Sharing The Joy Of Dancing


There is a big difference between ladies and GUYs in Ballroom Dancing. All of my students have heard me say many times; "It's a GUY Thing". GUYS are unique animals but at the same time very similar to each other. I am an expert on the subject because I am a perfect example of one of these GUYS. The following are natural tendencies that GUYS need changed to evolve and improve their Ballroom Dancing. All of the "GUY Things" stated below are my personal experiences as well as my Ballroom Dance Instructor experiences teaching "GUYS. This is by no means a complete list.

GUYS seem to exaggerate just about everything when they are learning to dance. One problem is that when an instructor is demonstrating a pattern, he/she often exaggerates the steps to make them clear to the student. GUYS, however, will try to dance the pattern in its exaggerated form. GUYS, be aware that instructors normally exaggerate when demonstrating movements.

GUYS generally take the term "Lead and Follow" too literally. They try to drive the lady (like a car) with their hands. The lady is lead with the GUYS body. The arms and hands just happen to be attached to the body. The lady just needs a hint of that to do, not a physical redirection.

The GUYS right arm side of the frame unknowingly tends to push his partner across to a nose to nose position instead of maintaining the proper offset position. Allow your partner to live in your right elbow. This same frame tends to squeeze the partnership during rotational movements. The dancer needs to relax the frame a tad during rotational movements. This allows your partner to control her balance throughout the rotation.

GUYS dance with their heads in a slightly downward position when they are thinking. It is like the statue of the "Thinker", sitting with his head slightly down. This causes balance and control problems. The dancer needs to train himself to think with his head in an upward position

GUYs tend to dance faster and faster as they progress through the duration of a song. It seems as if they are dancing downhill and continue to increase their speed. This is particularly true when they are learning something new. The focus seems to be on the destination of the movement and that destination is downhill. The solution is to focus on every step or movement instead of just the destination.

GUYS have a tendency to be too precise. If the instructor says step diagonal to the wall, the GUYS question is: "Is that 45 degrees or is it 44 or 46?" When a GUY is leading an "Inside Turn" and the pattern is supposed to travel sideways, the GUY is going to move directly to the side regardless of the direction that the turning lady moves. The GUY must adjust to the direction of the turning lady no matter what the pattern says. The pattern descriptions are guide lines in an ideal situation. In reality, it is rarely that perfect.

"In-Place Steps" are a continuing GUY problem. An example of an "In-Place Step" would be any type of "Rock Step" or "Break Step". On these types of movements the dancer's weight is shifted from one foot (A) to a new stepping foot (B) but the old foot (A) doesn't move off its original spot. The weight then returns to the original foot (A). It stayed "In-Place". The problem is that the GUYS don't seem to perceive the return to (A) as a step and often bypass it. This results in the GUY missing a step and the loss of synchronization between the dancers. The GUY must take the time to replace the weight to the (A) step before continuing with the rest of the movement. I believe that every GUY student I have taught has had this problem (including me). GUYS, fixing this problem will improve your Ballroom Dancing now and in the future significantly.

After correcting these "GUY Things" over and over again with each new student, I got the brilliant idea to become pre-emptive. I decided to pre-teach these "GUY Things" so the student wouldn't actually have to experience these problems. As it turns out, no matter how many ways or how often I tried to pre-teach them, the students still experienced the "GUY Things". Just be aware that GUYs are different and have some seemingly inherited problem traits. This is normal GUY evolution in Ballroom Dancing.