Music is another point of connection to your partner.
Don’t just listen to the music; feel it. In dance, we dance to what we feel, either melody or rhythm; there are no counts. Be sensitive to each of the instruments that make the beautiful song. Neither partner should feel the music on their own. Each has to understand what his/her partner feels in the music…and then dance to that. When the couple hears the music as one — that’s when the magic of dancing happens. Once you’re on the dance floor, stop thinking about the sequence you learned in class or the cool move you saw on YouTube, and just let the music sweep you away. It wouldn’t make sense to dance if you’re not dancing to the music, would it?
There are many elements to creating a connection: the embrace, the music, technique… but the most important one is the intention of connecting. You are not dancing alone, you are dancing with another person. Forget about yourself, forget about making mistakes, forget about the coffee you had in the morning, and forget about your to-do list. Give the 3 minutes of the song to the person you are dancing with to make the dance “ours” and eternal. Live that experience and make it as the most pleasurable thing during this relationship that lasts the time of that song!
Posture is very important.
Working on your posture will enhance your whole experience of the dance. In order to connect well in an embrace so that your partner feels comfortable, to execute variety of sequences with ease, or to own the integrity of the dance, a better posture is key. Straight spine, head level, chest lifted, core strong, relaxed, and confident. Not only does it please the eye, you won’t end up kicking your partner in the shins, stepping on their toes, or breaking their back. This will likely decrease the chances of people running away to avoid dancing with you.
Dancing starts with embracing. It’s the first connection into the dance. The embrace in social dance is like an embrace in life: it has to be natural and with affection, otherwise it will not live. Embrace your partner as though you are about to dance the dance of your life. The man must hold the woman securely but with freedom to move, must lead, not force. The woman must relax in the embrace and feel each intention of the man’s lead, but know her own axis. It must always be a two-way experience. Each embrace is different just as each person is different. They say that you can tell whether a person can dance from the feel of the first embrace. The embrace is yours… find ‘yours’ and own it!
If you can’t dance walk, you can’t dance.
Walking is the foundation, the basic, of the dance. It’s not the well known 8-count basic that is taught in many beginners’ classes. That is just a convenient sequence that puts together some of the basic dance movements. If you go to a beginner social dance class in a serious dance school, the instructors will not let you move on to anything else until you understand how to walk, to transfer the weight and then walk with a partner. It may appear simple, but it’s a challenge, and when executed correctly, it’s beautiful. They say it takes at least 5 years for a working couple to be able to walk together. The best advice once you’re dancing is: keep practicing your walk!