soiswingdance asked: Can you please explain the deal with all the pretzel hate? I have never heard this vocalized very much, and an curious as to where it comes from.
There is actually a thread on Yehoodi from way back in 2006 that explains fairly well why so many people have a problem with this move.
Every so often I see someone here mention the dreaded Pretzel. I’m curious to know what this is, so as to avoid it. I’ve tried searching the boards but can’t find a description anywhere. Anyone care to enlighten me? Perhaps there’s another name in the UK I may have heard and seen?
Here are a couple responses from that thread that I think express “why the pretzel hate” pretty well:
slipandslide:I don’t think pretzels, wraps or hammerlocks should be inherently dangerous. I think part of the problem is that people teach the move without enough safety precautions-i.e “don’t do this” on how to lead them. Also they don’t emphasize enough that for the average dancer these moves are not appropriate for high speed tempos. I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on this.
toniwbusch: They’re also a favorite of newbies because to them and other newbies, they look impressive. However, they’re really only impressive if done in tempo to the music, and that is the difficult part. Almost always, a dancer will stop moving, do The Pretzel (which takes quite a few beats), come out of it, and then pick up the beat again. At that point it ceases to be a dance move, and turns into “let’s just stand here and twist our arms around.”
Secondly, there is a lot of possibility for arm-yanking, which is another negative against the move. Plus, since it’s often one of the first “fancy” moves a newbie learns, they’ll sometimes throw it in many times in one dance, which only multiplies the yanking, and the being-off-beat.
So, basically, it’s a move that’s really difficult to do correctly, yet is consistently taught to new dancers who don’t have the technique to do it in a way that a) stays in tempo b) doesn’t hurt the follower and c) looks good. Because of this, it’s a pretty universally reviled move.
As a follower, I hate having this “move” led - or attempted to be led on me. It’s uncomfortable and interrupts the dance. The only time I’m okay with it is when it’s done, dare I say it, ironically by a really good lead who knows how to execute it… and is aware of its reputation as a killer move.
Something else that I personally dislike about being led into the Pretzel or any similar move is that there is practically no room for follow stylization. Part of what makes social dancing such an amazing thing is that the dance really is a CONVERSATION, where both sides get to have their say. So basically, when you lead a move like this, you’re saying “This is what you’re going to do, and you are not going to be able to do anything else”. It’s not fun. There’s no way to put your own voice in, and it’s easy to get bored without space to get creative. This is in addition to all of the other problems/issues said above.
so this is a bug, that looks like a flower, that looks like a monkey and is phallic, because orchids. Oy. Also, pink. And adorable.