Learning to dance can be fun but also very frustrating. Most of the time, that frustration can be avoided by learning a few simple fundamentals. So I am writing these blogs to help people learn to dance with some easy tips. Today I want to talk about how to learn the basic positions for ballroom dancing.
Ballroom Dancing vs. Latin American Dancing
Before start, let me clear something up, people often refer to Ballroom dancing to include Latin American dancing. For example, if you google ‘learn the basic positions for Ballroom dancing’ it inevitably brings up something about Latin dancing. This does not mean that you are searching for wrong thing but for some reason, Ballroom dancing on the internet seems to include Latin dancing too. So let me assure you the dance world refers to Ballroom dancing as the following dances:
- Viennese Waltz
Whereas the Latin American Dances are:
- Cha Cha Cha
- Paso Doble
There are other Latin dances as well, such as salsa and mambo, however these are in a different category in the dance world.
Learn the Basic Positions for Ballroom Dancing
Now we have cleared that up, we can continue on the subject of ‘Learn the Basic Positions for Ballroom Dancing’.
To learn the basic positions for Ballroom dancing is essential to any kind of success. So today I am going to start by how we should stand up. I am going to start with some general principles. (Before the other dance teachers start jumping up and down, I know this will start to vary across dances but it’s a good starting point).
- Stand with the feet together in a normal relaxed manner
- Bring your bodyweight over the balls of the feet.
- The position of your knees will change depending on the dance (we will cover this in more detail in another blog)
- The position of your hips and pelvis also depend on the dance
- Straighten your spine (Make sure you try to minimise the curve in your lower spine)
- Raise your rib cage and tone your core (do not just breathe in)
- Do not raise your shoulders (this will be tempting when you raise your rib cage)
- Remember your spine goes up into your skull and therefore you must keep your head up
Watch your Head
These few steps are all you need to learn the basic positions for Ballroom dancing. They will help you stand-up and achieve a better balance. The final point about your head is so important. The head is the heaviest part of your body…it appears that even small brains can weigh a lot… Move your head around and watch how it affect your balance. Look to your right and your hips will move and the same for the left. Take your head down and your pelvis moves back and so forth. Remember when dancing, every part of your body will affect another part whether you are conscious of it or not.
In order to learn the basic positions for Ballroom dancing, the body weight is crucial. It must be kept forward over the balls of the feet at all times with the heels remaining in contact with the floor. You will be surprised how many people dance with their weight back behind them on the heels. This is a sure way to fall over. Think of walking on ice. Think about how you always fall back. This is simply because you walk with your weight back when on slippery surfaces.
Rubies Theory Class
We do a class on a Sunday afternoon that is essentially a training class for future teachers. It is held at 4-5pm at Egham Youth Centre. However, we have many students that attend the class, not because they want to teach, but simply because they can learn the basic positions for Ballroom dancing. Gaining this expert knowledge will eventually help them become a better dancer. If you are interested in learning more about this class please visit our class page or you can visit our facebook page for the latest news and events.