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Jul
26

The timing matters?

Posted by: yeuca | Comments Comments Off

When I dance Slow Waltz, I feel as if I was purifying myself. When I was halfway through the Waltz music, I was dancing on clouds and ready to fly with my wings to join angels, dancing with me. I never met any ladies who don’t like Waltz; in fact, it continues to rise in popularity at weddings. Many couples come in to take lessons for their “First Dance” with their favorite songs, carefully chosen for their wedding and often get DISAPPOINTED to find out that their selection of music is not for Waltz.

The Waltz is unique and danced in ¾ timing, whereas other dances are danced in 4/4 time. In addition to that, “rise and fall” features the movement of the waltz. Tempo in Waltz appears to be hard to figure out for quite a few people, which led me to write this article. There are only three beats in one note, as there are four beats in other music. Maybe that’s why it is difficult to find good Waltz music and few songwriters compose lovely songs in ¾ timing nowadays. I guess the good old days are gone or our lives are too busy and hectic to appreciate elegant music like a Waltz. What a shame! Please check the list of music in my website. “Fascination” or “In other words (Fly me to the Moon)” are good examples for excellent Waltz music to dance to. They are not new but maintain the popularity among ballroom dancers. Listen and learn about the music in ¾ timing so that you don’t have to give up Waltz for “First Dance.”

What if you want to dance Waltz but your favorite song is not waltz. My solution is to incorporate Waltz steps in Foxtrot. This is also recommendation for intermediate/advanced ballroom dancers to make your choreography interesting. For example, add “Pivot” to forge an extra beat to dance Foxtrot. Remember, you need to watch your floor craft not to break the beautiful flow of your dance direction, when you do that. For your additional consideration, wedding dress fits best for Waltz, especially for “Father-Daughter Dance”. If a bride dances Waltz with her father, Swing could be chosen for your “First Dance”, even though Swing lacks class and dignity as a special dance.

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Jun
29

How to shine on the dance floor like “Stars”

Posted by: yeuca | Comments Comments Off

Did you watch the Season 12, “Dancing With the Stars,” which ended in May? Three contenders, Kristi Alley, Chelsea Kane and Hines Ward, were chosen for the final and showed their showmanship.

Could you guess who would win this season? Right after I saw Hines dancing with his partner, Kim Johnson, I thought he would win. Why? I thought it was pretty cool and unique to dance ballroom dancing to a marching band. But yet, numerous ballroom dance steps and figures were shown throughout their performance, as well as cheerleader movements. I give Kim credit utilizing Hines’ background as a football player and his charisma, being known as a member of Pittsburgh Steelers. In the past, many finalists chose Hip Hop type of choreography for their free style dance. That’s exactly what Chelsea did. If nobody did that before, she would have actually won first place. However, it was already season 12 and we have seen so many finalists attempting similar choreography. The idea is now a little bit stale to me. How about Kristi Alley? If I were her coach, I would assign Tango with a Flamenco flavor. She is a mature woman and an actress. I would throw tapping and clapping motions along with Tango figures and have her perform a gypsy. If she desires to show off that gymnastic movement, I would save it until the last moment just to give a touch of surprise for the audience. I did not think, though, that gymnastic movement was effective for her at all. Anyhow, they all did a great job!

You can shine as a dancer regardless of whether you are a good dancer or not, if you are creative and demonstrate something different and new. That is how Hines won the competition. Do not be afraid of incorporating Latin steps into Standard or Smooth Danceand vice versa. Use Hip Hop steps for your Latin or Rhythm Dance. Many people are too shy to stand out on the dance floor. When you dance on the public dance floor, try to make a little effort to shine like “Stars” even though you may think it is enough as long as you are having a good time. And you know what, that effort goes long way. The more you entertain your audience, the more you improve your dance. If you do not want to shine, you can always dance at home.

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May
22

First Dance AND Second Dance

Posted by: yeuca | Comments (2)

Can you dance a First Dance twice? You might be saying, “What? Are you insane?” But I am serious. This advice is only for those who are talented and good at dancing, or have great plans for their First Dance. That includes my students who took lessons SERIOUSLY and achieved beyond standard level. Your hard work should be paid off.

Your guests will come to your wedding with no expectations for your First Dance. What kind of reaction do you think you will encounter when you start showing off your FABULOUS FIRST DANCE? Before they go wild and crazy about your First Dance or become mesmerized by your performance, they will probably have moments of daydreaming, or they may lose their senses and ask ridiculous questions like… where am I, who am I? I am sure you will receive exciting comments such as “I wish you could show us your First Dance one more time.” Go ahead and make a plan to show your Second Dance. When you do that, there are a few things you may want to keep in your mind.

  • Show exactly the same choreography. That’s what your guests want.
  • Change music. If you chose a very slow love song for your First Dance, try to pick traditional ballroom dance music with strict tempo this time. Your elderly guests will love it and your dance will look more polished.
  • Second Dance should be danced toward the end of the ceremony. Of course, not right after the First Dance, even though your guests call for an encore.
  • Mistakes are acceptable for the Second Dance, so enjoy yourself and smile a lot. Make eye contact not only with your fiancé but also with your guests.

I guarantee you that the Second Dance is the most enjoyable and memorable dance for you when you look back after the wedding ceremony.

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May
22

Rise and Fall in Waltz

Posted by: yeuca | Comments (2)

One two three, one two three… Do you feel you are gliding across the dance floor as long as you chant that magical “one two three?” Rise and fall is one of the most well known characteristics in Waltzes, and it is true that the rise and fall underscores the flow of the movements and the beauty of the Waltz. Take a look at yourself dancing in a mirror. Is your head going up and down like an electrocardiogram, depicting wavy motions? If that’s what you are seeing, you are marching the Waltz, not dancing the Waltz. What you are creating is “vertical extension,” placing your weight on the ball of your foot, and then lowering yourself. Believe it or not, the motion itself does not generate flawless “rise and fall.” The rise and fall in this case results in a thin vertical line. What I mean is that it is just an extension of your height. You’ve got to create a horizontal line and volume whenever a vertical rise and fall is produced. With these two elements together, your rise and fall should come from the movements of your whole body. The best of all, your magical “one, two, three” is out of the Genie’s lamp and ready to grant you your wish, dancing the Waltz but not marching the Waltz.

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