Still keeping the faith through these crazy times
Hey, if you are the only attendee, you get a very cheap, 1 hour 1:1, as Maria from Sweden discovered to her delight on 30th December: "I can really recommend this!😊💃"
Learn how to follow the instruments and not just the beat. Pulse the beat but express the music - that's what the best dancers do to wow us and it is something we can all learn to do when we listen:
Don't just dance the 8-count basic, dance to all of Count Basie
Here's an interesting idea...
Could form the basis of an online "The Balboa Experiment": For example, how about booking for an entire week as a group of 4, interacting independently over Zoom outside of my classes to play and challenge.
The weighted foot swivels in time with the beat for the entire dance, providing stability and glide. The unweighted leg is free to do whatever the music suggests - really express yourself with it. The follow only follows pulse, weight-shifts and direction changes - not free-leg movements (necessarily). The follow must never have to look down to see what the lead is doing - this breaks the dance.
Can you spot each of the "Beyond the Basic" class techniques?
I slow the action in the faster tracks where an instrument suggests it, speeding up at times to match the beat but never getting frantic. It is important to always remain in control and to offer the follow a confident, positive body lead. The upper body maintains a consistent, gentle movement so that the chest lead is easy to stay in sync with, no matter what is going on with the legs.
Inject some style into your dancing by mixing your dance forms. The "old-timers" didn't just dance Balboa, they constantly adapted their style to the energy in the music.
Here I inject elements of tap and collegiate shag as the moment takes me. None of this is choreographed.
As your musicality develops you will find it easy to adapt your dancing to music that would not typically be associated with Balboa.
The last of the 3 tracks(at 4:40) here demonstrates how, once you have confidence in your Apple Jack "pulse", tackling any music becomes a breeze; you must not be "looking" for a predictable pattern of single or double count steps to follow. You realise that this is a 1-count dance. This is where my approach to teaching differs to that of most other teachers - from the start I focus on following the music, not a sequence of moves.