If you can count to four,
you can learn to dance!
For dancing purposes, we’re
going to assume that all types of music are built in
multiples of two beats except for the Waltz which is
built in multiples of three.
Essentially, all dances
revolve around two rhythms. Once you learn these,
and can put them in combination, you can perform just
about any dance there is. The two rhythms are slows
The first rhythm is known as a slow. A slow is equivalent to two beats. A slow
is danced by stepping on the first beat and killing time for the second beat.
When you are dancing, count it as "slow, slow", or "one-two,
Let’s practice a slow. Stand with your feet together. First,
we’re going to step side to side. Starting to your left, it’s "side -
touch" "side - touch". On the "touch," you merely bring
your free leg alongside of your supporting leg. A touch is done without
transferring weight. You should be able to fluidly go from left to right like
this: "left - touch - right - touch - left - touch - right - touch."
The second rhythm is called a quick. A quick is equivalent to one beat. A quick
is danced as one step for each beat. When you are dancing, count it as “quick,
quick, quick, quick,” or “walk, two, three, four.” Quicks are generally
done in sets of two.
Let’s practice quicks. Beginning with a simple march in
place, it’s “march, 2, march, 2” or “quick, quick, quick, quick.”
That’s not too hard, is it? Do you notice a relationship between slows and
quicks? There are two quicks for every slow.
Combine slows and quicks
four basic elements
Once you can master the
slow and quick rhythms, you now only need to learn to put these
in combination. To help learn these, we learn four basic
1. the triple step
The triple step is a three
step sequence taken on two beats of music. If the first
step of the triple step is taken on count 1, the second
step is taken on the half beat between counts 1&2, and
the third step is taken on count 2. The step timing is
often called out as 1&2. Usually the triple step is two
quick steps and one slow, called out as
"quick-quick-slow", or, using numbers, as "one-and-two.”
2. the rock step
The rock step is simply two
weight changes with the feet apart, taken in any
four count box step
details of the 4/4 box.
4. the three count box
for details of the 3/4 box.
How To Prevent Getting Stepped On
Now let's look at the feet. Never dance toe-to-toe or you'll end up stepping on
each others' feet. This very important principle is called Aim. Aiming can be
achieved by positioning your body so that it is offset by 1/2 body distance to
your own left, with your right foot pointed in between your partner's feet. By
doing this, you will prevent any unnecessary injuries on the dance floor.