If you want to start something else but you don’t know what, prepare yourself, I have A LOT of ideas. I started to dance 9 years ago and I couldn’t stop. I tried a lot of different dances, as a follower and as a leader, and even now when I social dance 5 times a week, I am still curious to discover new dances. Every dance has its own singularity, and qualities you can work on, that will help to develop yourself as a person and boost your other dances.
I know everyone has a different path related to dance, about what brings you here, what you are looking for, goals you wish to achieve. I often meet people with a bal folk+contact+tango background. Or Lindy Hop+Charleston+Blues Dancing people. Others are Salsa+Kizomba+Forró… The combinations are endless.
Your motivation can change with time and experience, and I find it useful to make an introspective work on myself. So, from time to time, I try to define :
- what brings me there, what motivates me,
- what is my level in different dances as a leader and a follower,
- what do I want to improve,
- if there is space for another dance to master new skills.
For me, as a start as I was new in town, I was longing for social meeting, to make friends, to have fun.
And I love to wear amazing dresses !
Bal folk, social discovery
These medieval parties were always finishing with someone putting bal folk tunes on mp3, and that’s how I discovered Bal Folk. An amazing community, with many different dances, live music, quite easy to learn on the spot and a very welcoming atmosphere. Amongst other dances, that’s how I discovered couple dancing. It completely changed my life.
I should say that Bal Folk in itself is a never ending source of dances and techniques to learn, with all the traditional dances of every country, I still need to learn A LOT, like Tarantella and Italian dances, beautiful Swedish dances, Polish dances, funny Portuguese dances !!!! I’ll never be done with it !
Forró, the joyful life
After discovering couple dancing, some friends of bal folk told me about another traditional dancing from the north of Brazil, very close from the Scottish of Bal Folk, and that’s how I discovered forró . With its roots from European traditional dances, forró is a very easy joyful funny dance, not as “sexy” as salsa but still with a little perfume of sun and holidays. It taught me how to keep bouncing and give energy in close embrace.
Tango, the challenge of close embrace
With my always growing sense of connection, I wanted to learn some Tango, which is the ultimate art of dance, class, and seduction as we all know. The dance is incredibly demanding and asks for a lot of work that will never end. I learned the amazing power of connection and the will to control of my own body to a very accurate level. I learned the power of slow dancing in an intimate connection and flourish your dance as a follower. I also learned that not all the dancing communities are not welcoming. Tango has a huge community and depending on the milonga (bal) people may be as proud and demanding as the dance is in itself. But I see this as a personal challenge and the gain is – from my perspective – totally worth it.
Warning : this is an unbelievable demo. Not even close from social dancing.
Blues dancing, freedom of the body
As YouTube videos inspired me for a long time, I was looking for tango videos when I fell on a few videos entitled “tango blues dancing” or “blango”, “swango”, whatever… Shock of my life ! For sure it was inspired by tango, but so groovy, so free and full of fun ! That’s how I discovered Blues Dancing and I started right away. I learned a lot about solo dancing, self confidence and the sense of interpreting the music with your whole body when you dance. Contrary to tango, I discovered a very small community where everybody knows each other, are specialised in organising parties at home and never let anyone sitting aside.
Big shock. This is blues dancing mixed with tango, and my jaws just dropped.
This is blues dancing without the tango influence
For now I am there with these dances, #MedievalFolkForroTangoBlues. I am leading and following, which is really a lot of work. I means a lot time, parties, (,money)… I have work and things to explore, discover and improve probably for the rest of my life. And still it seems to increase my curiosity about other dances. I made a list of dances I am interested in if I wasn’t limited by time and money.
Never stop learning other dances
I am sure of one thing : each of these dances has particularities worth exploring. And as time pass I find every new dance easier to learn as I feel every new thing I learn helps me improve myself in every other dance.
That dance will probably kill me, but come on they look fantastic !
Of course with blues dancing I couldn’t help noticing that jumping joyful and impressive dance. Lindy Hop and Balboa would be perfect to work on energy and cardio.
Jazz Roots and Charleston
Ksenia Parkhatskaya, goddess of swing dancing
Working on movements in blues makes me want to master the sexiness of Charleston and Jazz Roots (vintage solo dancing yay), obviously rich in tonus and control of the body. And did I mention how beautiful they are ?
Salsa, and other latin dances
Let’s be honest, I have prejudices about Salsa. But it’s certainly more fun than the show of sexy butts I imagine
As tango, Salsa is being danced in all the big cities of the world, which makes it very interesting. I also like the sound of Bachata music, the dance looks quite fun and easy. And did ever you have a look on Mambo social dancing ? Looks amazing !
Rock’n Roll : 4 or 6 ?
Rock 4 temps, looks fun
As Rock’n Roll is being danced at almost every wedding (in France at least), I would love to learn the basics, allowing me to dance with my dad.
In the same area, you have Modern Jive , East Coast Swing or Ceroc that looks nice even if it’s not very common in Europe. I’ve already tried West Coast Swing which seems a very interesting dance, leading with the hands, helps you having attitude and self confidence.
That would feel my need of show off :p
West Coast Swing
I’m not quite sure about the music, but come on, it looks funny !
I find very interesting and beautiful to see how hip hop and contemporary dancers can master their body moves. They have a way to create and easily remember choreography I find completely amazing.
They have so much control on their body, how amazing is that ?!
Suppleness and body control, wow
I heard a lot of good things about ballroom. It seems they have a strong scene in countries like The Netherlands and Germany, and they have a lot of interesting dances you can work on. They also have a strong competitive scene, which is not really my style, but still interesting.
We, french people, have a nearly forgotten background of musette in our history. Well, good news ! It’s back with neo musette ! Some places in Paris organise musette bals with funny bands.
Find my limits, push the boundaries, get rid of stereotypes (or not)
My interest for dancing turn around 3 main principles : master body technique / body empowerment, quality of connection with your partner, and good music.
Some dances are too much for me, beyond my personal limits, but it doesn’t mean I don’t find them interesting. For example, as I am always in control when I dance, the “let it go” philosophy and introspective dances are not my type and I don’t think I will ever direct myself towards Contact dancing, Biodanza or Danse des 5 rythmes.
Danse des 5 rythmes
I am admiring people capable of confronting themselves in a dance.
Inspired by tai chi, nonverbal expression…
Another limit is the « obligatory sexiness ». I don’t feel comfortable with dances that demands more sexiness than technique, an unbalanced attitude between the leader (male) and follower (female). I am very fussy about the regard for the female body, so even if I respect the choice of the people dancing it, I feel it’s not for me. That’s why I don’t feel attracted by lambazouk or kizomba, but as I might be blinded by prejudices, I think I will try some workshops to be sure about it 😉
Zouk and Lambazouk
Some interesting technique to learn there, but I am not comfortable with the sexiness and the hair-thing…
Hmmmm body waves. – not really my style… What should I dooo ?
I feel these dances don’t match with what I personnaly expect from dancing. But sometimes, I find some videos like that one, mixing zouk and a bit of contemporary / capoeira that makes me doubt of my certainty…