Helpful Hints for Partner Dancing
Most people go into their wedding dance with no experience dancing with a partner, or any kind of dance lessons at all! We at Bella Ballroom are here to tell you–that’s ok! The fact that you want to take lessons for your first dance put you far ahead of the curve. Who wants to just sway like middle school teenagers during their first dance as a married couple? Whether you want a flashy choreographed dance with lifts and dips or something simple to just get you through your wedding first dance and beyond, here are some helpful hints for partner dancing.
Your frame is important! Most new dancers think that getting the steps is the most essential. The communication from the lead to the follow is through the frame, arms & body, not through the feet. Stand up straight, put tension in your arms & carry your weight over your feet (no “sneaky” feet!).
Dancing is just walking, in a pattern. Your step size should be the same gait as your natural walk or smaller. When we walk, we put our heel down first & then our toe. Do the same thing when you dance (not in Latin though!) While walking, we don’t march. We don’t lift our feet a great deal from the floor. When dancing, keep your feet in contact with the floor as much as possible. We also walk one foot after the other: left, right, left, right. Dancing is made the same way, we change weight from one foot to the other every step.
As a lead, your goal is to lead your partner through the steps as if they’ve never seen them before. Pretend your partner doesn’t know what’s coming. As a follow, the hardest thing to learn is to turn off your brain. Try not the anticipate the moves, stay on the lead’s timing & just go where your led. Don’t overthink it.
It will feel weird at first and it may seem overwhelming with so many things to keep in mind. But our instructors at Bella Ballroom are here to help you get through those awkward moments, give you a beautiful first dance as well as fundamental partner dance basics to waltz your way through the rest of marriage.
Article by Bella Ballroom’s office assistant, Teah.