Sharing The Joy Of Dancing


Ballroom Dancing is a full body contact sport. Full body contact is necessary to progress to the higher levels of Ballroom Dancing. The full body I am referring to is the Ballroom Dance "Singularity". It is not just the physical contact with your partner, but a total emersion of the two partners.

At the very beginning levels of Ballroom Dancing, the dancer's "Lead and Follow" is basically visual. As the beginner dancer evolves, the "Lead and Follow" is initiated through the Ballroom Dance Frame. The dance frames physical contact is the primary form of communication between the two partners. The two dancers are now becoming a "Partnership". Further evolution of the "Partnership" involves several other facets of the "Lead and Follow" process.

The Ballroom Dance Frame maintains the "offset" physical relationship between the partners and enables the common use of power by the two dancers. The dance frame is used as a communication device to indicate direction of movement (vertical, horizontal, rotational, etc.). It is also used to sense and accommodate the balancing and counter balancing of the partnership. The "Lead and Follow" of the partnership is growing and evolving. The goal is to have as much physical contact as possible but not so much as to interfere with the movement of the dancers.

"Full Body Contact" doesn't refer to just the "Dance Frame". It refers to the rest of the dancers' body as well. There is a lot of communication through body connections (the legs, hips, feet, shoulders, etc.). At the higher levels of "Lead" and "Follow" the full body contact is normal and intuitive. "Full Body Contact" works well when dancing "Standard" and "Smooth" style because the dancers are dancing close together. How does this work in "Latin" and "Rhythm" dancing where the partners dance farther apart?

There is something called "Logical Connections" that are just as real as physical connections. It is used in both styles of dancing. It allows "Full Body Contact" in the "Latin" and "Rhythm" dances. "Logical" contact is possible in all facets of the "Partnership" relationship. The "Leader" can communicate with virtually every physical part of the "Follower" and vice versa. This ability allows the "Leader" to dance specific parts of the "Follower" to accomplish various movements. An example would be a "Fifth Position Break" in Rumba. The "Leader" can directly lead (through Logical connections) the "Followers" crossing step. This is one of those actions that can only be learned by actually feeling it. I have the men dance as "Followers" so they can experience the feeling of what they are trying to lead.

The next step is to evolve to the "Singularity". The "Singularity" does not have boundaries as in a "Partnership". Boundaries are physical barriers within the "Partnership". Let's look at an individual dancer. This entity seemly has no barriers because the whole physicality is self-contained. This is a person's normal existence. The "Partnership" entity has two individual dancers. This creates boundaries because now there are two individuals trying to move as one. Each individual dancer is trying to adapt to the boundary of the other. Each dancer views the "Partnership" as two individuals. Even if the dancers view the "Partnership" as a single entity, they still relate to each other as two physical objects. The primary boundary is the "face to face" physicality between the dancers. The boundary is what we want to change and eventually eliminate all together.

The "Singularity" needs to exist as an individual entity, the same as an individual dancer. The traditional dance entity needs to be re-defined to a "Singularity". This allows the entity to move beyond the "face to face" (two dancer entity) boundary to the preferred "back to back" ("Singularity") boundary.

The "face to face" boundary forces a communication link between the two dancers. The "back to back" boundary creates a single entity where no communication is needed (the same as an individual dancer). Once this boundary is realized, the boundary will cease to exist and it is now just a single physicality. The "Singularity's" movements are natural and intuitive. It moves fluidly and without any communication. The whole entity has soft edges and supple movements. The "Singularity" is a complete cohesive entity. The "Full Body Contact" is now contained fully within the "Singularity".