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Two Step Tidewater Sunday Dance News  

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 [Dance Tips - Menu]  

Two Step Tidewater Virginia

  (01/16/2009 wh)

Competitor? Amateur? Social? How to practice for different dance levels.

Dancing and Practice time:

If you aspire to become a better dancer you will need to practice. Dancing is a skill that takes not only knowledge but lots of practice. Depending on how far you want to take your skill level dictates what type of practice you need in order to reach that level.

Mistakes While Dancing

Mistakes -  Before you decide to become a part of a dancing couple, make sure you are able to admit when you are wrong (and sometimes when you are not) or your partnership won't survive.  Actually, my teacher taught me that "I'm sorry" or "I was wrong" doesn't belong on the dance floor.  WHEN you make a mistake in practice, laugh about it and keep right on dancing - or figure out how to lead it and patent it!  When you make a mistake in front of an audience, keep smiling, and keep dancing.  Only you will know that you didn't plan it that way!  I've known numerous, professional and amateur dancers who have (after the dance) admitted that they made multiple mistakes - and still won the competition!  Apply this same rule to your social dancing, too, and you will both have a lot more fun.

Competitive Dancers

Competitive dancer - There are two levels of competitive dancer; Pro-Am and Amateur.  (Unless, of course you are a Pro-Pro couple - then you wouldn't be reading this.)  In Pro-Am competitions the student (you) dance with your instructor - and only the student is graded for competitive purposes (they say).  In Amateur competitions, the both members of the couple are graded for competitive purposes.  If you want to reach the skill level needed to be a competitive couples dancer you first need to have a partner - or pay a teacher. Make sure that the partner has enough desire and free time to put in the practice necessary to compete. You can't practice your competitive dance skills at a social dance. You need to find a floor suitable for practice where there are few distractions. This involves lots of concentration and patience.   This is the most intense, demanding but very rewarding level of dancing. It's not for everyone but it will teach you very much about dancing, and yourself. If you can't find a suitable partner ask your instructor about Pro-Am competitions.

Showcase Dancers

Showcase Dancer - I use this term for lack of a better one, to describe a dancer who is willing to put their skills out in front of other dancers a few times each year during special dance events. The level can range from new dancers to retired competitive dancers who wish to keep their skills intact. Whatever the level being danced, the audience appreciates dancers who look comfortable and seem to be having a good time. If you are a new dancer and dancing in front of a crowd for the first time you may NOT be having fun. You just try to look like you ARE having fun. You'll find that it DOES become fun, or at least very satisfying to show off your skills, as you gain practice (you may even find it exhilarating) .  In order to practice for these events you need the same conditions as a competitive dance couple, except you may be dancing with an instructor rather than a partner. For beginner showcase dancers, this is advisable if you are new to dancing since your instructor is much more able to lead or back-lead you through the difficult portions of your routine. (The amount of practice time needed is usually dependent on the time left before the Showcase event.) You may need to put in some very intense practice sessions.  First time showcase dancers, be sure your instructor teaches you a proven routine rather than trying to put one together at the last moment.  Intermediate, and more advanced showcase dancers may simply use an instructor to choreograph and / or coach one or more of your practice sessions, leaving you and your partner to perform the showcase, and show off what you have accomplished.

Social Dancers

Good Social Dancer - This level is where everyone should be. Even the Showcase and Competitive dancers need to be at this level if they intend to attend social dance events. In order to improve your social dancing you need several tools. The first is good dance shoes. They will make life much easier. Next you need some good instruction. This can come from private lessons, group classes (studios, dance parties, or even your local community center or church), workshops, or instructional tapes. Each has a place in social dancing. Try to concentrate on technique instruction as much as learning new moves.  Finally, you need to attend dances where there is a good floor and good music. Avoid dance venues with floors that are too sticky and need powder to free them up. Wood floors are best!  There are some good tile dance floors around, but they tend to be hard on the feet and legs.  Also try to avoid bad dance music. The music should make you want to dance. You shouldn't be expected to try and find a dance to fit the music being played.

Now, Get around to it!

Once you have all the necessary tools available you can concentrate on becoming a better social dancer. The best part about this type of dancing is that you get to have fun and practice also. When you are dancing watch your partner and how they react to your movements. If you are a man you need to see how the lady responds to your leads and footwork. If you are a lady do you always react properly to his leads? Does he need to push and pull to get you to follow? (Ladies, even accomplished dancers, may need to stop and ask their male partner to demonstrate the lead again, so you can learn to follow it - remember only one of you can lead, and , for-better-or-for-worse, the man has the task of leading - even if he is not highly skilled at leading.  You can offer pointers..., but don't offend.)  Whether you are a man or lady there needs to be a certain amount of comfort level in your dancing. Different levels of practice yield different types of dancers. Each is unique and one is not better than the other. Although dancing requires discipline and practice the results should yield confident skillful dancers. Dancers who take lesson after lesson without suitable practice (that means going out to the studio parties, regularly, and participating - even if you are still "not good enough") seldom improve.

 

We think our TwoStepTidewater parties are the perfect place to become whatever you want to be.  If you want just a floor, and nobody in your way, you have that opportunity from 6 (ish) to 7 PM.  Bring your own music, if you wish and do your own thing.  We start with a very basic group lesson - then play practice music so you can practice what you learned, before we start general dancing.  Later in the evening, we stop and have a more advanced lesson, followed by, you guessed it, more practice music to practice what you have just learned.

 

 

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(www.twosteptidewater.com The Best smoke free Country & Western two step (2-step, Texas two-step), Ballroom, Latin, Disco (Hustle), West Coast Swing (WCS), Night Club two-step, Swing Dancing for all of South East Virginia (VA) or North East North Carolina beaches areas  (Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, Chesapeake VA, Suffolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Newport News VA, Hampton va, Hampton Roads VA, Yorktown VA, Gloucester VA, Jamestown VA, Williamsburg VA, Hickory NC, and the beaches and outer banks of North Carolina (NC)