Ladies: 7 ways to improve your Latin groove

With the weekend approaching, and the party already starting (I was at Jazz Kitchen tonight, and it’s on!), I know you would all appreciate knowing how to sharpen up your dance skills before venturing out……trust me, some of us could use it!

So here are  7 ways you can do that:

  1. Practise – yes, I know that there is the apocryphal myth that just because you are congenitally Latin, you are rhythmically inclined – not true. In fact, I met a fellow from Columbia tonight who in one fell swoop dispelled that myth! So, even if you think you can dance, practise – your partner will appreciate it.
  2. Ladies let’s talk about your choice of shoes for a minute – wedge-heel (platform) shoes are not dance shoes. Why? Well listen to the name – platform! That means that it moves like a block, and if you make one wrong move, you’ll twist your ankle in a horrid way. These shoes were conceived by a man who has no idea about walking backwards in heels, therefore they are not designed with your health and comfort in mind – not for walking, and least of all for dancing! And we know that you are deathly afraid of making a wrong move and twisting your ankle, because it shows in the way you dance – it’s painful to watch.
  3. Slippers and dance floor should never make the acquaintance. Why not? Well, first, listen to the name: slip-pers. I won’t elaborate. For heaven’s sake, do your feet a favour and buy a pair of shoes (those are the ones that are enclosed).
  4. The ”Latin motion” in all Latin dances come from the relationship between your feet and the floor. It does not come from writhing, snapping, and thrashing around as if you missed your daily Dilantin dose. What this means is that you need to use the ball of your feet and rotate from the inside out, around, then back in. This affects the hips, causing them to push up, then down respective to the rotation of foot. So how does one accomplish this? Practise.
  5. That brings me to the point of your heel, and again, the shoes you ladies want to wear. Yes, I do understand that everyone wants to pretend that they are as statuesque as Rihanna or Beyonce, but the truth is that you are not, and while it is grand to wear it at the Christmas party (because everyone will be stoned, and you’ll look like Charlize Theron before the night it out anyway), wearing shoes with a built up 4-inch at the front will not allow you to become even remotely familiar with the floor, and certainly not with the ball of your foot. Now add to that the 6-inch heel that brings up the rear of that shoe (literally), and I’d venture a guess that those shoes were designed by Misogyny. Not only do you look awkward, and clunky, but now you cannot dance properly, as you’ve lost your relationship to the floor……and reality.
  6. And speaking of reality, micro-mini skirts are not conducive to dancing; two-stepping like a new bride, yes, but not dancing. Of course, short skirts are cute, who said they weren’t? They show your lovely, freshly-waxed legs, and embronzened (canned) tan that makes the boys lose their mind, and so you get lots of dance requests, right? Great! Now here is the problem – you cannot dance in them because when the boys become ”hot and bothered,” they want to get right down to business, and guess what? You can’t do that in your micro skirt, because you suddenly become more concerned with being charged with indecent exposure than with dancing and having a good time, which was your original intention (wild conjecture on my part). You then become consumed with holding on to the skirt to keep it from riding up and over your badonkadonk (which it does at every micro-move), because, of course, you’d like the young man to think you’re chaste, you cannot make the impression of being anything less.
  7. Did I mention practise? More than once? Well that could be because you need loads of it, or because I feel strongly about it. Either way, here is the scoop: Nothing in dance is going to look good unless you practise it. For example, the Latin motion (which makes the body look soooo lovely and sexy) is caused by understanding the relationship of the foot with the floor (see #4 above), it is also mainly effected by using the ball of the feet, and NEVER the heel. So ladies, practise not slamming your heel into the dance floor, or your neighbour’s instep. Dancing with the ball, and not the heel has many advantages – you can maintain balance better, your dance is crisper (as steps are smaller), your dance will improve, your feet and body will thank you, you will appear sexy (and dance- savvy), and most importantly, everyone on the dance floor will thank you! There is nothing worse than an Amazonian woman weighing close to 300lbs, stepping (more like stomping) onto your foot, while wearing chopines. And ladies if you must wear those hidious things, then do take notes from the women of the Renaissance period, and get them fitted to your size, and ………yes, practise!