Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

WHERE IS YOUR PARTNER?


At the higher levels of Ballroom Dancing, it becomes increasingly more important that the connection between partners be more precise. Your partner is offset slightly to the right of you, not directly in front of you. Your partner may be slightly above you or below you, depending on the partners' height and body proportions. The goal is to have one "core" (center) for both partners, a single "core" for the partnership (the two-headed four-legged animal). This is important in Smooth and Standard styles of Ballroom dancing because the partners dance so close together but it is also important in Rhythm and Latin styles where the partnership is farther apart to accommodate Latin/Cuban Motion. The singularity of the partnership is the basis for generating FEELING in Ballroom Dancing.

Envision the "core" of the dancer as a sphere the size of a volleyball sitting on top of where the two legs come together. This is as low to the floor as we can get and still have control of our balance. This is slightly lower than the physical center of gravity of a dancer generally described as about two inches below the belly button. The "core" can be thought of as a spherical "Yin" and "Yang". The "Yin" is defined as the feminine side and the "Yang" is defined as the masculine side. The intention of "Yin" and "Yang" is to be complementary, not opposite. "Yin" and "Yang" together represent the whole (the two-headed four-legged animal). This is an ideal concept for the Ballroom Dance Partnership. Using the "Yin-Yang" concept, a single partner would contain half of the "core" (sphere), a "Yin" and the other partner would contain the other half of the partnership, the "Yang". The partnership would contain the complete "core" (sphere), the whole "Yin-Yang".

The goal in the Ballroom Dance partnership is to keep the "Yin" and "Yang" as physically close as possible (making it whole). It feels as if the "Yin" and "Yang" are connected to each other no matter what position the two dancers' bodies are in. The "Yin-Yang" connection may stretch, turn or distort, but it always stays connected.

The individual dancers' "Yin" and "Yang" (the two dance partners' half "cores") are diagonal to each other because of the partnership offset. Dancers often try to use this diagonal connection to unify the partnership but with only limited success. The problem is the "Yin" and "Yang" is centered in the individual dancer instead of being centered in the whole partnership. It is very difficult to try to connect and maintain the two partners diagonally. It is much easier and more efficient if the "Yin" and "Yang" are directly opposite each other.

In "Closed Dance Position", the individual dancers "Yin" and "Yang" (half cores) are diagonal to each other. The individual dancers' "Yin" and "Yang" (half cores) must be moved slightly to the right so the "Yin" and "Yang" are directly aligned in the partnership. It is very important for the dancers to use the partnerships' "core". The partnerships' "core" location is based on the sum of the two partners' physical mass. The partnerships' "core" is located slightly to the right of the individual dancers' "core" (about two to three inches). The individual dancer feels like his/her "core" is slightly to the right side but it feels in the center of the partnership directly opposite of his/her partner.

This all seems quite complicated, but very fundamentally, the individual dancers, half "cores" must move to the right so the half "cores" of the individual dancers are opposite each other (in Closed Dance Position) and are now the partnerships' complete "core". The complete "Yin-Yang" is the "core" of the partnership not the half "cores" of the individual dancers. "Yin" and "Yang" are directly aligned to each other in the partnership not the individual dancers. The movement of the partnership will feel dramatically different and will have a feeling of complete singularity.

The "Yin-Yang" connection has to be maintained so it never changes, no matter what the position of the partners in the partnership. Even if a partner executes a full turn, "Yin" and "Yang" still stays connected and that connection is never compromised. This enables the partnership to move and act as a single entity, (the two-headed four-legged animal).

This seeming slight change of the "core" to the "Yin-Yang" concept will have an immense impact on your partnerships' movement and the partnerships' feeling in your dancing.