JUNE 2011– Issue 39
Hello dear friends!
Welcome to the Retro Dance June 2011 Newsletter!
The Importance of Rhythm
How to learn to dance to the beat.
Whether you can sing or not it has nothing to do with the ability to keep time to music. If you can tap to the beat with your fingers or your foot, that’s already enough to enjoy dancing.
Many people falsely believe that some are born with a natural sense of rhythm. Even if there was any scientific evidence to confirm this thinking, exposure to music during our life as well as the type of sports and activities we performed during our early years play more important role in developing a good sense of rhythm.
Most of good dancers are total musical illiterates and don’t know one note from another but they can easily keep time.
It is important to understand that dancers do not follow the melody or the tune of the song. The speed or the count of the dance is determined by the beat or tempo of the music.
If you are in one of the small group of people who struggle on the dance floor (providing you realise your weakness) and can hardly get the second dance with the same partner here are some easy and simple ways to improve your sense of rhythm:
1. If you are already on the dance floor and are not sure when to start “When in Rome do as The Romans do”, simply look around and follow “the crowd”.
2. One of the best and easy ways to start is to listen to your favourite song. It is usually much easier to feel the underlying tempo, beat or the pulse. Try to isolate a drum or any other base leading instrument which usually carry the beat and acts like a metronome for both, the other members of the band and the dancers. If you still find it difficult to hear the beat then close your eyes and try to imagine a drummer hitting the drum with his foot pedal. You should be able to hear a soft “boom” which indicates each beat and accentuates the tempo. This accentuated beat is the one you need to distinguish to be able to keep time to music.
3. If you still need more help, the next things to do is stand next to a speaker and place your upper part of your hand gently on the base section and feel the vibration. You should be able to feel a stronger vibration with every accentuated beat.
4. Next, try beating time with your foot on the floor and in the next stage add tapping a table at the same time with your free hand. Try various types of music starting with Waltz, Tango, Rumba or any other song with a heavy beat.
5. Once you are able to tap to any music, try walking to the music, taking one step to each beat.
I can assure you that in no time your sense of rhythm will improve dramatically so will your popularity on the dance floor.
Good luck and happy practice!