Dancing to Layers Review

West Coast Swing Online Musicality & Timing

Isn’t it amazing how many options you have to dance to the music? Over the last couple of months, we have explored how to dance to the different musical layers in Maroon 5’s song Maps. By now, it should be clear that even relatively simple songs have tons of elements that you can highlight with your dancing.

One of the most important lessons from this series is that musicality doesn’t have to depend on your partner. None of these musical accents required the leader to lead a specific pattern, and almost every idea could be done regardless of what your partner was doing at that moment.

So, where can you go from here?

  • Listen to songs more closely. Make it your goal to find something new in a song every time you hear it. Great dancers don’t just stumble upon cool accents—they seek them out. Now you can too!
  • Change up your dancing! In this song, we called attention to over ten different elements in the first minute and a half. That’s a new look every ten seconds. That pace might be aggressive when you start trying to apply this on the social floor, but set a goal for yourself to keep changing the look of your dance. Start by having a different look for each verse and chorus, and build from there.
  • Experiment with your movement. This series only scratched the surface of how you can create different looks with your body. Spend some time dancing freestyle by yourself so that you can learn what other movements you can do. The more you develop your own movement repertoire, the more options you will have when social dancing.
  • Above all, have fun with the music. Dancing to the music is a creative experience. Sometimes you will do something amazing, and other times it won’t click. That’s ok. All great dancers will have stories of dances where their musicality did not work at all, but they still had fun with their partner. Be that partner that enjoys trying things, even when (in fact, especially when) it doesn’t work out perfectly.
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