First, we will show the 2 videos below to our clients to demonstrate what we teach.
The first video is a demonstration of the fundamentals dance skills required for a basic choreography. We teach this to all our clients.
The second video demonstrates our catalog of moves and patterns and how we can build on the fundamentals skills we first taught.
We don't teach all of this to our students! We ask them to pick 3 or 4 patterns and then teach them these patterns and integrate them and their personal choreography. As you can see in the video the patterns are named to make it easy for the clients to pick their favorites.
No two couples will have the same choreography.
Once the clients have picked their music and a few patterns, we are ready to create a draft of their choreography.
So at this point, we should have a plan and a good idea of the outcome.
It's time for the students to learn the basic partner dance techniques.
We start with the posture, the frame and then the hold.
We start with the posture:
Then the frame:
We first define the frame: from fingers tips up the arm, across the shoulders, down the other arm to the fingers tips. We then give a brief overview of the 2 purposes of the frame: communication (leading and following) and styling.
Time to describe the frame:
Finally the hold and positioning:
First a quick word about positioning: Man and lady stand in front of each other slightly offset to the left. Most beginners will naturally adopt a "nose to nose, toes to toes" position and that should be corrected.
We will name and describe each position and hold:
The 2nd hold is the best. It's a lot more versatile and it's used for turns and spins. We encourage our students to use that hold all of the time.
This is a short and simple exercise to illustrate and practice the concept of leading and following. The exercise is particularly helpful for understanding the role of the follower.
Leader and follower place themselves in front of each other, palm to palm, fingers pointing to the ceiling and elbows bent at a 90° angle.
The leader will lead by walking forward and back. The follower should:
In order to do this, the follower will have to travel. That is the basis of the exercise.
We will make sure that the leader and follower switch role for this exercise as it is important for both to understand the concept of following.
We will also spice up the exercise by asking the follower to close the eyes and develop a better feel for that tension.
Just like meditation following is a very simple concept but difficult to practice at first!