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Learning To Dance - When Does a Non Dancer Become a Dancer?

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

So here's the question. How much do you need to know before you can 'Dance'? Is there a set standard you must obtain in your chosen dance style before you can proudly say "Yes I can dance that dance." Should you have to pass an exam do a test or be pronounced 'A Dancer' by a higher authority or is the fact that you can dance a Jive or Cha Cha something that you can credit to yourself once you feel proficient and confident enough in your own abilities.

Put another way if I went to a dance class and learnt enough Waltz steps that I could repeat enough times to see me through a complete song and get me successfully around the floor can I then say that "I can dance a Waltz." Likewise for any other form of dance. If you can do a few moves or steps, repeat them enough times and carry them off in a reasonably confident manner can you then truthfully say that "Yes, I can dance that dance" even if it does need fine tuning with regard to the detail.

I'm sure there are many that will say that dancing is not just about being able to do a few steps, you need to make sure your posture is correct, your footwork is spot on, your hands are in the correct position, your head is facing the correct way, you're wearing the correct shoes, so on and so on. But is this all really necessary if you're an enthusiastic, social dancer who is learning for fun and does it all have to be learnt before you can say that you can dance?

The reason for the question is not simply to judge whether someone can dance or not but rather to ask at what point in the learning process do you go from being a non dancer to a dancer. For those learning to dance the question may not seem that important because as long as you are learning new things and making headway it does not really matter if others think you can dance or not. It does make a difference however to those who teach others to dance. If a ballroom dancing teacher, for example, thinks that before you can dance properly you need to learn all of the technical stuff they will try and teach all of that technical stuff. This adds a massive amount of extra information on top of the basics thereby slowing down progress, adding to frustration and ultimately discouraging the pupil from continuing. The pupils definition of learning to dance might be completely different to the teachers definition.

The vast majority of people who learn any form of dancing do so for fun, it's something that they can do with their partner or spouse, the danger is that they learn a few steps but then get bogged down in the intricacies of footwork and posture. Sure getting the right foot in the right place at the right time whist holding a posture somewhere about the correct position is important but should all those factors be perfected at the expense of the enjoyment of learning new steps. After all most people will only dance at family or friends weddings or on holiday where most of the people watching will have never had a dance lesson in their life. To them you will look like an expert even if your toe hit's the floor before your heal or your head is facing the wrong direction or even, total disaster, you are looking at your partner and chatting.

I guess that the way you judge whether someone else can dance or not depends on your own abilities. If you have never tried any kind of dancing then someone who can do a few steps of Salsa is a 'dancer' where as to and expert Salsa dancer that same person would probably go unnoticed.

Surely the top priority when learning to dance, and more importantly when teaching others to dance, is that the students keep interested, keen and engaged. Getting that sense of achievement that is gained from completing a circuit of the dance floor without going wrong while dancing a Waltz, Quickstep or Foxtrot or getting through an entire song while dancing a Cha Cha, Rumba or Jive must be the top priority even if the foot work falters or the posture slumps. Is that the point at which you can say "Yes I can dance," even if a little more fine tuning is needed.

What ever your dancing standard or ambitions at you can learn new steps, find new music and share your favourite dance videos.

Source: EzineArticles
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