If you have done any kind of research before deciding to take ballroom dancing lessons, you may have noticed that there are different positions, and a lot, and we mean a lot, of different steps. Hopefully, this doesn’t deter you from enjoying the fun and exciting world of ballroom dancing. Many of the steps are pretty easy, so don’t let the fancy names scare you off!
The following are some of those fancy names, and what they actually mean:
Open Position: You and your partner will stand beside each other, with the woman on the right side, and you will be holding hands.
Closed Position: Standing about six inches apart, face your partner. Stand tall, shoulders relaxed. The man’s right arm should be held just below the woman’s shoulder blade, and lifted to a 90 degree angle. The woman’s right arm should rest on the man’s right arm, with her left hand holding his left hand, and both hands should be at eye level.
Right Parallel Position: The woman’s feet are on the right side of the man’s, and the pair’s right shoulders should be facing each other. The man’s right hand is to be placed on the woman’s back.
Left Parallel Position: Pretty much the same as above, only on the opposite side.
Promenade Position: Partners stand sideways, with the man’s right side touching the woman’s left. This position is semi-open, with the man holding the woman’s right hand in his left, while his right hand holds on to her waist.
Now that you know some of the positions, here are a few typical ballroom dance steps, and their definitions:
Ball Change: Basically, stepping (or moving your weight) from one foot to the other.
Kick Ball Change: Make a small kick, then perform the ball change, all in one quick movement.
Lock Step: The lower legs cross, locking the back leg until the leading leg moves forward.
Grapevine: The feet cross, one in front of the other, as you move in a step pattern to the side.
Sailor Step: This is a sideways triple step where you move from side to side. As you cross your legs, lean in the direction of the foot that is not doing the crossing.
Now that you know some of the ballroom basics, you are ready to go out and find yourself some lessons. Have fun, learn some new steps, and wow your friends on the dance floor.