FAQs from Beginner dancers

Here are some questions which beginner dancers have asked me and my partner prior to enrolling in our social dance classes. You ask and the Dance Addict answers.

Am I too old to dance?

No one is really too old to learn to dance. Dancing is for everyone. For the elderly. it even helps to make them feel younger and stronger. At the Heritage Dance Center, our most senior student is 84 years old, and our youngest is 5 years old (my own daughter). The first ingredient to learning to dance is a willingness to learn. There's this quote from an anonymous dancer: "People don't stop dancing because they get too old. They get old because they stop dancing."

Do I have to have a partner to learn to dance?

You need not have a partner to learn to dance. In fact, many of our classes are available for singles, though we encourage couples to enrol. Either way we make sure that students exchange partners several times during each session. This way, they become more sensitive to the application of each dance principle with different partners.

How many lessons do I have to take so I can go out to dance at the ballroom places?

Anyone can enjoy dancing even after the first or second lessons. The idea is to learn the principles of dancing -- such as posture, use of the diaphragm, precision on step positions, balance and centering and several others. Dance patterns are secondary, though it's necessary for both leaders and followers to know the basic dance rhythm. We encourage our students to combine the basic steps to create your own personal and original sequences. We don't encourage memorizing sequences. Instead we share the fundamentals of dancing and the basic step patterns, and encourage lots of creativity. Some students think the learning is slow. But then that's making sure you learn to dance, not just memorize the steps.

Should I bring a partner when I go out to dance?

By all means, though it's not a must. In most ballroom places in the Philippines, there are always a number of good dance partners you can hire to dance with you. And many of them are quite adept at what they do. This gives you an idea of how different it really is to dance with different partners. Just try to remember what you learned in the classes while you're out there enjoying yourself.

Why don't you teach us the dance steps we can use to show off, instead of practicing our walking, breathing, balancing, leads and follows, and basic steps?

I"ve been asked this question many times over. Dancing is more than simple walking. It is an art and a skill which one learns much like reading and writing. One can't possibly understand and execute the more complicated steps properly, with finesse and with style unless, one understands the fundamentals. Yes we do have to go through Kindergarten and Grade 1 first before we can reach college. With some people though the elementary level may not take as long as the others. Would you rather look like a waddling duck or a graceful swan?

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Comments 1 comment

Salsa Dancing 7 years ago

A really old guy in my salsa bar that I go to is awe inspiring. He dances and leads so well, that all the other women love practicing with him. He's attitude and energy is just amazing, he's always happy and will cheer you up instantly.

Age is abolsutely NOT an issue in the salsa scene.

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