What is the worst thing a Follower can do while dancing with you in a Social Dance Party or Lesson?

It’s common to hear some Leaders complaining about certain Followers in Social Dance!

It has many reasons, and it varies a lot, also the situations change according to each community.
Many times, the Leaders don’t know how to act when they find themselves in situations which the follower is somehow compromising the dance, weather it’s because the follower isn’t really connecting to him, isn’t trying to feel the leading (when the leading is being precisely made, of course) or is anticipating the moves, predicting what the leader wants and ends up taking a wrong decision. Nobody want to sound rude or superior and sometimes, even a gentle feedback can be misunderstood, although sometimes it may be necessary, in order to keep the dance safe! Leaders can also get hurt!

Have you ever had any of these thoughts crossing your mind?

– My goodness! She’s basically doing everything by herself!

– She’s been over styling the whole dance, I can’t build a sequence of movements cos I have to improvise the unexpected everytime!

– I would love to dance with that girl but she seems to be only interested in dancing with the teachers or pros.

– Why does she put head movements in every single turn? I’m afraid of trying some moves and accidentally hurt her.

– I’d love to explore move closed embraced movements but if at least a deodorant had been…

– It would be nice if she held her own body, I’m making a lot of effort to move her.

– Why does she try to correct me all the time during the class? she is as new as I am and we have the teacher to correct us!

Well, here comes your chance to speak up and 

Continue reading What is the worst thing a Follower can do while dancing with you in a Social Dance Party or Lesson?

Dance Etiquette – Tips For Social Dance

Those of us that have been in the social dance scene for a while know our basic social dance etiquette like we know the back of our hand.

For some though, dance etiquette doesn’t seem to come as easy, and those lacking these non verbal rules can come off as rude without even meaning to be.  These rules encompass almost all the social dances (Zouk, Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, West Coast Swing, Cha Cha, etc).  Here’s a few simple rule and tips to help you understand the best way to approach the social dance floor.

1 – My personal number one rule, and pet peeve, is no critiquing on the dance floor!  We are all always learning, and it is very rude to critique, tell someone they are not doing something right, give funny faces, or try to correct them while social dancing.  Even when someone asks me personally to tell them if they do something wrong, I won’t do it because it’s distracting and I’m not in the business of breaking people’s spirits.

2 – Make sure your outfit is “social dancing” proof.  Are your earrings too heavy?  Do the buttons on your coat/shirt tangle in girl’s hair?  Is your skirt/dress too revealing when spinning?  Test it out before you head out to dance.

3 – Wash your hands!  Not just when you go to the restroom, but every once in awhile too.  Remember that in social dancing, you’re

Continue reading Dance Etiquette – Tips For Social Dance

THE LIFE STYLE OF A TRAVELING DANCE INSTRUCTOR

Adapted from the text of Jason Haynes – Source: http://latindancecommunity.com/lifestyle-of-a-traveling-dance-instructor/

WANTED

Individual to use their talents to serve and instruct the community at weekend dance events, and potentially improve the lives of those you encounter. Must be willing to travel to the four corners of the globe, meet lots of interesting people, and see incredible sights. Must not like routine and working in an office setting.

Oh…and you get paid to dance Brazilian Zouk, Salsa, Bachata, and/or Kizomba!

Sound good? Do you accept the position?

Well if you do then you’ve just signed up to be…(bongo beat)…a traveling latin dance instructor!

Aside from the incredibly exciting job description…what exactly does that entail?

Over the past few years I’ve spoken with and interviewed several instructors who literally spend every weekend on the road teaching dance in a location other than their home locale. Popular dancers with extensive travel schedules, among many others. As I became more involved in the “latin dance media” (so to speak), I began to wonder what their lives were really like. I discovered that although all instructors have different and unique experiences there do seem to be common lifestyle threads that create the pros and cons of…“The Lifestyle of A Traveling Dance Instructor”.

The Challenges:

long-distance-relationshipHard to maintain a relationship:  I’ve heard it numerous times, so I will start with the relationship aspect.  Being in a committed relationship or even starting one is hard for many traveling professionals, but particularly for dance instructors. First, your source of income is often dependent upon traveling to different events and usually in a different location every weekend.  Most (if not all) relationships need time to cultivate and develop a connection, and weekends for many couples are an opportunity to catch up on quality time.  Not for traveling dance instructors…that’s when it’s time to work. Weekend nights for them are spent at socials dancing, not going to movies or hanging out at home eating pizza and chillin’.  Promoters and organizers aren’t going to pay for significant others to travel (unless they’re the primary dance partner), so most weekends are spent away from their partners.

This leads to the second component…Temptation.

Let’s be honest. Our dance community is filled with lots of attractive and sexy

Continue reading THE LIFE STYLE OF A TRAVELING DANCE INSTRUCTOR

DANCE IS A GIFT, A SPECIAL TIME FOR YOU – Tips For Social Dance

 

23 THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN YOU START STUDYING DANCE!

1. Treat class, and your every opportunity to dance, as a gift, as a special time for you.

2. Leave your emotional baggage outside. Let class be your chance to think only about you. Let it be your therapy. Let it heal.

3. Listen to every correction given. Try to implement it, even if it wasn’t given to you.

4. Take a correction to the nth degree. Your teacher can always pull you back.

5. If you don’t understand the correction, ask.

6. A dance class is a lab. Experiment continually. Never do it the same way many times. Try different ways to start and to finish it.

7. Even if doing so is outside your comfort zone, stand in the front sometimes. Your teacher is only human. She or he may move students around, but if it seems that you don’t want to be seen, you just might not be.

8. Don’t worry about her feet, her extension, how many turns he does or her natural alignment. Work with what you have. Celebrate your gifts, while working your damn-est to overcome any shortcomings.

9. There is only one you. You can’t work to your fullest potential trying to be someone else.

10. Competition and knowing the strengths of other dancers is healthy, as long it is a motivating force, not a defeating one.

11. Know your history, and learn from the past. Don’t dismiss the choreographers and techniques of the past as “old school.” That movement was visionary for a reason, and it serves as a foundation for what interests us now.

12. While there may be exceptions out there, every teacher has something to offer. Never write anyone off because you don’t like her build, style, attire, body decoration or manner.

13. The dance world is maybe two degrees of separation. Always be diligent and respectful. Word about bad behavior moves faster than a Balanchine petit allegro.

14. While your teacher should be respectful, she or he is not there to be your friend, but to make you a better dancer.

15. If you can find teachers whose class speaks to you, and where you are both complimented and thoughtfully corrected, you are very lucky indeed.

16. Believe that pushing through and learning something in that weird, boring or super-challenging class will pay off. In the New Dance Order of America these days, the versatile dancer — the one with a solid understanding of several techniques — gets the prize.

17. There will always be bad days. Do not be defined by them.

18. Push yourself. Hard. But acknowledge when you have done all you can, at least for the time being. Sometimes the epiphany, the breakthrough, comes later.

19. Immediate gratification is rare. When it happens it is the result of years of training. The fun and the joy are in the struggle.

20. Keep dance in perspective. Know that you can still be a smart, loving, fantastic person with a great life even if one day you can’t buy a decent pirouette.

21. It is never too early to gain a firm grasp on somatic concepts. If you wait too long to develop this beautiful mind, your body might be an unwilling partner.

22. Feats of nature, contortion-esque flexibility, oodles of pirouettes and sky-high jumps are dazzling. But remember that dance is communication. Dance is artistry. Keep in mind the power and potential of small and simple movement.

23. Did I say to treat every chance to dance as a gift?