Simply being aware of your posture while standing is only part of the image that you present to others. Dancers are movers. Thus, how you carry yourself while moving, which you do when you are walking or taking a series of dance steps, also says volumes about your self-confidence.
When you dance with a partner, you are sharing space that includes both of you. The basic partner positions used in this book are commonly used in social dancing (see figure 4.1, a-i). Each partner position described in the following paragraphs requires you to connect with a partner in a slightly different manner.
The cross-body lead is a useful transition to smoothly connect many variations as well as to rotate 180 degrees with your partner. Start in a closed position and do a box step. The cross-body lead takes two repetitions of the rumba’s SQQ rhythm.
The third edition of Social Dance: Steps to Success presents easy-to-follow instruction for 10 of today’s most popular social dances. From fundamentals such as footwork and posture to communication and practice drills, this special book and DVD package is ideal for anyone wishing to perfect their moves on the dance floor.
Feel confident on the dance floor—step by step! This third edition of Social Dance: Steps to Success will teach you all the moves for 10 of today’s most popular dance styles:
Six-count swing and hustle
Salsa and mambo
The first few learning steps in this book introduce you to the foundational skills and concepts you need for success on the dance floor.
Each step you take is a smooth transition from the previous one. As you progress, you learn not only how your posture and footwork affect your balance but also how to connect your footwork with the music, adjust to a partner, make the transition between partner positions, and create sequences from variations of each dance’s specific rhythmic step pattern.
Each of the steps also explains why the concept or skill is important, indentifies the keys to correcting technique, helps you avoid common errors, and provides drills to practice at your own pace. The later steps show how to demonstrate dance etiquette, including how to adapt to a crowded social dance floor. Best of all, the enclosed DVD provides you with 93 minutes of video demonstration and a music soundtrack with 19 tracks for practice and demonstrations of key movements, footwork, and the dances themselves.
Written by master teacher and dancer Judy Wright, this special book and DVD package is part of the best-selling Steps to Success activity series, with more than 2 million copies sold worldwide.
Steps to Success: How to Use This Book and DVD Package
Reasons to Social Dance
Key to Diagrams
DVD Contents and Music Tracks
Part I What Every Dancer Needs to Know: Building a Solid Foundation
Step 1 Posture, Frame, and Centering: Looking Like a Dancer
Step 2 Music Structure: Hearing Reliable Cues in the Music
Step 3 Dance Rhythm Strategies: Connecting With the Music
Step 4 Partner Dynamics and Etiquette: Communicating Effectively
Part II 10 Social Dances: Rhythmic Step Patterns, Transitions, and Variations
Step 5 Merengue: Joining the Party
Step 6 Four-Count Swing/Hustle: Keeping the Rhythm
Step 7 Waltz: Moving Stately
Step 8 Six-Count Swing: Looking Jazzy
Step 9 Foxtrot: Dancing Regally
Step 10 Polka: Having Fun
Step 11 Cha-Cha: Being Flirtatious
Step 12 Rumba: Reflecting Romance
Step 13 Tango: Expressing Attitude and Flair
Step 14 Salsa/Mambo: Adding Spice and Flavor
Part III Etiquette On the Dance Floor: Adding the Finishing Touches
Step 15 Dance Floor Etiquette: Moving From Practice to Social Dance Settings
Step 16 Turn Technique, Styling, and Timing Options: Looking Good
Rating Your Progress
About the Author
Judy Patterson Wright earned her PhD in 1981 in motor learning and motor development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she focused on the learning process for sequential dance skills and how teachers may facilitate that process. She is an accomplished dancer and educator who has taught social dance at the junior high, high school, college, and community levels since 1971. Dr. Wright's dance experience includes tap, jazz, modern, ballet, social, folk, square, country Western, line, and aerobic dance. She specializes in ballroom and social dance in which she has extensive experience as a competitor, coach, author, and instructor. She has taught courses at Walsh College in Ohio, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Richland Community College in Illinois, and the Wright Way Dance Studio, which she co-owns. She has also presented workshops at the state and national levels for the National Dance Association and AAHPERD, the National Teachers Association for Country Western Dance Instructors, and the National Dance Educators Organization.
Wright has judged and competed in dance competitions and specializes in teaching progressive classes and workshops for both social and competitive dancers. Wright and her husband placed second overall in the UCWDC Silver Advanced Showcase Division at the world finals in both 1996 and 1997. They are the 2009 UCWDC couples gold combined world champions. They also won first place in both strictly swing and strictly hustle at the 2012 world finals in Orlando, Florida. In a career spanning 23 years as an acquisitions editor for Human Kinetics, Wright created the format for the Steps to Success activity series (of which her book is a part) while acquiring numerous books related to dance and exercise and remaining active in the dance community. She resides in North Carolina, where she is a member of the Charlotte USA Dance chapter, the Carolina Ballroom Dance Club, and Lynn’s Dance Club.
“Social Dance is a must-have for all dancers. Judy Wright covers the essentials of performing both smooth and rhythmic dances in this fun and engaging text.”
Pamela Haibach, PhD-- Associate Professor, College of Brockport
“With more dances, enhanced diagrams, an instructor guide, and an accompanying DVD featuring dances and music, the third edition of Social Dance is a must-have for students. Social Dance makes learning fun!
Judi Fey-- Dance Consultant, Anne Arundel County Public Schools
"Judy Wright is an exceptional teacher, and her ability to explain proper technique in an easy-to-follow way makes Social Dance a must-have book."
Christy Lane-- Dance Educator and Producer, Author of Christy Lane’s Complete Book of Line Dancing
Includes lecture topics, physical activities, and student assignments in both a 20-week-semester framework and a 32-week-semester framework, introductory notes, key points of technique, applications, activities, and practice procedures. Also included are test questions in multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and extra credit questions for written exams. Multiple grading systems for evaluating student progress in skill performance, written tests, and effort.