Five Ways to Start Dancing Today

1. Listening to slow music, mirror your partner or dance alone facing a mirror. Begin moving very slowly and smoothly; imagine that your body is connected to your partner or your reflection with invisible, flexible strings. Focus on your partner so that he or she can easily follow your movements, avoiding sudden changes. After a short time invite your partner to lead and you can follow. It might be a while before your partner is comfortable leading. Or, try dancing together with neither person being the leader—see what happens!

2. Hold one end of a long silky scarf or piece of fabric, and invite a partner to hold the other end (great dancing scarves can be found in the evening/wedding remnant section at the fabric store). Play music that inspires you to stretch high and low; swing the material back and forth, and make waves with it. Play with it by moving fast and slow. Try different lengths and colors, too.

3. Invite a partner to waltz with you (try a waltz by Strauss, or a Cajun or Swedish waltz). Your partner can be in a chair and you can stand, or you can both be seated. If your partner is standing with you, have a chair for him or her to rest in. Hold on to your partner securely and make sure you can both easily balance. Imaging turning while you both reach hands high together and make a circle in the air. Keep moving your feet back and forth in ¾ time. Sway side to side and back and forth. Encourage your partner to move his or her torso as well as arms and legs. Try different music too, like the fox trot or rock & roll.

4. Dance solo! Play different kinds of music, and when you hear something that moves you to your feet or gets you dancing in your chair, start moving with the music. Reach high and low, twist, bend, stretch, swing, bounce, tap, shake, and sway. Move however you want to. If it helps you get started, close your eyes.

5. Learn more about your dance partner through music. Find out about your partner’s history, and play music they may have listened to as a child, a teenager, or an adult. Also, try playing varied selections of music, such as country, South American, African, rock, big band, or Cuban. You might be surprised about the body and mind memories that music can bring out!

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