If You Are Frustrated with your Dance Progress

Dance Progress

It happens to all of us; no matter how talented or experienced you are, sooner or later you will hit a point where your dance progress plateaus. When trying to reach the next level feels like beating your head against a wall, and as effective.

This is a defining moment for you - the point at which you push on to achieve your goals, or turn away from them. There is no shame in either decision, unless you leave feeling there was still something left untried.

Hopefully, the suggestions below will keep you from ever feeling that way.

Dance Progress

Remind yourself why you are doing this.

I’ve talked about this previously, but it’s so important I have to say it again: Know why you are dancing. If it’s a reason you can feel passionate about, it will keep you trying new things when others would have tossed in the towel.

Practice, or practice more.

As your dance progress carries you into more and more advanced steps and technique, you may find you need to squeeze in more practice time in between classes to achieve the same rate of improvement. This is normal!

For one thing, more advanced steps require greater precision, meaning you’ll need to hone your muscle memory more to make it look good. And for another, you can’t just learn new steps; you also need to refresh the steps you learned previously.

Dance Progress

Stop judging, start learning.

When the going gets tough, it’s tempting to start comparing yourself unfavourably to other dancers in the studio. This can feed into a belief that dance progress beyond a certain point is only possible for the gifted few, who possess a ‘natural talent’ that let’s them push the boundaries.

They may indeed be talented, but talent alone can’t beat hard work. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. The power to improve is in YOUR hands.

Dance Progress
Captain Planet said it best.

Also, try not to judge yourself. Your dance progress will be littered with countless learning opportunities we often mislabel as ‘mistakes’. If you often take your missteps personally, start reprogramming your thinking along more constructive lines.

For example, rather than ‘how could I be so stupid?’, try ‘what can I do to improve this outcome?’

Try a different angle.

Do you find yourself thinking, ‘if they ask me to try that step one more time, I’m going to lose it’? Sometimes, you just need to try a different strategy to reinvigorate and accelerate your dance progress. Here’s a few examples:

  1. Dance a different style that uses a similar movement (ex. cha cha is very similar to rumba)
  2. Dance the step very slowly, or very quickly.
  3. Pause every 30 seconds, to make sure you still remember your technique.
  4. Try a lesson with a different instructor.
  5. If you take group classes, consider buying a private lesson for some one-on-one expertise.

Dance Progress

Take a break.

Again, there’s no shame in quitting if you aren’t getting the same joy from your dancing that you once had. Sometimes we just need a little break, to let our body rest and remember why it loves dancing so much. But there’s plenty of reasons why you might not return.

Maybe your priorities have shifted. Maybe you’re happy with your current ability level, and aren’t willing to sacrifice more time and money. Or maybe you were preparing for a big event, like a wedding dance, and now that it’s done, you can rest on your laurels.

If it’s really time to go, be glad you made sure this was what you wanted before you said goodbye. And if this advice turns you around and lets you continue your dance progress, fantastic! May your renewed determination carry you for years to come.

Dance Progress

About the Author

Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. Click here to see when Ian is available for lessons.

How Increasing Awareness Helps Your Dancing

Increasing Awareness

Dancing is like learning to cook. The steps are the ‘recipe’ you read from, but over time, you learn to add the ‘spices’ that are uniquely you. We’ve discussed how increasing awareness of thought patterns that hold us back can help us reprogram them. Now, we’re ready to explore how to add our own authenticity to our dancing.

The book The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield illustrates this concept of authentic mastery brilliantly. The golf caddy Bagger believes there is an ‘authentic swing’, that is unique to every person on the planet, and all golfers are unconsciously trying to find it. To reach it however, they must ultimately learn to ‘surrender’ to their increasing awareness of their authentic self, which is a culmination of the training they’ve received and a deep understanding of who they truly are.

Increasing Awareness

We likewise each have an ‘authentic dance’. How do we know this? Because our body can tell which movements feel ‘good’ and which feel ‘bad’ - and it will automatically guide us towards the former. Over time, and with increasing awareness, we reach a place where training can no longer help us. Only by surrendering to this instinct can we go further, bridging the last gap to dancing with authenticity.

We can hasten this surrender by using your increasing awareness of your body during practice. To do this, we must enter each dance with as few attachments as possible. Social dancing is a particularly excellent way to train your natural spontaneity, while testing your ability to detach from the opinions and judgements of others.

increasing awareness

If this is very difficult for you, you can begin by dancing alone, but try move where at least one or two others can see you. Not only will this help push your comfort zone, but you will give others unconscious permission to do the same.

‘But what if my authentic dance is something nobody else likes? I still want people to dance with me’, I hear some of you say. The truth is dancing with increasing awareness will draw more people to you, even if some of your movement is unusual. Remember that potential dance partners want the same thing you do, even if they don’t know it: To connect to a sense of authenticity within themselves. I’ve seen many performances that were technically brilliant, but they might as well have been danced by cyborgs - there was no life or joy to it. Increasing Awareness

When you dance authentically, you radiate that joy that comes from being in touch with yourself and your partner, and others will want to connect to that as well.

First and foremost though, remember that dancing with increasing awareness to impress others is not dancing with awareness at all. You may dance for judges, for an audience, or for your partner. But nothing will feel better than when you dance for yourself.

Raise Awareness, Raise your Dancing

raise awareness

We’ve been talking about how to avoid getting distracted by thinking during dancing, in order to make it more natural and fun for ourselves and our partner. When we raise awareness of what’s happening in our body, we remove focus from the part of our mind that’s constantly judging others, regretting mistakes, and planning for the future. This is not to say that planning the next step is bad, only that it will be replaced over time by the body’s intuitions - that is to say, it’s trained sense of what can naturally flow from the previous movement.

raise awareness

Trying to raise awareness can be a scary experience however. Many of us carry destructive thought patterns or ‘beliefs’ which we learned in childhood: ‘I am not enough.’ ‘I can never be a good dancer.’ ‘I have two left feet.’ ‘I am ugly.’ These voices often get louder when we raise awareness in our body, so we may have to weaken them before we can dance with greater confidence. In order to get there however, we must first understand the difference between who we are and what we identify with.

When we identify with something, it means we’ve tied some part of ourselves to it - things like the friends we keep, the car we own, and yes, the thoughts we hold. You can tell you’ve identified with something if the thought of losing it fills you with fear.

raise awareness
Not you Betsy! DON'T LEAVE ME!!!

When we have the things we identify with around us, they make us feel safe. Even if some of those things are destructive to you, like fear-based beliefs. Losing something we’ve identified with can feel like we’re losing a part of ourselves. But here’s the paradox: Are you really defined by the money in your pocket, the house you own, and the beliefs you hold? These may all be great descriptors of you, but are they really you?

Here’s another way to think of it, and raise awareness at the same time: try watching your thoughts. Follow them, stalk them like a hunter in the jungle. Avoid forming opinions about them, but just allow them to be. Now, if you are your thoughts, then who is observing those thoughts? In truth, you are not your thoughts at all. Perhaps the best description is that you are a silent observer, a consciousness that watches with no thoughts at all.

raise awareness
You've got to come out sometime mate...

This might seem like a roundabout way of explaining, but it’s necessary to arrive at a central truth: If you are not any of the things that you have, or think, then you have nothing to lose. This is the beginning of freedom, where we can start to dance, and live, with greater authenticity.

So at last, how can we raise awareness to stop the flow of negative, fear-driven thinking? Start by observing your thoughts, as you did earlier. You can do this while meditating, or working out, or doing any activity that slows your thinking at least temporarily. If impatience or frustration arise, just observe them like everything else - this is not a race to ‘get it’ as fast as you can.

As you raise awareness, you’ll find the stream of thinking slows, and even stops at times. You’ve created a ‘gap’ between observing and thinking, between who you really are and the filtering, judging, rationalizing mind. This gap gives you a chance to make a different choice when destructive thoughts arise - for instance, instead of reacting with shame, guilt, or anger, you might replace the thought with a more positive one, or even laugh at it for being so ridiculous. In this way, your mind, like your body, can be retrained to act in a way that comes from love rather than fear.

raise awareness

‘This is all well and good’, I hear you say, ‘but I still don’t see how raising awareness can improve my dancing.’ Next week, we’ll come full circle and explain how we can infuse this greater awareness into our dancing, so we can move fearlessly and authentically.

Body Awareness in Ballroom Dance

body awareness

‘Kids: They dance before they learn anything that isn’t music.’
- William Stafford

Thinking in dancing is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it helps us plan the next step, and interpret what we learn in a lesson. But too much thinking can stifle our body’s natural movement. You can tell if someone is dancing more in their mind then their body; their movements are stiff and robotic, and they seem unaware of their partner, or the music. Virtually all of us suffer from over-thinking sometimes, but we can counter it with the body awareness.

body awareness

What is body awareness? It is the ability to stay in the present, connected with the music and your partner. It also means that the mind goes silent, because our thoughts are only occupied by the past or future. Consider: Even if you are cursing yourself for a recent misstep, your attention is still directed into the past. To dance on the cutting edge of NOW, we must remove most of our thought from dancing.

We all learned how to dance, spin, jump and roll, as children. As we grew older however, we lost touch with our bodies. We were trained to use our minds for everything - look before you leap, don’t make assumptions, if you plan to learn, learn to plan. This doesn’t mean our minds aren’t an important tool in our day-to-day lives. But when we start using it on the ever-changing dance floor, it only slows us down. The tool has overtaken the master.

body awareness
I OWN you! Now make me a sandwich!

Here’s just a few kinds of thinking that can distract us from a great social dance:

  1. Ruminating about a mistake
  2. Anticipating or guessing at the next pattern
  3. Thinking about the work-day
  4. Worrying about the opinions of others
  5. Trying to remember our technique
  6. Planning five or ten steps in advance
  7. Internally judging your partner, or nearby dancers

To increase our body awareness, we need to start trusting our body’s instincts again. Our body picks up on steps, technique, and usually music too, a lot faster than our brain does. This is why we usually dance better when trying a pattern or dance style for the first time: we allow ourselves to instinctually feel our way through the motions, at least temporarily. After a few repetitions however, our brain starts to reassert itself, and our dancing suffers until we’ve learned to make it automatic once more.

body awareness
'I don't want any gimmicks, just give me straight up dancing!'

‘But how am I supposed to dance without thinking?’ you might be wondering. The answer is to build trust in our instincts, and to train our mind to avoid ‘clinging’ to the inevitable bumps, jolts, and missteps that occur. For leaders, there may be brief flashes of thought as they decide on what to do next, but even this is a spontaneous interaction with the body. The rest of our attention is directed on what we feel, in our connection with our partner, and in expressing the music as it arrives. When you have body awareness, the only dance step that matters, is the one you are making right now.

body awareness

For many, the addiction to thinking can be too powerful to break simply by recognizing the importance of body awareness. Next week, we’ll take an objective look at where the destructive thought patterns that hurt our dancing come from, and how to eliminate them.

The Art of Slow Motion Dance

Slow Motion Dance

Assuming you’ve read the previous article, you now know how moving slowly through your steps can help your dances. So, how can we use ‘slow motion dance’ in our practice?

Downgrade the tempo

The easiest way to start getting used to slow motion dance is by choosing a slower beat for a song - aim for something about half the speed you’re used to. For example, I sometimes have my students dance a salsa… but to rumba music. This works for a while, but careful not to do it all the time if you have trouble following the beat!

slow motion dance
Wait - what dance is this again?

You might also slow down your favourite songs directly, using various DJ software. Although most of that isn’t cheap, you can download Audacity for free, and use the tempo slider to set the speed you like.

Use one dance to improve another

For most fast ballroom dances out there, there is a slow motion counterpart:

Take it easy… Pedal to the metal!
Rumba Cha cha
Slow waltz Viennese Waltz
Foxtrot Quickstep
East Coast Swing Jive

You can improve on the faster dances without even practicing them, just by working on their slow motion dance equivalent. Why? Because the technique is so similar between the fast and slower dances, you can improve on both tech and speed, without dancing to something that feels painfully slowed down.

Dance between the beats

When practicing slow motion dance, the key is not to wait longer at the end of each step, but to move more slowly so it ‘fills the music’. We don’t want our dancing to look like we’re stomping up a flight of stairs...

slow motion dance
CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP!

...but flowing through like an ocean wave.

slow motion dance
It's all very Zen over here.

If this is difficult or confusing to understand, start simple: Practice walking forward, but slowly. Your chest should never stop moving forward, but you’ll have to keep your stabilizers strong and use steady pressure in your feet to stay balanced. Speaking of which…

Check your balance

Feel like you have to catch yourself to keep from falling over? You might need to back up a step, and work on making 100% weight changes. I’ve written articles here that can help you with that. Underlying issues like balance will continue to sabotage slow motion dance until they’re dealt with, so don’t ignore them!

slow motion dance

Sources:
The Paradox of Practice: It’s Harder to go Slow than go Fast

Ballroom Dance Wear: A Comprehensive List

When we first get started learning a new skill - woodworking, for example - we start with only the basic tools. After all, why buy an entire workshop when you still can’t make a shelf properly? It’s only as you grow in experience, that you invest more in your craft, so you can be prepared to respond to more interesting requests from your clients. Likewise, we’ve covered the basics of ballroom dance wear: Now let’s look at a larger list for those looking to be a bit more prepared. I encourage you to print them out, if you like.

Group/Private Lessons

ballroom dance wear

The most relaxed of the three kinds of dance events, you can usually pack much more lightly for a one or two-hour class. In particular, bring a notebook (or video camera, if your teacher allows it) so you can have a record of what you learned.

Ballroom dance wear to bring:

__ Dance shoes
__ Comfortable, breathable clothes
__ Deodorant
__ Extra bobby pins and hair bands
__ Comb/brush
__ Nail clipper and file
__ Bandages and antiseptic wipes
__ Notebook and pen

Ballroom Socials

ballroom dance wear

Socials can range from an hour or two at the studio to a dance-til-dawn marathon at the local watering hole. Especially for the latter, it’s often a good idea to bring some extra supplies to keep your body going. These events are an opportunity to dress up a bit more as well.

Ballroom dance wear to bring:

__ Dance shoes
__ Comfortable, breathable clothes
__ Deodorant
__ Extra bobby pins and hair bands
__ Comb/brush
__ Nail clipper and file
__ Bandages and antiseptic wipes
__ Dance rag
__ Make-up and remover
__ Protein bar and full water bottle
__ (Optional) Directions to the event!
__ Extra shirt
__ Perfume or cologne

Performance/Competitions

ballroom dance wear

A performance or competition are often day-long events, so bring the kitchen sink! The last thing you want is to leave some critical piece of ballroom dance wear at home and regret it throughout the day. Bring plenty of ‘emergency supplies’ for unexpected tears and bruises, and don’t forget your music!

Ballroom dance wear to bring:

__ Dance shoes
__ Elastic bands (in case a shoe strap breaks)
__ Super glue
__ Comfortable, breathable clothes
__ Make-up and remover
__ Hand-held mirror
__ Extra bobby pins and hair bands
__ Hairspray
__ Comb/brush
__ Nail clipper and file
__ Perfume or cologne
__ Bandages and antiseptic wipes
__ Robe, or cover up
__ Needle and thread, safety pins, and scissors
__ Protein bar and full water bottle
__ (Optional) Directions to the event!
__ iPod with fully charged batteries, including music and earbuds
__ CDs with your music - bring 2 back-ups, just in case!
__ Lunch or snack food throughout the day
__ Reading material (if it’s a long day…)

Comments buttonWhat ballroom dance wear do YOU bring to your favourite dance event?

6 Ways to Increase Your Hip Flexibility

Hip Flexibility

Don’t get me wrong, proper technique is essential for Cuban motion. Once you have the basics down however, you might be asking yourself: How can I do more to capture the look of a Latin dancer? And a big part of that comes from increasing your hip flexibility, which gives you more range of motion on the dance floor. Here’s 6 ways to do that.

1. Keep a neutral spine.

Many dancers, due to an imbalance in their core and back muscles, end up sticking their butt out while dancing. This is like stretching an elastic band to it’s limit before twisting it. If you then try to twist your hips, at best you’ll find your hip flexibility is lower than usual - at worst you risk tearing something.

Hip Flexibility
It could happen to you...

2. Make sure the core is working.

Many muscles can play a roll in the rotation of the hips, but the ringleaders are the core muscles (your abs and lower back muscles). If you find it hard to use the core muscles, stand 2-footed with legs straight, and imagine you have bungee cords crossing from your hip to the opposite lower ribs. Practice tightening the muscles in the latter to pull to opposite hip forward (it won’t move much).

3. Add the knees and feet.

Engaging your legs won’t actually increase hip flexibility, but it can certainly make the action bigger! Think of how you climb a flight of stairs: you bend your knee to step onto the stair, shift your weight over the leg, then straighten to push yourself up. We use these same muscles when Latin dancing to move our hips. Turning the toes outwards also helps open the hips for bigger rotation.

Hip Flexibility
As any ballet dancer will tell you.

4. Stretch the hip rotator muscles.

If you’ve tried the above three tips and the movement still feels tight, you might need to increase hip flexibility through stretching. I’ve talked about some great stretches in the past, but here’s one specific to the hip rotators:

A. Sitting on a chair, place the LF on top of the right thigh, so the knee points out to the side.
B. Push gently down on the left thigh until you feel resistance.
C. Tilt slightly forward at the hip as you exhale, and hold for 30 seconds.
D. You can get a different stretch by starting with step A and pulling the left knee towards the right shoulder.

5. Stretch the IT band.

Another common area that dancers need to stretch regularly isn’t a muscle at all; it’s a thin, sheath of connective tissue that runs from the hip down to the knee. This is the iliotibial (IT) band. IT bands are notoriously difficult to stretch, although I suggest one here that works for some. However, the only method I've found that works for almost everybody is (*wince*) foam rolling.

Hip Flexibility

Consider picking up a yoga matt along with your roller so you have something to rest on during this stretch:

A. Buy a foam roller and lie sideways on it, so it rests just below the hip bone.
B. Slowly walk yourself upward, rolling the length of your leg down to just above the knee. Feel free to scream loudly while doing so.

It’s definitely not comfortable, but it feels great once you’re done!

6. Drill it!

Sometimes, the best way to improve hip flexibility is simply by practicing the Cuban motion you learned in class. Try it to a Rumba or Cha Cha beat, 20 minutes and 3 times a week, making sure you are pushing yourself to go a little further each time. Flexibility and dance practice in one exercise!

Hip Flexibility

Other Sources:
Ballroom Dance: Cuban Motion
Hip Stretches

7 Secrets to Sexy Latin Motion

latin motion

Hopefully, you’ve become familiar with the hip styling moves from last week. Now, it’s time to take your Latin motion to a whole new level! I learned these techniques over years of training and consulting with other professionals. You may not learn them all overnight, but the benefits are well worth it!

1. Move from your centre.

Like all movements in dance, hip actions begin with your core muscles, located in your abdomen. So if you want to improve your Latin motion, exercise those muscles! Not only will you build awareness of what’s going on in your mid-section, you’ll find yourself able to create sharper, stronger movements.

latin motion

2. Relax unnecessary muscles.

If you don’t need to use it, lose it! Most beginners accidentally use a lot of unnecessary muscles - this makes them appear jerky and stiff in their movements. As you develop your Latin motion, try relaxing into the movement, seeing how little energy you can put into it and still make it look good. This will make it ‘look easy’ to the casual observer.

3. Knees make the movement bigger.

Whatever Latin motion we begin from our abdominals, we can accentuate by softening and straightening our knees. This is because your knees give your pelvis a much greater range of motion than the core muscles alone. The knees are often used in rhythm or nightclub dances - like rumba or salsa respectively - to give our Latin motion a more grounded and rolling look.

latin motion

4. Bigger steps = Smaller Movement.

If our feet are planted further apart, it becomes more difficult to make larger hip movements, for two reasons. First, a large step is more challenging to maintain balance, especially if you are trying to move the centre of your gravity around. Second, it looks smaller psychologically, because your wide stance masks some of your hip movement. If the feet are together however, the body presents a straight line, in which the sideways movement of the hips will stand out more.

5. Stretch to increase flexibility.

Virtually every student I’ve taught could have improved their range of motion significantly, just by taking a few extra minutes a day to stretch out the glutes, hip flexors, and the iliotibial band that runs the outside of the leg from hip to knee. All of these muscles tend to get very tight in Latin dancers, and not stretching them out doesn’t just reduce your range of motion, but could cause an injury as well.

latin motion

6. Isolate the moving parts.

Throughout your training, focus your awareness on what is happening in your body. What muscles are activating at each point in the movement? When does it feel awkward or painful, and where? Understanding and keeping the movement in the working muscles gives you greater control, while making you look more relaxed.

7. If the music is faster, the movement is tighter.

We only have so much time in the music to bust out our hip rolls and undulations, so if the tempo is making you sweat, keep the movement subtle. Remember that staying on time is far more important than exaggerated styling, no matter how good it looks.

As you internalize the techniques above, you will start noticing a greater level of range, control, and smoothness to your Latin motion. Next week, we answer the question: How can we best stretch our hip muscles to create bigger, sexier movement?

5 Dance Moves for Sexy Hips

sexy hips

Whether you’re a man or a woman, your hips tell your dance partner a lot about you: how relaxed you are, how playful, how comfortable with your sexuality. So it should come as no surprise to know that, especially in the Latin clubs, one of the big indicators of your popularity as a dancer is how smoothly and sexily you can shake it down.

In previous articles on sexy hip movement, we explored the basic form of Latin hip movement, called Cuban motion, and I highly recommend ballroom beginners start there. For those of you a little more familiar with your body’s mid-section, here’s five more moves to develop some sexy hips!

1. The figure 8

sexy hips

The classic for sexy hips. The figure 8 is a great alternative for slower Latin songs. Accentuating the rotational movement in Cuban motion, the figure 8 comes from sending your hip more forward, then rolling it in a semi-circle to the back, before repeating on the opposite side.

2. The booty roll

sexy hips

Great for a more dramatic and sexy hip movement, the hips roll in a wide circle (or a smaller one, if space is tight). Make a side step into the roll, letting the hips roll back and side, before returning to the side you stepped on. Keep your chest high throughout the roll, with your body held in between your legs, changing weight on the end of the roll. The key is to keep your body as still as possible, so the focus stays on your hips.

3. Circular booty roll

sexy hips

A more advanced form of booty roll, this one works best while dancing solo, as a salsa shine, for instance. Step into the roll as before, but keep your weight closer to the stepping foot. As your hip rolls towards the opposite leg, use its momentum to turn on the ball of your standing foot, sliding the free foot slightly forward on each roll until you’ve made a full circle. Taking smaller steps accentuates the sexy hip action.

4. Hip bumps

sexy hips

Common in bachata and kizomba, the hip bump is executed with the feet close together, and the free leg bent. Pointing the free leg into the ground, while straightening the knee, causes the hip to rise vertically, then drop when the leg is relaxed. This often done sharply, to give the movement a more powerful look, and to stand out from smoother movements.

5.Hip undulations

sexy hips

A smooth and sexy hip undulation is sure to turn heads. It’s often paired with the upper body to create a body wave. Keeping it isolated at the hips can make it more subtle and sexy however.

This one takes a lot of practice to develop your body awareness. Separate the lower half of your torso into 4 quadrants: upper abdomen (solar plexus), lower abdomen (belly button), upper hips (hip bones, and bottom of spine), and lower hips (the sit bones). In sequence, pull the upper 2 sections inward towards the spine, like you’re sucking in your belly, followed by rolling the upper hips back, followed by the lower hips. As you pull each section back, let the section two sections above relax (ex. relax the upper abdomen as you pull the upper hips back). When you get the order right, this will create a small wave undulation from the stomach through the pelvis.

Any questions? No? Then get practicing - more tips to come!

20 Dance Humour Gems for Laughing At Mistakes

dance humour

In our perfectionist society, we’ve been trained to see mistakes as some terrible defection of character, something to avoid at all costs. In the world of ballroom dance however, missteps are simply another form of growth. And good thing too, because you will make many, many mistakes while dancing. Therefore, you and your partner have no choice but to get used each other’s mistakes. And in the social ballroom scene, some well-timed dance humour is the best way to keep calm and dance on.

Why is dance humour so effective? For one thing, it immediately cuts the tension, replacing what would have been a negative experience with a positive one. Also, well-crafted dance humour can actually raise your partner’s opinion of you, because they see you as a fun, easygoing person to dance with. Of course, poorly planned dance humour can have the opposite effect!

dance humour

Therefore, follow these rules when unleashing your funny side:

  1. Always build them up. You can poke fun at yourself, but NEVER at your partner.
  2. Keep it simple. If your subtlety isn’t understood, it won’t be funny.
  3. Avoid sarcasm. A lot is missed on a noisy dance floor. If your dance humour could offend someone who takes it literally, don’t use it.
  4. Err on the side of caution. Unless you REALLY know the other person, say nothing off-colour or personal.
  5. When in doubt, add a smile or a wink!
  6. Watch their response. If they don’t give you an answering smile or laugh, shelve the humour.

dance humour

Here’s a few of my favourites:

Yours

  1. ‘I allow 10 mistakes per dance. Sorry, I’ve already used up 6 of them.’
  2. ‘I’m going to pretend I meant to do that.’
  3. ‘Sorry, it’s my first day with my new feet.’
  4. ‘How did you like my new step?’
  5. ‘That was an interesting variation, want to do it again?’
  6. ‘Well, it always worked in cartoons.’
  7. ‘Sorry, I thought you were getting bored.’

Theirs

  1. When you stop your partner from falling: ‘Hey, warn me next time you try a dip!’
  2. ‘Trying to confuse me, eh?’ *wink*
  3. Partner accidentally hits you: ‘It’s okay, I probably deserved that.’
  4. ‘Don’t worry, it’s nothing that won’t grow back.’
  5. ‘I don’t think we’ll have to amputate this time’ *wink*
  6. Partner steps on your foot: ‘It’s okay, I have a spare.’
  7. ‘Who taught you my signature move?’

dance humour

Together

  1. ‘Okay, if anyone asks, that was a variation.’
  2. Having trouble with lead and follow: ’Tell you what, I’ll lead this dance, you lead the next one, what do you say?’
  3. ‘Wait, which dance is this again?’
  4. ‘Don’t worry, I think everyone saw that.’
  5. When dodging other, slower couples: ‘We are SO winning this race!’
  6. On a crowded floor: ‘Let’s just do a lift and thin this crowd out a bit.’

<h3>So readers, what’s the best dance humour you’ve heard?