Terry DeanTerry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.
Terry Dean: Hi, I am Terry Dean from Terry Deans Dance Studio. We are working on the swing. Now, we are going to talk a little bit about the posture and the hold for swing. Posture and the hold for the swing is very much like a lot of other dances where we are going to be holding in a position like this, closed position, but this hand is going to be different. So, this hand is going to be pretty much the same, so I can get over here first. The hand is going to be around the lady, I mean the mans back, the mans hand is on the ladys shoulder blade and this is round and parallel to the ground, and when I turn my body that stage is connected. This hand, instead of being up here is going to be down here, and what happens is the mans thumb is going to be on top of the ladys hand and his fingers fit right into a little hook, so she hooks her fingers like that, so his fingers can fit right in there and his thumb on top, so thats our position.
So, this hand stays down as we are dancing, triple step. In the swing, we do a lot of turning and a lot of rotating and it is important to keep this hand down, because when we get into other things, youll see why, but this is very important to keep this down and keep this side connected.
Our upper body is, again, we are going to be leaning into towards each other, so we are in balls of the feet. So, it is very important when you do the fast dances. You have to have fast feet. You cant be back on your heels and get any speed. So, we have to make sure that we are in the balls of feet, one and two, one and two, rock step, in the balls of the feet; one and two, one and two, rock step, one and two, rock step, good.
So, anyway it was a posture, nice and around about up here and down here, body is still up, good posture, weight in the balls of your feet. The main thing is you are going to find in all the dances is try not to let your eyes drift down. When you are learning to dance, thats one of the crucial problems that most people make is they are always looking at their feet. So, make sure that you dont fall into that mistake. So, again, we are going to do the basic posture, triple step, triple step, rock step, triple step, triple step, rock step. Thats our basic posture with our basic step. Next thing we are going to do is the basic underarm turn left.