Why was grinding fun only some of the time?

Background: I'm not a good dancer, but with the help of the forums and practice I am understanding the basics.


- It seemed like there I didn't know how do much more than grind to the beat of the song that was playing. At times it seemed a bit repetitive and both and I the girl thought it was boring and mechanical. Is this normal, given my crappy dancing? Can I fix it?

- It also seemed like it was much more fun to dance with a girl who:
  • I was comfortable with. The girl I liked dancing with most wasn't the greatest, but she was fun and I wasn't scared because I didn't think about messing up in front of her.
  • Could dance well. With the girl leading me in whatever way it is that felt right, I thought it was more fun and felt like I was grinding well.
  • was into it. I know it's partly my fault for not knowing how to spice up grinding, but it was more fun when they were energetic about it nonethless.
I guess my overall question is how to make it more fun, even with a marginally fun girl.

p.s.: I understand that it's supposed to be all in the knees, but my stupid head/body doesn't completely understand what not using my hips means. Are my hips my butt? Do I bend both knees at once?


Well-Known Member
First of all, welcome to DF! :D I hope you will participate in our discussions more.
Secondly, your body is not stupid, it's just not trained. The questions you're asking are all very good and to the point, and though we can give you some pointers as many of us are also teachers, the best way to learn how to move your hips and improvising on the spot is to take up some dance style. We usually reccomend hip hop/modern jazz classes, salsa (which is great for both the hips and the partner work) and other street latin dances like merengue.
General rule of thumb for club dancing: in my very humble opinion, the music is pretty boring most of the time (we're talking about your local mainstream pop/techno/dance club, right?). So even if you were an experienced dancer with lots of hot moves, you could easily get bored. Supposing the music is good and gives you something to dance on other than a repetitive boom-boom, you'll need a partner who likes/wants to dance. If your partner is bored, it will get boring very soon no matter how many cool moves you're doing.
Now if you've got both the partner (with whom you feel comfortable) and the music, you need the moves. I'm not talking about patterns. Patterns are good, but in my opinion do not a dancer make. Style and quality of motion is what counts, and the only way to get that is to practice and to find someone to teach you a couple of moves. Friends who know good moves are a good source, but dance lessons of any form (group lessons, private lessons, even DVD's) are a much better way.
Think about it. Group lessons in salsa, for instance, are usually offered with the entrance fee at many latin clubs. It's relatively inexpensive.

Twilight Elena
Dunno if this will help you but I guess it can't hurt. I asked an instructor once that I wanted to learn how to move my hips better and he told me to imagine walking up stairs. Do it slowly and concentrate on what muscles you use to pull yourself up each step, how your hips move naturally when you take each step, and the order of the movement - lift leg up, move forward, toe touches next step first then ball, heel. Then emulate that movement on a flat surface without lifting your feet off the floor. Play around with the movement till it feels good to you..

I'm not an experienced dancer so don't quote me on any of that :)

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