Can you learn rhythm
I am not talking about the rhythm method, that`s what my parents were using when they had me. This week I watched some of dancing with the Stars. I have to admit it was not as good as I thought it was going to be, except for laughing out loud when the dance coach also called Joey Fatone, The Fat-one. The whole fat thing and how it is funny is another good post, but we are just talking bout rhythm here.
KC has a pretty healthy dancing community when it comes to latin dances. You can find a good party every single weekend, and even though it helps to be personal friends with one of the DJ’s there are plenty of ways to find a club that is going to be playing some great music. There are two groups of people that go out to the clubs to dance latin music. I belong to the group of people that grew up with latin music around them, I learned to dance because my Mom taught me how. The second group are the ones that learned from a dance studio… and do I dare to say, they have no rhythm…
I know I am being unfair because not simply because you grew up around the music you know how to feel the music. I see that every weekend too, other latin people trying to do a dance that does not look anything like it is supposed to, worse yet they are so lost that the music is going one way and they are going another. I am only talking here about the people that can actually dance and stay with the music. Some know how to because they feel it, some know because they have been trained to do a movement with the beat.
My Mom loves to dance, and knows how to do must of the latin dances including Tango and “Paso-Doble.” I can follow her dancing those two, but I am really good at Salsa and Merengue. I have said it before, I am a total dancing fool. I hear a beat (even in a commercial) and I want to dance. My Mom also loves Ballroom dancing and watched it every time it was on TV. I also learned to love to watch the perfectly choreographed couples move on the dancefloor. They knew the steps and performed them with great accuracy, but did they feel the music? Do they have what I call rhythm?
No one is going to pay money to watch me dance like they do professional dancers; better yet, no one is ever going to pay for a dance lesson from me. I dance because it is fun and it makes me happy, I love feeling the music and it is one of the experiences where I feel like something is actully in my blood. A perfect example of this is the movie Dance with me that stars Chayanne and “Wilhelmina” or Vanessa Williams as she was known back then before Ugly Betty. You can see in the movie how different the two ways of dancing are. There is also a glympce of it in the movie Center Stage. When you dance to have fun and actually feel the music, it is a lot more beautiful than if you are repeating steps that coincide with a beat.
I have danced with people that learned dancing from just going out and having fun, and those that are trainned in a dance studio. I have no fun when I dance with someone that is not feeling the music, but its very mechanical about what they are doing. I am sure there are professional dancers out there that love to dance and actually know how to feel the music. Most of the professional dancers I saw in dancing with the stars looked like people that see dancing as a job. At that moment when it becomes a job, it takes the fun out of it.
Rhythm is something you feel inside for me, not something that can be taught. You can learn the steps from someone else, but the real lesson is how to actually feel the music. Have fun out there dancing.