Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

STRIVE TO BECOME A COMPLETE BALLROOM DANCER


The whole point of Ballroom dancing is to be "ONE" with your partner (a single two-headed four-legged animal). Don't settle for being half of the partnership, be the whole entity. Don't feel and act like you are just a part of the partnership, feel and act like you are the complete two-headed four-legged animal. Get out of the Two-Legged Body and get into the whole Four-Legged Body. View yourself as a complete third person not just one side of a partnership. The goal is to create what I call the "four-legged feeling". It's a feeling that can only be achieved with a partner.

How do I become "ONE" with my partner? The reality is, you can't physically become your partner, but you can physically become part of the four-legged entity that does include your partner. This means that you actually become part of the four-legged animal. You are not just two two-legged animals standing next to each other.

The anatomy of a four-legged animal is obviously different than the anatomy of a two-legged animal. The Ballroom dancer has to change their identity from two-legged to four-legged. The physical center is no longer inside you personally, but it is in the center of the four-legged animal (the partnership). The power of your movements is not applied through your personal center, but through the center of the partnership which is physically outside of your physical body. Any rotational movement revolves around the center of the partnership not your own personal center.

What keeps the four-legged animal from coming apart? Each side of the four-legged animal must maintain a forward connection toward their other half. Even when dancing pivots and other rotational movements, a forward connection must be maintained. Keep in mind that a forward connection is through the center of the partnership. Because of the partnerships physical offset, the connection (and the center of the partnership) is not straight forward but slightly diagonal.

As you can see from the above, it is a matter of physics and geometry to be able to figure out and understand how this physical four-legged animal moves. There is, however, another unique aspect of this four-legged animal. It is possible to actually be part of the whole four-legged animal. There is only a miniscule difference between a physical connection and a logical or what I call an invisible connection. Each partner can logically occupy each other's space. Each partner must, however, allow their partner to occupy his/her space and in turn be allowed to occupy their space for the four-legged animal to be complete.

How do I logically occupy my partner's space and allow him/her to logically occupy my space (become ONE)? The following paragraphs describe this evolutionary process.

The way the Ballroom Dancer uses his/her mind changes as the skill of the dancer grows. In the beginning the dancer's mind is consumed with learning and executing patterns. When there is some degree of confidence with patterns, the mind can now start focusing on the details of dancing with a partner. As the partnership becomes more automatic, the dancer's mind starts focusing on sequences of patterns and movement around the floor. Somewhere around this time the dancer's mind starts to consider the music and its effect on movement. All through this time the two partners are basically just physically dancing beside each other. Up until now, the mind has been totally devoted to the physical execution of the two dancers. This is the point where the dancers have the opportunity to start developing the concept of "occupying the other dancer's space" and achieving that four-legged feeling (the feeling of "ONENESS").

At this point in the process, the dancer needs to flip the switch in his/her mind from "thinking" to "feeling". Use the complete mind to "feel". "Occupying your partners space" is a "feeling". It is very hard to "feel" when your mind is focused on "thinking" about patterns or partnership or physical movements. The ultimate goal is to dance the dance elements and patterns by "feel". The feeling of the element or pattern includes the "occupying your partner feeling". The dancer needs to be able to keep his/her mind in the "feeling" mode all of the time. Understand that this evolutionary process takes time and patience. It is the "FEELING" of being "ONE" (the four-legged feeling) that we are trying to achieve.

Now that you know that logical or invisible connections exist, they become a possibility for your dancing. The logical or invisible connections are advanced concepts,