Practice your technique and be precise but explore your styling and be creative.
Technique like balance and how to use your core muscles to move your arms and legs, should be sought after as if looking for the “right” way. They should be drilled over and over, always getting better but never finishing.
Styling outlines what elements to apply to a dance to make it unique. Like, how far up to raise your body or how sharp to turn your head, it should be used in a more general artistic sense. These elements are decided upon based off of human emotion and not mathematical rules like patterns and amount of turn.
Imagine describing love, there isn’t one way. Some might portray it with a smile of their child or grandparent. Some might portray it by showing someone helping a begger on the street and showing compassion. The root emotion can be the same, but the way to express it can be varied. It would be better to learn the root emotion of a dance and learn about the various ways that one could show it. Rather than master only one way to show a thing and never focus on the root aspect you are showing. Use your skill and technique to show your version of the root emotion. Use someone else’s version to gain a glimpse into what that root emotion can be.
In that way, you are using whatever technical skills you have to show some kind of emotion, whether you are a beginner or advanced your goal should be an emotional one.
For a beginner, that emotion might simply be to have fun, that means every way you do a pattern, a styling, a technique,choose what you do filtered through the question, “Once I learn this, will this be fun for me and my partner?”
Every element then will be working toward a goal of of human emotion. Rather than memorizing a pattern and only doing the technique and styling that you can do within that pattern, which makes the pattern be the ultimate goal. Learn the root goal and a few ways to get there and in time dances like Waltz, won’t mean Twinkle and Under Arm Turn, but Sway and Rise and Fall which will lead to a regal Happyness. Unfortunately a pattern will not provide human emotion in and of itself, nor will it lead to things like Sway in and of itself. In some cases it might actually stymie the learning of sway if you prioritize doing the pattern correctly over doing the sway correctly. That thinking will limit access to the joy and happiness that comes so easily from things beyond the pattern.
Ultimately use the patterns to facilitate emotion and not the other way around.
Social Graces Ballroom Dance Studio
639 East Main St.
Berryville, VA 22611
Enjoy the act of learning,
while also enjoying the art of knowing.