The reason there are so many variant’s of the swing is due to it’s popularity. The rhythm of the the music, old or new era is outstanding and the big band sound never gets old. below are some of the variants the swing.
- East Coast swing.
- West Coast swing.
- Lindy hop.
- Double time Swing.
- Single time Swing.
- The Jive.
For any reason one can choose either of the dances like the location or the country and the social availability. Rest of the world will use the Jive which is really an east Coast Swing but much much faster with different disciplines. The Jive is also used here in the US but more on a competitive arena.
In the US for most of us the East Coast swing general known just as the swing will be the most useful. Now the West Coast Swing also known as the Country style of the Swing another variant to the Shag has grown in popularity, from the names East and West one can guess what part of the US did they originate from.
Now how to you learn the swing? Well do not start with swing dance lesson’s if you are new to dancing. First take a few lesson’s in the Foxtrot so that both partner’s understand the concept of partnership, lead and follow. You see the Foxtrot is lot slower than the Swing, it is where you can build the foundation and once you get to the Swing dance lessons, you already have had the basics covered.
It’s amazing all the newcomers i have seen get turned off of dance simply because they had no business starting with a certain dance. Only if they had a few sessions before and got even slightly synchronized they would be enjoying the wonderful world of Ballroom dance.
Past 30 plus years i have prepared around a thousand couples for their first dance. Funny as technology and use of digital media progresses the dance requests becomes more complex. You see the concept of a first dance has been around much longer than you and i. It was never meant to be a prepared dance nor a semi performance, it is a simple dance representing love and commitment.
I fully understand the marketing behind it, its mainly the dance studios and that silly show “dancing with the Stars” that has planted the seed. How-ever if you have seen the the frustration and the tension in getting prepared for something that should be a simple affair on your wedding day then you might think just a little like me. Of-course there is nothing wrong with being a little prepared and do take the advice i have provided below to heart.
#1- Keep it basic and enjoyable by choosing a slower tempo music.
#2- Practice time management by starting lessons at least 5 weeks prior.
Realize that most songs will be between 2 and 3 minutes in length. During which you will be dancing using your steps (dance figures) to maneuver around the floor. One has to lead and the other follow while dancing in perfect harmony and on time to the music. Let me also say that the men learn to dance quicker than the ladies.
Prepare early, choose your song carefully and enjoy an unforgettable first dance as husband and wife.
Salsa is a extremely popular dance, fun & easy and a fantastic cardio activity. It shares many of the same components of the Cha Cha and same time identical to Mambo. Mambo is danced on the 2 beat as to where the Salsa starts on the 1 beat, so if you know the Mambo you also know the salsa. Generally speaking Ballroom and Latin dances use many of the same components so learning one dance helps kick start the next. That is the beauty of learning Ballroom, it provides solid foundation throughout the learning experience.
Have you tried the dance of Salsa yet? If not don’t wait any longer and get started. It’s easy to to learn with only 3 changes of weight ( 3 steps) to every dance measure and most of the movements ( dance steps) are quite simple. You will find many of today’s top music suitable for a Salsa and if you happen to travel and or attend social dances it will provide you with a life time of enjoyment.
You may also use the dance at many studio’s social dance events mostly held on the weekends. This is a great opportunity not to only use your dance but to also see others use other Latin and Ballroom dances as well. This will give you an opportunity to perhaps fall in love with many other Ballroom dances.
Although the phrase social dancing covers a wide array of events. For most parts its as simple as dancing at a social event such as; Christmas party, an office party, birthdays & weddings. Now the level of dance expertise used is often in question used to qualify how social it really is. Ones dance ability, novice to advanced should not be the deciding factor rather the event. You may see some that hardly can dance but are having a wonderful time on the dance floor. Then there are those few that are outstanding dancers, either self thought or have had professional Ballroom dance help.
Only subject which really matters is that everyone have the ability to step out on the dance floor and enjoy! Honest its not all that hard specially the slower dances. Self confidence is gained by repetition, with or without dance lessons everyone has the ability to have fun, wouldn’t you agree? Now for those that think they don’t look as good as those having had dance lessons I say big deal! Are you out to enjoy the night or compare yourself to others?
Lets enjoy these holidays, lets dance and ask others to dance as well, just remember sitting on the side line provides no value at all.
WHY BALLROOM DANCE
I can easily say the sport of Ballroom dance has many benefits other sports do not offer. Did you know that an hour of Ballroom dance is greater than walking or jogging seven miles? It’s also an outstanding exercise for memory retention and is highly recommended.
Imagine dancing a slow foxtrot to Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole, the emotional lift is truly a wonderful experience. From smooth dances such as the waltz and the Tango to heart throbbing Cha Cha’s. Dancing is also available to you through out the year regardless of the weather in a professional and friendly atmosphere.
Then there is the social aspect of it, feeling confident on any dance floor with any partner is a huge advantage. Almost all the dance studios hold weekly dances, so now you have a reason to dress up and look forward to making new friends in sharing your hobby. If you are learning to dance as a couple it is truly a wonderful way to spend quality time enjoying the same hobby together.
Although there are varieties of Latin dances for learning Latin dance it’s always best to start with the most socially used dances. What i mean by that is the fact that some of the dances like the dance of Merengue is not used much at all unless you happen to be on a cruise.
The time required and cost of lessons should be applied to dances that are most beneficial. Dances like the Rhumba, Cha Cha and the salsa would be most useful to you. I know they are for me and i have been at it for well over 30 years now. I can confidently state that 90% of all Latin dancing revolve around those 3 dances.
Rhumba is an absolutely beautiful soft Latin dance, the music is always breath taking and further more many of today’s music is suitable. Its really hard to go wrong with the Latin dance of Rumba. Cha Cha is a hair more involved than the Rumba and just as fun. It is faster than the Rhumba and again many of today’s music will be a perfect fit to the dance as well.
Salsa is a short version of the Cha Cha and faster, yet almost all of its movements are identical to both the Cha Cha & Rhubma. The beauty of Ballroom dancing is that learning one dance helps you with the next and so on. My suggestion is not to wait longer and get started with learning and enjoying yourself.
Everyone can and will learn to dance and not everyone learns at the same speed. Lets just assume that your ballroom dance instructor will be seasoned and able to make you feel comfortable with partnership dancing. Once you have that going the rest only requires time. As mentioned not everyone learns at the same speed, in partnership dancing each partner should provide a positive environment for the other.
If one partner progresses quicker have the patience in allowing the other to get to the same comfort level. This is something i see a lot of, if the male partner has his movement worked out, off he goes with not much concern. Again one has to remember this is not tennis, one is not playing against another rather two people working as one.
Feeling comfortable & confident, always enjoying your ballroom dancing depends on two items, Lead & Follow. Its quite natural for the ladies to start moving once the music starts, after all dancing does require movement. This creates issues, should the man follow the woman or vise versa? The lady should always wait for the lead regardless of how long it takes.
Once the male partner fully understands and can execute proper on time lead. Iwill guarantee the ladies that you will enjoy your ballroom dancing all the time and much more than if you where making the men rushed. Often they will not return to ask you again, or if partners most likely loose interest.
So ladies please have patience and give your partner a chance and enjoy a lifetime of ballroom dance!
Ballroom Dance Basics
There are many facts about ballroom dance which will never grow old. Non more important than couples learning a hobby they can both share and enjoy together for the rest of their lives. Many dancers started as partners then as husband and wives.
Enjoying quality time indoors regardless of the season dancing to the most magnificent music and enjoying any and all possible social events. Honest one cannot go wrong with the concept at all. I have seen dancing improve marriages in a variety of ways, lead and follow itself teaches working together as one.
So if you are on the side line do not wait and get started where ever you may reside. Obviously you have to make sure the instructor has the ability to provide you with a positive experience, once you achieve that the rest should come pretty fast.