Teaching Dance – Ballroom frame and the Rueda Basic

I always say that you really don’t know it until you can teach someone how to do it. There is learning that can only come from teaching. In the past couple months I’ve started helping teach ballroom and rueda and it has been a great experience.

In ballroom it is an introductory survey class of over 50 students with 5 dances – waltz,foxtrot,tango, rumba and cha cha – covered in 10/12 weeks. With the emphasis on fun it is interesting to see how “frame” is learned. There is no substitute to feeling what a right and wrong frame is and the best way to do so is working with someone who knows that feeling. So, every time I get a chance to work with anyone I sneak in “let’s look at frame”.

In casino rueda there are many variations on the basic. The one that is safest to teach is where the leader places his palm flat against the followers palm on the second half of the basic. If the correct handhold is used where the leader pulls and then pushes the follower, so his right hand is clasping her palm it is easy for the lady to get her hand hurt. Sometimes people say oh rueda looks/feels boring. There is a reason why. A lot of people aren’t being taught the elements that make it a really dynamic breathing (in/out open/close) circle. And for good reason. Learning that correct handhold and moving well takes time.

In all dance styles most students desire to keep on learning move after move. It is few who both realize the important basic/core elements and do the work to get those right.