Dinner is, ever since the industrial revolution or so, the main meal in most households.
For dancers, particularly ballroom dancers, timing needs to be dinner. Unfortunately, many ballroomers' timing is more like happy hour cocktails. It looks like this:
Just like alcohol beverages don't count as a meal, your lack of discernible timing does not constitute dancing.
Because timing is about half of what I'd define as ballroom dancing:
ball-room dance [bôl rōōm dans]: two people moving together through a set sequence of steps that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music
Yeah yeah yeah, "two people". Yeah yeah yeah, "steps". But "MATCH THE SPEED AND RHYTHM OF A PIECE OF MUSIC". That's the clincher, people.
There's about four situations that happen while dancing:
- A couple dances the popular and highly-recommended rhythm of the dance, to the popular and highly-recommended, corresponding beats of a song. [They dance Foxtrot as slow quick quick on 1 2 3 4 of a song.]
- A couple dances the popular and highly-recommended rhythm of the dance, to ... different beats of a song. [They dance Foxtrot as slow quick quick on 3 4 1 2 of a song.]
- A couple dances the popular and highly-recommended rhythm of the dance, but at a different speed than that of the actual song being played. [They dance slow quick quick on 1 2 of a song.]
- A couple dances ... a different rhythm to ... something else besides whatever song is playing. [They dance quic slooo qu, quikee slo-i-ty on 9 4 72.]
These timing situations have gone from acceptable to WTF (haha, dance joke!). Often, these situations can happen from the same couple in the same dance. While that is exciting, it is also confusing to watch and, therefore, wrong.
Here's how to get more nutritional benefits from timing:
- Have a teacher count timing. Over and over and over and over.
- Listen to music. All. The. Time. Ask instructors or other seasoned dancers for song recommendations. (Some waltzes/mambos/cha-chas are easier to hear than others.)
- Tap a foot. Try doing a simple movement in time to the music.
- Count out loud. No no no, OUT LOUD.
- Do the basic, in time with the music, while counting out loud.
- Crank up the music louder and do all these things.
- Dance steps while concentrating on the music and not steps.
- Do it all again.
The best thing anyone can do to learn how to dance on time with music is to practice on time with music. After awhile, an internal metronome will be set. At that point, even if you can't hear the beat of the song, you can dance a consistent rhythm and speed.
And here, have a second helping of timing.
One year ago: Don't Dance What You See- Body Contact. It's like 2-for-1 up in here!