How to kick higher dance
Teaching & Developing High Kick Technique — SHOWMAKERS OF AMERICA
Audiences truly appreciate viewing a well-crafted high kick routine with skilled kickers performing. And there is nothing better than a routine centered on intricate kick sequences, show-stopping synchronization with solid jazz technique incorporated into the visuals. When I was director/choreographer of the Texas State University Strutters, I often would end their routine by having the team execute a traveling airborne split leap (connected) and landing in a perfect split. This was their signature trademark, and at the time it was always a big crowd-pleaser. A lot of hard work goes into training and perfecting high kicks. It is important to ensure dancers are not only “powering up” their kicks and “whipping” their legs down in sync, but also safely using the correct muscles to sustain them through physically demanding rehearsals and performances.
By increasing flexibility and technique, both will give individuals the solid foundation needed to integrate with the team and to become an accomplished kicker. To be able to kick without pressing down on the teammate next to them, it is most important for the dancer to maintain a strong core by incorporating planks, sit-ups, (even Pilates) into their workout. Begin students on a training program that will enable them to develop muscular strength, endurance and develop core strength and flexibility. By doing so, individuals will have far less injuries and will develop enough strength to perform advanced skills and high kicks. Teach students proper stretch technique to include static stretching of the hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, calves, low back and groin muscles. Static stretching helps loosen muscles, removes lactic acid, and prevents the muscle tissues from healing at a shorter length after a heavy workout. Incorporate squats, lunges, and push-ups to help build core strength. This program is necessary for the development of skills, kick combinations, and for attaining height goals. As the core strengthens, your dancers will find it easier to perform their skills. You will also notice improved posture, a stronger back, and overall sense of muscle support.
Finally, I recommend a new training method (Water Pilates) that is sure to assist in your teams’ desire to become accomplished kickers. As a dancer and coach, I have taken this technique to a higher level by incorporating the Pilates method of conditioning in the water, and included dance technique into the training regime. When coaching precision dancers and dance teams, I have found this method most effective in developing precise placement of movement and body alignment concepts. As a coach, you must decide if you are willing to commit to the time that is necessary to develop your teams’ strength, flexibility, technique, and endurance. Many of today’s students do not possess the work ethic to train on their own.
Stretching improves physical efficiency, postural alignment, increases ones’ range of motion, and promotes endurance and healthy joints. Stretching hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and low back muscles regularly, enhances relaxation in the tissues thus reducing the strain on one’s back. Dynamic warm-up exercises (before stretching) loosen tendons, increase blood circulation, and help prevent injuries during workouts or any activity. ALWAYS warm-up muscles before stretching (never stretch cold muscles). Muscles need a certain amount of oxygen before they will accept an appropriate stretch. Cool-down stretching helps relieve muscle soreness and tightness. Be sure to teach ALL stretches correctly as to prevent injury. The core is an area of the body that if well-conditioned, will make your dancers stronger athletes. When teaching proper high kick technique, many think that working the hamstrings are the most important muscle to condition, but in reality, your leg is pushed by the hamstring, pulled by the quads and held up there by your abdominals and gluts. All of those muscles need to be conditioned in sync. It is VERY important to incorporate a good stretch routine into your program. Note: If you are not familiar with proper core training technique, see your school athletic trainer for help.
It is very important to warm up the muscles and joints through dynamic warm-ups. Stretching cold, tight muscles can lead to injury, so have your dancers first perform some gentle joint rotation exercises and an easy aerobic exercise. Warm-up stretching exercises loosen tendons, increase blood circulation, and help prevent injuries during workouts or any activity. ALWAYS warm up their muscles before they stretch! Joint rotations are done by working head to toe using small, slow circles (clockwise and counterclockwise) at every joint until they all move smoothly and easily. You can also have the dancers execute some jumping jacks to raise their core temperature and increase circulation before they stretch.
Example: I recommend easing into stretching with this safety-first routine. Personalize it with movement, music, and stretches that your students enjoy.
5 to 10 minutes of warm-up to raise core temperature (try jumping jacks or jogging around the studio/gym). Students should be sweaty but not tired.
5 to 8 minutes of general dynamic stretching (leg swings, walking lunges, etc.).
3 to 5 minutes of dance-specific stretching of the dancers’ choice, including static stretches held for up to 15 seconds.
Do Not Overstretch
If muscles start to quiver at any point during stretching, back off a little. Quivering means the muscles are being overworked. Overstretching can involve muscles, joints or both. It occurs when the muscle or joint is pushed well beyond its normal limits. Muscles that are overstretched will appear lax instead of toned and can cause instability issues within a joint, creating problems ranging from microscopic tears in the tissues to full tears of muscles, tendons or ligaments. Joints are also more likely to become hyperextended. Do not allow your students to overstretch! To develop long-term improvements in flexibility, stretch every other day for at least six weeks. Keep in mind that when you stop using or stretching this new flexibility, you are likely to lose the gains you made. Incorporate balanced stretches into your routine is a must. For dancers who want to kick higher, it is not only important to stretch hamstrings, but equally important to stretch muscles like the hip flexor and quads. Finally, help students seek a balance between strength, stability and flexibility. If you notice that a dancer is extremely flexible by nature, still have them stretch, but also add in strengthening exercises to help maintain their muscle stability.
Warm Up/ Cool Down
Preventing Soreness: Although it is just as important as warming up, cooling down often gets overlooked. Including dynamic warm-ups is critical for warming up and cooling down. Before your group begins running or stretching, do a few gentle exercises to bring oxygen and blood to their muscles and joints (a few jumping jacks and gentle jogging very slowly before they increase their pace). If running, do not allow your students to stop their run abruptly. Spend the last 3 to 5 minutes backing off the pace until they are walking. A cool down stretch flushes out lactic acid and helps prevent soreness. If you need your team to be at their best and over the soreness, consider an ice bath.
While on a core training program, work on good form and proper technique. Technique must be developed first! Height will develop after good habits are instilled.
POOR HABITS DIE HARD! It is important to begin teaching proper form, carriage, footwork, leg alignment, and landings before executing precision kicks.
►Determine the proper alignment and style of the kick that your team will be trained in.
Example: Straight leg alignment (natural extension: brush the leg up from a tendu, to a dégagé, to a full grand battement in NATURAL leg alignment coming towards your shoulder) or kicks out of alignment and aimed at the nose.
The student must be familiar with all details of kick technique to become an accomplished kicker.
Directors/officers should always detail and demonstrate to a beginner prior to a trial run-through.
Create various kick technique exercises and teach them to the group. Incorporate the exercises into the daily workout.
Teach your team or pre-drill class a technique/control routine. Leg control and proper extension is a must! This will also help in muscle development and strength. Create an exercise that requires extension from knee to toe, from a parallel level, hold, then slowly lower to parallel first.
Example: Passé rt. forward on (1), extend rt. forward on (2), hold (3-4), slowly lower to parallel first (5-8). Reverse and repeat on left. You can increase repetitions as the student begins to develop muscle control. Put together a complete technique warm-up routine.
Kick Drills Across the Floor
Incorporate kick drills into your daily workout to ensure development in technique, strength, alignment, and precision. These drills will help them achieve their goals if they remain focused on executing all parts of the drill correctly.
Walk Kicks: Include detail of “foot articulation” in the transitional movement and encourage them to be mindful of working on the footwork. Always remind your team to point and stretch their feet the second their foot leaves the ground. Step forward on left in turnout (ct. 1), swing kick R leg forward (ct. 2), walk forward in turnout R, L, R (cts. 3-5), kick L forward (ct. 6), walk forward in turnout L, R (cts. 7-8) Repeat. *Make sure heel remains down while kicking, bring the leg to the upper torso (do not allow the back to bend). Keep ribcage lifted, arms straight (and barely touch hookups), focus up. Do not let the head hunch or meet the kick! Make sure your team is working together to keep lines straight! Kick line precision MUST be mastered in the beginning!
Power Kicks: This particular drill will assist in developing timing and whipping down recoveries. Chassé forward on L (1&2), swing kick R forward (ct.3), whip leg down and touch point (ct. 4), repeat same down the floor working R leg, then work L on return. *Make sure your team is working together to keep lines straight! Train them to “power up” and power down” the leg. This will assist with timing. Again…kick line precision is a MUST!
Fan Drills: as with walk kicks, include detail of “foot articulation” in the transitional movement and encourage them to be mindful of working on the footwork. This drill will assist with developing the complete rotation of the fan kick. I trained my team to “power up” the first kick of the fan and allow it to carry the rotation…I’ve found the technique to be an effective teaching tool. Step L to L in turnout (ct. 1), power fan R to R (from the L) (ct. 2), walk in turn out to the R front diagonal R, L, R (cts. 3-5), fan L to L (ct. 6), walk in turnout to L front diagonal L, R, L (cts. 7-1) Repeat. *Make sure your team is working to keep their line straight, focus up and back straight.
How often do you notice that your students do NOT point their feet? And do you wonder why telling them to do so, doesn’t always work? Training your team to develop strength in their feet and ankles should start when you pull the new team together at training camp. When I directed the Texas State Strutters, drills were incorporated into their workout to develop clean transitional movement by articulating the feet. Articulation of the foot has to be over emphasized in order for it to be an “automatic response” when moving (and to develop muscle memory). This is one of the most difficult exercises for students to connect with movement, AND it takes time to achieve this technique. The end result…pointed feet!
Building the Foundation
Preparatory connecting steps require precision in order to appear smooth and ensure that what follows works well for the performers (and is visually pleasing to any audience). Teach common transitions and incorporate the basic movement fundamentals into your warm-up exercises and across-the-floor combinations. These fundamental footwork elements can be developed and perfected if they are worked on daily. (In an ideal world, it would be terrific to start practices with technique exercises every day. Unfortunately, most teams are on a “time crunch”.) Be sure to alternate between those emphasizing quick movement patterns and exercises that use the floor’s resistance to articulate the feet. (I have used this phrase often with my team to emphasize the importance of footwork.) Teaching combinations as a series of understandable units or relating them to everyday motions like walking, will enable your students to progress to the finished movement.
Improving High Kick Foot Points
Incorporate kick drills into your daily workout to ensure development in technique, strength, alignment, and precision. These drills will help them achieve their goals if they remain focused on executing all parts of the drill correctly. Include detail of “foot articulation” in the transitional movement and encourage them to be mindful of working the footwork. And always remind your team to point and stretch their feet the second their foot leaves the ground. Emphasizing the importance of clean transitional movement, will become an “automatic response” when moving. If you follow these teaching techniques, your students are sure to develop the quality and artistry of each transitional movement.
Work Your Feet Through Transitions
For the most part, dancers are trained to point their feet and turn out when executing an extension, pirouette or any position where the foot is off the floor. But many times, I find dancers are not paying enough attention to their feet when they are actually on the floor. For instance, when stepping out of an extension or battement, the foot or leg should be turned out as it is placed back on the floor. This attention to detail during transitional movement is the true mark of a dancer who is aware of her technique. Feet are like hands in their expressive capability, but they are not often used to their full potential. ALWAYS train your dancers to “articulate” their feet and show expression through transitional movement.
There are a variety of exercises to help strengthen ankles including rising to the balls of the feet to drawing each letter of the alphabet with pointed feet. Your students need to develop an understanding of what they need to feel and accomplish while executing ALL strengthening exercises.
In closing, it is imperative that your team develop muscle memory through the development of articulating their feet through combinations across the floor and transitional movement. Articulation of the foot has to be over emphasized in order for it to be an “automatic response” when moving (and to develop muscle memory). This is one of the most difficult exercises for students to connect with movement, AND it takes time to achieve this technique. The end result…pointed feet!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR & CORRECT
Posture/Bending backs – Must have good body alignment (vertical back), shoulders down, ribcage lifted, focus up, and tighten abdominals. Hips should remain square to the front. A strong tight core will aid in keeping backs straight while kicking (tightening the core needs to be an automatic response)
Lack of spring on a jump kick
Leg alignment *Determine placement
Developpé kicks *Legs should be straight
Foot turnout on kick *Entire foot should be straight
Lifting hip / leaning & sitting into kicks *Hips remain squared front (not rotated)
Pulling & bending arms while kicking *Arms should be straight with no pressure placed on connections
Hands spread on hook-up *Fingers should be closed
Dropping kick past proper placement during transition
Timing (power up & power down)
Keeping heel down on swing kicks
Recoveries and “finish-off” *Whip leg down for timing and determine recovery position
Preps prior to kick (feet together, then kick)
Bent legs and flexed feet *Legs must be straight
Endurance * Incorporate a cardiovascular program to help promote cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.
Straight backs / lifted rib cage
Head hunching *Head should not meet leg…leg comes to you!
Kick line precision (keeping line straight while kicking and moving)
Clean foot articulation! Always remind your dancers to point and stretch their feet the second their foot leaves the ground.
Remember…bring the leg to YOU, do not meet the kick by bending to it.
High Kick Exercises for Dance Teams | Live Healthy
By T. Marice Huggins
High kicks may be the most recognizable move done by dance teams. In fact, high kicks are the signature move of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. While the performers doing high kicks appear to do so effortlessly, the move takes a lot of hand work and practice. Achieving the perfect high kicks requires exercises that improve posture, balance and flexibility.
High kicks require flexible hamstrings, quadriceps and hips. Performing kicks also involves the use of back muscles. As a result, it is essential that you are warm and that you stretch out the high-kick muscles to avoid injury when doing high kicks for your dance team. To stretch out your back and leg muscles, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and then bend forward from the hips in an attempt to make your rib cage touch your thighs. You can also stretch by extending your legs to each side and then leaning your torso as far as you can in each direction.
Having flexible muscles is only part of the physical requirements for achieving a high kick. A strong core is necessary so you can keep your back straight when kicking. A weak core and slouched back can make a high kick look sloppy and cause injuries. To improve core strength, lie flat on your back with your legs extended upward. Curl your shoulders and head up while lifting your arms slightly off the ground. With your head and shoulders up and your legs extended, pump your arms 10 times. Take a break by releasing from the position and then repeat ten times for a total of 100 arm pumps.
If you don't have good balance, you will have a hard time mastering high kicks. After all, kicking does involve the ability to balance on one foot for a period of time. Ballet barre exercises are great for working on balance. With one hand resting on the bar, firmly plant one foot into the ground while lifting the opposite leg. Bend the knee of the lifted leg with the foot touching the knee of the standing leg and stay in place. This is known as passé in ballet. Once you are stable, remove your hand from the barre and try balancing on the leg for as long as possible. Repeat on the other side.
In addition to core strength, balance and flexibility, high kicks require impeccable technique. Unpointed toes and other technical issues can ruin the aesthetics of a high kick. Proper technique includes having your toes pointed, legs straight, heels on the floor and back straight. Technique can be practiced in a traveling-kick exercise, in which you step forward on your right foot and then kick your left leg up. Next, you step on your left foot and kick your right leg up. This should be done with your arms extended straight out to each side.
T. Marice Huggins has been published several times in both the New York and New Jersey editions of "Contemporary Bride Magazine." She has also been published in national publications such as "Redbook," Dance Magazine" and "Caribbean Travel and Life." Thanks to extensive dance training in college, she is very well-versed in the areas of health and fitness.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.
Online modern tango courses
Tango nuevo is the most advanced version of tango. We can quickly learn to dance from zero to a steep level.
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
Dominican Bachata Women's Style Online Course
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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 big 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
Salsa: destroyers of stereotypes
Couple dancing as a source of strength.
Self-destruction of the couple dance community
The Salsa series as a mirror of the community
Mamita Fridays: salsa, bachata
Destroying the myths about leading pair dances
Does dancing make us better?
The seven deadly sins of teachers
Why we will never dance bachata like the Dominicans
Dispute over musicality
Selection of dances according to alcohol preferences
Where to find inspiration for dancing?
Terrible tango nuevo
Distribution of roles in a salsa party
Argentinean tango through the eyes of a salsa dancer
Is there a predisposition to dancing?
Which is more effective: individual or group lessons?
Sexual overtones in partner dancing
I want to dance.10 misconceptions about dancing
The desire to learn to dance is natural and natural in the modern world. You can list the reasons, starting with obvious and popular pragmatic desires, for example, to start moving or losing weight, ending with unconscious and even existential ones.
This is due to the fact that dancing is at the subtle intersection of the inner and outer worlds, physical and spiritual. Above this, music becomes a driver that cannot leave anyone indifferent.
In dancing there is magic inside a person, which is not always noticeable when observed from the side. At the initial stage, it is the external picture that attracts to dances, and sometimes repels, as it seems too frivolous and superficial.
But there are even stronger obstacles that stop many people from starting dancing. These illusions and delusions roam the minds of the majority, and are often afraid to ask about them directly, or they ask the question about it so often that they are no longer ready to hear an honest direct answer. I will try to do it in this article.
There are many examples of contemporary dance educators sharing their thoughts about not expecting to be in the dance industry. Once upon a time there was a man and was engaged in adult, serious business. Sometimes even very serious. A person could have children and even grandchildren. I saw dances only on stage or on TV. For reasons unknown to himself, he ended up in dances. At first, everything seemed like entertainment and a useful pastime. But time has passed, and a person catches himself thinking that he thinks about dancing not just every day, but really all the time. A couple of years pass, and he already becomes a teacher or organizer of some event.
A similar path can start at 15 or 55 years old. The only difference will be in the self-perception of the starting stage, that it’s too late to dance. In fact, for each age there is its own dance direction, which can reveal it to the greatest extent at this stage. Hip-hop or breaking is closer to children and teenagers, and Argentine tango is closer to adults. It's never too late to start dancing. You need to make the right choice of dance style based on several parameters: age, gender, music, goal. There is a dance direction for any arrangement.
Misconception 2: men don't dance
Our culture has a number of restrictions related to dancing. Most of these causes are psychological and lie outside the realm of rational reasoning.
First, in our culture, in principle, dancing for pleasure or self-expression appeared relatively recently. 20-30 years ago dance clubs were only for children. To start dancing even in adolescence was considered exotic.
Secondly, the aesthetics of the body in our country for men is not in the focus of attention. In general, this can be attributed to the fact that Russian men try hard not to draw attention to their appearance and clothing. Men in our country use other tools for this.
Third, dancing is associated with entertainment and alcohol. If a man feels serious and respectable, then he either does not have time or desire for this.
Nowadays the general cultural background has changed and the result is that men are learning to dance. It becomes as much a sign of masculinity as clothing, hair or beard.
Unfortunately, many misconceptions remain even among those who have already started dancing. Dance teachers do not always pay attention to this, as it seems to them that this is a matter of course.
Fallacy 3: special training is needed
For an outside observer, there is always a cognitive dissonance about what dance is. What he sees on the big stage in the form of a show with sweeping movements and splits is obviously dancing. Breakers doing unimaginable elements in the air and on their hands, competing with each other, also seem to be dancing. Pensioners in the park waltz. Dancing again, but for some reason everyone is so different. How to understand that this is a dance, and what physical criteria should be in the body.
In fact, any self-expression through the body to music can be attributed to dance. There are a number of reservations, but they are not essential. For self-expression, a person uses the set of plastics that he has. Subtlety and technique do not depend on extreme ways of self-expression, and it often happens that splits and somersaults interfere with a meaningful dance. The development of plasticity and the expansion of the body's capabilities are part of the preparation of the dancer, but not an end in itself.
Misconception 4: You must learn to dance in pairs
In couple dancing, the final learning outcome is that the couple dances at a party. It would seem that you should always train together to get the desired result. This is not true. Let's take an example from boxing. An indicator of a boxer's skill is a fight with an opponent, but this does not mean that he constantly has to fight. Also, the ability to dance is built on the possession of one's own body and the ability to interact.
The skill of the teacher is the correct selection of methods so that the student masters the skill. Based on the skill, you can engage in creativity and self-expression in dance. Not everyone knows, but it is no coincidence that almost all social dance dancers have a serious dance background, which is based on the development of individual techniques.
The same can be attributed to the interaction in a pair. The ability to separate in oneself the one who leads and the one who follows the lead is impossible within the framework of studying the sequence of movements in pairs. For this, there are special exercises that make the skill more versatile. For this, the presence of a permanent couple is not necessary, as well as the regular presence of a partner in general.
IMPORTANT! You can’t experiment at a party, and everything should be in its place there: men dance with women.
Getting rid of illusions is a complex internal process. If you leave them to yourself, you can even get the opposite result.
Misconception 5: plastique and stretching are obligatory attributes of dance
Much depends on the genre of dance that you want to master. In previous articles, I have already mentioned that different dance styles are suitable for different ages. It is appropriate to dance hip-hop in adolescence or youth, Argentine tango is a more adult dance, it is important to enter classical choreography at a young age.
The degree of necessary plasticity and sensitivity to the dance direction also correlates. For example, breaking requires great physical effort and dexterity. Elements are built on acrobatics and high speed of execution. Who are they more suitable for? Obviously young people.
There is a lot of interaction in salsa. It is necessary to feel the partner subtly, to be able to show a variety of figures and elements. Twine or acrobatics are completely inappropriate here. However, a variety of ways to show oneself are required. Accordingly, the dance is youthful, but not at all childish.
The older the dance, the less stretching or acrobatics is required. The main emphasis is on the quality of technology, the variety of ideas and the ability to show plasticity.
Misconception 6: Mirrors are necessary for learning
There is a set of instruments that dancers use to learn how to dance. The fact is that the dancer needs to receive feedback on how his movements look from the side. It is impossible to dance and see yourself from the side at the same time. The most common tool is a mirror. But not the only one.
Like any auxiliary tool, mirrors have positive and negative effects. The positive is that they can receive feedback in real time and technically it is not very difficult. The downside can be dependence on mirrors. A situation where a dancer cannot capture the feeling of dancing, such as on stage or at a party. For these purposes, you can use, among other things, video filming or proper preparation.
In many countries in Latin America, dance classrooms are not equipped with mirrors. Classes are held in bars or large halls. The dancers initially form the skill of focusing on the inner sensation, and not the habit of looking for their reflection in the mirror with their eyes.
Misconception 7: there is a lot of obsceneness in dancing
A common question from novice dancers who are taking their first steps in more contact couple dances is “in order to dance cool, there must be passion inside the couple?”. I immediately answer that no, not necessarily. Kizomba, bachata and Argentine tango attract many with their close contact. Like any other contact in our everyday life, in dances, contact can be different. We hug friends, parents, children. These hugs can wear many different shades. Sexual overtones are one of many.
The culture of dance also includes the boundaries of what is acceptable. A compliment from a well-mannered person is different from a statement about female sexuality by a gopnik. Usually, those who study at a dance school already have an idea of what boundaries should not be crossed. A good dance from a technical point of view will never look vulgar or vulgar.
Dancers always have a choice about the boundaries of contact. Most prefer to leave a good impression of themselves, as word spreads just as fast in the dance world.
Misconception 8: the best dancers are the bearers of culture
Even the very question of the origin of a particular dance can be paradoxical and ambiguous, especially when it comes to its development and performance.
For example, the Viennese waltz did not originate in Vienna, but in Germany. Salsa has its main roots in the USA, not in Cuba. The famous Greek folk dance sirtaki was invented for the film "Zorba the Greek" and appeared only in 1964.
The same can be attributed to the development of modern dance styles. Korea is known for its world-leading break dancers. People go to Turkey for Argentine tango, Spain is strong with excellent salsa and bachata dancers, in Egypt, Russians are considered the best belly-dance performers.
A good dance is based on quality training and diligence. Skin color, place of birth and age are secondary. Exotic appearance, unfortunately, is often a reason to be more superficial about one's own professional development. This becomes the reason for the low level of teaching among the bearers of culture. I am sure that few readers of this post will be ready to conduct a master class in Russian folk dance outside of Russia.
The mastery of mastering and teaching a particular style does not depend on the dancer's homeland. And "they absorbed the dance with their mother's milk" is nothing more than a common misconception.
Misconception 9: You have to know a lot of moves to learn to dance
Focusing on learning a lot of moves often detracts from the essence of dance. Of course, the sequence of figures is important. Especially at the start. Over time, the dancer should have an understanding of how movements can be generated independently. Accordingly, instead of memorizing millions of figures, you can understand how to create them.
From every system of improvisation that a dancer can use as an instrument, dozens, hundreds or thousands of variations are derived. This frees the head from trying to reproduce the exact sequence and definitely adds freedom in the performance of the dance.
The huge theme of musicality can be attributed to the same question. Not every pre-conceived or learned sequence will fit specific music. The dance should give freedom, and not drive the dancer into the shell of the ropes.
Misconception 10: dancing is homosexual
The unusually high attention to the body and the flair from stories about professional ballet led to the spread of this myth, among other things. Unfortunately, such an idea still exists in the minds of our fellow citizens.
The dance industry is now very broad and is represented by many dance styles. Some of them can even be called homophobic. Dances reflect the general attitude to the world and it is different depending on the life position and worldview of a person.
In many dances there is contact between the dancers. In Russia, dance contact between men has always been perceived very intensely. In most other countries it is different. An example of the fact that this tension is associated only with the dance theme and does not apply to other areas is, for example, wrestling. When practicing techniques, men are in much closer contact with each other. Sometimes lying on the floor and holding each other tightly. The historical roots of Greco-Roman wrestling are also ambiguous from a sexual point of view. But in our country, unlike dance, they are perceived as acceptable and brutal.
Dance, like the culture of speech, makes a modern person more successful and self-confident.