11 Ways You’re Ruining Your Ballroom Dancing

Learning ballroom dancing takes time, commitment, and money.  When you don’t take care of what you’ve learned, you run the risk of ruining your ballroom dancing.  If you’re someone who loves to dance, please note these common ways you might be doing dirty to your dancing.

Here are the things you do if you want to mess up your dancing and destroy a dance partnership.

1. Stop taking lessons

The world of ballroom dancing is filled with fantastic dancers. Furthermore, the best thing about being one of them is there’s always something new to learn. Surely, staying curious will keep you from ruining your ballroom dancing.

2. Don’t practice

Learning to dance is a waste of money if you don’t take the time to practice. After all, your job is to develop muscle memory and the only way to do that is by repetition, aka practice.

3. Learning too many steps before you’re ready

Most professionals would say expression, movement, and technique play a bigger part than steps when it comes to dancing. Besides, steps or patterns are guides that teach directional movement. You would do well to work on the former before worrying too much about the latter.

4. Exaggerating your hip action

There nothing more expressive in Latin and Rhythm dancing than the hips. Every movement enhances the enjoyment for the dancer, the partner, and the on-lookers. Be subtle and sexy, but don’t destroy your dance partnership by looking like a floozy!

Bad hip action is ruining your ballroom dancing.
Shake those hips, you hussies!

Learn how to tame your hip action with this Dance Safari post, “Destroy Your Poor Latin Hip Action with 3 Easy to Do Tips“.

5. Poor Rise and Fall in Waltz is ruining your ballroom dancing

The Rise and Fall in Waltz is meant to be drawn out over three beats of music. In fact, it goes like this, “Commence to rise at the end of 1, continue to rise on 2 and 3, lower at the end of 3“. Above all, take care to use your legs, knees, and feet to prevent the Oom-pah-pah feeling that comes with the ‘down – up – up’ rising and falling you might see performed by an uneducated dancer.

6. Don’t bother using the correct footwork

When it comes to ballroom dancing, proper footwork is the difference between clunking around the floor and executing balanced and elegant moves. The way you use your feet is determined by the style of dance you’re doing. In Ballroom and Smooth dancing, because they’re meant to travel, the action is more like walking. By that I mean using heel leads on steps that are moving forward, and releasing the toe on back steps. On the contrary, Latin and Rhythm dances are usually more stationary. However, the hip action requires using the feet, knees, and legs in a different way. Rolling from the ball of the foot to a flat foot is necessary to get a nice hip action.

7. Overleading (leader) or Backleading (follower)

You’ve got to strike the right balance when it comes to partnership. Leaders, if you lead too agressively, you’ll end up ruining your ballroom dancing. Additionally, it’ll become difficult to find someone who wants to dance with you. On the other hand, when a follower tries to take control, she finds out quickly who the real leader is. Either way, both overleading and backleading cause injury and bad feelings. Don’t do it!

8. Using competition styling when social dancing

Nobody likes a show-off. ‘Nuf said.

moves like this are ruining your ballroom dancing
This is not appropriate for the social dance floor!

9. Not paying attention to your partner is one way to destroy a dance partnership

Keep in mind, this is a team activity. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it takes two to Tango. For this reason, it’s a terrific time to play off each other and tell a story with your dancing. Not only that, but it’s plain ol’ good manners.

See how nice it looks when you pay attention to your partner.  Good manners don't destroy a dance partnership.
Pay attention to your partner. Notice how she looks at and flirts with her partner.

10. Extra large steps don’t look right

If you are interested in looking good on the dance floor, you must have great dance posture. With this in mind, you will find that large steps make it impossible to hold yourself correctly. As a result, balance is shaky and there’s an increased danger of stepping on your partner’s feet.

11. Disregarding personal hygiene will destroy a dance partnership as well as other relationships

Little things mean a lot…

  • Breath fresh? check
  • Deodorant working? check
  • Towel to wipe perspiration? check
  • Fresh clothes in case you get too sweaty? check
  • Bag to put your stinky shoes in? check

Now, be honest.

Take a close look at yourself and how you present to others in the ballroom community. In truth, if you feel like you might be doing things that are ruining your ballroom dancing, it’s time to clean up your act.

dance safari logo

One comment

Leave a Reply