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The Arthur Murrays’ Dance Secrets: The Importance Of Knowing Steps As A Follower
Why Girls Too Must Know The Steps
Whenever I hear a woman say: “All I need is a good leader”… I know that she is probably a poor dancer and that partners steer clear of her.
“Leading” must be a misleading word—so many girls confuse it with “dragging”! The leader is merely the one who chooses the steps and guides his partner into them. But, unless his partner is alert and ready to dance with him, she becomes a tag-along, an extra weight to be carried around.
A girl cannot dance with her partner until she knows what she is doing. She can test her own knowledge by trying to dance alone to music or by leading a girl partner. If she feels helpless by herself, she can tell immediately that she does not know her own part. It will be safer for her to refuse invitations until she has learned what she needs to make her popular and fun to have as a partner.
Once a girl becomes interested in the steps themselves, she will enjoy learning. She will begin to notice dancing technique on the stage, the screen, and among her friends. Only a good dancer knows the thrill of accomplishment… poor dancers don’t know what they are missing. The more steps a girl knows, the more spontaneity she will show in her dancing.
A girl who is not animated strikes a negative response. Partners do not return willingly to her and social evenings are a gamble… will she be popular or not? It is a pity for a girl to take a chance when a little effort can make her confident and sure. A girl who can do the steps alone will never be left alone at a dance.
Secrets That Will Help a Girl Become a Good Dancer
- Convince yourself that the way to be light is to first strengthen the muscles you use in dancing. Watch an athlete walk across a floor… then watch someone who sits at a desk all day and whose muscles are slack. Which person walks lightly?
- Prove to yourself that a girl must know the basic steps. Which of your girl friends are better dances… those who know steps and can lead them or those who “don’t know one step from another”?
- Study this fact… a girl can follow only the steps that are familiar to her. Learn a VARIETY of steps so your partners won’t be held back by you. Variety will put spice in your dancing!
- Always remember: If you can dance well alone, you can then dance more easily and successfully with a partner. Practice in private—to be popular in public!
- Remember… a man is used to stepping forward—a girl must step backward most of the time!
- Stepping backward is not a natural motion—it must be practiced. But, once a girl can step back properly, her feet will never be in her partner’s way. Besides, a girl cannot look graceful until she does master a long, free back step.
- A girl always starts with her right foot. Be ready! Practice your back walk alone, starting with your right foot and reaching far back with your toes.
- Take extremely long steps during your practice work. Stretch from your ankle with every step you take. Exaggerate when you are alone—then a normally long step will become second nature to you.
- Don’t believe for a minute that you can “get by” by simply following a partner. Thousands of girls make this mistake—but none of the popular girls do. Decide now to spend a little time an effort to become the kind of dancer you’d like to be. You can do it—make up your mind to try!
- Remember: Confidence comes only with knowledge. Your partner, too, will have confidence in you if you are sure of yourself.