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Thinking on your feet
Posted by Peter Harris
9/20/2018  12:36:00 AM
Hi .. I have been taking lessons for about 2 years and have quite a few moves that i can complete easily. I learn quickly and have good rhythm. However when I try to put this into practice outside of the classroom every thing goes to pot! I don't forget or lose my sense of rhythm (which is reassuring) I have extreme difficulty thinking on my feet.. what do I lead next? that leads to stress and my mind goes blank and I'm in for 3 minutes of torture for us both!! I see the problem is worse when I am tired. I've no doubt its linked to my mental abilities.. I'm no fool, I have a good job, speak more than one language ... So my question here is how can I practice/learn this skill? Yes I know I just need to get out there and dance but the experience is so negative it will stop me dancing if I don't find a way soon. I am looking for some sort of mental drill that I can do away from the dance floor to train my brain (ha that rhymes ) in fact any tips to get past this would be great!
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by Peter Harris
9/20/2018  1:55:00 AM
To get things started I have thought of a few exercise.. please add your comments, alternatives and improvements!!
1, Put play a tune you might dance to. While it plays list your moves until the end of the song. Count them and repeat.
2 In two minutes list all the easy moves you can.
3 In two minutes list all the improvers moves you can.
4 create a choreographer using easy moves in 3 minutes .. different starting move each time
5 as above but including improvers moves as well.
6 List the moves you have difficulty with and practice them till you don't have to think how to do them.. just think about the next move
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by nloftofan1
9/21/2018  10:05:00 AM
Other people have (or have had) your problem. I know I have. My wife and I have been dancing for a good while now, but I remember that when we were getting started it helped to make up a small amalgamation for each dance style. That takes away the problem of worrying about what to do next, moment to moment. And if you depart from the amalgamation for some reason, the dance police aren't going to get you.
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by Ladydance
9/21/2018  4:38:00 PM
At this stage, I'd suggest learning a routine (long wall and short wall) and not deviating (unless forced to) until you are comfortable. Don't be afraid to stop and start again. Although it's good to visualize your steps, you need muscle memory and that comes with practice. It's always easier to dance in a class. Don't try anything fancy until you have the basics.
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by ericauerbach
2/17/2019  9:19:00 PM
I teach beginners through silver level. For smooth dances you just need a way to get around the floor; straight ahead or something like progressive twinkles. In between these forward movements you can do something like crossover breaks (which has many variations. Yes, you can do it in any dance with three steps per measure: waltz, foxtrot, rumba, salsa, bolero, bachata, tango (using QQS), and nightclub two step.

In waltz, for example, you just have to make it look waltzy by doing it smoothly and with rise and fall. And end it with an outside turn, just like rumba. Then add something else, like a turning box or a cross body lead in all your dances. Just change the STYLE for each dance.

One pattern, many dances.
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by nloftofan1
2/18/2019  10:27:00 AM
The suggestions from ericauerbach are excellent. Here's another. You say you "have quite a few moves that i can complete easily." Good. Take advantage of that by concentrating on the music. Just "lose yourself" in the music, and muscle memory may come to the rescue. That may work better for you than trying to remember patterns.
Re: Thinking on your feet
Posted by bocagirl
2/20/2019  12:00:00 AM
Here's another trick.
Most of the bronze dances here have a "PRECEDED BY" and "FOLLOWED BY" column. Find a step (call it B). Find a step before it (A) and a step after it (C). Now you have a combo A-B-C. Now make a BUNCH of different combos (based on how many unique combos you can make from the PRECEDED BY and FOLLOWED BY choices), and practice them, one right after another. Before you know it, you'll find out that the skills for leading between these steps will come much much more naturally!

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