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.


Presence
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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What is Musicality for Dancers?

musicality social dance Apr 08, 2021

Within the dancing world, we use the word “musicality”. We try to be “musical", but what does it really mean? We have some kind of idea. We talk about it. There are classes on it. And quite often we know it when we see it. But can we explain it? If I would ask you what musicality is, how would you define it? And would others define it in the same way? 


This is an excerpt from my book about musicality - "The Secrets of Musicality for Dancers - Learning Nine Essential Skills for Musicality in Dance" Just click the link. 


I think there would be a lot of different answers. Some would simply talk about “understanding the music”, but I think that is both too vague and too limited.

To vague, because what does that really mean? Understanding the music?

And too limited because I think musicality is more than that. It is not something purely intellectual, like “understanding”. Musicality has an expressive side too. I think it...

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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 You Should Dance with Beginners

Yeah, there it is. I said it - dance with beginners! Why? Because you will become better. Of course, if we dance reasonably often, we will become better over time no matter what, and no matter if we dance kizomba, salsa, bachata or something else. Soon I will come back to why we should dance with beginners, but first something about why people don't want to dance with beginners. 


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.


We all have a start. We are all beginners at some time, and beginners are often not as popular on the dance floor, for some different reasons.

  • They don't yet have the dance skills
  • They are not good at adapting to their partner
  • They don't have floor craft
  • They don't know how to create connection
  • They don't have much of "dance smarts."
  • They are often not very creative
  • They don't have the musicality

These are all things that can take time to develop.

But...

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Some Social Rules for Social Dance

Social Dance is not just about dancing. It is just as much about the social interaction, so when we go dancing, it makes sense to not just make sure we dance well, but also make sure we follow some basic social rules to make it nicer for our partner, and in the end, also for us. This is not a complete list, just a few fundamentals. But no matter if you dance tango, salsa, bachata, kizomba, west coast swing or any other dance, it makes sense to follow. 


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.


The Golden Rule
The golden rule in social interactions is to treat others like you would like to be treated yourself. This is a maxim that is found in most religions and cultures, guiding human behaviour and teaching our children how to behave with other people. It has even been endorsed as a part of the 1993 "Declaration Toward a Global Ethic". To me, it makes total sense also to...

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The Positive Effects of Social Dancing

I do not doubt that social dancing is one of the best things you can do in your spare time. Salsa, bachata, kizomba, tango, west coast swing - all of them have benefits that are more obvious, and some not so obvious. They all force you to use several different senses and to use many different skills. Dance can make you healthier and happier. And it also connects you to other people.


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.


If you are already a social dancer with some experience, you have felt how it is to forget everything else at that moment. You have been wholly present in the dance, lost track of time and space a bit, not spending a thought on work, your relationship, or anything else in life that might otherwise occupy your mind.

Meditation
Social dance can be like taking a vacation to a beautiful place where no problems exist, even...

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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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