Be a Better Ballroom Dancer part 2
In this blog I’m going be giving three more top tips on how to be a better ballroom dancer.
So my first tip is to question whether you really need a lot of space to practice.
I often hear students say that they haven’t got a ballroom to go and to practice in. Well, very few people have. I understand that sometimes difficult to get studio time, but there are some things that you can do at home where you don’t need a lot of space in order to get better at ballroom dancing. So things like posture, hold, the links between steps, what the feet are doing regarding footwork. There are loads of things that you can do at home or on a very small space that will improve your dancing, that when you come into the studio, and you do have more space, then you can make more out of that time.
Do I need a partner to practice?
Well in essence, no, you don’t. And I feel really strongly about this. Obviously if you go ballroom dancing you have to have a partner. However in order to practice to get better, you don’t need a partner to practice. And it’s a real misconception that the only way that you can practice is to be dancing with someone else. The number of times when I was competing that I had lessons on my own and also when my partner was injured, I was able to go in the dance studio and practice, there is no excuse for you as an individual to become absolutely fabulous regardless of who it is that you dance with.
Obviously there were certain things you can’t practice particularly when you don’t have a partner. But if you are dancing on your own, there are so many things you can focus on and that you can do that are relative to you regardless of who it is that you dance with. So the excuse of not having a partner is no reason not to become a better Ballroom dancer.
My third point is to question how much time you need.
Most of the people that come to have lessons at the school are usually people that have what I call proper jobs. They are not career dancers, they come to take exams or, for them it’s a bit of escape, it’s about having better fitness, meeting people, but they are not career dancers. They often say that they want to get better but they don’t have time to practice. Now I understand that we all have commitments outside of the studio but just doing a few minutes every day or in fact every week will add up and make a difference.
If you just did a couple of minutes every week of a particular thing, that would have benefit when you come into the studio. It’s kind of this concept of incremental change, lots of small changes which will add up and compound over time so just because you can’t do hours and hours and hours in the studio, it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve.
One of my coaches once told me a story about one of his students who was a very good amateur dancer, but that his posture wasn’t so good, and he said he realised that when he came in for his lesson and he only have an hour, that he would have one hour of focus on his posture. But unfortunately he worked in an office whole day and he sat at his desk for eight hours with bad posture, so in the words of my coach he was losing 7 - 0 because he had eight hours of bad posture and 1 hour of good posture. So one way that he could have practiced would be to have good posture at work or ay least just be aware of it. Now he’s not in a dance studio, and he’s not actually practicing his dancing, but he is practicing something that will improve his dancing. So always question how much time that you need. I don’t think you need a lot to improve certain aspects of your dancing.
So the third and final point is to make sure you’re aware of how much time you actually need.