Dancing To Contemporary Songs -
How to Select The Dance That Best Fits The Music Playing
Uh oh! You just walked in the room and the music playing is
contemporary songs, not the strict Ballroom or Latin rhythms
to which you’re accustomed. How do you go about selecting the
dance that best “fits” the music playing?
First, don’t panic! Just keep these simple tips in mind:
It’s helpful to understand that most songs have four beats per bar
or measure of music (with the exception of the Waltz, of course) and
you can choose patterns from most any dance and apply them to any
song that is playing.
Next, deciding “what” to dance is based mostly on the tempo of
the song and your mood:
* Is it slow and melodious? – a Rumba will feel great.
* Too slow for a Rumba? – the Blues/Slow Nightclub will do the trick.
* Does it have a bouncy sound? – try the Samba or the Salsa.
* Does it have a sharp staccato beat? – try Cha-Cha, West Coast
Swing, or Hustle.
* Is the tempo medium and undefined? – try East Coast swing,
Hustle, Rumba, or Foxtrot.
* Is the tempo very fast? – Try Salsa, Retro Swing, or Merengue.
See? You can have fun trying different dances to the different tempos.
You can even try different dances to the same songs. The more
dances you know, the more options you’ll have. Just remember that
there is no right or wrong choice – only what works best for you.
Try this little exercise:
While relaxing at home, listen to some contemporary music
on the radio besides your usual collection of dance music. Then try to
“feel” which dance you would do to the song playing. With time and
practice, you will become experienced in deciding the best dance for
a particular tempo as soon as you hear it.
Traditional or contemporary, just always have fun with your dancing!
Blanche & Emilio
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