Learning a new skill like ballroom dancing is not for the faint of heart. Especially if you’re wobbly and just plain klutzy. Undoubtedly, you’re gonna suffer from some uncomfortable issues. But, not to worry, your ballroom dancing blues will be short-lived if you check out these solutions.
Ballroom Dancing Blues
Issue #1: The Klutzy, Awkward Dancer
Feeling a little uncoordinated? Then, believe it or not, you’ve made the right decision to take up ballroom dancing. It may not seem that way in the beginning, but you’re on your way to moving and looking better both on and off the dance floor.
Causes and Solutions
Bad balance is a big cause of the ballroom dancing blues. It can make both you and your dance partner uncomfortable. Balance improves with better use of feet and ankles, as well as proper alignment of head, torso, butt, and legs. Starting from the floor up, your feet and ankles play a big part in making you comfortable. Not only when dancing, but in your daily life, too. With a little training and patience, you’ll lose those klutzy, graceless moves.
Dancing flat-footed with weak ankles?
Let’s begin with the feet. Good footwork makes it easier to get around. When we walk, most of us move forward with the heel striking the ground first. Subsequently, our body weight rolls through the ball of the foot and exits from the toe as the next step commences. Take notice of this action when you’re walking and it will be easier to do when your dancing calls for it. Remember, we’re trying to replace that awkward flat-footed action with a feeling of confidence and comfort.
Next, the ankles. Ankle weakness is a problem for many people. You probably have foot and ankle pain if you do. It’s one of the reasons you feel so klutzy and awkward when you dance. The good thing is, it’s not hard to strengthen your ankles. You can strengthen your ankles with a few exercises that can be done standing or sitting.
Body alignment out of whack?
Let’s be honest, looking down at the floor is a common problem for beginners. Searching the floor for guidance is the wrong way to enjoy a dance. Think about how heavy your head is. It’s said a human head weighs 10-11 lbs. However, that weight increases significantly when it’s angled down. Incredibly, it could clock in at as much as 60 lbs when looking down at the floor.
Do yourself a favor and keep your head up and your spine straight and strong. Ideally, you’ll have your head over your shoulders, shoulders over hips, and hips over the balls of your feet. Now you’re solidly balanced and not a bit klutzy. Feels good, right?
There are other potential causes of the ballroom dance blues.
Two people dancing together is how we describe ballroom dancing. In order to accomplish this, each partner moves in a natural way keeping their feet under their body. Proper directional movement will have you dancing with better balance. It will also keep you from waddling side-to-side, which would be awkward.
Directional movement basics
- Forward and back steps have legs brushing past one another each on it’s own track.
- Side steps are done with one foot to the side of the other with space between them.
To Sum it All Up
Paying attention to using good posture, how you use your feet and ankles, keeping head up, and letting your legs move in a natural track under your body will help.
If you feel clumsy and klutzy when you dance, chances are your problem is your balance. You can improve it by employing these tips:
- Strengthen your feet and ankles with easy to do exercises.
- Develop good posture with a strong, straight spine. And, no looking down!
- Swing your legs naturally while keeping them under your body.
- Learn some more of these important techniques in this Dance Safari post, “Learn to Dance Rumba – It’s Easy and Fun.“