If you have been following from Part 1,

I was relating my experiences at the West Coast Swing Dance Camp in Ancaster, Ontario – 5 gruelling days that taught me a lot about what drives us, whether we’ve been dancing for 10 months or 10 years.

The first two days of camp were challenging, but I knew from past experience that the worst – and best – were still yet to come.

In the past, I’ve tried to explain how to improve dance timing in a variety of ways. In return, I’ve frequently met with frustration. I recall one reader brusquely replying, ‘I’m not a music major.’

I needed something simpler, some ideas that worked for anyone. And so, after hours of research, I’m finally ready with five new exercises. I recently used these in a group class, and they worked great! I hope they work for you too. 

Learning dance, especially ballroom dancing, can feel like drinking from the firehose at first. Every new skill you master, just seems to reveal three more dance techniques that take twice as long to develop. How do you know what to focus on first?

Fortunately, there IS a fairly specific order to building your expertise. When learned in the correct order, each of the dance techniques you learn preps you for the next one. 
Continue reading “What Dance Techniques Should I Learn First?”

We get it – it’s fun to dance fast. When you watch performers cutting a rug dancing salsa, or rocking out to a jive, it seems the ones who catch the eye are those who can pull out the most crazy moves in the shortest amount of time. And don’t get me wrong, those are often the best dancers. What they don’t show you however, is how many hours they spent dancing each step. Much. More. Slowly. Because as it happens, there’s a lot that slow dancing can teach you about dancing fast. 
Continue reading “Slow Dancing Helps With Fast Dancing”

When working on our dancing dreams, a time always comes – usually on a day when both body and mind are feeling bruised – when we wonder if we aren’t kidding ourselves. For many people, this is all it takes for them to give up and walk away. For Les Brown, that’s just another opportunity for growth.

Les Brown was born in an abandoned building in a low-income area of Miami, Florida. In school, he was classified as ‘educable mentally retarded’. And yet, he has since gone on to become a motivational speaker, author, radio DJ, television host, and politician. The following 5 principles he shared in countless speeches, as a way to find the strength to achieve your goals – no matter what. 

Whether you’re psyching yourself up for your first lesson, hitting up the local dance hall, or making your checklist for an upcoming competition, bringing the appropriate ballroom dancewear is essential. After all, you don’t want to be the only one in a business suit, do you? Or the only one who forgot to bring a towel? Continue reading “Essential Ballroom Dancewear for Any Event”

I teach a lot of students every year, each one presenting me with the different challenges that make teaching them so interesting. And yet, whether they fall out of turns or over-shape on a tango corte, it’s amazing how many of their issues come from a since source: lack of balance. In fact, I would argue that if we all worked to gain better balance,

over 90% of our challenges in ballroom dance would become non-issues.

During your balance training exercises, you will inevitably encounter periods of ‘balance block’, where you could swear you’ve ticked all the boxes, yet you’re still wobbly as a newborn kitten.

Treat these roadblocks as tests, making sure you are really committed to your ballroom balance training. In the end, you’ll always find something that was missing, accelerating your body control and awareness. To speed you along however, these are some common causes of balance block you may encounter.