My first and probably best tip for beginners is concentrate on the steps and on your own without your partner. I’m mostly self taught, so I have learned everything the hard way, by my mistakes. I will now give you a classic example.
In the last blog I told you about Mary my first wife, I’m now going to give you a little anecdote about my second wife Karen, both died of cancer which was terrible but they were both very beautiful women and special to me, and a huge part of my life plus my dancing did involve them.
Unlike Mary, Karen was a very experienced dancer, she won trophies for highland dancing (Scottish traditional dancing), so I thought she would pick up ballroom dancing very easily, was I wrong on this one, let me tell you what happened.
We had booked a cruise in the Mediterranean for our 10th wedding anniversary, this was in 2008 and of course ballroom dancing was available most days of the two week cruise, I was really keen and persuaded Karen to come with me. On the first day, the ballroom was mobbed and there was one couple teaching so we took our partner and of we went, the teachers showed us the basic steps and of we copied, not quite. I could work out the steps from counting because of my musical experience, I’m not saying I got it right away, I simply new what was going on, I just had to train my brain to remember the steps. Karen had a completely different method, she would watch the couple in front of her and get behind someone who was quite!! Good. What I know now is we had different ways of learning, Karen was 100% visual and I was 50% visual and 50% rhythm, which meant that I was learning twice as fast as she was, so we had a few differences of opinion on what to do, ok we argued. Karen took sea sickness and missed the next two sessions so I went on my own and did the steps on my own, and the female dance instructor came over to me and asked me where Karen was, “in bed sea sick“. So she started to give me some personal attention, which was great it was her that explained to me the different ways of learning and suggested that we memorise the steps on our own, good idea eh! No! Karen was not going to dance on her own but that didn’t stop me, so of I went and memorised the steps for a Cha Cha Cha and a Fox Trot.
This is exactly what happened next, when Karen was feeling better, I talked her into having a go with me in the cabin, what happened next was almost unbelievable, when I took her in hold, I walked through the steps with her, about three times at about half speed, then I did it again in tempo and we went right through a basic and a couple of other steps for both dances. We were so good the instructor asked us to demo it for the group, Karen was against this at first but we agreed and did the dances for the group, everyone was amazed at our progress.
The instructor explained what had happened and made this point; “In ballroom and Latin the man needs to take the lead and be dominant” There you have it guys, the one place where you can be dominant is on the dance floor!
My dancing story has huge gaps but I always wanted to dance, in the next blog I will tell you why I started to tap dance, yes I started tap dancing and Love It.
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