How to Start the Dance with a New Partner

I recently got this question after one of my regular classes. At least it was something along these lines: 

"How do I start the dance"

I have to say it's an excellent question. And as so many questions, the answer is "it depends". But hey, don't stop reading yet! That's not the end of the story!

If we dance with someone we already know, theoretically we can go full speed directly. But it is normally much nicer to start a bit slow first

And if it is someone we don't know? How do we start? Glad you asked...

This is how I usually go about it. And this is valid for the kiz/kizomba scene. If you dance salsa, bachata or any other dance, you can apply this type of progression to them too, but using techniques from those dances. 

First of all, I try to find a good position—a good hug. I try to make it as comfortable as possible, and I search for a position in hands, chest, embrace, head and so on that is comfortable for us both. 

After that I...

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Who Invites to Dance?

We are in the 2020s. The world is more and more equal and open-minded.

Even if traditionally there was the rule that men dance with women and that men invite to dance, now we increasingly see women dancing with women, and also men dancing with men. And it is very common that women ask men to dance, no matter what role they take on the dance floor.

This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

I know that some women still struggle to invite men. They feel that they shouldn't have to, or that it is the responsibility of the men.

However, I believe that we have reached a point where it is hardly possible to maintain that position any longer if you want to dance.

  • First of all, we have the fact that there are often proportionally more women in the social scene. So, with women outnumbering men, women are already at a disadvantage if they want to dance. There is more competition for...
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Don't Dance with Your Partner!

Nice to have you here! 

In this post you will read about why you shouldn't dance with your dance partner. No, I am kidding. It is ok to dance with your partner. But...

This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

... if you only dance with your partner, you will not advance as fast. It is not too uncommon that a couple shows up in class and don't want to change partners like everyone else does. I usually accept it, but I also often let them know that they will not advance as fast as dancers.

Sometimes you also see couples glued together in dance socials. I don't quite understand it. If they only want to dance together, why not do it at home? There is so much fun going on in a social, so why not take part? It is like they are there, but they are not quite there.

Yes, you can become excellent within your couple. You might dance great together. If that is the only goal, then...

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Dance Smarts - For Leads & Follows

Nice to have you here! In this post we talk about something I call dance smarts. If you are a lead, follows will love if you do this. And if you are a follow, leads will too!

This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

Be Gentle

This might seem obvious, but it is still far too common to not include here. Good technique is not painful at all. Poor technique can be. 

  • First of all, don't squeeze your partner. Not the hand, not the body.
  • Don't hold your partner's fingers. If you hold the fingers, doing any kind of turn might also turn your partners' fingers in their place. No more dancing with that partner. Maybe ever.
  • Avoid pushing and pulling. Your partner wants to keep their arms in place, no need to pull them off. If you are gentle, everything will work out better. Remember, leads send a signal. They make a suggestion. It is up to the follow to interpret that signal and...
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Creating the Best Partner Experience When You Dance

Nice to have you here! In this post, we will cover how we can create the best possible experience for ourselves and our partner when we dance. It is something that everyone can do no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced dancer. If I would summarize these different points I think I would call it "showing up for real".  

This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

When we dance, if we want to create a good connection with our partner, we need to be present. We need to be there and then, both physically and mentally. We cannot be thinking about something else, whether it is work, relationships or any problems in life.

We need to pay attention to what they are doing, what is happening around us and in the music as we dance. When we are truly present, giving our undivided attention to the dance, the communication in dance will be better, and...

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Tips for Your Personal Dance Level

Here are some tips for dancers on different levels - in salsa, bachata, kizomba, urban kiz, tango or whatever social dance you enjoy. We start out with beginners...

This is an excerpt from a bonus text in one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

Beginner Dancers

First of all, don't hesitate to go dancing. The longer you wait, the longer you miss out, and the harder it will be to dare to go. You don't have to be a great dancer to enjoy dancing.

When I started with capoeira, I went to classes for some time, but I think I took at least ten classes before I went into the roda, before I put anything that I had learnt to the test. I started seeing people who had just taken one class or a couple of classes going into the roda, and I began to wonder what I was doing. Why didn't I enter? Waiting for too long just made it more and more difficult as the pressure to perform got higher.

The earlier you start,...

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Why Take a Teacher Training in Kizomba? I Took Five & Then Developed My Own.

We all know it. Some people start teaching very early. They have just finished a beginner course. Others even earlier, watching a few clips on youtube they start teaching as they are learning. Not the best way to start, but I believe there are reasons to start early, while you are still very new to the dance, and to be honest, also pretty ignorant about it.  But I will come back to those reasons. 

However, I don't believe there are reasons to stay in that ignorance. I strongly believe that if you want to teach, you need to learn a lot. And there are many reasons to take a teacher training. If I didn't believe that I would be pretty stupid to have taken five different teacher trainings myself. 

Yes, you can be a natural talent. You can learn very fast how to teach. Or maybe you already have the pedagogical skills and just need to learn the dance skills. I believe it is possible to become a great teacher without it. But, a teacher...

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What is Floorcraft?

Very often people say: "Music is the Master", meaning we have to follow the music. So, if the music is very energetic, we should dance in a very energetic way, for example. But there is one thing that can be even more important than the music when it comes to how we dance.

How crowded is the floor? Sometimes it is impossible to truly follow the music when we dance, because if we did, it would be mayhem on the floor.

We need to adapt to our surroundings and all the couples around us. We have to make sure what we do is suitable for the environment. This is what floorcraft is about - to make sure dancing is enjoyable and safe for everyone. Even if I mainly dance kizomba, kizomba fusion, salsa and bachata, this text is adapted to fit for pretty much any dance. 

This is an excerpt from one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

Floorcraft is the art of adapting your dance to what your...

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Tips for Dancing with Dance Teachers

I am a dancer, and I am a teacher. I dance salsa, bachata, kizomba, kizomba fusion and semba and I give classes and online courses in kizomba and fusion. And I want to tell you something very important. Are you ready?

Teachers are just like everybody else! They are not superhuman. They are not more special than anyone else. The same rules apply to them as to everybody else. This also means that they deserve the same respect.

This is an excerpt from a bonus chapter of one of my books - "The Secrets of Social Dance - How to Become a Popular Dancer" which you can find on Amazon.

Here are some facts:

  • Teachers also like to dance. Don't be afraid to invite a teacher to dance, no matter your level. Dressing up, going to the party and feeling ready to dance and then no-one dares or wants to invite you is not fun for anyone, including teachers. Please feel free to ask!
  • Teachers also need to rest. It happens that teachers have the problem of not being invited, but...
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Dance is Like a Language

Nice to have you here! 
This text is for both leaders and followers - it is about communication in dance, about rough leading and what followers can do to avoid it. 

Couple dance is like a language.
There is no doubt about it. When we dance, we communicate. We speak a language. And when we speak this language, there are words, expressions, sentences and grammar that we use. Every move we make sends a signal, like a word or a sentence, that has to be interpreted. And we both interpret different signals. The leaders start the interaction, but it is not just the follower who is listening and interpreting. The leader has to listen and interpret the response from the follower all the time. 

Different languages
Each dance genre is its own language in a way, even if many dances follow similar rules, just like languages do.

One of the most beautiful things about couple dance is that it is universal. It is something we all can understand. We can dance all...

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