Can eye contact during a dance make me a better dancer?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Nuyorican, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Nuyorican

    Nuyorican Son Montuno

    This Sunday I was dancing with another beginner and I was having trouble leading her. I’m also a beginner so I thought it was my lead (not clear? not enough resistance?)

    I also noticed she would not look me in the eye while we were dancing.

    A couple of songs later she then asks me to dance. I jokingly tell her “sure, but you gotta at least look at me when we dance”. We both laughed and started dancing. This time she immediately makes eye contact and holds it throughout the dance. The only time we lost eye contact was on a spin, turn or CBL.

    But we quickly regained eye contact after every move.

    I’ve never used eye contact this way and It. Was. Amazing.

    Everything changed. It was like we both went up a level in ability. I was able to not only lead almost everything I knew on time and in rhythm but she followed like we were connected by a string (hard to explain – that’s what it felt like). No matter what I did or made up she followed.

    You ever dance with someone where anytime you made a mistake it turns into something you didn’t plan but was able to pull off on time and keep the rhythm (even get a couple of smiles out of it)?

    This was my first time and we both had a great dance.
  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Simple answer ; Always explain to students that, there are 2 types of lead, Physical and, VISUAL..stress the last one..
  3. UchimaSalsa

    UchimaSalsa Son Montuno

    Clearly it help to make you a better dancer. It creates a connection with your partners and make them feel they are dancing with a human being and not a robot.
    I will add also smile to the eye contact. It doesn't have to be the pageant/Miss universe fake kind of smile which will be creepy, but a smile that shows you are a nice person.
  5. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I leave aside all the emotional stuff. The physical reason is that by keeping eye contact you forced yourself to keep your head up and hence your posture up and straight which then released the hips and allowed you to move more freely! And that automatically took you to a higher level.
  6. Nuyorican

    Nuyorican Son Montuno

    Nope.... that's not it.

    When I dance I always keep my head up. Terrance's post makes more sense to me and helped me immensely while dancing last night.

    I never thought about it the way he put it.

    Two types of lead - physical & visual. Last night I made sure to use both whenever I could and its changed the way I approach the dance.

    And about the " emotional stuff " - Its the only reason I dance. The music makes me feel joy when I move to it.

    And that joy amplifies when I'm sharing it with another person.
    Joco and akdancer like this.
  7. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    There is always a physical reasoning. As much as I am Greek and I hear people talk about emotions I realise that technique is also needed to explain things. If you do keep your head up normally and assuming you dance comfortably then keeping eye contact maintains the frames together and facilitates the dance. But its up to you!
  8. MrR

    MrR Son Montuno

    I'd say there is not only one thing the eye contact improves. Consider:

    - Connection
    Eye contact for many people is an essential component of bonding. Usually every improvement in connection leads to an improvement in communication. That makes the leading information transfer better and the compensation of mistakes (or even transformation into fun things) easier. It even allows the opening of other leading channels.

    - frame
    Maybe your frame was good before, but how about her frame ? Did she look at her feet? Where else? One of the best methods to destroy the frame. And even if your frame is technically decent, the connection leads you to make the frame more fitting to you partner.

    - focus
    Where did she look ?
    Many beginners look at their feet and try to coordinate them with their eyes. About the worst thing you can do!
    Others look at the people around which look better, dance better or just are there. (I am very easy to distract by the last part.) Takes away concentration and courage too. Eye contact usually takes a lower amount of concentration (often helps focusing), so you can put that concentration into moving your feet and body without tumbling around.

    - courage/safety
    The connection makes the partners feel safer and weakens the "armor of insecurity". This leads to not blocking the (still party unknown) moves. And suddenly a mistake isn't something dangerous but something that can be compensated and becomes a little success instead and often funny. Fun is a good support during dancing.

    - dance starter
    This is not the eye contact, but the scenery you described (Connect (with eye contact), make some jokes, get ready to dance). There is a good reason, many dancers use the time from asking to dance over walking to the dancing spot until the first seconds for some kind of "introduction" (primarily physical or visual) and most of my best dances start with an intense introduction.
    Unknowingly you did exactly that.

    - self reinforcing positives
    These factors lead to a good start of the dance. Once the dance is good and the connection is there most of them improve during the dance and the mood gets better and the factors become stronger. Try keeping up this chain for 2 or 3 songs in a row and you will know, why the conservatives vote for a parting after each dance ! :D

    This is just what methods came into my head. It is not the eye contact itself, it is the things the eye contact is associated with. So everyone is right but the short answers don't paint the whole picture. Quite a powerfull tool this little gaze.
    Nuyorican, GroovyMambo and Live2dance like this.
  9. Justin James

    Justin James Changui

    Yes,Eye contact during the dance makes us a a best dancer.
  10. Del Dominguez

    Del Dominguez Changui

    Just don't be creepy about it. As a guy, it's more for spacial awareness as well as making contact with my partner. That said, there is the inherent human connection so by all means....

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