Do you have to be a dancer to train at a ballroom dance studio? No, but if you know a little about dancing, ballroom dance is about to become one of your favorite pastimes. In fact, someone who has taken dance lessons before will have an easier time learning ballroom. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if it was Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lindy Hop, Salsa, or Swing, you’re going to pick it up quickly. Generally speaking, you won’t struggle quite as much as someone who has no dance experience.
Many ballroom dance techniques will be familiar if you’ve taken dance lessons in other styles.
All Dance Lessons Focus on Posture
To begin with, lining your body up correctly will give you a great look and even better balance regardless of what style of dance you’re doing.
Arms, Legs, and Feet
Open up the body and express yourself with stylish arm movements.
No matter what kind of dance lessons you’re taking, you can’t underestimate the importance of the feet. For one, they get you where you’ve got to go. When you need it, they aid in creating flight around the dance floor. In some cases, traveling isn’t important, but movement within the body is. Good use of the feet makes anything possible.
Hold your body in one piece with a strong and healthy core. You’ll avoid injury and have more control and better balance. Core strength aids in maintaining perfect dance posture. Here’s a post that goes into detail about the benefits of core strength for dancers.
Hip Action Technique
Hips are used to express rhythm and fluidity.
Many different styles of dance embrace things like body rolls, rib cage isolation, and a variety of pops (such as shoulders, hips, and arms). Use them in your ballroom dancing for outstanding expression.
Turns and Spins
Something about the music is going to make you want to spin in circles. Go with it, but remember to use the proper technique. And, don’t forget to spot.
Splits and Kicks
Being able to perform splits and high kicks will enhance your performance. If you’ve been exposed to them in previous training, continue to stretch and practice for more versatility.
In addition to physical elements that relate to the body, there are mental and emotional techniques.
Expression and Musicality
Music and dancing go hand-in-hand. That’s why every accomplished dancer wants to give it up to the music. Learn more about expression in this Dance Safari post, “Tell a Story to Take Your Dancing to the Next Level“.
Timing is the beat of the music. Within timing, you’ll find the rhythm (order of movement), and tempo (pace). A wise goal is to go with the beat until you don’t have to count it anymore. Then, it becomes instinctual and you’ll learn to anticipate either a continuation of the timing or an upcoming break.
When I think about dance partnership skills, I think of the Nicholas Brothers. As a matter of fact, this duo from 70-80 years ago embodies the physical and mental techniques I described above. According to Wikipedia, “Their performance in the musical number “Jumpin’ Jive” (with Cab Calloway and his orchestra) featured in the 1943 movie Stormy Weather has been praised as one of the most virtuosic film dance routines of all time.“
Please watch the video of this performance and see if you don’t agree!
So, there you have it. If you have taken dance lessons in any style, you definitely should take some ballroom lessons. Your social life will thank you.