Wouldn’t you love to have great Latin Dance technique? It seems like the holy grail of dance is this mysterious thing: “Technique”, right?
But why does Technique seem so hard and unattainable? Well, after doing this little thing called dance for more than 30 years, training countless champions, and having won a few titles myself [yup, totally bragging here!], let me share with you three things I’ve noticed.
1: THE PEDESTAL
Many times dancers put “Technique” on a pedestal. They make “Technique” into this BIG mysterious thing that seems so complicated, scary, hard and out of reach. What this does is, it separates you from being able to feel like you can even do it. Trust me, technique takes work, but it is doable for anyone willing to take the right actions.
2: TOO MANY THINGS
Another reason that Technique seems tough, is because there is a lot of things to perfect. And the mind has a difficult time focusing on more than one thing at a time. For example, you’re gonna do a New Yorker, OK? So just go ahead and casually focus on ALL these things at once:
Massive hips action, torso alignment, stretch your arm, make sure your knees are working in opposition, ankles closed – but feet slightly turned out, a vertical line through your spine, you know; “posture”, eyes at eye level! And oh yeah, connect with a partner by using the right amount of pressure and opposition, AND listen to the music, AAANNDD SMILE!!
Oh boy, I’m actually getting tired just writing this…
What is the result?
Generally it creates stiff dancing. But don’t worry. There is another way. Thank god!
OK, but seriously, maybe none of that is on your “hard” list. But here’s something I’m gonna bet is. It’s the one thing that drove me to total madness when I was first starting to get my training in London, and it is, *drum roll*–
3: CONFLICTING INFORMATION
How would you even know what to listen to, when one teacher is saying “keep that heel on the ground”, and another is saying “get that heel off the floor and point that toe”? Funny thing is, even the same teacher may contradict themselves. Ouch!
So, literally every possible contradiction that ever happened, was presented to me at one time or another, and it wasn’t fun to figure it all out. Especially when you find out you’d spent all that time practicing something that was all for nothing. It’s, well, NOT inspiring. I know the feeling.
So what’s the solution?
Make sure you learn from the one who knows every contradiction, and where they came from. This way, you can get the right information about what to practice and never waste time.
That’s why I have been on a mission to de-mystify Latin Dancing.
I’ve created methods that are doable, easy to apply, because I want to simplify technique for my students, so that anyone can learn if they want to. This way, you can get your Latin technique down quickly and effectively, at your own pace.
I have an approach to what good technique means, that makes it soooo easy to apply. I’m going to save that for the next post.