Hello fellow dancer,
Let me tell you a bit about myself and why I set up this website.
How I got into dancing
It was a few years ago that I got into dancing. I finished my PhD in engineering design and a master of entrepreneurship and innovation a year or so before that. For most of my life I have always wanted to learn new things so I had been academically active. However, at this time I was learning nothing and I was getting restless.
I had walked past a dance studio near where I lived many times over a number of years so I knew that there was a place that I could learn. However, it just never occurred to me that it could me that it was an ideal pass time.
Anyway, I was so bored one Sunday afternoon that I was in front of my PC typing “things to do when bored” in to an online search engine. As you can guess, dance classes came up in one of the lists I that I found during this net surfing session. The dance studio down the road popped into my head, and I found them on the internet. I found about their introductory class offer, I called them to make a booking and the rest was a long drawn our process of trying to work out what the hell I was doing.
What I quickly discovered about dancing
Because I had never danced before I was certainly at a disadvantage. I had always gone very poorly in music at school, and I couldn’t even count the beat in music. Also, the way I learnt was much more literal and analytical than the intuitive methods used by many in the dance world.
However, I was pretty good at moving my body and remembering routines. This was because earlier in my life I studied martial arts. Once I started university, and I had less money and time, I had to drop it. I still plan on going back to it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. One day!
The thing is though I realized that because of my background there were some key skills I had and some that I didn’t. So this got me thinking that there must be quick ways to increase the attributes that are required for dance without actually needing to dance for years before they develop. This idea too came from my experience in martial arts. There were two things that I was told:
An attribute is something that makes you good at what you do, but isn’t itself actually needed to do it.
You can’t afford to wait 20 years to defend yourself; danger is out there now so you need to train to learn quickly. That’s why you work on your attributes.
So that was the mindset that I had: work out what attributes that I needed to become a good dancer and then find exercises that would develop those attributes as quickly as possible.
What I later discovered about dance
So with this notion of developing the key attributes for dance I went off the scan all the books I could find. However, what I found was very disappointing.
To this day I still haven’t found what I think is a good book for improving partner dancing. If you find one, then please contact me and let me know because I want to read it and I want to let everyone else know about it too.
All the books I found simply told you the basics of each type of dance (such as its mood, style and history) and then told you what the basic steps were. Essentially, they were a poorer version of what you got in a dance class, which I was already taking. I didn’t need to be told what the dance was; I needed to know how to be better at doing it.
There were some books that came with video and of course stand alone videos too. However, the same thing happened. They simply went over what was already being done in class. It was helpful to have the reference that a video offered, but it really wasn’t what I knew would be best.
What I did to improve my dancing
So from that point onwards I started looking elsewhere for what I needed. I broke dancing down into the things I needed and I then went to experts on those topics.
If I had troubles with my musicality, then I read books on music and found exercises that helped improve rhythm and timing.
If I had issues moving my body, then I consulted books on yoga and posture. If I had troubles remembering a routine, then I read up on how to improve your memory.
If I had troubles dancing in front of people for a competition, then I consulted self hypnosis and meditation books.
I think you get the basic idea, but just to make it clear; what I found was a collection of techniques that I could use to improve the attributes that I needed to be a good dancer.
What I found was that I was able to increase my dance skills faster than many others who were learning at the same time as me. It was clear to me that what I had collected, gave me a real advantage. To this day, if I ever dance in a competition or go for a medal and I do not do as well as I should, then I can always track it down to not applying one of these techniques that I had come across.
I initially took up dancing because I was bored. Today, I love it because it is an excellent way to stay physically and mentally active, it’s an excellent way to meet people and because there is always some way to get better at it, dance stops me from getting bored. I’ve never taken it too seriously (I have other things in my life for that), but I do like to do it well. That’s why I am always looking for ways to quickly and easily improve the way dancing can be learnt. Not only do I want to be good at it, but I want everyone else to be able to pick it up quickly so that there are more opportunities out there for me to dance too. That’s why I have written the e-book so you can use what I have found to quickly become a better dancer.
About Clint Steele