Ballroom Dancing: From Cha-Cha-Cha to Waltz

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The movie Dirty Dancing brought ballroom dancing into the spotlight when a girl named Frances "Baby" Houseman learned to dance with the professional dancer Johnny in a few days. From the moment I saw that film, my dream was to be a ballroom dancer. I made my dream come true when I started dancing at thirteen in the Danube Bratislava dance club. Today, ballroom dancing is a trendy topic, having become popular through reality TV shows, such as the “Let’s dance” series. These shows feature dance couples made up of a professional dancer and a celebrity. According to these shows, ballroom dancing is beautiful, simple to learn and fun. In reality, ballroom dancing requires large investments of time, energy, and money as well as good physical condition. The dances are also quite difficult to learn. So although many people perceive ballroom dancing as simply a fashionable and fun activity, it requires incredible hard work and dedication. To become a skillful dancer requires a long time to learn all ballroom dances. It is very important to participate in lots of lessons to learn all steps and movements. There are many types of lessons, such as group and private. The group lessons mean start of learning ballroom dancing and beginners get to know basics of simpler dance like cha-cha or waltz. If a beginner wants to learn to dance, it is necessary to train at least three days a week. Every lesson begins with setting up exercises to become prepared to dance. This start of lesson is designed to activate body muscles to dance without some pain. The exercises include different moving with a head, hands, shoulders, pelvis and legs, and help to practice basic moves like kicking the knees, bouncing off the ground to shape body muscles, rock the hips or bowing down. Practicing these moves is significant to later usage in real dancing. However, it does not mean that it is possible to move at first lessons without any difficulties. The ballroom dancing moves are hard to master even after one year training. Therefore, a dancer must first learn to move, and spend a lot of time to learn using these moves in real dancing. After the half-hourly start, dancers are prepared to repeat well-know steps in pairs and learn new steps individually. The lessons usually take one and half hour and at the end of lesson dancers perform some of the easier dance, such as cha-cha or waltz in front of other dancers. I remember the magic of group lessons that consisted of big support from the other dancers in a group. While a couple is dancing, the others are breathlessly watching, yelling the names of the couple, and supporting them with loud clapping of the hands. Although everyone is clapping the hands, it does not mean that a few lessons can make beginners masters of cha-cha or waltz. If a beginning dancer has learned the basic movements and steps, it is time to improve dancing in a pair. Dancing in pairs brings lots of hard work and taking many exhausting private lessons to create a dance couple ready to compete. The second types of lessons are private, and they are significant to erase a couple’s dancing mistakes carefully. These lessons are important to take mainly for professionals and beginning couples. According to the UC Ballroom Dancers (2007) in Berkeley, California, “To attain the level of skill necessary to compete regionally and nationally, it is necessary to take private and group lessons with professional coaches.” The professional dancers train a lot because of strict criteria of evaluation at competitions. It is very important to improve every day and there are also different helpful lessons enabling to be successful and flexible dancer. It means that a skillful dancer has to master basics of ballet, flamenco and modern dance. The couples are obliged to contact several instructors and settle on private lessons. The next difficulty is choosing the most suitable instructor for the dance couple and its style of dancing. Sometimes an...
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