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Want to know how to improve your dancing?

Watch the dance teacher when you are in class.

But you already do that, you say to yourself. I’m not talking about when the teacher breaks down the moves and talks it through bit by bit. What I’m talking about is watching the teacher’s technique, their style and how they make the moves look good. You can learn more than just the moves from a good teacher.

During the class you’ll be taught a set of moves from start to finish to make a routine. In some cases the teachers will just go through the moves in class but not necessarily teach styling – how to make the moves look good.  If you are not watching closely and figuring out what the teachers does to make the moves look good, then your only getting half the benefit of the dance class.

It can be overwhelming in the beginning when you’re focused on which hand to use, and where your feet go. When you’re fairly comfortable, start really watching the teachers.

What are you looking for? Here are some tips:

  • Height levels – are they bending knees to become lower or reaching up to create height?
  • Speed – are the moves fluid or staccato?
  • Angles – are the partners facing each other or away?
  • Hands – are they elegant, in pockets, on hips, up in the air?
  • Arms – are they straight, curvy, pointed?
  • Legs – how big are their steps, do they end up feet together or in a “pose”?

You want to develop your own style, not become a clone of a teacher. Different teachers have different styles and if you can pick up the best of what each teacher has to offer it will make you a better and more versatile dancer. Take what works for you. Going to parties is a great way to see a range of styles, there will be lots of different teachers and dancers.

Finally when you are unsure of how a move is done, don’t hesitate to ask the teacher at the end of the class. Most teachers will be more than happy to answer your question and help you with anything that you need a hand with.

So don’t just go to class to learn moves and the routine. Pay close attention to how the teachers dance and move around the dance floor. Don’t neccessarily rely on what the teacher says when learning the moves in class, try and pick up on all of the non-verbal cues as well. Don’t limit yourself to one particular teacher, visit different classes to learn a variety of styling tips.

What has helped improve your dancing when watching the teacher? Let us know on the comments below.


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Counties Dance

St Patrick Church Hall
133 Seddon St
Pukekohe
Franklin
South Auckland

Email: info@countiesdance.co.nz
Phone: 021 764 144
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