|1||Space between partners (closed position), slow foxtrot moves, leans, slides|
|2||No space between partners (close position), weight shift leads, rhythm patterns, dips|
|3||Add to above: body rolls, hip & torso leads, hand placement options, dips with body rolls|
|4||Add to above: tandem position & waves, flirtation drama, deep dips with waves, further hand placements|
A. Connect to the Earth - Relax the hips and knees a bit as if you were just about to sit. Your center of gravity lowers. Feel your weightedness. Feel how the floor or ground feels to the bottom of your feet. You feel relaxed, but you have energy and awareness. This is a "playing readiness" posture. This is part of Blues Dance's African roots. You are in a way receiving energy from the earth in this manner. Push off the floor into weight shifts - a step has a full change of weight to the new side.
B. Connect to your own Body - Relax your shoulders. Rotate them a bit to relax them. Relax your neck muscles. Let your head be free to move. Your default free arm position is roughly parallel to the earth, so it can move expressively, a little or a lot. Free hand is relaxed, not in a "dance claw." Elbows are in front of torso, "never" behind.
C. Connect to your Partner
Psychologically: Relax into your partner; look at your partner at the start of the dance Smile. You don't want to stare at your partner the whole time. But at least check in!
Physically: In both closed and open position, there is energy away from each other, as your are both sitting back a bit. There is a big difference between choreography and lead-follow partner dance. The leader is essentially choreographing stream of consciousness, but knowing enough in advance to communicate to the follower. The follower waits, listens, responds. But we are not just leaders and followers! We are dancers - expressive, fun, even artistic at times. Whatever part of you is not touching your partner is free to move any way you wish. Ladies: wait for the lead. Better to be late than early. If he is not dancing to the music, dance to his rhythm. If the guy is a totally baffled newbie, you could try offering to backlead for a bit. Guys: be kind, not rough, but have firm, smoothly generated, well-defined, rhythmic leads, that don't come in at the very last second. Your partner needs time to respond in rhythm.
D. Connect to the Music -
Relax into the sound field: What are the main components? What are the instruments? Relax into the rhythm and rhythm patterns. How to respond to what you hear. Shift weight every other beat to start Then we will explore partial weight shifts, and up/down movement.
Salsa Dance Ithaca