If you’re a little on the shy side, when you take ballroom dance lessons, you might be guilty of looking down at the floor. It’s not unusual. In fact, dance instructors expect beginners to do it. But, that doesn’t mean we can go along with it. I hate to tell you, but dance posture starts at the top. That said, you gotta hold your head up.
Why are you looking down?
Checking out the floor starts early in your dance lessons. And, it’s hard to stop once it becomes a habit. That’s why you hear your instructor saying stuff like, “…eyes up”, “chin up”, “head up”, “look up”, “check out your partner”, or even, “hey, watch where you’re going.”
Although you’d like to keep your head up, it can easily become second nature to look down. Here are some reasons you might lower your eyes:
- Trying to remember a step? Look down.
- Not confident about what you’re doing? Look down.
- Unsure about how to show the character of the dance? Look down.
However, if you want to shine on the dance floor, you’ll need to correct your dance posture.
The #1 reason to keep your head up is for better balance.
Heads are heavy. When you let your eyes drop and you lower your head, your balance is severely effected. And, not in a good way.
With good dance posture, your appearance and poise will improve.
I don’t have to tell you this, but the person who stands with their body held in a controlled but relaxed manner, looks terrific. They present themselves with grace, poise, and power.
Getting creative with the music is easier when you hold yourself up.
In ballroom dancing, expressing the music depends a lot on others being able to see your face. Things like your smile, the look in your eyes, and a good relationship with the music and your partner make for an entertaining performance.
Better floorcraft and safely dancing with others is a piece of cake with good dance posture.
Another good reason to keep your head up is so you can stay in step with your partner. The way you navigate the dance floor is known as floorcraft. It’s a lot like driving; you gotta watch out for the other guy.
Stacking is a technique that helps you refine your dance posture.
The Dance Safari post, “Klutzy Dancer? Ballroom Dancing Blues, Part 1” has some tips to help you become more comfortable when you dance. Learn about stacking the different parts of your body in the section called, “Body alignment out of whack?“