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Tips, Tricks & Quips
Posted by Cayla Capri
Shall We Dance?
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A pas de deux for two at your wedding reception makes for the utmost display of good taste and tenderness. Performing a prepared dance selection for your guests is an inventive and intimate way of putting your signature stamp on post-ceremonial celebrations.
Dance is one of body’s most natural expressions of joy - a timeless art form that has been infusing cultures through the ages. So don’t fret about trying to emulate the great Ginger Rogers – taking center stage with your sweetie is all about doing something fun and exciting together. Nothing beats being swept off your feet hand in hand, cheek to cheek.
top of the class
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Sign up for a ballroom lesson in your local area specifically designed for beginners. This way you’re less likely to feel intimidated and more open to striking up friendships with fellow two-stepping couples. Get the low-down beforehand on appropriate attire and Fame-like etiquette (show up10-15 minutes early for class, bring a water bottle, and forego any gum chewing). You’re sure to be strutting your stuff in no time.
foxtrot lady
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The foxtrot is one of the more popular styles when it comes to cutting a rug. Partners travel in the same direction around the perimeter of the dance floor following such steps as the forward basic (two walking steps and a side step with a slow-slow-quick-quick pattern), left and right box turns (a slow-quick-quick pattern), with a promenade step and an underarm turn to top everything off (whoo-ee!) Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” makes for a snappy background track.
waltz me to the moon
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The waltz is the dance of romance incarnate. It adheres to the classic ¾ meter -composed of left box and right box steps, followed by a six-count underarm turn. It’s all about musical mimicry – discovering an internal sense of ebb and flow, soft poise, and pureness of posture as you move with your partner or follow his lead. Sail down The Blue Danube with music by Strauss, or call on the tune “Moon River” from the delightful, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
two to tango
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Hands down, the tango remains one of the most passionate dances of all time - more suited for a pair who is not afraid to show off the steamy dynamic that sizzles between them. Its beat is a complex, little gem that follows a step sequence of both forward and backward directions with slow slow quick quick slow timing. Emphasis is on intention and the close physicality of each dancer’s position. Try “Por una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel for your soundtrack.
take it from the pros
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Ensure that your big debut is as enjoyable as possible by putting in that little extra bit of off-stage effort. When you feel secure in your footwork, you’re less likely to get bitten by the jitter-bug the evening of. It’s as easy as setting aside 15 minutes a day to rehearse movements covered in class.
When practicing at home, test the waters without music first, reciting the steps out loud, with your gaze lifted up and away from your feet. When dancing to the music of your choice, keep the steps small and maintain your focus on precision. And if a couple of toes just happen to get stepped on – no biggie – just remember to relax, breathe, and laugh!