Cruising on the Dance Floor
Recently the Cunard ship "Queen Elizabeth" was sailing in the waters down under. Sydney, Aukland and even down here in Adelaide. As a result, many of our students, past and present took the opportunity to get on board and enjoy the cruise life. Some for a week or two others just for a couple of days.
Cunard ships in particular are famous for their big ballrooms and dance focused evening dinners. I have been asking them a bunch of questions to help get a sense of what preparation new dancers should think about before going on a cruise like this. Here are some of those answers.
The Ballroom style is alive and well on the high seas.
The Waltz is one of the most popular social dances on board, as a result, new students should focus on learning floor craft (the art of navigating a dance floor, without having to start and stop to avoid other dancers.). New students should also learn a variety of travelling steps to join the flow and over-take and small compact step to keep going when boxed in.
The Fox Trot (sometimes written as Foxtrot) is also popular but usually has a bit more breathing room. Keep an eye out for some dancers reciting a sequence dance as they may back up into flow of the Line of Dance unexpectedly. Again, Floorcraft is key.
The Tango is great dance to learn because the floor usually thins out and you have a lot more elbow room. Don't tell everyone this little pro tip as they will all be taking Tango lessons and the floors will be crowded out!
There isn't just one way to dance the Rhythm dances
The Cha Cha is a pretty universal style. Note that some dancers start on the Left foot others will start on the right. Leaders should shift side to side to lead their partners onto the foot you need her to be on to start (don't assume she will automatically be ready to start on the foot your partner or teacher usually does). Follows if it helps, take a sneaky peak art the Leaders feet to see where he is standing and match on the opposite foot. Once you get going, it should all feel pretty familiar.
Depending on who you ask there are three styles of Rumba (Don't worry, you don't have to learn them all!) Some dancers will dance the North American Box style, others the Euro-centric Cuban style and some enjoy the Bolero (A lovely, but more advanced Slow Rumba dance). So don't worry if you look around the floor and some couples are dancing a style that looks differs from what you've learned. There is no right or wrong, just different.
The same can be said of Swing/Rock 'n' Roll/Jive. If you are enjoying the music and the steps you know fit the timing, then enjoy! Some other dancers may be dancing West Coast Swing, Jive or Lindy Hop to the same music that you are Triple or Single Swing dancing too - Its all part of the fun.
Taking dance lessons is a great way to prepare for an upcoming Cruise. Take the first step into a whole new world today!