10 reasons why I enjoyed my Latin dance class so much

I’ve been back to the Latin dance at my local gym a couple of times and I am still loving it, reasons below.

  1. The teacher loves to dance.  It’s a joy to watch them play with the routine each time they perform it. That joy is infectious.
  2. Warming up and cooling down. The older I get the more I appreciate taking the time to really warm up my body. The warm up gives me a chance to forget work/commute and means I have 5-10 minutes to settle before jumping into the class proper and needing to focus.  I also think of a warm up as a trust building exercise, especially with a new teacher.
  3. The repetition. I am a simple soul, I like repetition. I like repetition but with something new to focus on even more. For example, once the class had the basic movement the focus changed to improving that movement with advice about position of feet or timing or hand position.
  4. The feedback about posture. With a few notable exceptions [Cookie’s “tits out” springs to mind] most Lindy Hop teachers don’t give all that much feedback about how you look in a general class. Loved the simple 20 second demo of which looks better – rounded shoulders or standing up straight?
  5. The emphasis on quality and changing the feel of the movement within a routine. Soft and sensual v athletic. Teacher gave a lovely example of the difference between Zumba with everything done at 100% effort compared to dancing with highs and lows.
  6. The emphasis on tying breathing to movement.  For example at the end of the phrase, there was a step down, we needed to really step down and emphasise the down movement and then emphasise it more my breathing out at the same time.
  7. Hips. I am far too English/reserved to ever have Latin hips but I quite like trying.
  8. Trying to different things with my body.  I am enjoying dancing on the balls of my feet. Practising walking with straight almost locked legs.  Kicking with pointed feet.  It’s all new and I am enjoying exploring the differences.
  9. The rhythms. Challenge of challenges. I am hopeless at changing rhythms in Lindy and Bal and this is no different but some of these rhythms are completely new to me and I am liking the challenge.
  10. Being sexy. I am not someone who embraces my inner diva (Lindy Hop is an ideal dance for me) but I am having fun messing around and playing at being someone else.

Not really enjoying Lindy or Bal at the moment, it’s summer, venues are quiet, too many follows and the fun element has disappeared. I don’t know, sometimes it’s nice not to have to think about someone else when you dance and to be able to focus entirely on what you are doing.

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