I find it very disappointing that most social dance instructors don’t talk (or don’t know) about how some people simply can’t do certain dance moves without doing additional training first. Moreover, they may have students coming to their classes and workshops for years, and not improving because they don’t get necessary training. I dislike when important information is being held back, so I’m here to shed some light.
So this is how it really is:
- You cannot do cambrés if you don’t have good spine flexilibity, strong muscles in your core and under your shoulder blades.
- You cannot do brazilian zouk head movements without having strong core muscles, strong neck muscles and flexible thoracic spine.
- You cannot do beautiful salsa and bachata ladies arm styling if you don’t have good shoulder mobility.
- You cannot do double and triple spins if you don’t have good core strength and stability.
- You cannot have a good posture while dancing if your muscles are too weak to hold yourself in that position.
- You cannot dance on heels if you don’t have strong ankles.
- You cannot do hip movements if you don’t have flexible muscles in that area.
The list goes on.
Some people have these preconditions met naturally or they may have done sports, yoga or martial arts in the past that have prepared them for these moves. Others have had more sedentary lifestyles or insufficient training and when they come to learn social dance, may experience uncomfortable feeling in their body, injuries, disappointment in training results and loss of motivation.
Sadly, no matter how many hours teachers spend trying to explain them how to do the dance moves, show them the correct technique or yell corrections at them, their bodies are simply INCAPABLE of doing certain dance moves correctly. Therefore it will be impossible for them to move past intermediate level without doing additional conditioning training. And no, even taking private class won’t help.
Conditioning means that to improve your body’s capabilities, you do strength and mobility training in addition to dance classes. It would be best if this type of training was specific to your body’s needs and your dance style. In solo dance styles it’s already common for teachers to do conditioning exercises in the beginning of the class to gradually improve their students’ skills – I’d love for this to happen for social dance as well.
To sum up, you could be going to social dance workshops, classes and privates for years and spend hundreds if not thousands of euros trying to improve your skills, however there will be no progress if your body is incapable of doing certain dance moves. Which is why I find it so disappointing that instructors will teach “advanced” dance classes, but not do conditioning exercises to support these demanding moves or let students know that they should get additional training somewhere else.
Hope this article shed light on this important piece of information about dance training that is often missing in social dancing world.