This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on redeveloping techniques so they work with everyone you dance with:
Have you ever learned a dance technique that might improve your dancing with those who do the same technique but doesn’t seem to work with people who don’t use that technique?
Isn’t it frustrating to learn a cool concept and then not be able to use it with 50% (or more) of the people you dance with?
Well, now you can change that and make every technique and concept work universally (aka: with everyone you dance with).
What I’m about to share with you is the exact same method that’s used to create all of the techniques taught in our online dance trainings and all the classes I teach to thousands of dancers around the world.
As a dancer, you can use this method to create your own techniques that work with everyone you dance with.
And as you’ll see below, there are quite a few more benefits you’ll get from using a Universal Learning Method.
Here’s my disclaimer: I obviously can’t promise that you will get the same results as I do when you create your own universal techniques. Your results will vary due to a variety of factors.
That said, by using the structure of the Universal Learning Method I’m about to share with you in these posts, you will be way ahead of me when I started my journey to create techniques that work universally.
How Our Universal Learning Method Was Created
Over the past 15 years, I have taken thousands of dance classes and as much as I love taking all sorts of dance classes and they definitely improved my dancing, I always wanted to find a way to use the techniques I was learning so they worked with everyone, and a lot of the time they were not presented in this way.
For example, when I learned about counterbalance, I was taught that I was supposed to lead it and my follow was supposed to follow it (often at very specific moments) but some of my partners wouldn’t follow it when I wanted them to and others would automatically go into it when I never asked them to.
I found this really frustrating and started getting annoyed when I danced with the follows who didn’t follow my counterbalance or always went into counterbalance without me leading it.
As I learned more awesome techniques, I also found it frustrating to dance with partners who ignored certain aspects of the music, or who didn’t dance grounded, or who didn’t bounce (or pulse) the way I learned to.
The more I danced with these people, the more annoying it got and eventually I started to avoid dancing with them (even though I used to enjoy dancing with some of them before I learned these techniques).
First off, I don’t want to have to avoid dancing with certain people. It takes too much of my energy and it doesn’t exactly help create a great atmosphere or make me (or them) feel great. I’d rather just find a way to have awesome dances with them (and yes, I did and I will show you how below).
Secondly, I was actually losing my enjoyment to dance with certain people as I was supposedly improving my dancing! I don’t know about you, but I want my enjoyment for dance to increase as I improve my dancing.
I figured there had to be a way to learn techniques that would increase my skills and at the same time increase my enjoyment with everyone I encountered…
…and that is exactly why I started to search for a Universal Learning Method…
…so I could take techniques that I was learning and redevelop them so they improve my dancing with everyone, instead of just the people who know that technique.
And that is exactly what I want to share with you here…
Dance Ninjas Universal Learning Method
So let’s take the example of learning counterbalance and see how using the Universal Learning Method turned this cool concept into something I could use with everyone instead of just those that followed me perfectly (even when I probably wasn’t leading perfectly).
Want To Take The Fast Track?
Everything we teach in our Core Lessons uses the Universal Learning Method.
So if you want to take the fast track and get a bunch of techniques that have already been redeveloped to work universally, you will definitely want to check out our dance training.
Instead of learning that I was “supposed” to lead the counterbalance and my follow was supposed to follow it…
…I decided to learn that counterbalance was an awesome part of dancing that I could both lead and follow (regardless of whether or not I was the official lead or follow). That way, if my partner didn’t have the knowledge, skill level, or desire to follow my counterbalance, it was no big deal because I would just separate that aspect out and follow their counterbalance while I was leading everything else.
Of course, to be able to do this, I had to learn to do any movement with or without counterbalance, and with varying degrees of counterbalance, different directions of counterbalance, and go in and out of counterbalance at any point during any move.
It created a totally different way of looking at counterbalance that I am constantly still improving and learning more about every day I dance. Now, when I dance with people who don’t use counterbalance in one of the ways I was taught, instead of getting frustrated and having a mediocre dance, I get to learn more and improve my dance skills while I’m social dancing.
Do you see how different this is than the normal method of learning counterbalance?
Let’s put them side by side so you can see the exact difference in how you would practice or learn with each method:
|Normal Learning Method||Universal Learning Method|
|How You Learn Counterbalance||You learn a specific movement that either has counterbalance, doesn’t have counterbalance, or has counterbalance at a very specific moment(s).||You learn how to go in and out of counterbalance with different positions, speeds, directions, lengths of time, etc and then practice adjusting your counterbalance to each partner.|
One upside of the Normal Learning Method above is that you can create a very specific look or style of dance with people who also know that style (or have a Universal Learning Method).
One downside of the Normal Learning Method is that you are extremely likely to come across many social dancers who don’t dance that movement the exact same way and it can make the dance feel less than amazing (and sometimes downright “horrible”) if neither one of you knows how to adjust for the other person.
Of course, the more classes you take from different instructors with different styles, the more you will learn about the different ways to use counterbalance but this could take many years to gain the knowledge you can get in one hour by using the Universal Learning Method…
So give yourself a head start on your learning and start turning every technique into a universal technique or take the fast track and join Dance Ninjas…
Why A Universal Learning Method Is So Valuable For Your Dancing
The most clear and simple benefits of using a Universal Learning Method are:
There are a couple additional benefits of using a Universal Learning Method that might not be immediately obvious.
There are a lot of lessons out there teaching you how to improve your dancing. Dance Ninjas Dance Training shows you how to improve your dancing universally.
Andrew Sutton is a World Champion Lindy Hop Instructor, and one of the original founders of the Fusion partner dance movement. He uses his extensive research in over 244 cities across 38 countries (& 44 dance forms) to help dance instructors be more successful financially during their pursuit to help their students Make Every Dance Amazing! Impossible? Maybe...but if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you'll land amongst the stars!
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