IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
1. Relax all your muscles: don’t keep them taut.
2. Don’t hunch your shoulders or move your arms about, keep them perfectly still.
3. Keep your knees straight when you are out to the full extent of your stride. Apart from this they should be naturally relaxed the whole time. Stiff knees and bent knees look frightfully ugly: try to strike the happy medium.
4. Don’t hold your breath, breathe naturally.
5. Use your heels whenever it feels comfortable and natural to do so. This will improve your balance, carriage and movement, and looks much better than being perched up on your toes the whole time. In some steps you put the heel down first, others the flat foot, and some toes first. (These I have described.) Practice and lessons from a competent teacher will put you right.
6. Always dance in time to the music, never out of time.
7. Don’t turn your toes out, your feet should be perfectly straight.
8. Take long steps straight from the hips: not too long, just the length of your natural stride, and skim your feet along the floor, in every dance except the Tango, where the feet are picked up slightly.
9. Always keep your legs close together when one foot passes the other: nothing looks worse than to see a person dancing with legs apart.
10. Be perfectly natural, don’t try and ape someone else or get an affected hold; people only laugh at you.
11. When you dance look as though you are enjoying it.
12. If you want to talk, sit out.
13. BALANCE. (Very important. See chapter on this subject.) WHEN MOVING FORWARD (lady or gentleman) THE WEIGHT OF YOUR BODY SHOULD ALWAYS BE FORWARD. DO not push your foot out in front of you leaving the weight of your body back. If you do you will tread on your partner’s toes. WHEN MOVING BACKWARD (lady or gentleman) THE WEIGHT OF YOUR BODY SHOULD ALWAYS BE FORWARD. To prevent your weight from being carried back, swing your leg well back from the hip and DO NOT LOWER YOUR BACK HEEL UNTIL THE OTHER FOOT PASSES IT.