5 Ways to Improve Ballroom Dancing on Your Own

Wait! Isn’t ballroom dancing done with with a partner?

Even though ballroom dancing is done with a partner, having your own balance and strength of movement creates freedom within your own body. Ultimately, this is something that you can transfer to any partnership. (Your partner will definitely appreciate it!)


How Can I Practice/What Can I Do? 

1. Know the Basics on Your Own.

• Practice your basics and know them well enough to allow you to add advanced styling and embellishments i.e. Rise and Fall, Cuban Motion, Arm Styling, etc.

• The basic steps are used the most.  Being really good at them can take a

simple pattern to looking quite professional… and you are going to get lots of use of these in your dancing.

• Basics allow a smooth transition between more advance patterns and concepts.

2. Imagine / Practice what your partner is doing (Shadow Dancing)

• Imagining where your partner is, seeing where they go and how they move helps fill in the blanks. Ultimately, this creates more dynamic movements and partnership skills.


3. Count your steps and movement to music

• Have you ever seen a video where the video and sound is out of sync? This can be quite confusing and annoying to the viewer/audience.

Counting your steps out loud to music creates clear musicality to yourself, your partner and to an audience.

• Hearing the beat and understanding the phrasing in the music allows you to be more creative with your choreography and expression.


4. Get creative – Use Props

• Many household objects can be used to help identify and clarify your dance movements. Using tape on the ground to indicate floor alignments and a mop handle for dance positions can really fine tune your dance craft.

5. Practice Spacial Awareness

• Practicing in a small space forces you make the best of the space given to you. This is a great skill no matter if you are a competitor or a social dancer.


Johnny Lam – Long time teacher and team member at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Coquitlam, British Columbia.   Johnny has a genuine interest in others and enjoys sharing the skills and benefits of dancing with new and advanced students, alike.