Practice to a Metronome

West Coast Swing Online Musicality & Timing

When you are working on any technical element of the dance, you want to be able to concentrate on the technique rather than what the music is doing. However, you also need to be able to keep a consistent pace as you develop fluency with the technique. Dancing to a metronome is the perfect solution.

With a metronome, you can keep consistent timing. Because there’s no music, there’s nothing to distract your artistic side. You don’t have to worry about finding a song that’s at the right tempo or choosing a song that matches the style of the movement or technique you want to refine.

The Drill: Pick a technical element of your dancing to work on. Timing is a great choice, as are body mechanics, connection, or spinning. Some people also find it helpful to practice styling options without music, while others need the music to help them feel a new movement.

Work on your technique until you have some level of fluency. If you need to think constantly, you aren’t ready to put it to a beat yet. First practice until you can execute the movement without having to pause and remember in the middle of the motion.

Once you have that basic level of familiarity, put on a metronome and practice the technique to a slow rhythm. Don’t be afraid to go too slowly; you can easily speed up the tempo later when you are more comfortable. As you become more fluent, you’ll be able to increase the metronome’s rate.

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