Watch where you're going!
Watch the couples around you and protect your partner from being bumped into. If you see a collision coming, put a little pressure on your partner’s back, and turn. Do not worry about making mistakes, it is human nature to make them – do not apologize too much and keep dancing. Always make your partner feels comfortable and never blame him or her for any mistakes. We were all beginners at one time!
Don't Wait 'Till It's Too Late
Getting married and plan on learning some great dance moves for your big day?
If you are learning for a wedding or special event, you should start 3-6 months BEFORE the event to ensure comfort and natural movement/muscle memory. Waiting until the month before will NOT give you enough time to practice and allow for the dancing to become second nature.
So plan ahead! The goal is to look natural and NOT look like you've taken a few dance lessons.
Dance Tips & Suggestions
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique,
they are great because of their passion. ”
Just Do It!
Too many would-be dancers have convinced themselves, or let others tell them, that they 'just can't dance', so they never even attempt to learn. If you can walk, you can learn to dance. Ballroom dancing is composed of steps, forward, back, to the side, and in place. It's the combining of these steps in different ways that creates the pattern of a dance. The steps are learned one at a time, just like when you were two and learning to walk! Don't let anyone discourage you, you CAN learn to dance!
Yup, as the song goes, "Baby, It's Cold Outside"! Leave a few minutes early for your dance lessons and give yourself some time to warm up your body before class if it's cold outside. Dance injuries happen usually due to the muscles not being warm before using them. It happens more easily then you think! Wear a sweater or light jacket to start the class off and remove it after you have warmed up.
Etiquette On The Dance Floor
Do not teach or criticize your social dance partners while you're out on the social dance floor. Remember, you are out there for fun and your partner is too. It is embarrassing for the person being told how to dance. It accomplishes nothing for anyone to go home at the end of an evening of dancing and feel bad about themselves and their dance technique. Lighten up and have some fun! Make a mental note of things that need improvement and then let the teacher do the instructing on your next private lesson.
The three most important rules in learning to dance are:
1). PRACTICE, 2). PRACTICE and 3). PRACTICE until a step or variation is "in your bones" so that you can execute it without thinking and without hesitation. If you have a willing partner, repeat the same step several times and see what works best. Talk to your partner. He/she may have suggestions that may help you both.
Remember, by attending dance parties and practicing your skills, you can gain more confidence, which is critical in being a good dancer.
The Payoff: It will not happen overnight but as you learn and put into practice the things you learn in your private lessons, your confidence in your dance abilities will increase and you will begin to capture the joy of dance. Soon other dancers will be seeking you out and asking you to dance with them. You will have arrived!
Be courteous to your dance partner
Be a courteous dance partner. Invite a woman to dance by extending your hand and asking if she would like to dance. Escort her to the floor and throughout the dance focus on not only leading the dance, but connecting with your partner. Dancing is not about a lot of fancy moves. It is about connecting and moving to the music with your partner. A good dancer who never looks at or "clues in to" the woman he is dancing with is not one whom a woman will be excited to dance with. Even if your partner is not the best dancer, always be courteous. After the dance ends, escort your partner back to where she was when you invited her, or to the edge of the dance floor. Never just walk away or leave your partner in the middle of the dance floor. Say thank you" after a dance, even if it was less than enjoyable.
Dance to the level of your partner
It often happens that the two partners dancing socially are not at the same level. It is important that the more experienced partner dances at the level of the less experienced partner. This is mostly a comment for leaders: when dancing with a new partner, start with simple figures, and gradually work your way up to more complicated patterns. You will discover a comfort level, file it away in memory for the next time you dance with the same partner.
Stay erect, don't slouch, arch your back. Keep your head up at all times. It's amazing how many dancers look down as soon as they are turned away from their partner (such as in a promenade) without being aware of it. Relax, try smiling, even if you're concentrating.
Remember, your partner can help you, either with good leading or good following. However, your partner can't do anything to make you look good if you slouch, look down, etc.
Bring proper shoes for dancing to help you dance and avoid damaging the floor: The best option is to have dance shoes, but if you do not, you should have shoes with a slippery sole (such as leather) and shoes that are firmly on your foot. Ladies should wear shoes that cover the heel, not slingbacks or mules, as they are dangerous! Ballroom dance shoes can be easily ordered online in a variety of styles.
Becoming a "Survival Dancer"
Take cover in a crowd! If you're feeling a little nervous about being observed by others, here are some suggestions to maintain a little camouflage. If you are a beginning dancer and you want to avoid being seen, stay closer to the middle of the dance floor. This is an excellent place to take cover if you’re worried about being watched by others or just want to move along at a slower pace.
There’s a time and place for everything. It’s great that you have learned so much, and there is nothing wrong with showcasing your talents however, when there’s 50 people on a 30×30 dance floor, that is not the time to do it, so choose your moves wisely.
Be A Kind Dancer
Be kind at all times. Have patience for not only your mistakes but others as well. We all make mistakes when learning to ballroom and Latin dance but remember to smile and laugh at yourself. Have fun! It is a proven fact that if you have fun, relax, laugh, and keep your stress level low, then the brain is 57% more receptive to retaining new input.