I’ve watched people dance on the social dance floor for close to 20 years, and have been teaching for over 10.  I’ve seen a few things that are worth mentioning, and so will be doing a multiple part series on Becoming A Better Dancer.  Welcome to Part 1!


Often, when we dance, we step beyond our shoulders, which happen to be over our backsides – but it’s easier to remember “Don’t Overshoot Your Butt” than “Don’t Overshoot Your Shoulders” for some reason. 🙂  I see this happen most in side steps (as in side, together, sides and grapevines) and back rock steps which follow side triples (as in, Lindys).  Why is this a problem?

1)  Our Center of Gravity needs to be over our feet in order for us to move, so if our feet are beyond our backsides, it’s going to take time to move our bodies BACK over our feet.  True, that time is a fraction of a second, but in dancing, fractions of a seconds matter, because the music doesn’t stop.  If this situation describes you, you will be behind the beat, and feel “off” in your dancing.

2)  Posture is affected when we overshoot our butts.  In order to retain some semblance of balance, it’s not uncommon to lean back over the foot which has traveled too far.  As you can imagine, this backward arch is neither comfortable or attractive.  Our chiropractors especially wish we would not do this!

3)  It’s super easy to lose our Direction.  When we rock back, we naturally angle our bodies.  If we rock too far back, we’ll angle so much that we’ll lose track of which wall we’re facing.  Recovering from this contributes to a sense of disorientation – nothing we need to encourage in dancing, as we already have enough of that, without making it worse!

Beyond all that, it simply looks clean, and we present ourselves as better dancers, if we keep our feet under our bodies by taking shorter strides.  So DON’T OVERSHOOT YOUR BUTT!!! 🙂

Stay tuned for PART 2!!!

Dance Details:

  • The Dance With Janet Cruise kicks off TODAY!!!  During this week of the cruise (2/19 – 2/27), NONE OF MY CLASSES WILL MEET, and my daughter Kat will teach for me at Cadillac Ranch.  Classes will resume 2/29.

          Keep up with what’s going on by visiting me at www.facebook.com/dancewithjanet daily!!

  • TONIGHT, 2/18, at Cadillac Ranch (www.cadranch.com) Kat will be teaching DOUBLE D, SANGRIA, & EASY MOVES LIKE JAGGER.  On Fridays, doors open at 7 and we’ll start lessons at 7:30, with a $3 cover charge.  Cadillac Ranch is no longer presenting live bands on Fridays.  TUESDAY, 2/23, she will present WHEN I’M DANCING at 7:30 & IN THE BASEMENT at 8:30.  NEXT FRIDAY, 2/26, lessons will be IN THE BASEMENT, CRANK IT UP, & DRINK MY WAY OUT, starting at 7:30.  Have a ball!!
  • Our next Warrenville Dances are SATURDAY, March 5th (7-10 pm) & SUNDAY, March 13th (6-9 pm) – preceded by DANCE WORKSHOPS FROM 3 – 5:15 – at the Warrenville Community Building, 3S240 Warren Ave.   Saturday’s dance will be all lines; couples are always welcome to dance around the perimeter ($5 cover includes 2 line dance lessons, at 7:30 & 8:30; you’re welcome to bring snacks).  Dance alternating sets of Couples and Lines at Sunday Nite Country on the 13th ($5 admission; dinner served from 5:30 – 7 for an additional $5).  I’ll be teaching line dances, and Gary will be teaching couples classes at the Dance Workshops (aka Boot Camp)
  • Warrenville’s Saturday 5 pm class will meet for the last time on 4/9/16.  If you have any unused punches on your punch card, please use them up before then, as this class at this time will no longer be offered after 4/9
  • Have you “LIKED” my Dance With Janet Facebook page, along with the THOUSANDS who have?  Pop on over to www.facebook.com/dancewithjanet and click the “LIKE” button to keep up on what’s new!  All the photos from dances are posted to my Facebook page.
  • Swing ‘n’ Country is hosting DANCE CAMP CHICAGO 2/26 – 2/28, a couples dance convention featuring workshops, competition, social dancing, and SHOES (no admission ticket required to shop).  Details can be found at www.dancecampchicago.com

See you on the dance floor!

Janet Kruse