General Dance Discussion > Beginner to freestyle

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Petex, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. Petex

    Petex New Member

    Hi .. i have been taking jive rock classes for about a year and love it.. however i have a big problem that is hindering my progression. In the classes i can learn the new moves and seem to learn them easier than most. This is fine while someone is telling me what moves to do next!
    I have been to a few social evenings where jive was on the menu but,,, I am aware that i cannot reproduce the moves in freestyle.. in fact i just stand there stressed not knowing what move to do next! Now i just watch and when the ladies ask me to dance (which is flattering) i just make excuses !! not cool!! I want to be out there having fun ... I'm sure you guys have all been there... so how to get through that first song??? please help!!
  2. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Hi Petex, welcome to DF. Play music and dance (alone) as often as you can at home. Create a playlist of suitable pieces. Try to combine your vocabulary in different ways. Also invent your own bridging and rescue steps to get back into the rhythm. You may also write everything down: find the names of all moves, find suitable abbreviations, find out which foot is weighted, and combine them, draw charts. You also can collect YT vids and systemize them. Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  3. davedove

    davedove Well-Known Member

    Just start out doing some basic steps. Stick with those and as you get more comfortable start adding a different step here and there. When you are social dancing, you don't have to try every step you've ever tried. Stick with the steps you know well.

    In the ideal situation you will be able to lead multiple steps well and comfortably for the follow. Since most of us aren't up to the ideal level, I have found that follows generally prefer a few steps led well to a bunch of steps led not-so-well.
  4. Petex

    Petex New Member

    hi thanks for that .. sounds like good advice ... preparation seems to be the key.. i thought i would try to make up a routine that just repeats some of the simple moves and learn it really well ... then try to add in more complex ones once i have a bit more confidence ... getting to the end of one song has to be my first objective.... I will share my latest experience! .. i was at a social evening and my teacher was there.. she insisted i dance with her which i eventually did but in the middle she passed me to one of her friends to finish the dance... i was like a rabbit caught in the headlights!... unable to move but wanting to run for the hills so it finished rather badly and i went home not long after.. head down but more determined than ever to make it happen.. practice practice .. any other tips would be welcome!!
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member


    You could also make up a few small routines that you could then mix and match.

    If you have learned anything about "counting" and how music is phrased, you could work on small routines that have the same number of beats as phrases in the music.
  6. bowi

    bowi Member

    Going to the social and dancing there is great practice. Most ladies don't mind if you make a mistake, as long as you are cool about it. So try not to refuse invitations to dance and ask some ladies yourself. You can always tell the lady that you're still a beginner.

    Getting out there and dance is the best practice there is in my opinion.

    (English is not my native language, so I hope it's OK)
  7. Petex

    Petex New Member

    thanks for your reply.. Its pretty much what i am trying to do ... but still to afraid to ask anyone to dance .. the new term will begin soon and that will force my hand!!
  8. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Here's a simple solution ; Ask a lady to dance and tell her before she accepts , you are a very new beginner..

    You may be well surprised the number of offers you will receive, ( I tell all my newbies the same ) .
  9. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    As a teacher I repeat this mantra constantly: learning to dance is social learning in the first place. That means that technique and steps are secondary stuff that will set in by time. A social dancer has to learn his role and part as leader (or follower) on and off the dance floor. Social learning is learning for life. Feel reassured, ladies only mind for eloquence, character, playfulness, and well-ironed shirts at this stage of your dancing. Dance skills still are absolutely secondary, now. So try to make appointments for social dancing events. Once a lady has seen you appearing with another lady she will consider you as socially competent. And that will be the beginning of your free-style career.

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