Ballroom dancing evokes many emotions;

the thrill of dressing up, the anticipation of meeting new people or just seeing your friends again, the buzz that surrounds the dance floor and the excitement of dance itself. All feelings are valid, justified, and welcome; they make the experience more than worth the wait. However the flip-side to that coin can be a discouraging one, so here are a few things to remember to better enhance the experience of yours and those around you.

First be kind and courteous, no one will want to dance with you if you’re judgmental of them or their ability. Always try to remember what it was like to be brand new to dancing. It is nerve racking, and scary at first so help encourage all you come into contact with.

Second, when on the dance floor be aware of your surroundings as well as the situation. When dancing smooth move towards those in front of you, most likely by the time you arrive there they will have progressed and moved on. Think 3 steps ahead, so as not to run up on the people down the line of dance from you, don’t start an elaborate 6 measure pattern 4 feet away from someone, it will usually end badly. When dancing Latin all those sexy arms you’ve been dying to try out keep in check till the right place and time. If now happens to be the right place and time consider how crowded the floor is and maybe consider making the arm styling  shape upward to avoid beheading the couple next to you.

And finally floor craft. Think of the dance floor like a Bulls eye, if you are newer to dancing keep simply to the middle of the floor so as to keep out of the way of experienced dancers as well as for your own peace of mind. When first exploring learning to dance, gaining confidence is the key. And the more comfortable with your surroundings you get the more confident you become. Second ring of the “Bulls eye” is for the next level of dancers, those that are comfortable on the floor but are still in the stage of understanding movement through pushing off and body flight. And our final outside ring is for those that are more experienced with the ebb and flow of line of dance, and are more confident in their ability to maneuver around other people. Most importantly and this is for all levels of dancers remember to be understanding.  Avoid being upset if you get “cutoff” more likely than not, it was unintentional, and was simply a mistake. No matter who you are, or how good you become you WILL make mistakes, accept it, learn from it, apologize for it when necessary, and move on. I always try to express to my students, and those I coach to not worry so much. I don’t mind that they make the mistake, I care about how they react to the mistakes they make. Learning to dance is a gift we all like giving as well as receiving gifts, so show your gratitude.

Filed under: Dance Tips

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