In a whole roomful of dancers, did you ever spot one person whom you wished could be your partner? You’ll notice that it isn’t appearance alone that attracts you. There is another quality that draws your attention like a magnet. Call it “charm”—or “personality”… however you describe it, it shows in everything you do.
You can develop that extra something that will make your dancing personality colorful, attractive. It’s easy, once you know the tricks that will do it.
First of all, accent your dancing! Give it highlights. Accent in dancing is a great deal like accent in speaking. A person who talks in a flat, level, unvarying voice is a bore to listeners. They may know a great deal and have a fine vocabulary at their command but it all goes to waste because of their dreary, droning voice.
A man may know a great variety of steps and yet be a dull dancing partner. He must learn to accent his dancing to give it life and pep. Ladies, too, must accent the beat and rhythm of the music before they can dance with expression.
To accent in dancing, merely emphasize the same beat of the music that the orchestra does. You can find this most easily by listening for the bass drum beats. Turn on your radio or phonograph and listen. Note that in a Waltz, the drummer strikes in measures of three beats but that he strikes hardest on each first beat.
Practice the Waltz, accenting or emphasizing the first of every three steps. Because a man always starts dancing with his left foot, his first accented step in the Waltz will be taken with his left. A woman will start accenting with her right foot.
It will take a few hours of practice before you can do this easily and automatically. But it’s worth the time—it will make dancing more fun for you, more exciting for your partners, and more attractive to onlookers.
The Law of Opposites
Here is a secret of showmanship that will help you to express a sophisticated, smooth dancing personality. I call it the “Law of Opposites” and it is a rule that is used by every good dancer.
When you step forward with either foot, bring your opposite should slightly forward.
Try this movement of the body, while walking toward your mirror. It will remind you of the graceful, controlled steps that a high-diver takes on a springboard. Follow the rule of opposites in your dancing—it gives strength and assurance to the personality that you show.
The Face Must Dance, Too!
No dancer can attract partners by body and foot motions alone. The face must dance, too. Remember this—you are not dressed for dancing until you put on a smile! Show the cheerful side of your character when you dance—it will be contagious to your partner and to everyone who watches. Let them say of you… “What a wonderful personality!”