One of my favourite things about ballroom dancing is that the better you understand it, the easier and more effortless it gets. And since effort – or at least uncontrolled, forced effort – can be damaging to our bodies, there’s some serious health pluses as well.

I’ve talked a lot about keeping ourselves healthy, but not yet about how dancing BETTER means dancing LONGER into life. Let’s explore how to improve our dancing and our body health – at the same time. Continue reading “Dancing for Life, Part Four: Sustainable Dancing”

How exactly can we develop this awareness inside of ourselves and apply it to dancing?

It’s a question I attempt to answer in this video:
Continue reading “Dancing for Life, Part Two: Getting to Know Our Bodies”

Ballet. Hip hop. Jazz. Contemporary. By comparison, Ballroom Dance is often found wanting, described as ‘stiff, flat, and lacking real self-expression.’ But an expressive dance is defined by more than range of motion alone.

True, you are compromising for your partner, sacrificing some movement so you can move better together. But there’s plenty of character that can still be conveyed, not only through each of you separately, but in the story you tell together.

You now know how moving slowly through your steps can help your dances. So, how can we use ‘slow motion dance’ in our practice?
Continue reading “The Art of Slow Motion Dance”

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 “3 Ways Slow Dancing Helps With Fast Dancing”

Whether you’re a man or a woman, your hips tell your dance partner a lot about you: how relaxed you are, how playful, how comfortable with your sexuality. So it should come as no surprise to know that, especially in the Latin clubs, one of the big indicators of your popularity as a dancer is how smoothly and sexily you can shake it down.

In previous articles on sexy hip movement, we explored the basic form of Latin hip movement, called Cuban motion, and I highly recommend ballroom beginners start there. For those of you a little more familiar with your body’s mid-section, here’s five more moves to develop some sexy hips!
Continue reading “5 Dance Moves for Sexy Hips”

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.
Continue reading “MORE Roadblocks to Better Balance”

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 new born 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. 
Continue reading “Roadblocks in Your Dance Balance Training”                                             

So, you’ve got work to finish, children to drop off at hockey practice, and still need to find time to cook dinner. And then the sink backs up. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most people, the situation above would likely generate a large amount of that unpleasant reaction known as stress. While you might be tempted to just pop some Prozac or hop on a flight to the Caribbean, there’s actually a lot of evidence that points to dancing as an effective stress-reliever. The following is my top 5 ways that dancing relieves stress.
Continue reading “5 Ways Dancing Relieves Stress”

One of the most frustrating barriers to becoming a great ballroom dancer is a lack of feeling for ballroom dancing music. You can know the moves, the technique, all of it, but if you can’t step on the beat or recognize where the ‘1’ is, everything still feels awkward.
Continue reading “Spotting Patterns in Ballroom Dancing Music”