I don’t care what anyone says, no one has beautiful Latin hip action when they first start dancing. Indeed, you may have great-looking hips, but when it comes to Latin dancing, you’ve got to know what you’re doing. Given that, improve your shameful hip action with this little bit of technique.
Latin hip action is the result of bending and straightening the knees.
Hip Tip #1…Become aware of what you’re knees and hips are doing as you change weight from one foot to the next.
Imagine you’re standing in line at the post office. Basically, there are three ways you can hold yourself. Here’s what happens as you shift your weight from one foot to the other.
- Stand with your weight on 2 feet (hips neutral),
- Shift your weight to the left foot with right knee bent (left hip rises, right hip drops),
- Place your weight on the right foot with left knee bent (right hip rises, left hip drops).
Boom, now you’ve got some Latin hip action! You could also practice this in the kitchen like this Mom did.
Hip Tip #2…Rotational movement is necessary for natural-looking Latin hip action.
After practicing Tip #1, you’re starting to loosen up the hips. However, at this point, the hips are simply moving side to side. As a result, the overall appearance isn’t very good yet. In particular, we need to get some rotational movement in the Cuban motion. Here’s what to do:
- Face the wall with your weight on both feet and your knees straight, hips in a neutral position.
- Holding yourself straight, lean into the wall with a small amount of pressure on your hands. This will keep your upper body and shoulders from moving.
- Keeping your feet flat on the floor, alternate bending one knee at a time. The key to getting a better action will be to let the bent knee drift towards the straight leg. This will rotate your hips so that they now move to the side and back.
The idea is to have your hips rotate under your ribcage. Sexy!
Hip Tip #3…Delay Latin hip action.
- In other words, don’t lead with the hip.
- The rotation of the hip will happen after there is a complete change of weight from one foot to the other.
- So, hold the hip back until you’ve completed the step.
Don’t be a floozy with your hips all swishing around this way and that!
Whether you’ve been studying for 3 weeks or 3 years, learning how to tame your poor Latin hip action will make you look and feel better when you dance. Now that you’ve got this licked, check out this Dance Safari post, “Cha Cha Cha is Fun Fun Fun!“.