Let’s face it. Even strong dancers have weaknesses and even dedicated dancers have some lazy slips. We have all heard that it is great to go back and study the basics, whatever your level might be – there is really no argument there – but you can also do things that are specific to the type of weakness or slip you have, and you can learn new skills at the same time. Here are 5 Cures for 5 Dance Weaknesses in 5 Types of Ballroom Dancers.
1. You Over-Complicate things and Annoy your Coach:
Consider going to a kid’s group class.
Your profile: You are a hard driving, dedicated and serious dancer. You have no time for anything too simple because you thrive on challenge and need to know every bit of detail that could possibly exist.
Your strength: Your personal ambition
Your weakness: You make everything more difficult than it needs to be
Your cure: A kid’s group class
Whether you participate or just watch, it will become clear to you how champions can grow from simplicity. A kid’s cha cha for example, is pretty mechanical, but clearly sharp. With that sharpness, it is not hard to see how a bit of finesse over time will make those little dancers look phenomenal. The thing is those kids probably didn’t dwell on the details of what looks phenomenal. They were having too much fun in the moment, and learning what they were being taught at that moment.
The bonus: It will help you connect with the joy of dancing
Be aware: Ballroom kids can easily humble ballroom adults
2. You have a slight problem with Specifics and Consistency.
Consider joining a formation dance team.
Your profile: You seek variety. You thrive on musicality. You never do anything exactly the way you are told to do it. You perhaps spent a lot of time in detention during elementary and high school.
Your strength: Creativity.
Your weakness: Precision.
Your cure: A Formation Dance Team.
Formations take dancing with precision to a whole new level. The specifics of each more and the shape of each line will be clearer to you than ever before. You will learn control and be better off for it.
The bonus: Responsibility. The beauty of formations is the commitment of each team member every other member. No one slower, faster, bigger or smaller in any move, or the entire look falls apart. Every success also feels several times bigger since it comes from the heart, soul and dedication of many, and that is pretty sweet.
Be aware: If you get too into formation type movement, you might start to unconsciously mimic people on the street as you are walking behind them. This could get you beaten up.
3. You know every step by the book but you looking more stiff or Bored than Sharp.
Consider a weekend of intensive workshops in Zouk or Contact Dance.
Your profile: You probably prefer fast dances, and are a bit off with the slower ones. This is because you can get through everything quickly, but are a bit stressed when you have to develop a move too much. You prefer to get to the finish line, than take the scenic route.
Your strength: A quick learner.
Your weakness: Fluidity and connection.
Your cure: Zouk or Contact Dance.
A few classes in contemporary dancing might help you, but the heavy duty cure is one of the emerging dancing where connection and flow is everything. Zouk and Contact Dance are two of the best examples. In Zouk you move in circular semi-horizontal posture and let your head move in a circular flow. In contact dance, your movement is fairly unstructured and builds from the exact direction and energy that your partner happens to give you.
The bonus: You will become very, very aware of your body, and how you and your partner transmit energy and movement to each other.
Be aware: If you get too deep, you better warn your partner that any lead or response that is a bit too strong might catapult you across the floor or have you rebound like a slingshot and take him or her out.
4. You Can Not dance with anyone other than your Partner/Teacher. Sign up for a few Jack and Jill competitions.
Your profile: You like familiarity and are comfortable with choreographed routines, but may get annoyed with floorcraft variations. You also avoid social dancing like it is the plague
Your strength: Memory.
Your weakness: Adaptability.
Your cure: Jack and Jill competitions.
Unlike social dancing where you can claim that the challenge with partner switches is unknown and mismatched levels of skill, a Jack and Jill competition has competitive dancers of defined skill levels. The kicker is that partners are randomly matched. Jack and Jills will make you open up so you are able to dance with freedom and spontaneity.
Be aware: The first time will quite certainly freak you out. Just breathe deeply and go with it. It is pretty awesome.
5. Your dancing looks like everyone else’s dancing.
Consider getting into the spotlight with a Showdance.
Your profile: You are technically strong, and dance to the character of the dance well enough to place, but no one would ever be able to pick you out from the pack based on what can be seen of your dance personality.
You strength: You likely dance solidly, considering your level.
Your weakness: Dancing at your level is your only strength.
Your cure: A showdance.
In a showdance, you have the chance and the responsibility to show huge personality – even if it is a character’s personality and not anything similar to your own. This is an amazing way to stretch and hone your dramatic skills.
Be aware: Personality in dance, like personality in life, is shown in every gesture and general presence. If you rely on oddly intense facial expressions … well … just look at your video and you will see why it does not work.