Dance help

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Mooski, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Mooski

    Mooski New Member

    I'm sure you get sick of this question, I almost feel half-idiotic to post this, but I need some help (In 2 areas actually).

    First of all, I have a school prom April 29th. (About 1 week or so) (Yes you know whats coming). I have absolutely NO dancing experience ever, I cannot dance. At the very least, I just want to be at least able to "move" to the music if the situation calls it. (Dancing will probably be at a minimum for me there). I've lurked on this forum for a while, read all of the beginner threads similar to this, but I'm not sure what if I'm doing is right or not. In fact, I sort of feel somewhat wooden, and look stupid. I do have some amount of self-confidence but not enough to go out onto the floor lookingl ike a complete fool ;)
    I play/have played many instruments, which does build ontop of the fact that I do have a realy strong natural rhythm, as it were, so can anyone help me with just some pure basics? (The type of music will vary, (not all of it is my choice :p) but mostly will be 70s, 80s and 90s pop/soft rock/dance and the like). A good thing however, is the prom coming up has made me to realise that I realy would like to know how to dance, which brings me onto my second question...

    I understand there are many different styles and I've tried reading up on them, but I am considering taking dancing up. It would most probably be "solo" style (ie. not with a partner) and applicable to todays modern music, mainly dance/hip-hop, but perhaps know a bit of basic partner dancing if the occasion should arise. Any advice on which style I should consider? I am pretty open minded when it comes to music and the such, so if I like the sound, I'm game. 8)

    I should be sticking around these forums for a while, so cya soon, and thanks for any help :D
     
  2. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Hey Mooski! And welcome! 8)

    As you say, there are a number of threads on this sort of thing. In general I would say that the best way to learn dancing is the same as the best way to learn automotive skills. By taking a class with someone.

    There are many, many hip hop, jazz, tap, modern classes that are around if that's what you're most interested in learning. There's nothing quite like partner dancing, though. You'd probably be most prepared for the prom if you took some classes in partner dancing--East Coast Swing, Rumba, and Salsa would be a pretty good mix. Maybe Waltz. With the first three, you can lead the dances pretty early on in your learning, so you don't need to be dancing with partners who know the dance to lead it. The Waltz takes a little more know-how on both sides.

    Um, I'm assuming you'll be leading?
     
  3. Mooski

    Mooski New Member

    I don't think I'd have enough time to get organised and join a class before the prom (it's in a week or so) but like I said, I would like to learn to dance anyway. I've done a bit more reading and I think I like the sound of East Coast Swing, so thats a big possibility. It would be a case of finding the right teacher most likely. There is a place near us that offers both group and private lessons in many styles, including East Coast Swing so I might check it out, and consider private lessons, as although I see no problem with actually dancing, as a 16 year old boy I would feel pretty stupid joining a dance class...I know, stupid isn't it :lol:
     
  4. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Let me tell you something, lad. Nine years from now you're gonna be 25. And when you walk into that salsa club and none of the girls can keep their hands off you because of the way you move, or everyone is dreaming about waltzing with you at a dance comp, or people are lined up to West Coast with you, you're gonna thank me.

    Sign up for a class. 8)
     
  5. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi Mooski! Welcome. 8)

    I have a busy day today, too, so I'll be back to post stuff later. Just a couple quick comments.

    1. A lot of guys your age feel self conscious about dancing. But (here's a hint. Don't tell anybody. LOL) Dancing is a quick and easy way to meet lots of girls.

    2. With just a week before your prom, barring crash (and expensive! :shock: ) private lessons, your best bet, IMHO, is to turn on the radio and dance all the time. Around the house, in your room, in the car. Just move to the music, so you get comfortable feeling and moving to music. Keep your moves fairly small and understated, and you'll be feeling fine in no time. I bet you look fine, already.

    I'll be back this evening with some thoughts on dance lessons, etc. But for now, just relax, and let yourself bop around to the music, and you'll be way ahead of the game.

    Welcome to the forums. :D
     
  6. Mooski

    Mooski New Member

    See, that would be the main problem. I have no problem whatsoever with any other people OUTSIDE the class knowing if I dance or not. For me, it'd be being the complete beginner in a group with lots of, well, more seasoned girl dancers. Although I suppose that could be fun once I get better :p:lol:

    In all seriousness, thanks a lot. I look forward to the day when I can dance like a.....erm..a dancer :wink:

    Nick
     
  7. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I wouldn't go for East Coast or Salsa, rather Lindy or West Coast. Just had to say it, not gonna start a religious war here :twisted:

    Now, you got one week and you wanna dance solo. Well, get down to it boy :!: Put on some music, and groove. I mean it, the best thing for you now is to get the feel of moving your body to music. :shock:

    How do I groove, I hear you say? Bend your knees a little, listen to the music, try to relax and move with the music. The point is, you don't want to be jerky and stiff. That's why you need to do this. Lower your shoulders and relax your body. Be cool. 8)

    You can't just stand there bending your knees the whole night. You should maybe make a couple of moves now and then too. Reading this site, you've probably picked up a few pointers. Another good thing is too look at some videos on some music channel. The most important here: Keep to the small stuff. Don't go arms and legs all over the place, just keep it simple. Simple and relaxed is always better than flashy but uncontrolled. Stay cool. 8)

    Asking for some moves to use? Sorry, I'm the wrong guy. Not really good at dancing by myself. (And this guy is writing advices in how to do it, what a j... :headwall: ) Probably some other people can help you in the right direction on this. :oops:

    Anyways, use your time and enjoy the music at home this week. It will hopefully loosen you up and make everything easier for you on your prom! :banana:

    Btw: Read the grinding threads too, they might come handy. :ladiesma:
     
  8. jdavidb

    jdavidb New Member

    I've been the new guy in such classes many times. It never is bad at all. Even when I was extremely rusty in ballet after being out for a long time, I went to an Intermediate adult class. I didn't do well, but no one cares. They seem to want ya to just stick with it.

    Once you experience the inside of something like a teen/adult type of beginner class, you'll see that it is aok that you can't do anything yet.
     
  9. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    That is so not an issue, Mooski! There aren't any seasoned girl dancers in a beginner's dance class. Chances are, you'll be the one who picks stuff up most quickly, and you'll get anxious to move on before the rest of the class is ready.

    It's not like walking into a ballet or tap class for the first time, and you feel like you've got to stand in the back. :lol:

    Besides--and here's another pointer for you. Girls like sweet and helpless. They think it's cute. Little do they know.... :twisted:

    Get a class, Slugger. If you're lucky enough to have some girls your own age there--or at least significantly under 30--you'll have a ball.
     
  10. Mooski

    Mooski New Member

    Heh, thanks a lot for the response.

    Looks like I WILL join a group class then. I suppose it'll also be good for getting used to dancing in front of people ;)

    Just wondering, but what do you think Lindy/WC has over EC? I know that they are supposed to be somewhat similar styles. Just curious realy, I know an extremely little bit about a few styles, not too much. Anyone fancy outlining the major parts of each style? :D

    Thanks again,
    Nick
     
  11. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member


    Welcome to df Mooski!! I would give an arm and a leg to be starting out dance at 16. I was a shy introverted kid, I think at that age, only coming out of my shell in college and then starting dance about a year ago, around my mid-20s. I've danced with seasoned girl dancers in classes and as long as you don't pretend that you know more then you do you should be fine. (No-one likes people with inflated egos!!) And as GR said there is something about the mothering instinct that comes out with some of those people, which can turn into something else. And there are some who want guys to learn as they go to al those dances and find that there are a lack of guys, so they have to sit down when they want to dance.

    WCS --- slinky, smooth - R&B sort of music I think. Hoenstly I've seen mostly middle aged people do this, 40s, 50s...I have quite a few friends in the 20s or so who love it, but for the local scene the majority are older people.

    lindy --- big band music -- typical crowd is college age --

    ECS/jitterbug -- more bouncy then the other two -- lots of young people and older ones. You can easily do moves that you learn here to music you normally freestyle to.


    I haven't been into swing for quite a while, as salsa is my thing, so these are just a couple thoughts. I would say go with ECS/jitterbug.
     
  12. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I don't want to do to much A is better than B stuff. And I can only speak from my own experience, which is mainly lindy Hop. (And Tango, but that's a different thing.)

    Lindy,WC and EC has a lot of the same moves, but they're still quite different.

    My personal opinion is that Lindy is the most flexible of the three. You can do everything from smooth slow, to fast and fancy to showy aerials. For me WCS and ECS is sort of on each side of Lindy. Where WCS has more focus on smooth, elegant and sexy while ECS is somewhat simplified, is less smooth but a bit more Rock'n'Roll and suited for faster music. (Others should maybe correct me here, ECS is not something I know too much about.)

    The reason Lindy is more flexible is that both ECS and WCS has evolved from Lindy. Where WCS has focused on smooth, and ECS has focused on easier to learn.

    All three of the dances, even though they have a lot of similar steps, have different feelings. This comes both from style, music and body posture. Where WCS is upright, manly (for men) and sexy, Lindy is more relaxed and cool.

    Where WCS is danced in orderly slots, Lindy and ECS is danced more all over the place. Lindy and WCS also has more connection and body lead than ECS. This gives me a better feeling when dancing, and is also the main reason ECS is less suitable for slower music.

    What you could do if you want to know more is talk to other people. Find out what classes are accesible to you where you live. Look at videos on the net and read more in this forum.

    And keep in mind, I know much more about Lindy than I do about ECS and WCS. So if someone says I'm wrong, listen to them! :D
     
  13. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Personally I don't really enjoy ECS, but I'd have to say that ECS and Salsa probably strike me as the best "starting" points.
     
  14. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Yes. If you know how to lead these dances, you can take someone who doesn't know the dances and lead them in a lot of stuff. You can't do that with WCS or a lot of Lindy.
     
  15. d nice

    d nice New Member

    Boo :!:

    Lindy and wcs are just as good beginner dances, and dancing with people with no experience as salsa and ecs and no more difficult to learn provided you have a real lindy hopper or westie teaching the dance. You go into a ballroom studio don't ask for more than ballroom unless the instructor is a true social swing dancer, part of the lcoal swing scene and preferably travels to swing events out of town. I have never seen my dances butchered so much as when I see them taught by ballroom dancers. Even their ECS looks ridiculous with cuban motion and chasse's and such.

    *shudder*

    Okay to the point. There are a number of things said here that will make your time easier. Turn on the video music channel of your choice (one that reflects the music that will be played) and look how people dance in the videos. Try moving with them and shadowing their movements. Most video choreography isn't really great for doing in a social dance setting without a year or more of experience under your belt, but it will give you ideas about how to move your body in general and get you using your arms legs and body in co-ordination.

    Put the radio to your local pop music station and/or hip-hop and R&B station and just move. Step to the left with the left foot and touch the right foot to the left heel. Repeat to the other side. Do this while keeping your knees slightly bent, waist relaxed, you should have a gentle downward bounce. Make sure to move the bodyfirst foot second (rather than reaching out with the foot first). Slowly make the movement larger covering a little more ground and put some body movement behind it. Keep your arms relaxed and let them move naturally. If you need to do something with them you can snap or clap on the 2 and 4 of the beat.

    This incidently works when slow dancing also. Take the girl in your arms and just do the step touch. Make sure to really listen to themusic.

    One added ebnefit of watching videos and trying to copy them is when you are on the dance floor you can watch your partner or someone else on the floor and do what they do with your own flavor.

    Remember the key to great dancing is to staying relaxed mentally and physically.
     
  16. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    I actually did shudder as I read this . . . I hate that look!

    If I could combine ECS and Jive, I'd be a happier camper!!!
     
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Damon, I agree about the butchering that most ballroom instructors do to non-ballroom social dances. Some of the things I've seen passed off as salsa... :eek:uch:

    Just for the record, I never said that ECS &/or Salsa were easier to learn, just that they struck me as better starting places.
     
  18. Flat Shoes

    Flat Shoes New Member

    I've seen som 'swing' that's being taught at a local professional dancing school. I don't know what it really is, but I know it ain't swinging. :x

    It seems to be based on some swing patterns formalized by ballroom dancers. It has a lot of emphasize on correct turning (1/4 left, 3/4 right etc.) and such, but not very much on leading, connection and dance feeling. It's horrible. :(

    I think it's because it's controlled by some old people who are into this formalized ballroom stuff and has never been part of any swing scene ever. :|
     
  19. Mooski

    Mooski New Member

    I've done some snooping around, theres a local dance school that sounds just up my street. They teach a variety of styles, club, ballroom, latin etc. and a couple that have caught my eye are swing (EC/WC) and jive/jitterbug. Just a small question, in what way does jive vary from jitterbug? Just always assumed they're different but they're grouped together with this.

    "If you were perhaps interested in the Ballroom and Latin dance styles and wanted to compete, I can guarantee that you'd be very popular with the girls because several or on the look out for boy partners, who are in very short supply!" :D:lol::p

    Thanks,
    Nick
     
  20. Genesius Redux

    Genesius Redux New Member

    Woo hoo! Go for it, Nick!

    Ditto what SDsalsa said--I wasn't talking about how easy the dances were to learn, but how easier they were to lead when dancing with someone who doesn't know how. Especially WCS--gentlemen need a lady who knows her own steps! 8)
     

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