Sharing The Joy Of Dancing
LADIES: AS TRAINED DANCERS YOU KNOW . . .
There is a monumental difference between a ballroom dancer and a "trained" ballroom dancer. There are many things going on in ballroom dancing that are not visible or obvious. Sometimes they seem very counter intuitive and illogical. My definition of a "trained" ballroom dancer is someone that understands the very core of four-legged movement and the feelings generated from these movements.
I have not seen anyone that can develop this by themselves. Ballroom dancing has been evolving for generations. Dancers have been working very hard to try to determine what is the best and most efficient way for this two-headed four-legged animal to move. This movement also has to accommodate the character of each dance (rise/fall in Waltz for example).
Here are just a few of the things the lady knows and does as a "trained" dancer. These are in no particular order.
- She helps maintain the partnership offset.
- She keeps her shoulders parallel to her partner unless it is over ridden.
- She matches the leaders weight changes unless it is over ridden.
- Her connection with her partner is equal and opposite.
- She understands how to respond to powered and un-powered turns.
- She uses her partner's power and adds to it to move.
- She doesn't "know" what to do; she "feels" what to do.
- She maintains nose and toes unless it is overridden.
- Her head position is dynamic and is actively participating in the balance of the partnership.
- Her frame is constantly reaching toward her partner even during pivots.
- She understands how to respond to the hand mechanisms used for turns.
- She is trained to maintain her feet in the direction of movement (example: lock step)
- She knows how to feel and respond to "invisible" connections (example: 5th position break in Rumba).
- She knows that once a movement is initiated, her movement goes on forever until the leader stops it (she doesn't move to a spot).
- She participates in the lead, she doesn't respond to the lead.
- She allows her body to move naturally based on her body shape.
- She feels the movement initiated from the leaders supporting leg and powers from her corresponding leg.
- She allows her body to move freely and naturally as part of the two-headed four-legged animal.
- Her movement is always in relation to the center of the partnership unless she is doing solo movements.
- She knows the difference between a "step" (a complete weight change) in "Latin" and "Smooth".
- She maintains the proper position in relation to the two-headed four-legged animal.
- She allows the leader to dance very separate parts of her body.
- She understands where the power comes from and how to use it.
- She understands how her body places her feet, not how her feet place her body.
- She understands how rotation happens through foot placement, foot swivel and through the muscles.
- She understands the unique characteristics of movement in the different dances.
- She understands how "Cuban/Latin Motion" works and feels.
- She understands the differences in the weight changes between a Rumba, Cha Cha and Samba underarm turns.
Ballroom dancing is ultimately all about "feeling". It is really what happens between the steps that creates the feeling. Most of what is creating the feeling is not visible, it happens internal to the two-headed four legged animal. This is the "trained" dancer's primary focus.