“If dancing were any easier it would be called football.”
I have always admired the professional dancers on tv, movies and in theatres. However, like every other profession, I just assumed they are really good at what they do because they practice… A LOT. Boy, was I wrong.
Not too long ago, I went and saw the ballet Swan Lake with my good friend. I must admit, it was my first time watching a ballet performance (sometimes I am afraid to go to plays and theatres as their singing/music puts me to sleep; shocking, I know) and no, I did not fall asleep. In fact, I sat there flabbergasted the whole time. I was in awe of the spectacular dancing that was being performed on stage – it was magnificent, to say the least. At one stage, Odette was doing so many pirouettes I lost count – regardless, one minute she was on one side of the stage and in the next, she was on the other side – it’s a wonder she could still stand straight after all that spinning – I would be on the ground after two spins, I think.
As I mentioned, I have always admired the dancers on stage – regardless of where their stage is. I, myself, have never been able to dance and would usually be the one chilling out with a drink whilst everyone is breaking it down on the dance floor. As it happens, I decided to do something about it and took a leap – I signed myself up to some Latin dancing courses. Not long after, I signed up to zouk also.
After learning for nearly three months now, I have come to have the deepest respect for these professional dancers. We are taught a couple new moves each week for salsa and zouk – and I must admit, it requires a lot of concentration and practice to learn a new move each time (more so for the boys, unfortunately, as they have to lead).
I knew it wouldn’t be easy learning new dance moves, but I didn’t realise it would be this tough either! It is so much more involved than just practicing – it takes a lot of dedication and concentration too. You have to concentrate on your feet pattern without looking at your feet, but at your dance partner instead. Then you have to gage what your partner would like to do as he leads, and incorporate shine elements into your moves as well – there are a lot of considerations involved.
Last night, through my procrastination, I stumbled upon videos of the dance instructors from my class competing in all sorts of State and Australia Salsa Championships. Admittedly, I knew my instructors were great (just wasn’t sure how much so), but their performance were outstanding in these videos (finishing in the top three for most of the competitions). Out of habit, I studied their feet pattern to see what their moves were – all I have to say is that I was wondering the whole time how many hours of practice do I need to put in to be even half as good as that?? They were pulling moves I had not seen before – doing spins and flips like it were second nature. It made me feel as those the lessons I have been taking are so, so minuscule and basic compared to what they did on stage!
So, after all this blabbering, all I want to say is kudos to all the dancers, instructors and students out there who are dancing, learning and/or teaching those with two left feet, such as myself. You have my deepest respect for the effort you put in to practicing and teaching others how to become better dancers. I now know it isn’t all about practicing – there is so much more to it. And the best part is, you have fun whilst doing it! It’s social, it’s fun, it’s relaxing, you meet new people, and best of all, you learn how to dance!