Move your center first (video: 1 min., 28 sec.)

by James Joseph

In this video Skippy Blair talks about how to move on the dance floor by moving your center first. Your “center,” short for “center point of balance,” is located in your solar plexus. All dance movement should start and project from your center. If you move your center first you will not only look better–like a dancer!–but it will feel better to your partner and make lead and follow much easier.

There’s an old saying in dance, “foot follows frame.” Move your center first—not shoulders, hip or foot. Especially don’t move the foot first, which is the mark of a beginner. There’s more in Chapter 12, Movement and Timing.

Video courtesy of Skippy Blair (swingworld.com).

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric November 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Thanks for picking out this video on moving. Skippy makes the point as does your writing about the center. Judith Wright’s book has several drills as well. Is moving the center different for different styles of music (waltz, swing), or is the slight variations in center first movement more of styling element?

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James Joseph December 7, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Eric, movement of the center (solar plexus) doesn’t vary with music styles. In rolling count (&a1), your center always starts moving on the & count. As Skippy Blair says, your center belongs to the & count. The thing that you might be observing is a “movement unit,” which is an up and down movement of your center. If a movement unit is present, it’s part of the style and essence of that particular dance. East Coast swing and samba are examples of dances with an up and down movement.

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