QUALITY OVER QUANTITY – Tips for Social Dance

Are you a dance class rat?

Are you an encyclopedia of dance figures?
So you’ve been taking tons of classes and you feel like your mind is a database of cool dance moves.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t make you a good dancer. Dance is about the quality of the movements, not the quantity.
You can use just the same three steps and create a beautiful dance. You can put 1.000 steps into a dance and create the ugliest dance ever. Why are we moved by a simple couple that simply walks to the music?
Refine each movement, design them, understand the technique, listen to the music, make sure your partner feels comfortable, and then execute them on the dance floor.  If not, I advise you to enjoy the basics – and just the basics moves.  Do only the things you are confident enough to control and keep the dance flowing and remember not to be bending the girl around or from side to side the entire time, she and her spine will be very thankful!
If you follow this, on the dance floor, you’ll see heads nodding in approval.


QUALIDADE SOBRE QUANTIDADE – Dicas para Dança Social (In Portuguese)

Você é um rato de aula de dança?

Você é uma enciclopédia de passos e dança?
Então você vem fazendo inúmeras aulas e sente que sua mente é um banco de dados de movimentos de dança.
Infelizmente, isso não te faz um bom dançarino. Dança é sobre a qualidade dos movimentos e não a quantidade.
Você pode usar apenas os mesmos três passos e criar uma dança linda.  Você pode colocar mil passos numa dança e criar a dança mais feia que já existiu!  Porque nos somos movidos por um simples casal que simplesmente navega pela música?
Refine cada movimento, desenhe cada um deles, entenda a técnica, escute a música, certifique-se que sua parceira sente-se confortável, e então os execute na pista de dança. Se não, eu te aconselho a aproveitar o básico – e somente os movimentos básicos.  Só faça aquilo que voce é confiante o bastante para controlar e manter a dança fluindo e lembre-se de não ficar envergando a dama circularmente ou de um lado para o outro o tempo todo, ela e sua coluna ficarão muito agradecidas.
Se você seguir isso, verá na pista de dança, as cabeças se movimentando pra baixo e para cima em aprovação!

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?

SENSUALITY OVER SEXUALITY – Tips For Social Dance

sex•u•al from Latin sexus sex
[1] of, relating to, or associated with sex or the sexes.
[2] having or involving sex.

sen•su•al from Latin sensus sense
[1] relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses.
[2] devoted to or preoccupied with the senses or appetites.

I would not go as far as saying that sensuality and sexuality are exact opposites, but they are different and should be recognized as such.

Sensuality is “stroking the senses” — enlivening one’s imagination. It’s the finesse or natural tendencies one possesses and uses to arouse curiosity and intrigue in another. Sensuality is expressed or displayed in many ways: a voice, word, touch, smile, aroma, clothing, walk, gesture, kindness, even by being silently attentive to a person.

The most important and frequently mentioned sign of sensuality is attitude — an individual with a strong and positive mentality. They have an air of self-confidence, and that energy radiates for all to see. A sensuous partner never divulges every secret; they keep the thrill of the unknown alive.

We are living creatures; we all have senses. When we stroke these senses and hit the right notes, the song of sensuality is played. We dance and feel alive, vigorously stimulated and refreshed. Technically, there are five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Then there’s the sixth sense, commonly called intuition. Proper stimulation of these senses can lead to heightened sensuality, as well as the pursuit of pleasure, and no, we are not talking about sex but, pleasure.

I like to believe that we are more than a room full of people dancing to the same song. I like to believe that we are a “community” of dancers.  As any community conscious person can tell you, we are all individually responsible toward bettering the community as a whole. We must all do our part.

Sometimes a dance will get intimate. That’s fine. Intimate dancing is nice. But sometimes a dance gets downright dirty.  A dirty dance can be hot, very hot…. However, there is a line. Just like public displays of affection, some is fine but too much is just gross and makes everyone else around you uncomfortable.

Remember that, dance, is never “wrong”, but any Social Dance is more than a dance. It’s also a community, and within a community, there are social constructs that will dictate what are or are not generally acceptable behaviors.

Sensuality in men is usually expressed through sexual gestures or comments. A man can even go so far as to say, “I never thought of sensuality as being masculine, only feminine.   Due to this fact, men usually have a lot of work ahead of them.  They are usually all out of tune with their sensuality.

In women, sensuality is usually expressed through a softer approach, caressing, along with an abundance of tenderness and affection. Sometimes all they want is to have fun while dancing. Two women speak of the pleasure, comfort and passion felt after dancing with a partner, receiving a full moment of pleasure, yet not being approached for sex. Once people understand the reality that there is a time and place for everything, everyone will be more fulfilled, thus more inclined to reciprocate.  However, there is still a large number of women that cannot bring their sensuality outwards due to their self criticism.

I would suggest to first know yourself. What appeals to you and invigorates your senses? What notes cause you to dance and feel alive? What peeks your passion and curiosity? Find these answers, and keep in mind that there are things you can do for yourself to bring about a feeling of sensuousness.

Remember that wearing tiny shorts, tops, transparencies or showing more parts of your body, it won’t make you more sensual but, will bring sexuality in the other people’s mind, which would be a completely opposite result, that can affect you in receiving a totally different approach from others beyond dancing!

MUSICALITY – Tips For Social Dance

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?

CONNECTION – Tips For Social Dance

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!

 

EMBRACE – Tips For Social Dance

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!

 

WALK – Tips For Social Dance

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!