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The Arthur Murrays’ Dance Secrets: How To Be Graceful
This is not meant for ladies only. Watch a tennis player, swimmer, skater—even a boxer—and you will realize that men can be graceful, too. To be graceful means to move lightly and without effort. We are not born with this ability; it comes only through training and strengthening the muscles.
When you train to gain muscular control, your movements must be exaggerated at the start. A football player, who wants to be able to kick a ball accurately, at the height of his waist, practices until he can kick as high as his head. Then the lower distance seems so easy that he can reach it with no effort at all.
Good dancers not only feel graceful to their partners but they also look graceful in the motion. Study and practice these pointers—they will help you acquire a smooth, smart dancing appearance. Remember, exaggerate at the start and you will reach perfection with ease.
How To Use Your Feet Gracefully
- Lead with your toes moving forward, backward, and to the sides. Actually stretch from the ankle until your muscles can feel the pull. Dance about the room, practicing this motion.
- Keep your toes turned slightly outward. This is not a natural position; it will take conscious effort to acquire it.
- Your toes should always touch the floor first, whether you are dancing forward, backward, or to the side. Avoid a flat-footed step!
- Always keep your feet at close together as the step permits. Even when your feet are moving in different directions, you will note that they should pass closely—almost brushing against each other—rather than to be spread at an angle.
This secret of graceful footwork is important to you. Read the preceding paragraph again. Then try the step in front of your mirror. See how different it looks when your feet pass close together.
Graceful Body Motion
Body motion is governed entirely by the movement of your feet. In walking, when you step forward with your left foot, your right arm moves forward. You don’t have to stop and think about it—it is automatic.
Therefore, don’t attempt to acquire graceful body movement by consciously swaying from the waist. This won’t work. Strive for graceful footwork and your body will naturally and easily move in a graceful dancing position.