Wish your ballroom dancing looked as effortless as the pros? Me too, lol! While it might take a little more effort than reading a short article to become the next Yulia Zagoruychenko, here’s a couple tips to get your dancing up to speed.
Proper use of your standing leg is the key to traveling quickly. Whether you are dancing a Tango or dancing a Cha Cha quick, tight movement is going to help your dance come alive. Pushing off from your standing leg is a term used to describe how to change the weight from one foot to another. Standing up tall shift your weight from one foot to the other. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, feel your weight transfer from Left foot to Right foot. Congratulations! You have just discovered your standing leg! Now try using that leg to create more dynamic movement for the dance you’re working on. Think of pushing off form where you came from. If you’re traveling quickly down the floor, think of the back body propelling you. If you’re moving quickly to your Right think of pushing off of your Left.
For faster turns, always make sure your body is stacked all the way over your standing foot. Stand up straight and stack the head, rib, and hip over the foot and practice turning. Your head is the heaviest part of your body and when you look down or tilt your head it adds a lot of weight in one direction or another. Keep the head straight and look forward. When you stand up tall think of gently taking the curve out of the spine by pulling up from the base of the skull. Think of growing taller by using your core, chest and neck and let the back muscles rest down. Practice turning in both directions and work your weaker side just as much if not more than your good side.
Precise and powerful footwork is a must for any dancer, especially for tall dancers, whose feet are generally longer. When you’re practicing it’s helpful to break steps down and slowly move through each element. Start from the weight change, to the active movement (rotation, rolling through, pushing off etc.) of the foot to the finished position. Slowly, slowly go through the entire movement until you feel a smooth transition from start to finish. Make sure to practice finishing the movement completely as what you practice is what becomes habit. Gradually start increasing the speed as you feel your balance and fluidity increase.