Have you ever eaten (or even seen) an Oreo cookie? Two chocolate wafers, containing a glorious cream frosting in the center. Some people eat them as a sandwich; some take them apart to simply eat the cream.
When you social dance, I want you to think about Oreo cookies.
I want you to think of your social dancing as an Oreo. You have the beginning of a move, which is chocolate wafer #1. You also have the end of a move, which is chocolate wafer #2. There’s also a 3rd part: the middle. The middle is where the magic happens. Think back to that Oreo: what would it be without its creamy center? It would be two dry, chocolate wafers. Not bad, but not particularly delicious either.
A lot of social dancers forget about the middle.
For leads, they tend to get caught up in how to start a move, and how to go to the next move. They concentrate on how to start moving the follow in the right direction, and then immediately think about the next move. They forget that there’s a middle.
For follows, they tend to feel an impulse and immediately commit themselves. They forget that between the beginning impulse and the end result, there’s a whole in-between section. They forget that there’s a middle.
If you learn to master the middle of your moves, you will find your dance-ability improve significantly. The middle of movements is where connection happens. It is also where you gain the ability to create new movements, compensate for a partner, and play with rhythm and musicality.
The middle is where the magic happens.
If you learn to think more about the middle of the movement, your quality of dance will improve. Instead of thinking about stepping forward, think about how you step forward. Think about how fast you should change the weight from left to right. Think about how to transfer your weight at the same speed as your partner.
Leads: instead of thinking about the next move you want to lead, think about how to stay in time with your partner in the current move. Are you losing connection in the middle? Is there a ‘bump’ or hiccup, where you are out of sync with your partner’s timing or connection? Is there a point where you feel nothing in the connection, and it just feels like two bodies completing a move independently?
Follows: instead of thinking about what move you are being asked for, think about how to stay with the lead in every millisecond. Think about pacing yourself to stay in the lead’s timing, rather than rushing for the end of the movement. Are you doing the step on your own? Are you arriving before the lead? Are you doing what you know, rather than what you are being asked for?
Think about the creamy center. The creamy center is what differentiates great dancers from good dancers. Understanding the middle is your key to better quality of movement, connection, and general dance ability.
Don’t be just a chocolate wafer. Be an Oreo cookie.
Do you know a great Oreo cookie dancer? Have thoughts to add? Comment and share!