Great dance analogies

To describe the millisecond delay between the leader's movement and the follower's - in smooth - my pro asked me to picture him with flippers on (I'm not kidding) that my feet are attached too. When he steps forward, in a rolling motion, his heel comes down, then his toe, the flipper and then, continuing that rolling motion, my toe and my heel. :eek:

I've lately been referring to him as the "allegory king", 'cause darn near everything he teaches has a hilarious description attached to it. His other students and I laugh about it all the time (even as we retain the points he's trying to make *smile*).

Larinda McRaven

Site Moderator
Staff member
So here is my little story... not quite an analogy, but funny anyway.

I had a very very tall black student. Everytime he lowered his whole body would slump and his chest would collapse. I told him that everytime he goes down into his knees, his body-spine-chest needed to continue to grow upward (trying to get him aware of the muscles that support his upperbody)

He was swinging around the room by himself (on a full floor!) and I am calling to him LOUDLY from across the room... "Lower your knees, grow your body... knees down, grown your body.... knees grow.... knees grow.... knee-grow, knee-grow, knee-grow..."

I suddenly realised the horrified look of the people in the studio as I cheerfully yelled the word negro at this very large black man. Fortunatley he has a great sense of humor, and so do I. We laughed about it for months. The studio owners are far less fun loving and were pissed.


Site Moderator
Staff member

and I thought my current lessons focused on sticking my butt out were bad enough b/c pro used to train dogs and anyone who walked by would on ly be hearing "SIT" every 4's a lulu Larinda.....
OMG Larinda that is the best story... i can imagine being one of the spectators trying to concentrate on what I was doing and thinking what the heck! It would have been hysterical.


Well-Known Member
i remember when he first mentioned it and we tried some foxtrot... when we stopped, i exclaimed (yep, exclaimed... lol) "omg... it's just like that -- what a cool feeling!"

taking the image into the action and feeling what happens is my favorite bit of working with analogies.


Active Member
again not an analogy, but in line with Larinda's story....

One of the latin coaches I use to work with a lot would yell "Shift, Shift, Shift, Hold Hold" for the rumba... but with his accent the 'f' from lost from shift.... always wondered what the studio neighbors thought was going on....


Well-Known Member
First foot action in tango promenade - 'squash a very large caterpillar'
One of my first AT teachers had a couple of exercises he liked me to do. One was named "kick the boyfriend," the other was named "squish the bug." I didn't get anything out of the exercises at the time, but I remember them (and do them!) 2 years later. That's worth something...

Dance Ads