Its been a while since my last post. I took a short break from my soap box to think long and hard about one of the biggest problems in the dance world…The Great Divide! We have all witnessed a dance floor split between "The Elite" and "The Rest". The big question is why? Is it that the dancers at the top don't appear to value dances with those with a weaker skill set? or Is it that there is some serious reservations with newer dancers about not feeling worthy to dance up?
You may remember my criticism of several of my peers a couple of months ago. The thought was we promoters barrage you with emails and Facebook invites to attract you to our dances and then they don't dance with us! You arrive with the anticipation of making new friends, hearing new music, trying new moves, and having a dance or two with your favorite leader or follower and as you ask your way up the dance chain you run into a greater amount of resistance. I can't speak for anyone else so this blog post is going to be about how I learned to approach an evening of dancing and maximize my YES factor.
When I was a beginner I would stress my self out working the nerve up to ask someone to dance. I spent my early years trying to "Dance Up" as often as humanly possible. By diving head first into the deep end, I learned much much quicker than I would have had I played in the kiddie pool all night. Like Babe Ruth I hit a ton of home runs, many followers were more than gracious with their time and I could not be more thankful. Also like The Babe I lead the league in strike-outs week after week. No one has been turned down more than I…NO ONE!
Being turned down for any reason can be a severe blow to anyone's ego and I am no different. Its as much a part of the dance experience as taking the lesson before the dance starts and since I am not going to boar you with a blog about taking the lesson, I am not going to go any further than…People say NO! Today's article is more about how to earn "yes" more often. The operative word in the last sentence is "Earn". Market Basket doesn't owe you free groceries and no one that paid to get in to that dance owes you a dance…The rest of this article is here:
The first dance with anyone is your opportunity to make a great first impression. Its no different than meeting someone for the first time at a dinner party. You would never start a conversation with a complete stranger with "I am not worthy of talking to you" or "I am new to talking with people so I don't want to make you uncomfortable by talking to you right now". In the same way confidence is a way to make new friends at a dinner party, its for sure the way to find your self on the receiving end of repeat dances from better dancers.
During your dance it is so important to be in control and solid with your basics. If your goal is really to get better you need to experience what good basics feel like with someone who knows how to do them. If you start the dance with "I am a beginner" you can clear the air from any expectations on your partner's part and any residual nerves on yours. Knowing that you are new to the dance, they will sharpen their lead/follow and give you a great ride.
They best compliment that a more advanced dancer can pay you and your solid basics is to "play" with you and the music as they begin to feel confident that your basics will not be affected by their embellishments. Better dancers "play" with each other and the music throughout the entire dance. If your partner starts to "play" with you take the compliment and DO NOT make the mistake of trying to match what they are doing. Just let it happen, enjoy the show, and graciously take the compliment.
The better you dance your dance (basics) the more appealing you are as a partner to a truly advanced dancer and here is the reason why. Advanced dancers are looking to level up themselves. Beginners are a great place for Advanced dancers to practice new patterns and footwork because beginners are going to dance the basic throughout the pattern making them selves a clean slate. If both dancers are embellishing it can be very difficult to tell if either embellishment would work on its own.
The moral of this story is two fold:
Learn and become proficient at your basics.
When you dance with a more advanced dancer, dance your basics as well as you can and hold on for the ride of your life!
Try this with 3 dancers that you consider better than you and see if after one month you don't have 3 new friends that continue to say yes time and time again!
See you Every Sunday:
Longfellow Club JoEllen
524 Boston Post Rd
WCS @ 6:00pm
2-Step @ 6:45pm
Wednesday, May 15th
Twirl the Girl
N. Providence, RI
Friday, May 17th
DNE School of Dance
78 Princeton St
N. Chelmsford, MA