Dancing Requires Energy Plus!
Ballroom Dancing has certainly changed over the years! Just the name itself already gives you a hint to where it has gone: DANCESPORT. Whether you like it or not, Ballroom is definitely more athletic these days. Especially in the IDSF amateur categories, dancers are pushing the limits as to how fast they can go and how far they can move!
Unfortunately, it’s getting to the point where, in some cases, energy is winning over quality. This is NOT good. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t follow the trend of where DanceSport is going these days. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t do it at the expense of producing high quality dancing.
As in life, we often cannot and probably should not resist change. We need to go with the flow. Our Danish coach, Hans Laxholm, used to always say, ‘The only thing that is constant is change’. These are words that we have never forgotten and words that we now live by every day.
Within this world of change, the thing we need to be mindful of is not to lose sight of our values and the simple truths in life. If you ask any of the old Ballroom greats, they will all tell you the same thing. The true essence of Ballroom Dancing is about musical expression; about two bodies dancing together as one. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Often, without realizing it, dancers take one of two approaches.
(Which type are you?)
1) Dancers are ‘energy-plus’ and out of control. These dancers put in as much (mis-guided) energy as they can into their dancing, resulting in tension, struggle and utter exhaustion. Often times, their increase in energy goes hand in hand with an increase in speed (which is not necessarily a truth), and therefore, they end up too fast for the music.
2) Dancers play it safe and look boring. These dancers try not to put too much energy into their actions in order to maintain a good quality of dancing. Often the result, when compared to the other ‘energy-plus’ couples on the floor, is that they end up looking low-energy or (for lack of a better word) boring.
The problem is that most dancers do not understand how to create energy and use it in an efficient manner. Your goal should not be to simply max out your energy, but to maximize your energy without losing control.