How to dance sway

11 wedding dance tips to make your moment perfect. — Sway Dance Chicago

Learning something new always comes with a few hurdles along the way. So, remember to enjoy the process of learning your wedding dance. After all, these are special moments you’ll want to remember forever and the lessons can bring you and your partner closer (if you let it!). Go with the flow and enjoy every part, even the mistakes and missteps. Here are some great tips to keep in mind when planning for this very special moment.

Plan Ahead and Start Early

Depending on how elaborate you’d like your wedding dance to be, you could need anywhere between five and forty lessons! That means you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure there’s enough time. Our lessons can get you either something simple or a fully choreographed routine, depending on your comfort and time commitment. But, no matter how far in advance you start, we always recommend leaving your last lesson until the week before the big day. The final lesson isn’t about learning any new material but you’ll work out kinks and roadblocks and soak up the last few words of wisdom from your instructor.

Keep It Short and Sweet

Even for a seasoned performer, long numbers can be exhausting and stressful to learn. We recommend keeping your wedding dance under three minutes in the spotlight. Let your instructor know if you need help shortening that five minute long power ballad!

Dancing Date Night!

Use these lessons as a date night away from the madness of planning a wedding. Dance lessons are stress-free, fun, and romantic. Wind down after work and spend some quality time working on something TOGETHER.

Remember Why You’re Dancing

In the weeks leading up to the big day, spend the moments on the dance floor reminding yourselves what it’s all for: moving together, learning together, and having FUN together! Bring a bottle of wine if you’d like, de-stress, and be in the arms of your favorite human.

Give Your Brain a Break

While repetition is definitely going to help you remember the moves once you hit center stage, take a break from drilling every now and then to learn something new! We recommend taking five or ten minutes of each lesson to add another couple of steps to your arsenal to use for different styles. We want to keep you on the dance floor all night long and we’ve got all the right moves to keep you going no matter what the DJ plays on your wedding day.

Bring Wedding Details to Your First Lesson

Plan for your exact wedding layout. Make sure to get a floor plan of your venue. Will there be tables on all four sides? People only standing on one side? Make sure you consider your audience when planning your dance.

What Will You Wear?

Set aside some time (either individually or as a couple) to discuss your exact wedding day attire. There are certain movements you’ll need to avoid depending on your dress/shoe/jacket style. Suit jackets can be more restrictive than you think and each dress style comes with its own set of potential malfunctions. But don’t worry - your instructor will be prepared to work around your wardrobe to make sure you look your best!

Practice in Similar Attire

You’re really going to thank us for this one: practice in attire and shoes as similar as what you’ll be wearing on your wedding night! If you bought brand new heels for the big day, do one or two run-throughs during each lesson in them to avoid blisters on the day. You can also grab a practice skirt from your instructor or bring in a suit jacket from home. Trust us - you won’t regret it.

Remember to Breathe

Don’t forget: these will be the first few moments in your new spouse’s arms! Treat it as such. Encourage each other, smile, smooch, and oh yea - breathe! Soften your knees and relax into the dance. You got this! Bodies are strange and when you feel even the slightest bit nervous, the first few things to go are balance and breath. (This goes for your ceremony as well!) So, be sure to check your breathing. Slow it down, find the floor, and feel each other.

Hit Play Before You Start Dancing

Have whoever’s in charge press play before you hit the dance floor. Starting the song as you walk from your head table to the floor will take up some time in your music AND save you from hearing crickets in case of an AUX cord fumble! Our choreographed wedding dances will account for this intro time too.

Hold Your Watermelons! 

Your instructor will work with you and your spouse-to-be to find the perfect ending to the perfect dance to the perfect song. Make sure your guests have time to take the most insta-worthy photo. Once you settle into that dip, count 1 watermelon - 2 watermelon - 3 watermelon, give each other a smooch, and you are D O N E!

Make your wedding night extra special with an unforgettable first dance.

Contact us today!

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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum —

Swaying gently in the breeze -- palm trees on a beach, waves of grain on the plain, our flag rippling upon a hilltop -- all of these images express the feeling that we can capture by adding sway to our dancing. This article is not meant simply to discuss the round dance figures of sway, oversway, and change of sway, but to consider the body mechanics involved in adding sway into any figure and to discuss when sway is most appropriate and when it is not. Along the way, we will also offer teaching techniques to help you convey sway to others.

Official Definitions of Sway --

In ROUNDALAB's Glossary (Sept., 1998), sway is defined as "a sideward movement with the hips leading and upper body following." ROUNDALAB (RAL) further defines sway as a phase IV action where it is "the inclination of the body from the ankle upward away from the unweighted foot." If you incline the body from the ankle upward away from the weighted foot, RAL calls it a "Hover Sway." If you incline the body to either side from the waist rather than from the ankle, RAL defines it as a "Broken Sway. " RAL defines "Change of Sway" in the phase V actions as "from any sway position without weight change, change stretch of body and head position to opposite direction (there may be body rotation). Timing will vary." RAL also defines "Oversway" in phase IV as "side left (ladies opposite) relaxing left knee leaving right leg extended and stretching left side of body with slight left face turn."

"Promenade Sway" is defined in phase IV as "side and forward left (ladies opposite) turning to semi-closed position (SCP) and stretching body upward to look over joined lead hands, then relax left knee."

Please Explain --

There are common elements to all the definitions above and from them we can get a good feel for sway. (NOTE: Feeling is important; you'll enjoy dancing better if it is more than just a series of foot movements. It's great when body sensations blend with music and a special partner. )

Sway goes sideways with a hip lead: Sways flow. To get the feeling of flow, you move the middle part of your body first and follow with the rest in a sideways wavelike motion. Sway inclines to the side: Technically, sway is simply leaning to one side or the other without a side stretch, body rotation, or rise or fall. But sways are usually combined with all of these actions. Sway naturally combines with side stretch: Sway is a blending action that can extend a movement which goes from one side to the other. Stretching goes especially well with any action like sway that makes movements look larger.

How to Teach "Side Stretch" --

Have your dancers raise both arms straight up. (Assure them that you are not going to rob them but underarm jokes are distracting.) Then have them reach as far up as they can with one hand. They should now be able to feel the stretch. Now have them lower their hands into dance position while keeping their side stretched. Repeat this for the other side. It doesn't matter which foot they are standing on. Note how the stretch does not require a great tilt or bend in the body, nor does it require independent lifting of the shoulder. It may help them to get the stretch by telling them to expand one side of the chest by inhaling and filling it with air (this technique helps to stretch without using the shoulder muscles).

Sway uses the whole side: A full sway uses more than just the side inclination of the torso -- it curves from the ankle, through the lifted hip, then the torso, and all the way through the tilt of the neck and head. (To stretch the head -- smile!)

Sway Positions --

There are four sway positions and swaying is the action of moving into and out of these positions.

  1. On left foot leaning right (Hover Sway) [Right Sway]

  2. On left foot leaning left (Sway) [Left Sway]

  3. On right foot leaning left (Hover Sway) [Left Sway]

  4. On right foot leaning right (Sway) [Right Sway]

RAL has not explicitly defined Left and Right Sway. In the rest of this article, we will refer to positions one and four as Right Sway, and positions two and three as Left Sway.

Applying Sway to Figures --

You can teach sway even to basic phase II dancers. Although sway figures begin at phase IV, the sway action can be added to figures such as the following:

  • Side Two Step -- Use right sway when moving left and left sway when moving right. (Applies equally to man and lady.)

  • Canter -- Same sway action as for Side Two Step.

  • Face to Face; Back to Back -- Use right sway (lady left) during the Face to Face and left sway (lady right) during the Back to Back.

  • Dip Back Recover -- Instead of simply having the lady step straight into the man, have her step in and turn to a reverse semi-closed position with right sway (lady left).

  • Waltz Balance Left & Right -- Use right sway (lady left) during the Balance Left and left sway during the Balance Right.

  • Waltz Two Left Turns -- During the side closes, use left sway when moving right and right sway when moving left.

  • Waltz Left Turning Box -- Same sway as during Two Left Turns.

When to Use Sway --

Use sway to smooth a switch in direction from one side to the other. Use sway to create a bigger look on display figures such as Dip Back, X-Line, Oversway, Promenade Sway, and Change of Sway. Use sway to prepare a "whipping action": Face to Face, Back to Back, Right Lunge, Ripple Chasse, Preparation to Same Foot Lunge. Use sway to accentuate the rise and fall of waltz figures that have a side step: Hover, Box, Change of Direction, Forward Waltz.

When Not to Use Sway --

During figures with no side steps: Two Forward Two Steps, Hitch 6, Cross Walk, Kiki Walk, Patticake Tap, Running Back Locks. In movements requiring rolls, spins, or spirals when partner cannot counterbalance: Twirl 2, Roll 4, Rope Spin, Triple Traveler. In figures requiring other use of hips and body: most Latin figures). In figures having complex arm movements: Tamara, Dishrag, Spanish Arms, Rolling Off the Arms, Miami Special. In figures characterized by sharp, as opposed to blended movements: most tango figures. When you or your partner are tired :-)

Sway Together --

Good sways, no matter how big or how small, happen when both partners sway the same amount, in the same direction, and at the same time. The best way to achieve this is to maintain a good top frame with your partner.

How to Teach "Top Frame" --

Have partners stand facing each other and join lead hands at lady's eye level. Then have the ladies come close enough so that the man can place his right hand on the lady's left shoulder blade (man's wrist/lower forearm should be in contact with lady's left armpit/arm). Man's elbows should both be at the same height off the floor. Lady's left hand should be on top of and slightly behind the man's right upper arm. Men look high over lady's right shoulder and ladies "tilt," not twist, their heads left and look high to their left. This is all familiar to most dancers -- but, if you look around the floor, you will notice that you can see space between the man and lady on most couples.

Tell them to do one more thing -- "BUMP" -- Have each dancer push their waists at each other until they bump and then hold together. Note that the ladies will not have to crane their backs into an uncomfortable position; most of the pressure comes from the lower body, not from the shoulders. Each dancer will now have three contact points with their partner. Tell them not to move anything above the waist and to do the following figures:

Side Touch Side Touch; Side Two Step; Side Touch Side Touch ; Side Two Step; (good sway figures. ) Then try other figures that keep them in closed position. Sideways figures are easiest. Box figures are next easiest. Most dancers can also handle turning figures. You might be ambitious and try maintaining this Top Frame while going to banjo position (i.e., Diamond Turn). Look to see that the three points of contact remain still during all figures. Look for lead hands that may wrongly bob up and down. Look for the lady's head correctly remaining closed in left poise. Look for the man's right hand wrongly slipping down. As a last resort to train dancers to keep the "Bump," you could use a small balloon and have the dancers hold it at the waist. We've also seen teachers use something as thin as a piece of paper instead of a balloon.


None of this advice will be of any value if one partner or the other doesn't want to use it. It is easy to reach frustration point (and even the breaking point) if one partner believes something should be done one way and the other doesn't. Before practicing any of this, talk to your partner and agree to what you want to achieve. Give your partner a kiss -- draw your partner close -- very close -- put your arms around each other -- tightly -- and sway. Try to remember this feeling every time you sway.

Enjoy Dancing!

From clinic notes prepared by Tim & Nana for the ROUNDALAB Convention, June 1999, published in the Journal, winter 1999-2000, and reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, December 2014/January 2015.

90,000 12 life hacks, to quickly learn how to dance from Mamita Dance


Author: Pavel Gather
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa and Tango


Author: Pavel Pavel
Psychologist, Lecturer Salsa

on At the start, you always want to get a quick result. When it doesn't happen, the hypothesis arises that everything takes time. After a conditionally acceptable time, humility comes to mastering pair dances, which, perhaps, is not given, and I will just do what I learned somehow.

This is the most common story of those who believe that the mere act of attending a pair dance class is enough to learn how to dance.
Absolutely not. If you want to really dance well, you have to make an effort outside of the dance class. A good teacher will definitely be needed, but the initiative should be on your side.

1. Listen to music

The most common and accessible advice that is given already in the first lessons. And it definitely works. Music creates a certain atmosphere of the dance and intuitively you want to move to it. It doesn't matter where you listen to music - in the car, on headphones while walking or doing household chores.

An addition that will help you dance better is your active participation in the music. Sing along, dance or simply beat musical accents with any free parts of the body. In the subway, for example, it is enough to tap out bright moments with your fingers, in the car to sing along with sounds, and at home you can jump for pleasure.

2. Watch videos of good dancers

It's complicated, but also obvious. It’s more difficult, because without recommendations from more experienced dancers, unfortunately, it’s not so easy to find a good quality video on the net (I mean not the resolution quality, but the content itself).

Meaningful video viewing is about building an understanding of HOW dancers make a particular impression on a partner or viewer. Technology is at the heart of everything. Understanding how the pros do it is a big step forward.

It is important to distinguish a show from a disco dance, a staged performance from an improvisation, a stylized dance from an authentic one, etc. Ask for recommendations and dance teachers will always throw off a couple of videos of worthy landmarks.

Tango Z. Showreel.

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Tango nuevo is the most advanced version of tango. We can quickly learn to dance from zero to a steep level.

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3. Dance in salsatecas/milongas/discotheques

A very delicate moment when it is worth coming to the first party. From a technical point of view, most students in 1-3 months have a sufficient set of figures and techniques to come and dance calmly. Psychologically, the same moment can be stretched out for an indefinite time. After all, it is imperative to “not lose face”, “learn more figures” and be sure what to do in case “there is an unfamiliar movement”.

In fact, the partygoers don't really care (except for a small layer of non-professional teachers who want to help inexperienced dancers by treating them as customers in the future). It is important to come and try dancing after a month of classes. You can only with friends or guys from your group. This will be enough to feel the adrenaline and inspiration from the dance.

4. Dance with partners or partners not of your level

The conventional wisdom that you need to practice in groups of your level does not withstand the test of experience. Perhaps now your eyes widened in surprise, and you want to meaningfully read the phrase again. Yes, you saw everything correctly: when you dance with a partner of your level, you don’t grow anywhere.

It's important to understand that not only does it work one way and you have to dance with cooler dancers, but it works even more effectively the other way. It is no coincidence that teaching pair dances dramatically raises the level of the teacher himself. You have an endless stream of very beginner dancers.

How it works. A more experienced partner needs to be "stretched". It's easy and obvious. With beginners, you need to take more initiative on yourself, see the general pattern of the dance more widely, turn on and insure more, try to be an example and be more careful. The quality of interaction begins to grow significantly. And wonderful partners too.

Dancing with partners of your level doesn't make you grow. Dance with both beginners and more advanced dancers

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5. Learn to dance for a partner and for a partner

Turks and Argentines are one of the best partners in the world. In Russia, partners are highly valued. Why? The answer is simple. In Argentina and Turkey, it is not questionable for men to ask another man to lead in one piece or another and give feedback on the quality of the lead. For them, it will be a great shame to hear moralizing from a partner, or even more so to be known in the community as an insecure partner.

In Russia, due to the constant, often far-fetched, opinion that there are more women in pair dances, partners calmly get up and study their partner's part. Such partners then grow into very cool dancers and teachers. In no case do this at parties, only in class. Here we are talking only about the learning strategy. At parties, be yourself.

6. Do not memorize the links

Always try to look deeper and understand the through principle and idea of ​​movement. Understanding what and how is done will make it possible to independently generate any sequences and chips.

Human memory is limited and there will always be a moment when something will escape and your repertoire will be limited by the size of RAM.

In Argentine tango, for example, there are seven levels of movement construction that, when mastered, will allow you to make millions of combinations. And how many dance sequences can you really remember? In rueda, more than 150 figures dance in a rare circle. It's hard to keep more in mind.

7. Develop your body

Many years of experience in teaching couple dance shows that as soon as everyone pairs up in a class, any progress in individual style ends. But it is the individual style that distinguishes everyone at the disco: partners change, and style is always with you.

The body as the main instrument of dance must be very plastic, responsive and emotional. Surprisingly, not all pair dance schools have a general physical warm-up. It is vital to tune the body and understand how it works.

You can always train extra and concentrate more on the basic steps, as their true value is as body work. The sequence of steps is, in fact, the simplest thing that can be in pair dancing. The quality of individual performance determines the craftsmanship.

8. Try on the images of inspiring dancers

A psychological life hack for those who have already mastered the steps, but still feel that there is not enough brightness and drive. Most are terribly afraid of being someone else's "clone". Here the action is the same as under the influence of hypnosis - the more you resist, the more you plunge into an altered state of consciousness.

With a high degree of probability, you are already dancing like someone else's "clone". A meaningful fitting of someone else's image is that you mentally take the image of the one who inspires you (inspiration is critical in this case) and "put on" yourself. Then you start dancing and trying to feel in general how it is to be able, for example, to be the best partner or the sexiest partner in a disco. This is much more difficult than it seems. But it works extremely efficiently.

9. Dance to offbeat music

Habitual rhythms keep you tight. Tango salon or speedy timba leave little room for experimentation and fantasy. Pattern dancing is always noticeable and is reserved for beginners.

The truly new is born outside of the usual. Look for places to experiment. If there is no place, organize self-training. The main thing is not to get carried away, because music determines the style. We bring something new to pair dances, rather than trying to change them.

Search, improvise, don’t be afraid to go beyond, develop in different directions, be inspired by music atypical for the style

10. Try your hand at basic dance directions

dances exist according to their own non-choreographic laws.

This is the deepest delusion, which has turned into a ceiling for the qualitative development of partner dances. After all, all professional dancers, for example, in salsa or bachata, build their ideas on the basic choreographic principles.

Do not think that choreography is only applicable on stage. Any meaningful movement of the body can be choreographic. In general, try classical or modern choreography. Basically, hip-hop can work too.

11. Look for battle sensations

Pair dances return us to an active position of manifestation of our body. As in the days of our ancient ancestors, we impress the members of the opposite sex by how dexterous, hardy, sexy, etc. we are. Modern laws of the jungle in the entourage of large cities.

If you look around the dance floor, it becomes clear that the majority are clearly herbivores (not in the sense of vegetarians, but in relation to those around them). I am sure that predators are always more interesting in terms of the attractiveness of the image - try to find a counterbalance among herbivores, for example, a cat woman or a lion man.

The conversation is about an internal position, not about aggressiveness. Lability and lack of control are inherent in adolescents, and not in adult self-sufficient people.

Accordingly, even a training or friendly battle gives, on the one hand, practical skills - to make a bright sequence of movements, bring an idea to a climax, show a spectacular feature, on the other hand, develops the psychological basis of the dance - self-confidence, resistance to extraneous attention, self-control and self-control in complex elements.

12. Communicate with professionals

The environment shapes the internal position. Basically, real passionaries of the dance community are ready to openly talk, discuss and support the development of dance in every possible way. Universal principles and the ideas they articulate have a much longer and more practical perspective than meets the eye.

Accept that, for example, behind the words "listen to your partner" is not only a beautiful metaphor, but also a practical skill to literally listen to your partner. At the same time, always treat every thought, even the most respected teacher, as a private opinion.

Your skill will lie in finding the scope of the idea even in conflicting opinions. Most often, the contradiction is speculative and the truth lies in the angle of perception or situationality.

Your dancing growth will stop sooner or later. This can happen at the level of three basic steps or years of experience in teaching and show performances. Regardless of your level, the suggested 12 life hacks can get you off the ground and greatly accelerate your dance growth. There is no way here without your motivation and activity. Take your dance development into your own hands. 9Ol000 Dangerous sexuality

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How to dance at a party: advice from British GQ editor-in-chief Dylan Jones

The main thing to remember when throwing yourself on the dance floor: no one is looking at you. Do not be afraid that you will be laughed at and that everyone is just waiting for you to get tangled in your own feet. Believe me, no one is interested in this, especially if you behave decently.

In case you have zero experience in dancing - or if you've ever tried and didn't like it - you need to learn two simple truths first. Firstly, women like it when a man dances well, so if you are a complete layman in this matter, you should strain yourself. Secondly, no one expects great things from you in all your endeavors. Personally, I am able to dance to anything, but when a DJ puts on I'm So Excited by The Pointer Sisters or something in the style of drum and bass, I immediately leave the dance floor. Not because I don't like such compositions - although at my age it would be forgivable - but because they are difficult to dance to. Not everyone can rock to any song, so if it has too many beats per minute, or a particularly jagged rhythm, or is too slow (like Just Be Good to Me by the SOS Band), feel free to go to the bar. Don't like reggae? Run to the toilet. Can't help laughing at the new Coldplay hit? Sit down.

If you don't know how to dance at all, but circumstances require it, move by feel. Do not kick your legs - work with your body; bending your elbows, squirm with dignity to the beat of the music. It's really easy! Soon you will become bolder and begin to vary your dance moves; do it in proportion. No one expects you to turn into John Travolta - all his exploits in "Saturday Night Fever" were staged by a professional choreographer, so you should not go out of your way.

A few more important points. Don't slow dance unless you're holding a woman in your arms. Don't try to act like Bruce Springsteen from the Dancing in the Dark video or Kevin Bacon from the movie Loose and dance like a rocker, throwing out your arms and legs at the same time, like a drunken doll. It would also be nice to learn some traditional dance - for example, tango. The easiest way to learn is the twist, which can be danced to anything from Chubby Checker to George Michael's Faith.

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