You know how you see a great routine on Dancing With The Stars and think: “Wow! That’s awesome! I love it!” Have you ever thought why you love it? Here are some quick things to think about the next time you’re watching a smokin’ hot ballroom dance routine, be it at a competition, during the newest season of So You Think You Can Dance, or when you’re dancing up at storm at the local salsa club.
1. Face/Head – Are they smiling? Throwing out some sexy looks every now and then? Do they look at their partner? Does it look like they’re having fun? Do they flick their head a particular way? Is their head up? Great dancing may start with the feet, but when you’re dancing on a crowded floor, nice head position and styling will make you stand out.
2. Arms – You may go into dancing thinking, “arm styling isn’t for me”, or “this feels weird, I don’t want to do it”. The reality is that everyone, professionals included, went through that same awkward phase of their learning. The important thing is that there is an arm styling for all types of people, so when you see someone pulling off the kind of arms that make you say “WOW!”, I want to pay particular attention to them. Do they keep their arms in front of them? Is it the sharpness that excites you? How are they shaping their hands? Is there a fluidity to them? Do they create sharp lines? Does the arm styling complement their partner? How so?
3. Costumes – You know how you can usually spot someone who looks like they don’t normally wear the clothes they’re in? And on the flip side, there are people who manage to look even better because they look SO at-home in their clothes? Look for the people who manage to make their outfits look like a natural part of their bodies. Women in particular do a great job of this, grabbing their dresses or skirts on the dance floor to accentuate a step or hip action, to add flare to what they’re doing, or add an effortless grace to their movements. Pay attention to how men and women interact with their costumes to add flare out on the dance floor.
Just a few things to think about while you’re watching, but I guarantee it’ll help you become a better dancer as you’ll be able to express what it is you want and how you want to look. If you’re already taking lessons, take some of the things you’ve picked out during your observations and let your teacher know. If you’re at the “thinking about it” stage, use what you observe to give you a better idea of what you’d like your future dance self to look like. Then be sure to call up your nearest Arthur Murray and make your dreams a reality!
And if you’re looking for performances to watch and apply your three points, here are some pro shows from your very own Arthur Murray teachers!
Dance Medley to Prince’s “Kiss”