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  • Writer's pictureDawn Matthews

Am I a Good Dancer?

Updated: Apr 17

I wrote this during a particularly busy class night, where there were more than 20 followers over during the intermediate class, and I already knew the moves - so bear with me, this is a bit of a stream of consciousness!

Am I a good dancer? Blog banner. Image shows a couple in a dance studio in a ballroom hold

When do you consider yourself a good dancer? This is an interesting thing to ponder, and I think for me – and probably a lot of other dancers that I know, we know that we’re somewhat good when other dancers want to get us up for a dance. But the thing with dancing is that there is always, always something new to learn. I’ve been dancing for 15 years now, and I still don’t consider myself anywhere near a “good” dancer. I’m definitely still learning, even though I have been dancing all this time. Starting to learn ballroom dancing back in October has clearly demonstrated that to me, and going on a couple of Ceroc weekenders where I’ve tried different styles has made it really clear that although I have some transferable skills, when I’m doing a different style... They don’t always follow. For example, at ballroom, we just started to learn the tango, which is a staccato dance, and is nothing like anything I have ever danced before. But I’ve become comfortable in the headspace of being a beginner again, and I think that’s a great thing – especially as you get older. Now I’m in my 40s, I’m more comfortable making a bit of an arse of myself, and I definitely understand that I won’t get something right the first time. But I know that given enough time to practice, with a good partner, I will get there. Maybe that is something that helps to make a good dancer – a willingness to learn and to have fun.

As for what makes a good lead for a dancer – well, I know this is up for a debate. But for me, it isn’t about the number of moves a guys knows, or the speed at which he could execute a move. It is about how fun the lead can make the dance, and in some cases, I’ve had amazing fun dances with guys that have about 8 moves total in their repertoire. When they’re hitting the music right, and playing with the moves, with a smile on their face – rather than aiming for perfection and being super serious about the dance – they are the best dances.

When I’m not completely confident about how good of a dancer I am, and especially when I haven’t danced with the lead before, I’d much rather have a fun dance, rather than a serious one where I feel like I’m being judged throughout the song. I’m not a competition dancer (although never say never!) so when I’m at a midweek class, or even a weekend freestyle, I want a fun dance.

Guys/leads, I definitely don’t speak for all ladies on the dancefloor when I say this... So you’ll have to gauge each lady/follow differently. I have no doubt that there are ladies who want to do a competition level dance every time. But I’d place money that most ladies are like me - we’re on the dancefloor for fun, so keep it that way.

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