“What I want the world to know about ballroom dancing” by Melanie LaPatin

The day has come and we couldn’t be more pleased to share this fantastic blog by the Icon herself

MELANIE LAPATIN

Choreographer on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

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On Behalf of Impact Dance Productions please enjoy

 

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.― Friedrich Nietzsche

If people would only try ballroom dancing! People that have not experienced ballroom dancing don’t understand the sheer brilliance of the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental freedom you can attain, and the growth you can embrace.   Every celebrity on Dancing with the Stars and every competitor on So You Think You Can Dance attests to their newfound respect and love for ballroom dancing, which is one of the reasons I love both of those shows.  What other sport allows for the technicality, character, musicality and physical connection that can be achieved in ballroom dance?

While most dance styles have specific techniques, most do not have rules within those techniques. Ballroom dance is based on a syllabus that, while allowing for certain variations, requires mastery of a strictly defined set of steps and the nuances of each, the settling of a hip, the……  Furthermore, it requires a partner.

What other form of dance requires you to, in the span of only a few seconds, embody the Latin flavor of a Cuban salsa,  the fiery passion of a Brazilian samba or the lighthearted energy of a USO dance from the 1940’s?

Beyond literally changing your form, you have to adjust your mindset and your musicality, while at the same time giving that character to your partner.  Yet, for all its intricacies, ballroom dance is accessible to anyone, regardless of age or ability.

I believe ballroom dance, even competitive ballroom dance, is about challenging yourself to be better than your last performance and living your own personal greatness on the dance floor rather than competing against other couples..  What can possibly be more satisfying than this?  The hours, the money, the time, the blood sweat and tears invested in ballroom dancing are well worth it if…..the chase what you get out of it. ­­­­

My career in ballroom dancing has taken me from dancing on a three by five foot stage at an old theatre in New York City, to performing at the Hofburg palace in Vienna where Mozart used to play.  It has put me on the same stage with Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zepplin and Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall.  I have looked out over a crowd of 40,000 strong at the Tokyo Dome in Japan.  At the time, because I was so focused on the dancing, I didn’t really have time to appreciate it all, but looking back, I have come to understand the joy that dancing can bring to people and the places it can take you.  In short, it can change your life.

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Melanie LaPatin- So You Think You Can Dance Choreographer

Blog made possible by: Danielle Gardner & Impact Dance Productions

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @ IMPACTDancePro

 

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