Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—
I have been round dancing for over 40 years, yet I often fail to “Look Up.” I have invited several teachers to offer me tips to improve my dancing, and Judy Moore once told me that when I “Chair” I should “Look Up” – evidently, as I lunge thru on the Chair, my eyes often looked down. Do you look down? Most dancers do. From beginner’s class on, teachers tell students “Don’t look at your feet” – but they continue to do so. It is a hard habit to break.
Note that if you look down, your head “bows” and that usually means that the shoulders also slump down. Not only is this unattractive, but it also makes it more difficult to maintain balance. The key to balancing is to keep the head, shoulders, upper body, and hips all in a line directly above the foot on which you are trying to balance -- if you “look down” and pull your head and shoulders forward – you will lose balance going forward.
So how do you break the bad habit of looking down? You do so the same way you break any habit -- by continually practicing the correct way repetitiously. When you chair, look level and extend your upper body line “up.” When you are in Closed Position look up over your partner’s shoulder (lady look up and away left). When you are doing a Vine, look up, not at your feet.
And here’s the final tip – practice this in your everyday life, too – not just dancing. When you are simply walking, look up, see the scenery, don’t look down to watch your feet. As you look up, also hold your head up. As you get used to maintaining your posture this way and moving this way, the improvement will become more natural to you, and eventually you will dance with a good natural frame and posture without much effort. All this by simply practicing, “Look Up”.
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