Ballroom Dancing Tips

When participating in the art of ballroom dancing, there are some definite dos and don'ts to keep in mind when entering the dance floor.

Ballroom dancing has never really gone out of fashion in American society.Classes, clubs and organizations are alive and well, and are approached with the flair and beauty with which most other forms of dance can't compete.For those who are new to this particular form of recreation - or for those who need a bit of a brush-up after having been absent from the dance floor for a number of years - there are some basic tips for enjoying a more pleasant experience, designed to make your time on the dance floor a bit more goof-proof.

Since the middle and outer edges of the dance floor are the areas in which the faster-paced couples are moving, those who prefer to go more slowly should try to remain near the center.This is ideal for the novice couple who are either making their ballroom debut or who have only recently taken lessons.As you begin to feel more comfortable, you'll probably prefer to move toward the outer rim where the dancing is faster and the movements are more fluid.

In order to avoid stepping on your partner's toes, you'll need to focus on the way that you begin your opening movement.Ladies should always begin by stepping back with their right foot, while the gentlemen are expected to lead forward using their left foot.Once you're in motion and have established that pattern, you'll be able to avoid missteps and flow into the dance steps quite naturally.

One of the common problems in the ballroom dancing scenario is that you need to anticipate your partner's every move and match it comfortably.Since men will be expected to lead, they should lean a bit in the direction that they intend to step.A minor lean should indicate a smaller step, while a lean of greater proportion should signify a larger step.Ladies should become accustomed to leaning in the same direction, once they perceive their partners' signal.This will avoid a rough start, as well as choppy moves once the dance begins.Think of it as a kind of silent dance language.

Accomplishing good form and style is contingent upon proper footwork.Remember to align your feet parallel with your partner's - with the toe of one foot pointed between his or her feet; carry your weight on the ball of your foot; take definite steps while avoiding the tendency to drag the feet; and make sure to step from the hip so that the leg can move freely from the joint and strive to keep your feet close together when changing course in order to maintain a good sense of balance.

Due to the nature of ballroom dancing, the potential exists for the collision of two or more couples on the floor.With this in mind, you'll need to develop some form of signal with your partner in order to avoid such situations.Whether it's a gentle tap, a lean toward a certain direction or some other agreed-upon signal doesn't really matter.Since this will often take less time than a verbal signal, try to stick with simple gestures.

Turning is an art in itself when applied to ballroom dancing.For the best results, be sure that your arm tension is correct.This is accomplished by firming up your wrist, elbow and shoulder when making a movement to the side, as well as when moving forward or backward.Since the arms tend to ride high when performing this style of dance, the rest of the arm should be relaxed and both partners should remain observant of the other couples that surround them on the dance floor.It's too easy to hit someone with an elbow or uplifted hands when dancing in such close proximity.

When dancing on the outer rim of the ballroom, it can be easy to get backed into a corner.If this should happen, a left turn is perfect for gracefully working your way out of the situation.The male partner should lightly touch the back of his left foot with the right one when executing such a turn in order to cease the forward motion and begin to move backward, away from the wall.

Above all else, it's important to remember that there's specific ballroom etiquette that should be heeded.For instance, when requesting a dance from someone, the best approach is still the standard, "May I have this dance?" as it was many years ago.Both men and women are now offering invitations to dance, as opposed to the earlier days which dictated that the women must wait to be invited.Today, either is considered to be appropriate.

With some dance lessons, a compatible partner and the ability to learn and remember basic tips and etiquette, ballroom dancing can be a most enjoyable pastime for both men and women.Before long, you'll find yourself as relaxed on the ballroom floor as you are in the comfort of your own home.

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