Lead with the Body

In Brazilian Zouk, the leader’s body plays a great role in leading.

A lead that is done mostly with the body, as opposed to arms, is almost always far more comfortable and clear. Using the body to lead can also help the leader to dance himself, instead of just moving the follower around.

I do not lead with my arm.

He who leads with his arm has forgotten the face of his father.

I lead with my body.

– Part of the Leader’s Catechism, from Stephen King’s imaginary dance novel.

The body leads in at least three different ways: visually, through body contact, and as the source of a lead done with hand contact. Often, all of these play a role in leading the same movement.

Visual leading means the leader uses his own movement to indicate what the follower should do. This type of leading consists of intuitive

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A Love and Hate Affair

Head movements and cambrés; who doesn’t love them?

They’re one of the distinctive characteristics of Brazilian Zouk. Done well, they look very impressive and beautiful. They give us possibilities of expression, musicality and movement that other dances don’t have.

Well… I do love head movements and cambrés. I really do. But my feelings for them are conflicted; it’s one of those love and hate affairs. The problem is not with the movements themselves, but with the widespread abuse of them. By abuse, I mean people doing them badly. I mean people not

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IMPROVING YOUR SOCIAL DANCING EXPERIENCE – Tips For Social Dancing

Everyone wants to be a better dancer,

but also, millions of people are just looking for tips to have more fun and relax when going out dancing.  Here are a few tips on how to not only make your dancing experience more fun, but more enjoyable for those you partner with as well.

Be kind at all times. Have patience for not only your mistakes but others as well. We all make mistakes when learning to dance.  Just be able to smile and laugh at yourself.

Be aware; always know your surroundings on the dance floor. Most importantly, be aware of the one in your arms.

Floor craft, this is a lot like being aware of others but the next level up. In your smooth dances always dance respecting the line of dance. In your Latin dances remember arms up not out.

Keep the variety in your dancing consistent. Everybody leads differently, and everybody follows differently, variety is the spice of life and learning in social dancing.

Mind your T’s and H’s. Toes and Heels are more important than “just because my teacher said so.” Proper foot placement is the first step to putting the body where it is supposed to be for better leading and following.

Back to basics, never be too good to go back to your grass roots technique and practice. As a 10 year teacher I still take time out to practice even those most basic of techniques. And remember never say I know that, whether it be if your teacher is correcting something or your partner offering you some friendly advice. Open ears means an open mind.

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 floor that is not the time to do it, choose your timing wisely.

Social is as social does. Social dancing originated as a way for people to get together and socialize so do just that. Get out there, go to different events, and meet new people.

Everyone experiences an even plane in their progress at some point, don’t panic, and don’t get discouraged. At first all learning is progress, and then you have a period of what we call structure. This is where your progressive learning slows to what feels like a crawl. It is important to use this time to solidify previously learned techniques. Use this time wisely because your progress will resume shortly, be patient.

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.

Remember dancing is what you make of it, if you want to enjoy your evening out more, as well as help others enjoy theirs, then follow these 10 simple tips. Before you know it you will be one of the most sought out dancers on and off the floor.