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sensual bachata

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Closed position...how close is too close?

One of the questions that always comes up during classes is "How close should I be in closed position?"

To me, there's not a hard and fast rule. It's not like you're supposed to be exactly 11.25" away from your partner at all times. There are a few factors to consider for "ideal" placement: your body, your comfort level, and what the dance calls for. 

Check out this video and read on for more thoughts on closed position.

 

Some of your space will depend on individual anatomy...people with longer arms might be able to stand further away from someone and still be in the correct alignment (shoulder blades down the back, not "popping" out of socket). Partners who are significantly different heights will have to be closer together to accommodate the height differences. Everybody is different, and that's what makes dancing so beautiful!

Space also depends on personal preference. Some people need to maintain their "bubble" of personal space, especially with strangers. Also, if you're super sweaty, whoever you're dancing with *might* not want to be quite as close to you. True story: I was dancing with a guy who looked like he had gone swimming with his clothes on. Naturally, I was trying to stay as far away from him as a I could, even floating my left arm off of his body in closed position to try to stay dry. 

Other people, especially those who dance Sensual Bachata and Kizomba, like to go in and be super close. If you are going for a close hold, whoever initiates it (lead or follow), have good frame and be sensitive to your partners' needs and the needs of the dance. Some dances and some moves require a close hold because they rely on connection across the body, not just in hand placement and one shoulder. 

As always,one of the  goals of social dancing is to build trust between two people and make sure both partners feel confident. Happy dancing!

What do you think? What are your feelings on closed position? How close is too close? How do you lead or follow closed position in a way that's comfortable to you? 

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Mastering the Elusive Body Roll

Ahhhh body rolls... if you've seen any Sensual Bachata or Kizomba videos lately, you know that body rolls are kind of a big deal. Whether you're trying to become the next big Bachetero or just feel a little less weird and awkward doing body rolls, check out this video for some step-by-step tips and tricks.

Important things to remember:

-Core, core, core. And more core. Any body isolations come from core strength and control, so make sure that you're really squeezing that stomach when you're working on these. 

-These take time to master. You will not get body rolls in one day. And that is ok. Be patient with yourself and take a few minutes every day to practice. It really pays off!

-Have fun! You'll feel kind of silly doing this, especially if your'e practicing by yourself. But crank up some of your favorite songs (I love this Lounge-Soft House Mix on Spotify for isolation practice) and go for it!

Did this help? How do you practice your body rolls? What other steps and moves are you struggling with? Let me know!

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