What You Should Learn From Swing Dance Lessons and Workshops
- Learn Footwork: This is the starting point where you develop from knowing nothing. From staring at your feet while dancing, to eventually thinking 4-5 moves ahead.
- Learn mechanics first, then timing.
- Learn where your feet & hands go first, then eventually dancing TO the beat of the music will come.
- Learn 2-3 Basic Core Moves: Learn only a few basic moves at a time and do them reasonably well is sufficient to dance and enjoy it.
- Learn Position and Hold It: Ballroom swing is almost upright. Lindy Hop position is realxed and bent at the waist. Getting comfortable with your position and keep it constant during a dance takes a while.
- Learn to Stay at Constant Height: Swing Dancing can look like there is a huge amount of motion involved even though there is often very little vertical motion. Having lots of vertical motion in your dance makes you look radiculous. It is also very difficult to dance with someone who jumps up and down. Note: at least one foot should always be on the ground at any one time. ;-)
- Learn Connection: Swing is a partnered dance. Your connection to your partner is how you tell your partner what you are going to do. The keys are learning how not to cause your partner pain and how to make unambiguous leads.
- Learn a Few Moves: If you are at a workshop or lesson, learn 2-4 moves to add onto your basics foundation.
- Learn Styling. There is more to swing that just the basic footwork and lead/follow. You have a full body to move. You'll start to learn how to move it and make it look good.
- Learn Frame: When you start to learn to swing dance, you'll hear how motion always comes from your "center". You arms are actually extensions of your torso, they very rarely move seperately. It looks much better, and it feels much better to move your arm as extensions to your body, rather than moving your arms seperately from your body.
- Learn Music: Hearing "breaks" and tempo-changes in the music before they happen can take a lot of experince. When the music takes a break, your dancing should change to recognize it.
- Learn Connection: Yeah, we already said this, but it is so important, we are saying it twice.
- Learn Improvisation: In the beginning, footwork was everything. But as you progress in your dancing, you'll add a littel spice here & there. But be sure NOT to interfere with your partner or do somethign un-leadable.
- Learn Smoothness: Most of us used to dance in a jerky motion. But learn to blend moves together without obvious breaks and starts.
- Learn to Pulse: Lindy Hop especially involves hearuing the pulse in the music, let your body dance it. Pushing your feet into the ground, not jumping upwards. Thus, your body ends up following the rhythm. Try to keep your shoulders still, let your feet do the work.
- Learn Move Combinations: Learn to blend individual moves together so they flow into one another forming a combination. You will feel a natural progresison of how one move works perfect after a certain move. More moves, bigger combination. Bigger WOW!
After you get all of the above down well, you can lead almost anything. The more you learn, the more you learn you don't know.