An Introduction To Dancing – Everything You Need to Know

An Introduction To Dancing – Everything You Need to Know

Dancing is often viewed as an art and is in fact one of the most unique forms of art in the world. Although it’s not exactly known when dancing came about, it is estimated to have originated about 9,000 years ago.

There is so much to learn and enjoy about dancing from the different types of dance that have developed to the wide range of benefits that it’ll provide to you. We have attempted to cover all areas in this article, so here is ‘almost’ everything you need to know about dancing.

What is dancing?

The truth is that there’s no clear-cut definition for dancing because it can mean so many different things in different cultures and to different people.

Generally speaking, though, dancing is the movement of the body in a rhythmic action, usually as an expression of emotion, to release energy or simply for the fun of it. You can dance on your own, as a couple or in a large group – and there are many different forms of dancing, which we will explore later on in this article.

Benefits of Dancing

Dancing helps to release a great amount of energy that has multiple physical and mental benefits. Dancing has been proved to be excellent in improving the condition of your heart and lungs, as well as improving your muscle strength and alleviating pain. It also strengthens bones and helps prevent or slow down bone loss-related to osteoporosis. Perhaps a very useful additional benefit is that it can help you to lose weight and keep you fit!

When it comes to your mental health, dancing is one of the best natural ways in which you can get rid of anxiety. Not only is it an instant mood booster, but it can also sharpen your mind and help to reduce feelings of stress. This form of exercise or art, however you wish to look at it will only increase your energy. You will find that you are able to do much more, sleep better and develop greater focus. If this sounds too good to be true, try it for yourself and see.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Did you know that dancing boosts your self-esteem? It’s great for improving self-confidence as well as reducing social anxiety. If you dance in a group, you will develop a sense of connection with them in a relaxed atmosphere, which will help you cope with social anxiety and strengthen social bonds.

Forms of Dancing

There are so many different forms of dancing that we can’t quote them all here. For the purpose of this article, the most popular ballroom and latin dances are shown below:

Ballroom:
●      Waltz
●      Viennese Waltz
●      Foxtrot
●      Social Foxtrot
●      Quickstep
●      American Smooth
●      Jive
●      Tango
●      Swing

Latin:
●      Rumba
●      Cha Cha
●      Samba
●      Salsa
●      Tango
●      Argentine Tango
●      Paso Doble

Ballroom Dancing

This form of dance involves sets of partner dances and is usually performed socially and competitively. Yes, this is the kind of dancing that you mostly see in the movies. It is now very popular all over the world at many social events, weddings and other celebrations.

Learning to dance is not something that can be achieved overnight. It takes a little time and practice to improve but provides a great sense of achievement when a dance move is mastered. It will uplift your mood as you dance to music, developing strength and balance in the process.

Ballroom dancing is also a workout – it provides exercise without you even realising it because you’re enjoying yourself!

What’s interesting about ballroom dancing is that it has been inspired by cultures all over the world and everyone has made a contribution to it. Each dance comes from a different place and has evolved over the years. Some, such as swing started in the US, whereas the famous Waltz originated in Germany. Ballroom dancing is quite famous in both Germany and the UK. Competitive ballroom dancing, however, is more common in Russia.

While each ballroom dance has its own set of combinations, it’s safe to say that ballroom dancing generally consists of smooth gliding across the floor and foot movements. This dance is all about timing and coordination, and that’s what makes it so beautiful. Other dance steps have different requirements – the Latin rumba for example involves bending and straightening of the knees, creating hip movements in every step.

There are so many different kinds of ballroom dances, each of which have their own unique beauty and charm. However, the four most popular ballroom dances in the world are  Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Swing. Here’s some basic information on each of them.

Waltz
One of the most well-known ballroom dances, it involves a step, slide and step. Since it was originally developed it has remained a very popular ballroom dance.

Foxtrot
The social foxtrot is ideal for beginners. It’s a relatively simple dance and is quite fun to do! Ballroom Foxtrot is a little more challenging, since it requires longer, flowing movements and more technique.

Quickstep
The quickstep, as the name suggests, is a quicker dance involving hops, runs and rotations around the dance floor, also requiring a faster tempo of music.

Swing
The key to swing dances is jazz music, which originated during the 1920s-1940s, also referred to as the ‘swing era’. This is also a faster dance. There are now many variations of Swing but they are all easy to learn.

Latin Dancing

Another popular kind of dancing that is also extremely fun is Latin dancing. These dances, just as the name suggests, originated in Latin America. They comprise many different dance styles that consist of passionate rhythms and performances.

Latin dancing is also a kind of ballroom dance that gained popularity throughout Europe during the 19th century. It is a mixture of many cultures from Europe and the Americas.  Again the most popular are briefly mentioned below:

Rumba
A Latin ballroom dance, the Rumba is a mixture between Cuban rhythms and American music. The Rumba is considered to be one of the most sensual Latin ballroom dances and is often referred to as the dance of love.

Cha cha
This dance originated in Cuba and is one that’s full of energy and passion. The faster dancing style is also considered to be an effective cardio workout!

Samba
The Samba as seen today developed in Rio around the end of the 19th century and is a brilliant expression of joy. In 1930, it was finally accepted as a form of ballroom dance. and today it is recognized as one of five International Styles of Latin Dancing.

Salsa
This dance came into being in the 1940s and is one of the most frequently performed dance forms even today. Salsa has since evolved into many different styles. Today, there are many different salsa styles that are influenced by the cultures of the cities that they originated in.

Is Dancing Hard to Learn?

If you’re wondering whether you will be able to learn ballroom dancing, worry not! Just like anything else, dancing has its challenges, and it might seem slightly overwhelming at first. However, with a little practice those dance steps become surprisingly easy.

We believe that every individual has the ability to dance and there’s no such thing as, “You can’t dance”.  With some determination and patience, you will get there before you even know it.

The key is to regularly practice. You can practice in front of the mirror or with a partner, whatever suits you better.

Remember, there is no age restriction when it comes to dancing and it’s never too late, either. There are seniors who are excellent dancers so it’s all in the mind. However, the earlier you start, the easier it will be for you.

How to Learn Dancing

 

A group of dancers practicing salsa

Now lies the question of how to learn. If you’re thinking about learning from YouTube, that may not be the best idea. It will be a slow process and it’s hard to keep motivated when you won’t have anyone to correct you and fix your form and steps. You keep putting it off by telling yourself that you will do it tomorrow.

The best way to learn dancing is in person, by joining a dance club or school. It is the fastest and most efficient way to learn. Apart from that, you will get exposure to many like-minded dancers who will boost your confidence. You can learn from their mistakes, and they can learn from yours. And of course, an experienced dance teacher can rapidly correct any problems and technique.

How to Choose a Dance School

Having decided that joining a dance school is the best way for you to learn to dance, it’s important to pick the right school to gain maximum benefit. There are many issues to consider when choosing a dance school, so don’t be hasty in your decision. Choosing one may be overwhelming at first, but we are here to help you out. Some important factors are the space, the teachers, the technique and the customer service.

First and foremost, the space has to be appealing to you. It should be an airy dance space that is dancer-friendly and not too cramped. It should have a relaxed atmosphere that makes you feel at home. Secondly, you have to carefully pay attention to the teachers. Do they have enough experience? Are they trained to teach? What is their approach to teaching? Are they patient and supportive or impatient and harsh? Are they good communicators? These are all important questions to ask yourself when making that decision.

The customer service of the school or club should also be exceptional. In other words, they should make you feel comfortable. If you are not comfortable and relaxed with the space and the people, it’s going to be difficult to learn.

Teaching people to dance requires a very specific skill set. Even if you are a great dancer yourself it doesn’t mean that you’ll be great at teaching it. For that, you need to be an excellent communicator and possess a wide knowledge, experience, understanding, patience and commitment.

Elaine’s Dancing School

Elaine’s dancing school offers Ballroom and Latin Dancing for adults in Gloucester, Stroud and the surrounding areas. Their two primary teachers, Elaine and John have over 50 years of experience between them and the school itself has been running for over 30 years.

This duo has the knowledge and expertise to teach people of all levels, especially beginners who have no prior experience in the field. The best part is that they can adapt their own teaching to meet your personal needs, whether it is a competition, a wedding dance or another occasion that you are looking at.

Their teaching approach is relaxed and presented in a way that makes it easy for you to remember.

While other dance teachers also offer focused training, they often lack communication skills. Elaine is especially loved by her pupils for her exceptional communication skills that make them feel comfortable, help them learn and also develop new friends.

There are many different options to choose from, including individual and group classes, dance workshops and monthly social dances, something to suit all requirements.

Final Thoughts

Dancing is a great form of expression and exercise, offering many benefits that are great for your health.

We hope that this article encourages you to make the move to find your passion for dance. All you have to do is take the first step and it will get easier from there. It will be an exciting and rewarding journey and you will be glad to have taken the initiative. If you haven’t yet signed up yet, what are you waiting for?

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