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  • Writer's pictureThomas

The 4 pillars of dance

When you start taking dance lessons it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming trying to remember all the information you have been taught and juggle it all together. I find it helpful to break down my dancing into four areas and concentrate on them one at a time.

1. Footwork

Footwork describes anything relating to the feet. Foot Posions: Where do the feet go in relation to each other? Are the feet neatly closing in my side-together step? Footwork can also mean what part of the foot I am standing on ie. leading with the heel or sliding the front of the foot along the floor. Footwork can affect your entire posture line and balance so it is important to get it right. Don't worry, your teacher will try to make it FootFun.

2. Timing

Dancing and music go in in hand with each other. Timing can be a description of a step matching beat in the music. Often you will hear the phrase Slow, Quick, Quick to describe 3 steps taken over 4 beats of music for example. Timing can also be referring to rhythm or musical interpretation, the feel of a step as it relates to the music. Timing is an important aspect to good dancing as it matches your movements to the music and synchronises you with your partner. The good news is that timing can be learned - there's no such thing as natural timing, just someone that leaned when they were younger.

3. Lead & Follow

Partnership is a key element of partnership dancing. Traditionally the Gentleman dancer takes on the leader role and the Lady dancer takes on the follow role, however in the case of same sex couples, you can just decide who takes on each of the roles and stick to those roles throughout the dance. The leader imitates which step the couple will dance next and the follower will; respond and dance their part. As a couple, you work as a team, creating one picture with two dancers.

4. Posture

Posture referes to how you hold your body line as a dancer. It doesn't just mean stand up straight and stiff. A dancers posture should move and change as they dance complimentary to the step and music. Poise and styling can both be aspects of posture. Posture is often thought of as the 'finish' to the overall look of the dance with the feet, timing and partnership all working together too.

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