Welcome to all our new clients and dancers! Since we’ve been back from Summer holidays it’s been non-stop fun at Jive Nation Toronto dance classes. We’ve said hello to people trying out modern jive for the first time – and discovering how much fun it is. Yes, learning to dance is overwhelming at first – however as you’ll probably have grasped by now (if you’ve been coming along for class) we make learning to dance as easy as it gets.
Anyone can dance. It may take time and if you’re new it may seem like a long time – but it’s really not. Judging by how well people are doing after just 3 lessons, if you listen in class, regularly do the lessons and practice in the freestyle every week you will be able to hold your own on the dance floor. Modern Jive is different from many other dances like that and our Toronto dance classes aim to get you dancing with confidence.
Tips if you’re new:
Leads: work on making your lead assertive and as clear as you can possibly make it. Secret tip: imagine your partner is dancing BLINDFOLDED. That’s right. They have to rely on YOU to lead them through all the dance moves, smoothly and elegantly. Ha! When I’m dancing with beginner leads and want to stress how important their lead is to me as a follow I tell them I am going to close my eyes and they have to lead me – safely and correctly.
It’s pretty remarkable what a difference this makes – suddenly the leads know they have to lead so I, as a follow know what to do. Leads – try it. Obviously not with moves where a signal is involved, because the follow has to see the signal, however try it with the First Move or the Octopus for example.
Follows: try your hardest not to back-lead the dance leads. I promise you will help the leads much more by waiting for them to lead the move first than by leading it for them. Remember new leads have to think on the fly, think of the next move, remember how to do it, lead it, listen to the beat and… well you get the picture. It takes them a little more time because…
It’s a lot while they are learning. With time, practice and your encouragement it will soon become second nature – and they won’t have to think about it… until then wait – and let them flub it (if necessary) and come up to speed. We all learn by making mistakes! It is the best way to learn and all they need is patience and encouragement. And that’s what we’re all about.
If you haven’t guessed by now follows – following is an art that can take time to master. It’s what makes partner dancing fun when it’s in synch, so if you want to help the leads, try dancing with as many different people as you can. You may be surprised at the difference you feel. Also, follows can really do some styling… we’ll be showing you some of that as we teach the routines. And if you want tips on what makes a great follow, or a great lead or a sought after dance partner just come and ask Nicky – or Harry or Matt, and we’ll give you some tips we’ve learned ourselves. Burning question? Ask one of us or drop Nicky a line and I’ll consider it for an article on the website.
Above all – have fun!
Happy dancing – see you on the dance floor.