Ballroom Dance — Transfer of Learning

for Dance Patterns, to Increase Variety

by Craig Rusbult, Ph.D.

my motivations for writing this page —
to Reduce Boredom by Increasing Variety

        Based on my experience as a person playing the role of “leader” in ballroom dancing, I think most leaders feel uncomfortable when — less than 1 minute into a 4-minute song — they have led all the patterns they know, so they must begin repeating.  We (they and I) worry about boring our partner.
        Also, I was bored when I knew only a few patterns, and these were repeated over and over and over and over during an evening.  Now I know many more patterns (but not nearly what is possible, what I've seen other dancers do, or I can imagine) but... boredom is still a problem.  Followers get to dance whatever is led by a variety of leaders, so they can have a “multiple mystery tour” experience, wondering “what will happen next?” throughout the evening.  But as a leader, I only get to dance what I know (no more), over and over.
        Therefore, to increase fun and decrease boredom, for my partner and myself, I enjoy learning new patterns that work smoothly.  A pattern will "work smoothly" when it's compatible with the physics-and-physiology of myself and (especially) my partner, when the physics allows a smooth transition from the direction she was moving to the new direction she will be moving after the change I ask her to make, and when she can make this change because it doesn't demand more of her physiology than she is capable of doing, and will enjoy doing, with her body (structural frame, muscles,...) and mind (in responding appropriately to my leads).    {note: I will refer to leaders & followers as he & she, because that's my experience, it's usually (but not always) the gender-roles, is traditional, is linguistically easy, etc.}

        For these reasons, since the 1990s (but with a long break between 1994 and 2012) I've been thinking about ways to learn new patterns and teach new patterns.  What are the options?
        • While dancing, occasionally I experiment by trying new patterns.  Sometimes they work, but not if they don't successfully pass the “reality checks” imposed by the requirements of physics-and-physiology described above.
        • I watch other dancers, looking for “cool moves” I can imitate;  this is difficult with live action, because it's tough to catch the details (was it led on the 1st or 4th step of a 6-step pattern, and so on) in a one-time observation, because a skillful leader won't continually repeat the same cool move, over and over.  And in a social situation, “practicing” with a partner is awkward if the details of physics-and-physiology aren't done properly.   /   Compared with 1994, in 2012 learning new patterns is easier because of the many available internet videos;  but often the video teacher doesn't clarify important details — for example, they usually don't say if it's led on the 1st or 4th step, because they don't count steps, or they say “slow _ quick quick slow _ quick quick” instead of the more informative “1_234_56” — and this lack of valuable information makes it more difficult to learn quickly and well.
        • I can ask a follower to “please show me what you know” by back-leading a pattern or explaining it.  Unfortunately, she often knows how to follow a pattern (which requires special skills) but not how to lead it.  Also, this request is awkward in many social dancing situations (although it shows respect for her experience & skill);  typically it's more appropriate for a “practice” situation.
        • Or in a class, live and in-person, a teacher can help us learn new patterns.  But my experience with dozens of teachers, in Madison and Seattle, is that they aren't very effective in teaching lots of new patterns.  Usually this is because they don't try;  their classes move at a slow pace, and they don't provide memory-reminders that would make it easier for their students to learn effectively outside the class time.
        We (as learners and teachers) should be able to do better, and that's why I'm writing this page.

update:  Saturday afternoon, August 25, I made several changes, mainly by adding comments [inside brackets] to Physics & Physiology (Part 2) and writing a new section about Matching Styles – Music and Dancing.

Using Transfer-of-Learning to Increase Variety
        In 1994, I wrote a series of pages that outline a system I developed for helping students quickly learn a wide variety of patterns — with rhythm, timings, and movements that “work” so each pattern feels good and looks good — for ballroom dancing.  The basic strategy is teaching for transfer so when students learn a pattern in one dance, they can transfer this pattern to other dances.
        This system is based on my observation, in 1992-1994 when I was learning how to dance, that most ballroom dances are in two categories (six-step or four-step) and dances within each category can share many of the same step-sequences. 
        For example, many patterns from any six-step dance (waltz, rumba, boxtrot, cha cha, mambo, salsa, nightclub two-step,...) can be used in other six-step dances, so there can be a transfer of learning.  Similarly, in four-step dances (foxtrot, east coast swing, country two-step,...) patterns can be moved from one dance to another.  And sometimes patterns can be used in both 6-step and 4-step dances, as in hybrid mixes (see end of page) and adaptations.  But sometimes patterns cannot be easily transfered between dances, due to differences in tempo (if for one dance it's too slow or too fast for comfort) or in the styling of a dance.
        Rhythms:  For both groups, 6-step and 4-step, several rhythms are used.  A six-step pattern can be danced in 6 counts (1 1 1 1 1 1) as in a waltz, or 8 counts (2 1 1 2 1 1, or 1 1 2 1 1 2) in box-foxtrot, rumba, or mambo, or the 8 counts (1 1 triple-step 1 1 triplestep) of a cha cha.  And a four-step pattern can be modified from “slow, slow, quick quick” in 6 counts (2 2 1 1) to “trip-le step, trip-le step, quick quick” (also basically 2 2 1 1) or “quick quick quick quick” in 4 counts (1 1 1 1).    {more about Rhythms & Tempos and Measuring & Changing Tempos}

        Variety in Leading:  When dance-leaders know how to transfer patterns from one dance to another, this greatly increases the variety of the patterns they are able to lead.  Learning the principles of pattern transfer also will help followers, but it's especially useful for leaders.   /   For both roles, but especially followers, it's useful to practice each rhythm-pattern while moving in every possible direction (forward, backward, sideways, turning left or right) with small steps or larger steps, while keeping the rhythm-pattern of your dancing, and keeping this in time with the music.   /   Knowing a variety of patterns lets a leader use the principle of mixing confirmations with surprises that is useful in dancing & music, humor & drama, and in other areas of life.  But it's more important to dance each pattern with high quality — so it feels good (for both of you) and looks good (for whoever is watching) — by cooperating with your partner to make it work well.
        Variety in Styling:  Of course, the same pattern can (and should) have different styling when the dance-context changes, due to differences in music, tempo, rhythm, mood/attitude, skill of partner, and relationship with partner.  This is analogous to variations in musical styles — as illustrated, for example, in a book I bought that included recordings of the same tune played in many styles (swing jazz, be bop, blues, march, classical, dixieland, rock,...)* — and similar variations occur when the same dance pattern is used with different stylings in different dance-contexts.   /   * Although this is useful in teaching, the usual reason for musicians to adjust style is when they want to express themselves artistically.  Musicians like to play their own version(s) of a song.  For example, I've heard Summertime in a wide variety of styles, played with excellent quality to make wonderful music.

        Also, Transition Diagrams (see links at end of page) illustrate the principle of a leader knowing options for “what can be done next,” and this knowledge/skill is essential when making decisions that allow a smooth flow-of-motion from one pattern to another.   But... to be more useful for teaching others, the page-end diagrams – which I made only for my own use – would have to be explained, and would have to be modified in some ways.

Learning and Teaching
        The last time I did much ballroom/swing dancing was two years during 1992-1994, when I took lessons from many different teachers in Madison & Seattle.  I learned from all of them, about dancing and also teaching.  Then I combined these inspirations about teaching-and-learning with what I had learned from teaching-and-learning in other contexts — juggling was especially useful because some of its teaching strategies would (with some adaptation) be useful for helping students learn new dancing patterns, but I've also taught other mental-and-physical skills (music theory & improvisation and tennis) plus strategies for learning & for solving problems, and science (physics & chemistry & design process), math and more — and I thought about how to combine what I was learning into a course.  The main objective I wanted to achieve was helping leaders (and followers) learn many new patterns quickly and well, mainly by using transfer-of-learning, but also by developing improved techniques for teaching patterns.
        Some of these ideas are summarized in pages written for class proposals in March 1994 and August 1994.  Neither was accepted (in fact, I think the second was never even read-and-considered, in a one-person decision based on minimal knowledge) so I've never taught any formal classes, although I have done some informal “teaching” with friends.  Therefore, I'm hoping to discuss these ideas with teachers who have more experience.  Although I have abundant experience with teaching in many areas (ranging from juggling to physics) and with learning in many areas (mental & physical, including ballroom dancing) and with observing teachers (of ballroom, and in other areas), it would be very useful to get feedback from skilled, experienced teachers of ballroom dancing.  This would be greatly appreciated by me, and probably our discussions also would be useful for them.

        Some Possibilities
        In mid-2012, I began ballroom dancing again, and thinking about how to revise-and-use my ideas from 1994.  The revising began by adding comments to my pages from 1994 — those with • have some comments that are enclosed within [ ]s and are highlighted by color, like “[2012: Recently I've been thinking that instead of...].”  And I've made several pages of hand-written notes (for my own use) about a new-and-improved sequencing of patterns for a course.
        Then I realized that what I wrote in 1994 is “too much” for most readers, so I've begun writing a shorter summary (but also adding some new ideas) and you can see an incomplete rough draft for parts of it below in the yellow box — for a class that could be taught in fall-2012 or 2013, with principles-and-patterns for some traveling dances (waltz & 6-step foxtrot, 4-step foxtrot) and stationary dances (waltz & rumba, cha cha).
        But currently (July 23 when I began writing this, and today while revising it, August 25) I'm thinking that probably I should delay detailed class-planning for awhile, so I can focus my time & energy on developing a website – Using Design Process for Problem Solving and Education – to help students improve their thinking skills, because that is more important for me.  Also, my first few times dancing in 2012 have been a humbling experience, compared with my unrealistic expectations that I would begin where I ended at my peak in 1994 — basically I'm doing fine, but 18 years of neglect have led to forgetting some patterns (with names written on my Transition Diagrams in 1993-94) and the timings needed to make some experimental patterns “work well”, although many are working quite well — so I'm feeling humble about offering to be a teacher of others, until I get more of these details figured out.  And that's a reason to be interested in collaborations.  I've never claimed to be an expert in all phases of dancing and teaching, because this is not true;  but I think the ideas outlined below (some borrowed, some invented) could be developed, in cooperation with others and combined with their ideas, into useful instruction.
        I've decided “probably not” for teaching a class alone.  But I would like to talk about these ideas with other dancers and teachers.  If a class arises from this (and if not, that would be fine with me), doing it with cooperative collaboration would produce a better class, and the process of designing-and-teaching the class would be more fun.
        But writing a basic summary of some principles won't take as much time, so I have begun doing this, to make an outline of ideas for the kind of class I would like to teach, or (as a learner) I would want someone else to teach.   Here is a beginning:

        The introduction for this page (to explain why I'm writing it) includes important principles of physics-and-physiology followed by some criticisms of typical classes and teaching techniques.  Below are additional comments about each of these, plus Movements with Rhythm and Principles for Transfer:

Here are some quotations from the “details” page I wrote in March 1994, with [some comments added] in 2012:
Try to develop skill [with frame & leading] early — for the benefit of yourself (so you can learn the principles and patterns) and for your partners (so they will have something worthwhile to “respond to” and can learn to follow skillfully). ...  Let your partner know what you want to happen next, soon enough that she can do it — i.e., soon enough that she is not already physically committed (due to her momentum and direction-of-stepping) to doing what she would need to do if there was a continuation of the previous pattern. ...  Make easily recognizable differences between the leads for one pattern and another. [This timing-and-clarity of leading will help minimize the “backleading” that occurs when a follower anticipates a lead and begins to do a movement that wasn't led.]*  The “strength” of a lead — whether it physically moves a partner in a certain direction, or merely “suggests” what to do so she can respond (either consciously or in muscle memory) and do it independently — will depend on the pattern, and on the skill and style of yourself and your partner. ... 
    * [Skilled following is not passive, it's a very active process that requires alertly aware observation of cues, combined with quick interpretation of the cues and almost-instant responsiveness, plus coordination and physical agility. As you can tell, I'm amazed at the skill of good followers, am truly impressed.]  [Backleading should be minimized when it's uninvited, but it can be invited by a leader who wants to learn new patterns from a follower.]
    A good frame defines and maintains a relationship between dancers, so the two of you can “move as a unit” for better technique and for instant communication of easy-to-feel cues for leading-and-following. ... How?  Be solid but relaxed. ... With relaxation, only the muscles that need to be used are used — no more, no less.  Because muscles are not constantly fighting each other (in an internal tug of war) there is more speed, strength, grace, and endurance.  Also, there is a better message of “body language and mental attitude” communicated to your partner, thus allowing your dancing to be more mutually enjoyable.

{terms: My use of he & she for a leader & follower is explained earlier.}

        Techniques of Teaching
        I think students learn more quickly when they have take-home reminders of the principles & patterns being taught in a class.  These reminders could be verbal and/or visual:  written explanations of principles, and explanations of patterns plus (when this is useful) diagrams for the patterns.  And compared with 1994, in 2012 (due to the higher quality & lower price of video cameras and editing programs) it's much easier to make instructional videos that offer many benefits, compared with words or static diagrams.
        In classes without these memory-reminders, a limitation on learning is the problem of “mental overload” when learning new movement-patterns during class, if there is too much to mentally remember, and (due to limited class time) it's not yet solidly known in muscle memory.  If teachers pace a class very slowly, so students have enough time to learn new patterns in their mental memory & physical memory, a learning of new patterns will occur very slowly.  But a combination of in-class practice plus after-class practice (mental & physical) with reminders (in written explanations + diagrams, or video) should help students (especially leaders) learn new patterns much more quickly.

MORE — In the future, I'll describe other ideas about techniques to improve efficiency or to achieve additional educational goals.  One idea, outlined here very briefly, is that most rotation-patterns for leads & follows are identical, they're just offset in time: what a leader does at one time, a follower does at another time.  Therefore, instead of wasting valuable in-class time by explaining each pattern separately, a teacher can have the entire class learning-and-practicing the same set of patterns.  Then dancers get together in couples, to practice doing these patterns as a two-person unit with leading-and-following. (I'll explain this more thoroughly later, with examples & details, along with other techniques for teaching.)

        Movements with Rhythm
        An essential skill for dancing is an ability to move in consistent rhythmic patterns, so your stepping-rhythm will match your partner's rhythm and (as explained in the next section) the music's rhythm.  The main way you improve this ability is to use it, with or without a partner.  It's easy to practice this in solo moving-with-rhythm, in free dancing without a partner;  just put on music with an appropriate tempo for a particular rhythmic pattern (the basics are described earlier) and practice keeping this rhythm pattern (in time) while (in space) you are moving in the wide variety of dance patterns (moving backward, forward, sideways to left or right, rotating left or right,... slowly & quickly, with short strides & longer strides) that might be used while you're dancing with a partner.
        This practicing is valuable for leaders and (especially) for followers.
        For leaders, it will help you avoid getting confused and mis-leading your partner by changing the dancing rhythm in ways that you had not intended, in ways that won't work with the physics-and-physiology of your confused partner.
        For a follower, you can practice moving in the many possible ways that you might be led while dancing, so you can cope with “whatever happens” without taking extra steps.  For a novice, extra steps tend to occur because they help you keep your balance while moving in a dance pattern, in ways that cooperate with your physiology and minimize any potential for injury or “falling down” embarrasment.  These extra steps are the natural way of moving that you have practiced your entire life.  To overcome these instincts, you must practice a new way of moving gracefully and confidently in new time-and-space ways, with complex dance-patterns and a consistent rhythm.  The movement-practice I recommend can help you do a wider variety of movements without extra steps, so you can maintain the rhythmic step-pattern.
        This is an important skill.  When I returned to dance-leading in 2012, one of my discoveries is that many followers simply cannot “keep the rhythm” consistently, so they have no chance of consistently following my leads, or those of most other leaders.  If you want to become a reasonably skilled follower, keeping the rhythm-pattern is a minimum requirement, a basic starting point.

        Dancing with Music
        Improving your musical skills will help you dance in ways that cooperate with the music.  When you and your partner each “feel the music” and are dancing with it, this makes it easier for you to dance with each other.
        At a basic level, you should learn how to recognize the 1-count of each musical measure, and know whether a measure has 4 counts (usually) or 3 counts (as in a waltz).
        At a level that's a little more advanced, but is easy when you become more musically aware, you can listen for the phrasing that occurs every 2 measures.  In 4-count music, 2 measures is 8 counts, so coherent phrases — these are sort of like “sentences” in talking — occur every 8 counts, which is 2 measures.  Phrasing also occurs in multiples of 2 measures (so it's 2, 4,...) to form coherent “phrasing units” (analogous to paragraphs?) that fit together well, with a clear beginning & ending.  Of course, with 3-count music the 2-measure phrases begin every 6 counts.
        This 2-measure phrasing is important for dancing.  A 6-step dancing pattern requires 2 measures of music;  usually this is 8 counts, but it's 6 counts for a waltz.  A leader should begin a 6-step pattern at the beginning of a 2-measure phrase.   /   In terms of priorities, it's most important to begin a 6-step pattern on the 1-count of a measure.  It's less important, but still is important, to begin at the beginning of a 2-measure phrase.  These two beginnings (on the 1-count of a 2-measure phrase) make it easier for your partner to follow your leads, because she can stay in-sychronization with you and also with the music.  When this threesome (music, leader, follower) are all in-synch with each other, your dancing will feel better (for both of you) and (for spectators who know music & dancing) it will look better.
        Phrasing is less important with 4-step patterns.  If you begin on any 1-count, your 4-step pattern will work well if it's in 4 counts ("quick quick quick quick") or 6 counts (like "slow slow quick quick" or with "slow" replaced by "triple-step").  With 4 steps in 6 counts, the beginning of a 4-step pattern shifts back and forth between the 1-count and 3-count, but this cannot be avoided.  With 4 steps in 4 counts, you can always begin a pattern on the 1-count.
        These principles are generally accepted.  But there is a range of opinions for some principles, regarding a Matching of Styles - Music and Dancing.

        Principles for Transfer of Learning
        Some basic principles, including principles for dance-rotations and for other types of movements, will help dancers (especially leaders, but also followers) transfer what they learn from one dance to another.  This is consistent with research-based principles for transfer of learning, such as using Conditional Knowledge & Organized Knowledge and much more.  Here are some useful principles:
    • Basic principles of rotation — it's easier and more “natural” to begin turning left when stepping forward on your left foot or backward on right foot, and begin turning right when stepping backward on left foot or forward on right foot — can be used in all dances.  And students can learn special techniques (pivots, step-behinds,...) for other kinds of rotations in turns or semi-turns.
    • Also, when you and your partner are facing each other, the kind of turn that is “natural” for a leader is also best for the partner.  But if you're facing the same direction, as in a cuddle or sweetheart position, you must choose who will do the easy turn, and it's courteous for you (as a leader) to make things easy for your partner, while you use a “special technique” to make it also work for you;  doing this is challenging for a leader because you must do the opposite of your habits for “doing what is natural” that you have established through practice.
    • If you are facing your partner but she is “offset” to one side, you can rotate in one direction but not the other;  if during a rotation you will face each other, the turn will work, if not it won't.  For example, if she is offset to your left, during a left-rotating turn you will face each other and it will work.  But if she is offset on the right side of you, a right turn will work.  There also are principles for moving diagonally forward in the line-of-dance, first on one diagonal and then on the other diagonal, making forward progress in a zig-zag “sideways W” pattern by using quarter-turns.
        All of these principles, and more, can be taught using a combination of logic (based on principles of physics-and-physiology) and experimenting (you try things and observe how well they work) along with letting your body-and-mind “figure out the details” as with "inner game" approaches like the one in my paragraph about analysis-and-synthesis of juggling.

I.O.U. — More could be said in each of these paragraphs, and others, but that's all for now.  Also, above you'll find Rhythms and Variety in Leading (with some surprises) and Variety in Styling and below, Matching Styles and Hybrids.

Matching Styles — Music and Dancing
        Some dancers, but not others, think some songs should be reserved for specific dances.  Sometimes musicians specifically play a song (or compose it, or arrange it) to be used a specific dance – for tango, cha cha, salsa,...  And sometimes, even though the musicians didn't intend for a matching of song-with-dance, dancers interpret a song to be more suitable for a specific dance.  When this interpretation is at the level of “community” almost all dancers will be doing the same dance (due to their personal style-matching preference and/or a desire to conform) even though the song's tempo would also allow other dances.  And this variety does happen sometimes, with different couples doing many different dances during a song.
        Earlier, I described "generally accepted" principles for Dancing with Music, and contrasted this with "a range of opinions" for Matching Styles.  In many ways this range is analogous to categorizing in other areas of life, where the extremes of a spectrum are Splitters and Lumpers.  At one end, a Splitter decides that each song should correspond to one dance, and only one.  At the other end, a Lumper thinks the only relevant characteristic of a song is its tempo, so a song at 120 bpm can be used for many different dances, for any dance that includes 120 bpm within its range;  also, the suitable "range" of each dance is open to interpretation, and is wider for social dancing than for competition.
        Of course, instead of a simple one-dimensional spectrum moving smoothly from splitters to lumpers, the reality is more complex;  it's multi-dimensional with many factors affecting how a person feels, in various situations, about combinations of song-and-dance.
        Here are some applications, based on my own experiences.  Usually (but not always, it depends on the song and situation) I tend to be a lumper, but with Variety in Styling and in choice of patterns.  Occasionally a partner will protest that "this isn't a Cha Cha, it's a Rumba."  When this happens, sometimes my initial response is to think "don't be inflexible and silly, just relax and enjoy a Cha Cha."  Although I think the second part of this thought – to relax and enjoy – is a useful general strategy for all dancers (especially followers), it's not wise for a leader to say the first part of it, and in fact it's not even justifiable to think it, because for me to think she is "inflexible and silly" is no more warranted than for her to think I am "insensitive and (regarding the music, dancing, and/or her) unaware."  Instead, usually we compromise;  I change to leading Rumba, and we both enjoy it, or we enjoy a Cha Cha because she was silent so I didn't know she would prefer a Rumba;  or to avoid this "silent toleration," sometimes at the beginning of a song I'll suggest 2 or 3 options and ask what she wants to do, so we can briefly discuss and then agree.

Adding Variety with Hybrids
        Pure (6-with-6 or 4-with-4) Hybrids:  Because "many patterns from any six-step dance (waltz, rumba, boxtrot, mambo, cha cha,...) can be used in other six-step dances," during one type of dance (waltz,...) you can use a pattern that is unusual for this dance but is common in another six-step dance — if it can be suitably adapted so it feels good and looks good — for variety and a change of pace that mixes confirmations with surprises.  In a similar way, dancers in Country Two-Step often mix patterns from two 4-step dances, foxtrot and swing, and the resulting hybrid is what you typically see on a dance floor;  they also can use patterns from 6-step dances, if these are adapted to make them fit smoothly into the 4-step dance rhythms.
        A Mixed (6-within-4) Hybrid:  During a foxtrot with 4 steps in 4 counts (1 1 1 1) a leader can temporarily shift into 6-step waltz patterns (1 1 1) for 12 counts [or 24, 36, 48, ...] and then back into 4-step foxtrot patterns.  When this is done well (and it isn't difficult) it "works" and is a nice change of pace that adds variety.  Yes, throwing 3-count patterns into 4-count music is a bit unusual, but occasionally it can be a refreshing change of pace;  this is one way, among many possibilities, to add some variety to the dancing experience of your partner, contributing to the spice of life by "mixing confirmations with surprises."

Contra Dancing and More
or a different kind of variety, many people (including me) enjoy contra dancing.  This has more of a “community” feeling because there are many quick changes, during each song, between dancing in couples and dancing with others in a larger group.  Everyone is a follower of the dance caller, who explains each pattern in a sequence (and lets dancers “walk through” the sequence in a rehearsal) before the dancing-with-music begins.     { Contra Dancing in Madison & Wisconsin }  { for other kinds of dancing, click and change the "Events" menu to "Dancing" }

Ideas from 1994:

Most of my writing about dance-teaching was at two times in 1994, and below are the main results, with each link below opening the new page in its own new window, so this page remains open in this window:

written in March 1994,
for Wisconsin Union Mini-Courses
written in August 1994,
for UWMBDA, UW-Madison Ballroom Dance Association  
proposal (this is fairly detailed) •
2012 Proposal (see IOU above)
proposal (this is an informal rough outline) •
details (principles for dancing and teaching) •  
rhythms (variations for 6-step and 4-step dances)
change music tempo with Audacity (written 2008)
system (a beginning, with much less detail than in August;  but a few of these ideas are missing in August) matrix (a visual summary of the system described below)  
system (showing some possibilities that can be developed)
[ 2012:  I wish I knew now, everything I knew in 1994. ]
diagrams (not organized or labeled, in pencil not ink)

Transition Diagrams show possibilities for "what to do next" in each dance:
waltz    rumba    cha cha    8-count swing    swing    4-count
transitions between dances      mixed sheets (with several dances)

Later, maybe I'll cut-and-paste (from the “mixed” sheets) to gather all diagrams for each dance together in one place, to make one page for waltz, and others for cha cha, rumba, and so on.  More likely, though, I'll do this “gathering” by re-drawing the diagrams, to make them "more useful for teaching others."