Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Ballroom Dance

J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Things We Don't Know About Dance

Ballroom Dance is a collaborative sport; we must have a partner. As a leader, I find vast differences among dance partners, and I encounter deficiencies rarely addressed in either pre-dance lessons or popular group lessons. I don't know what the followers' complaints might be. I think that they would be similar; however, I don't know for sure, and I don't see evidence that anyone else does either.

That need not be the case. Dance clubs, particularly USADance Chapters, have ample opportunity to assess deficiencies among their membership and clientele. Unfortunately, they seem to see little or no need, exhibiting appreciation neither for the process nor the product of assessment. In contrast, ongoing assessment for dance clubs, as in any other organization, can lead to continued improvements. So, one might consider what might be the consequences of knowing, for example, the most common deficiencies as perceived by leaders and followers, or, perhaps better, knowing the most common deficiencies as perceived by a group of the club's most accomplished dancers or most preferred dance partners.

If we knew the most common deficiencies, we could, at least, publicize them so that dancers might consider their proficiency in those areas. They might discuss those aspects more, and they might solicit feedback from friends and acquaintances, or even dance instructors. That, in itself, would lead to improvement. Further, clubs might call attention to common deficiencies at pre-dance lessons and devote a few lessons to those problems, or, better, devote a few minutes to them in the midst of the dance, perhaps just before a mixer. They might even go so far as to implement a series of self-assessment exercises, say during a band break, or give the DJ a break for a few minutes. Clubs could designate volunteers to serve as coaches, identify them at the beginning of the dance, and invite anyone with questions to ask them for assistance or provide an assessment, perhaps specifically addressing the identified deficiencies.

The quality of dance could be better because we all know well-intended dancers who don't realize that they could easily be a more enjoyable partner. Most dancers will likely admit that it is not the variety of our dance as much as it is the quality of our dance that makes it enjoyable; however, even that might be an erroneous assumption on my part. We don't know definitivelywhat the problems are, but certainly there are some problems out there on the dance floor. Unless we attempt to identify them, acknowledge them, and take action to resolve them, they will remain. Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.