Even when you and your partner can’t figure out a time to practice together, you can still improve your ballroom dancing a lot by practicing on your own. There are four main areas that you can improve quickly by yourself: posture, stamina, technique, and routines.
Here are 21 ways to improve your ballroom by yourself.
Note: none of these suggestions require a ballroom floor.
Posture is one of the first things that the judges notice. It is also one of the things that distinguishes ballroom dancers from other social dancers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been salsa or contra dancing and have had the leader ask: “Do you do ballroom?”
It’s important. Fix it.
- Stand up straight when walking to class
- Sit up straight during class
- Adjust your car mirrors so that you have to drive while sitting up straight
- Keep your ears in line with your hips
- Hold standard frame and practice switching head directions (slower for waltz and foxtrot, sharper for tango)
- Take a yoga class
As anyone who’s experienced rounds can tell you, ballroom takes a bit of stamina. Even when you don’t have the time or space to practice, you can still improve your ballroom dancing by improving your general fitness.
- go for a jog
- Quickstep: jump rope for 5 minutes
- Core strength & frame: hold a plank for 30 seconds*
- Samba: samba whisks for 2 minutes*
- Jive: basic step for 2 minutes*
- Frame: hold standard frame for 2 minutes*
- Stand in front of a mirror and smile your biggest, cheesiest, most winsome smile for 2 minutes (this is harder than it sounds)*
*Remember to breathe
Possibly the most fulfilling thing to practice on your own.
- Improve body control with slooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww rumba walks (hint: all of your Latin will improve if you do this)
- More body control: Cucarachas
- Gracefulness: Ankle rises (with or without a resistance band)
- Sharpness: Tango link to promenade to promenade close
- Improve your sense of timing: listen to ballroom music and clap the timing
- Latin styling for ladies: watch this video of Yulia and try in the mirror
Ladies, it helps your men a lot if you actually know what’s going on stepwise. Gentlemen, obviously if you forget your routines, you’re in a bit of trouble.
Two ways to cement your routines in both of your minds:
- Write your routines down in stunning detail
- Think through your routines while listening to music
These are just 21 suggestions of how to practice on your own. There are many many other ways to improve your dancing.