Assuming you’ve read the previous article, you now know how moving slowly through your steps can help your dances. So, how can we use ‘slow motion dance’ in our practice?

Downgrade the tempo

The easiest way to start getting used to slow motion dance is by choosing a slower beat for a song – aim for something about half the speed you’re used to. For example, I sometimes have my students dance a salsa… but to rumba music. This works for a while, but careful not to do it all the time if you have trouble following the beat!

You might also slow down your favourite songs directly, using various DJ software. Although most of that isn’t cheap, you can download Audacity for free, and use the tempo slider to set the speed you like.

Use one dance to improve another, 
For most fast ballroom dances out there, there is a slow motion counterpart:

Take it easy…Pedal to the metal!
RumbaCha cha
Slow waltzViennese Waltz
Rock & RollJive

You can improve on the faster dances

without even practicing them, just by working on their slow motion dance equivalent. Why? Because the technique is so similar between the fast and slower dances, you can improve on both tech and speed, without dancing to something that feels painfully slowed down.

Dance between the beats,
When practicing slow motion dance, the key is not to wait longer at the end of each step, but to move more slowly so it ‘fills the music’. We don’t want our dancing to look like we’re stomping up a flight of stairs…


…but flowing through like an ocean wave.

It’s all very Zen over here.

If this is difficult or confusing to understand, start simple: Practice walking forward, but slowly. Your chest should never stop moving forward, but you’ll have to keep your stabilizers strong and use steady pressure in your feet to stay balanced. Speaking of which…

Check your balance

Feel like you have to catch yourself to keep from falling over? You might need to back up a step, and work on making 100% weight changes. I’ve written articles here that can help you with that. Underlying issues like balance will continue to sabotage slow motion dance until they’re dealt with, so don’t ignore them!