Dance Tips: Basic Ballroom Dancing Instructions

A guide to what Ballroom dancing is and what makes it such a hobby.

Dancing is as old and as far reaching as the human race.Around the world, different cultures with different attitudes and traditions have created music and danced to it.A couple hundred years ago, some sects of Christianity forbade dancing because they recognized its passionate power.It is an amazing experience when the body becomes attuned to a rhythm and each movement is made because it is beautiful.In our everyday lives we don't tend to think about the way in which we walk, or run, or hold our hands.Dancing gives us the chance to let our bodies be beautiful, to be the center of attention, to express music with our entire being.

Ballroom dancing is a category that covers a wide range of types of dances.It is the DanceSport that you see on television; it is also the social partner dances.There are two main types of Ballroom: Latin (and Rhythm) and Smooth (and Standard).These categories are distinguished more by the technique then by the country of origin.For example, Tango is not a Latin dance.There are three different types of Tango a Ballroom dancer might do: Argentine Tango, American Tango, and International Tango.The same is true of many of the dances, so the category of Ballroom dancing actually covers more than just Cha-cha, Rhumba, Merengue, Mambo, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Pace Doble, Jive, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot.These dances all have an American version, an International version, and most of them have a distinct social version.

If you want to learn Ballroom dancing, you can focus on one type of dance or one division of dances.The dances are usually seen as the Latin dances where you move your hips, and the Smooth ones where you float and glide along the floor.Both forms are very sensual and create a strong connection between the partners.Not all forms of dance involve the one-on-one experience of Ballroom.It is a dimension that adds depth to the performance of a dance.That is why learning to dance with your husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend makes your dancing better.The connection between you will generate energy.The synchrony between two people who move as one makes Ballroom dance a great pleasure to watch as well as to perform.

The advantage of learning different types of Ballroom dances is that you can pick the one that suits your mood.Each dance has a character to it: Cha-cha is playful, Rhumba is sensual, Tango is passionate, Viennese Waltz is elegant.Also, because most music uses the same basic structures, you can use your dancing skills for more than just weddings.If you go to a club and there's techno music you can dance a Samba if it's in two or a Cha-cha if it's in four.

In order to learn to dance, I recommend going to an actual teacher.You can learn basic steps from instructional videos or even books, but you can't ask questions and there will be no one to tell you if you're learning a bad habit.Lessons can be extremely expensive, but there are ways to minimize the expense.Some night clubs now have Salsa nights and if you arrive early they'll have a lesson.However, the best thing to do is to look into local college clubs.This, I think, is the best kept secret in Ballroom dancing.Many colleges around the country have Ballroom clubs in which instructors are brought in to teach beginning dance.These clubs are usually open to the public and anyone who wants to come for only a slightly higher fee than for the students (students usually have already paid an "activity fee" to the college).I have been at a college that charged $20 a semester for students with six years dance experience to teach the others.I have been at a college that charged $85 a semester for professional instructors to teach four different Ballroom dances.That is an amazing deal.Professional instructors often charge $95 for a forty-five minute private lesson.At this school you could be getting six hours a week of group lessons for three months for about the same price.

Don't be intimidated by the dancers you see on TV, or the professionals who dance in clubs.It won't be long before you and your partner are moving with such confidence and charisma that everyone who sees you will think you've been dancing all your life.It takes only a touch of technique and knowing where to put your feet and before you know it, you'll feel like a pro.From the first moment you step onto a dance floor, you'll discover just how fun and rewarding Ballroom dancing can be.

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