Do’s and Don’t’s of Dancing

We found this article on a newsletter of John & Sandy Hayes International Dance School and thought we could share these handy tips

The average man thinks that it’s too difficult to learn to dance and therefore doesn’t even want to try. In fact, it’s actually very simple to learn a few basic movements in each dance, build some confidence on the floor and then have lots of fun and pleasure on the dance floor. It just takes a little bit of practice, learning the basic means of applying the body to the movement to gain the balance and control that is required.

To be able to dance with good balance and control, there is a few things you have to do and also a few things you should not do.

The first few things the Man has to do, is:

Keep your arms up steadily in position all the time. Stand up comfortably straight and not stiff. Make up your mind what step you are going to lead before you get to it. Keep your weight evenly balanced over your feet when still, and when moving, keep it slightly forward all the time. Have a clear idea of the pattern you are going to dance. Listen to the time of the music for the dance. Take the trouble to practice so that you are sure of yourself. Keep your head up so that you can see where you are going. Remember that if you are unsure, the lady will not follow.

The first few things the Lady has to do, is:

Remember the Man is the Leader. Try and keep yourself balanced and not rely on the Man to do so for you. Keep your weight evenly balanced over your feet when still, and slightly forward on all moving steps. Remember, he has to steer as well as lead and that he sets the time that you must dance in. Remember not to rush your movements and also keep your weight upwards in the body, not down. Hold the weight of your own arms up yourself. Wear a dress that is wide enough at the hem for you to be able to move with reasonably-sized steps.

A few things for the Man not to do, is:

When moving forward when dancing:

Don’t thrust the legs forward as if you are stamping on a brake pedal. Don’t push the right arm of the Lady backwards by pressing your own left hand forward as you will unbalance her apart from causing her considerable pain by the end of the evening. Don’t lean over her with your head and shoulders bent forward as this will make her lean back above the waist and in doing so, take her weight too far back which again will unbalance her and make her feel heavy in your arms. Don’t hold her 2 feet away from you as she won’t be able to feel where you are going as you won’t be giving her any body lead. This however does not apply in Dances like the Samba, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Jive, Mambo & other Latin American Dances as the Couple are apart throughout the dance in these Dances. Don’t expect the Lady to have a mental telepathic picture of what figure you are going to dance next or the direction you are going to take. Don’t swing the left arm in a pendulum motion because you are letting it hang down instead of holding it up in its proper position. Don’t lean either to the Right or the Left with the body from the waist up permanently throughout the dance. Don’t hold the Lady so tightly with the Right arm too far around her so that she has no freedom of movement or room to breathe. Don’t make up “twiddlysteps” as you go along.

A few things for the Lady not to do:

Don’t take your body weight on to your right arm and hang on to the man’s left hand. Don’t take your body weight on to your left arm and hang on to the man’s right arm. Don’t lean so far back that the man cannot control you. Don’t lean forward with your head under his chin. Don’t keep your head permanently turned to the right. Don’t sway or swing about with the upper part of your body. Don’t refuse to take a step of more than 6 inches long. Don’t rush your forward steps or hang back on them. Don’t pull the man and try to lead him by leaning backwards. Don’t expect the man to be able to lead you while you are chatting about hairstyles to the lady dancing near you. Don’t wear such high heels that it is impossible for you to move without nearly falling over backwards or forwards. Don’t droop with your weight solidly downwards into your feet so that it is impossible for the man to move you backwards.