I have seen quite a few people disparaging the “lengthened necks” in Welcome to the Ballroom PVs. However, in my opinion as an amateur ballroom dancer, these necks are spot-on.
While Shizuku’s and Kyoharu’s necks here might look a bit jarring for many people, I still think they are very laudable attempts to capture dancesport’s posture in animation.
In dancesport, the spine needs to be stretched and the neck elongated without being broken (i.e. all sides of the neck are lengthened; Kyoharu’s neck is a beautiful example here).
This gives professional dancers that strong but beautiful and elegant upper carriage, especially in Standard dances, which is what Kyoharu’s practicing here.
Now @tataraswaltz has done an experiment in which they shortened Kyoharu’s neck:
In this edit, Kyoharu’s neck is of a normal length. However, it has lost the intentionalstretching and lengthening effect that dancers strive for.
In my opinion, the original, while too exaggerated for many people’s liking, has managed to convey that effect.
Here’s a screencap of Mirko Gozzoli and Edita Daniute dancing the Tango:
We can clearly see Gozzoli stretching his neck.
And here is Daniute elongating hers:
Therefore, I have no problems with Welcome to the Ballroom’s extra long necks whatsoever.
I also think that the jarring effect in Kyoharu’s screenshot above is caused not by his neck, but by the framing.
By focusing on only Kyoharu’s head here, the animators have cut his neck off his spine and shoulders. This type of headshot works in normal situations, because we are used to normal postures. We don’t need to see the entire upper body to know where our shoulders are with respect to our neck, how our spine is straightened or slumped in everyday postures.
But dance postures are different and not something everyone has seen or assumed regularly.
It’s therefore harder for us to instinctively imagine how the shoulders are positioned or how the spine is elongated when a dancer stretches their neck upwards. Presenting any of these elements on their own would be confusing, as our mind might not be able to conjure up the whole dance postures immediately.
If we cut Daniute’s neck off her body in the above picture, it would be as weird-looking as Kyoharu’s neck.
But when we can see their entire upper bodies, their necks are no longer so weird.
This is a much better view of Kyoharu’s posture. We can see how his lengthened neck is connected to the rest of his upper body, creating beautiful lines. In this case, we no longer register Kyoharu’s lengthened neck as ludicrously odd.
So far, Welcome to the Ballroom PVs have impressed me with their dance postures animation.