Sharing The Joy Of Dancing
GENTLEMEN: AS TRAINED DANCERS YOU KNOW . . .
There is an enormous 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 these things seem 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 man knows and does as a "trained" dancer. These are in no particular order.>
- He knows how to control the movement of his partner with his body shape.
- He moves with "clean footwork" (being on only one foot at a time)
- He maintains a toned connection that allows his partner to participate in the lead.
- He knows how to lead "powered and un-powered" turns.
- He uses his partner's power as well as his own to move.
- He understands that he has to dance "elements", not individual steps.
- He dances his partner not himself.
- He knows what he is trying to get his partner to do. (He knows his partner's part as well as his own).
- He is constantly adjusting his head position for counter balancing of the partnership.
- His frame is constantly reaching toward his partner even during rotating movements.
- He understands the various hand mechanisms for leading turns.
- He is trained to maintain his feet in the direction of the movement.
- He knows how to initiate invisible connections for specific movements.
- He knows how to develop the stretching action that terminates the ladies movement.
- He leads in such a manner as to allow the lady to be part of the lead.
- His movements are powered through his supporting legs.
- He initiates his partner's movement and allows her to move naturally to the conclusion.
- He leads and powers through the center of the partnership for four-legged movements.
- He knows the difference between a "step" (a complete weight change) in "Latin" and "Smooth".
- He defines and maintains the relationship of the two halves of the two-headed four-legged animal.
- He knows how to dance very specific parts of the ladies body for unique movements.
- He knows how to generate the power required for the specific movement to be danced.
- He understands how to lead the ladies body to allow natural placement of her feet.
- He knows how to lead rotational movements through foot placement, foot swivel or through the muscles, depending what is required.
- He understands the unique characteristics of movement in the different dances.
- He understands how "Cuban/Latin Motion" works and feels.
- He knows how to lead the differences in the weight changes between a Rumba, Cha Cha or Samba underarm turn.
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.