Skippy Blair's DANCE BLOG

This is the BLOG for my website: If you have questions or coments, email me at: skippy at skippyblair dot com

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Upper Level Techniques

At the recent Monterey convention, I had the privilege of working with a
young man who frequently takes first place in competition. It was exciting
to see his level of performance go up, yet again. For those who work at
upper levels of performance, here are a few of the things we worked on: #1.
Any time there is a circular leg movement (Ronde or floor sweep) the inside
of the thigh should be pressed toward the floor, and the ankle should be
stretched and turned out. #2. On the popular "tilted" poses - body on an
angle with one leg extended out - the shoulder matching the extended leg
should be pressed down to create a firm line. Most of these "leaning" poses
look like they are not quite completed - as if the dancers have fallen off
of the pose too soon, thus rushing the beat. #3. 3-Toe Base and stretching
the toes inside the shoe, provides stability to a foot position, and keeps
the free foot from turning in. Many balance problems are created when
dancers place their weight on the outside of the foot.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dancing in the White House

It was interesting to catch the news on inauguration day, and see President and Mrs. Bush dancing. It was even more interesting to note that they were doing basically what GSDTA teaches as "Slow Dance". The average dance studio curriculum seldom includes this most basic form of social dance. Even non-dancers would do well to learn how to do a basic "Slow Dance". It should be part of everyone's social education.

Friday, January 07, 2005


At a recent event where I was teaching, several dancers questioned the fact that Salsa dancers frequently seem to be rushing the beat. It has been my observation that quite a few SALSA DANCERS ARE RUSHING THE MUSIC BECAUSE they are counting 123 & 567. This is a popular form of counting Salsa these days, and is certainly better than the 123 & 456, previously used. (They are counting weight changes instead of beats of music.) However, the patterns take 8 beats of music - and unless you actually SAY the 4 and the 8, you will probably MISS those two beats - and the dance will look rushed. The verbal "Call" for Salsa is: "Step Step ­ Step & hold ­ Step Step ­ Step and hold." The two "holds" are on count 4 and count 8. Practice counting all 8 beats of music to slower music ­ (or without music). In a very short period of time, it will feel comfortable ­ and you will begin to feel the 8 beats in the music.