One of the most important aspects of partner dancing is timing.
If your timing is out, then your partner will not enjoy dancing with you as much as possible. When your movements fit with the music there will be congruence and the body and the mind will feel at one with the music. This will then carry over to a connection with the partner that they are dancing with as well, and the full experience of partner dancing can be enjoyed.
Further, if an ability to keep time has become intuitive, then it is easier to master new steps or focus on technique or pay more attention to one's partner - leads and follows. This means that a good sense of timing will allow you to improve your partner dancing more rapidly.
Given the above, it is clearly wise to work on building this attribute to improve you dance ability. Therefore, this article will now go over a simple exercise to improve your timing.
Get a metronome. You can use a physical one, but the software versions offer some advantages:
They can often be downloaded free
They offer a variety of sounds
They are quick to adjust
Choose a BPM that fits with the dance you are most likely to dance to. Good dance CDs will tell you the BPM and the type of dance that the music is for.
Once the metronome starts simply clap in time with it. This seems a little basic, but it is a method used by some musicians to ensure they have good timing and as a dancer you want to have musician type skills when it comes to music.
Do this until you feel that you can readily meet the beat each time and do it with little concentration.
Now change the way you clap at the start of each bar. For example the majority of claps could be with cupped hands to provide a deeper more solid sound and the clap that corresponds to the first beat of each bar could be with the fingers of one hand into the palm of the other for a load slapping sound.
As with step 3, continue this until it feel natural and can be done with little concentration and without the need to count in your head.
Using the above method will steadily improve your timing and your ability to count music. If you ever feel that this ability is starting to slip then you can run through the exercise again. At the start it might take some time to develop your timing; however, once you have it you will likely only need to come back to it every once in a while to ensure that you still have good timing.
Clint Steele is a social dancer with an interest in learning and how people can get better at something with minimum time and effort. Get a free e-book on how to dance better now.
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