Looking for a social activity that is fun, that builds your confidence, and that will give you amazing dancing skills? Look no further than Modern Jive.
You don’t need to bring your partner to go to lessons or jive events. You can master some really cool-looking dance moves in a relatively short amount of time. The modern jive attracts attention at weddings and almost any social event and you can dance to any 4/4 beat of music.
Most importantly, modern jive dance is a great way to meet people, and, smart guys know that it’s a great way to meet girls in a relaxed environment with the same passion.
The modern jive is a couple dance, and as with most things, knowing dance etiquette will help you always get the most out of your dancing experience. Keep these top tips in mind and, girl or boy, you’ll have people lining up to dance with you.
1. Ask someone to dance
There is no standing ceremony in the modern jive. If you want to dance, just ask. Yes, that includes you ladies! No need to wait to be asked by a man, you can also ask them.
If you’re new, nervous, or very shy, few things will do more for your dancing, your overall confidence, and your sense of accomplishment than asking someone else to dance with you. So make eye contact, reach out your hand and say, “Would you like to dance?” Guys like to be asked to dance and unless they’re taking a breather after the previous dance, they’ll usually say yes.
Guys, it’s not like in a club where the chances of rejection when you ask for a dance are quite high, on modern jive nights or infrequent events. As long as you’re polite and respectful, you’re guaranteed a “yes, I want to dance” answer, so don’t be shy about asking even if you’re a beginner.
2. Say yes when you are asked to dance
It is assumed when you come to modern jive that you have come out to dance. It takes a little time to get to know people so when asked to dance, whether you are a beginner or a pro, the general rule is to accept. Of course, if you’re taking a break or there’s another good reason to turn down a dance, it’s okay to say no or suggest the next dance.
Tip: Refusing to dance because the person is not the greatest dancer in the room is not a good reason to refuse to dance. In fact, if you only dance with cool or great dancers, people will think you’re a cocky dancer – and this can actually reduce how often you dance. Even great dancers need rest.
3. Make eye contact and smile
Some people need time to become fully comfortable with making eye contact. However, dancing is like a conversation so look at your partner (not into the distance or whatever is going on on the dance floor).
Avoid staring at your partner (this can feel aggressive) try looking at the spot between their eyes or the underside of their earlobe or shoulder from time to time. Along with a smile, it lets your partner know that you enjoy dancing with them.
4. Focus on your partner and dance together
Leave thoughts about your work, or what you’re going to eat for dinner or how everyone else is dancing for later. Your partner will immediately sense that your mind is elsewhere, so leave all the weight on the dance floor and focus on making the dance fun for your partner.
Dancing is a fun way to forget your stress and worries if only for a few hours. It’s no fun dancing with someone far away. Also, if you don’t pay attention, you can miss important cues. So make sure to see your partner, smile, talk and enjoy the music and dance.
5. Respect and encourage your partner
Learning to dance is a bold step into a new future for many of us. You can dance with the next social star. Everyone who comes to the modern jive wants to learn new skills and have fun. If you are helping someone progress, always encourage them rather than criticize.
Compliment them when they do something well, perhaps offering a tip or two. You will do wonders for their confidence. If you have genuine criticism, always talk to a teacher first and ask how to encourage improvement in certain areas.
6. Hmm… What’s the smell of the food you’re wearing?
The “smell of garlic and bacon” isn’t really what you want to hear from your dance partner, and inhaling the pungent smoke above it won’t endear you as a dancer. Avoid spicy food before dancing and always carry a mint candy with you to ensure you have some nice fresh breath. Take a shower before you go to class – it just takes a little effort to remind you of a long day at work – and always carry deodorant just in case.
7. Men lead
In dancing the male partner generally takes the lead. If mistakes are made it is almost always down to the men. So ladies, feel free to relax in her moves and don’t try to direct her dance. Be alert, pay attention to cues, enjoy and help him look good!
8. Remove all lethal weapons
Women – long hair, rings, and sharp nails can be pretty lethal weapons when you’re dancing modern jive, so men will really appreciate it if you help them with tying long hair, removing rings (especially large rocky ones), and earrings dangle. by keeping your nails short. Men – keep the cell phone away from the belt and holster, as it may interfere with movement.
9. Smile and have fun!
You may be new, shy or afraid to go out on the dance floor – just do it and have fun. Every dancer was once a beginner. You’ll find modern jive sessions welcoming and inclusive, so jumping and dancing is the quickest way to get the hang of it.
Modern Jive is a fun way to build your confidence and the more you do it, the more people will want to dance with you.
Don’t be surprised if your dance cards and social diaries fill up in a matter of months.