the beginning and at the end of a spin. Keeps me from getting dizzy. I suspect professional dancers do something similar.

    • I think I spot in the exact same way you do. I never spot in between, and I always spot best when my target is moving (re. teachers I am following, or my partner). That being said, I suck at spotting and still get dizzy. :/

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