Be a Better Ballroom Dancer
In this video I’m going to be giving you my three top tips of how to be a better ballroom dancer.
Now a lot my students would come in to lessons and say that they have problems practicing outside of the studio. These top tips will help you make the most of your lesson time, and make the most of the time away from the ballroom.
My first top tip is: Make Notes.
I get all of my students to do this, I really strongly advice you to make notes. I did it throughout the entirety of my dancing. Sometimes I would come out of the lesson I’d write it all down, sometimes I put it on my own words, sometimes I'd type it up but I always got it down on paper. You need to "think in ink".
By doing this, it means that you’re making the most of the time with your teacher, or making the most of the time in your practice. It also means by being specific on what you’re trying to achieve, you'll hopefully get better a lot quicker. I still, even today, visit the notes I’ve wrote years ago when I had lessons with my various teachers. So I encourage all of my students as soon as the lesson is over, or even during the lesson, to write down some notes.
And it’s notes that are written in their words. So it doesn’t matter if someone else reads it and it doesn’t make sense to them.
My second tip is: To Think.
The number of times I have a student that comes in to the lesson and the first time of the lesson is basically them revising what they learned previously, what they’ve been practicing. Now I know that thinking isn’t a physical act, but if they spent 45 minutes on the the tube to get to the studio, they could’ve been sat down reading their notes, or they could’ve been sat there thinking about what it is that they are going do in the lesson, or what it is they’re gonna do in the practice.
I used to do this throughout all of my dancing when I went to lessons, or I went competitions, or I went to shows. Prior to actually getting into dance floor, I would be thinking through what it is that I wanted to improve on, what I want to practice, or I wanted to make sure happened or perhaps wouldn’t happen. For me it was so so important be thinking about that
My third top tip is to: Be able to talk about it.
Now you all have often heard people say “If I knew then, what I knew now” and certainly in dancing you’ll hear a lot of teacher say they understand principles now far more than when they are actually dancing.
So years later when they retire, they begin to understand things more. And I think one of the reasons this happens, is because they talk about it a lot more, particularly when they are trying to communicate to a student. So in my lessons I often say to students "look.....what are you trying to do there?" And if they can’t articulate it to me, I know that they don’t fully understand it. If a student says “I don’t want to say because I’ve got it all up here” .....that concerns me. If I push it a little bit further I’ll say can’t you just tell me what is it you’re trying to do? Why are you trying to do this? And if their not clear on it then there’s a problem.
If the student could be absolutely crystal clear, and say on this step I am trying to do this because of this and this is how I’m gonna do it. If they say it, it would be linked to what they’re thinking and therefore puts a better chance of it getting in the body. So it’s kind of linked to the other points.
The being to talk about it, also shows what you don’t know. So always be able to talk about what it is that you’re trying to do, and this will help you be a better ballroom dancer.