Peanut butter and jelly. White lace and blue jeans. Tom and Jerry. All are unlikely pairs that are surprisingly good together. Here’s another one – golf and ballroom dancing. This summer, if you want a stronger golf game, ballroom dancing is a great way to get it. Believe it or not, it’s true! I would never make this stuff up.
Here’s how I know. I spent more than half of my life living and teaching ballroom dancing in South Florida, which, of course, is ‘Golf Course Central’. It wasn’t long before my students were telling me how much their golf had improved since they started dancing. Who knew?
Certainly, this was a benefit that I had to investigate. Imagine how easy it would be to sell dance lessons to people if they knew it was going to make them better golfers!
What is it about ballroom dancing that can give you a stronger golf game?
When you become an educated dancer, you’ll gain strength and resiliency in your body. These changes will become a part of you and will enhance any physical activity you participate in. Here are some of the important techniques of ballroom dancing that will carry over to your golf game.
The fact is that balance is improved when you keep your feet under your body. In ballroom dancing, we use the area around us to give power and control to our movements as we transfer our weight from one foot to the other.
By learning new steps and dance moves, you’ll begin to focus on the harmony between your arms and legs. As a matter of fact, the result will be less flailing around and more coordination.
Most people are aware of the importance of follow-through in achieving a stronger golf game. In ballroom dancing, smooth motion is the key to continuity in moving from one step to the other. In fact, this is how we actually use our body, feet, and legs to get from point A to point B. It must become an automatic reaction when dancing or playing golf. Here’s a post that discusses follow-through in golf.
Train yourself to be focused and you’re much closer to the goal of being a fluent dancer and golfer. To this end, drills and practice will be your best friends.
To be the best dancer you can be requires concentration and focus. You need to be in touch with every part of your body and your mind as you execute your moves. We’re looking for an automatic response to whatever situation you are presented with.
Posture and Body Position
Correctly stacking the parts of your body will result in more strength and better balance. Following through by identifying where you want to end up is a key element of both dance and golf.
It’s really all about the core, isn’t it? After all, we don’t get around by moving our feet and legs. Rather, we move our body from the core and the feet and legs catch us.
In ballroom dance, we use the term foot position to describe where one foot is in relation to the other. Importantly, when playing golf, foot position determines the power and speed of the swing.
The definition of footwork is how you use your feet. In ballroom dancing, good footwork will either move you and your partner around the room or, in the case of rhythm dances, is used to express the music through hip action. In golf, expert Tom Watson says footwork, “…ultimately determines how efficiently the player creates clubhead speed.”
The importance of alignment is that it has everything to do with successfully moving around the dance floor. Likewise, being in alignment with the golf course and your target needs to be second nature.
All in all, if you need an excuse to take ballroom dance lessons, this is it. It’s the secret weapon to achieve a stronger golf game. And, let’s not forget how nice it will be to have a happier life-partner. Check out this Dance Safari post on all the places you’ll go, “You Should Be Dancing – But Where?“