What to practice when you don’t know what to practice – by Cassie Tucker

Cassie practicing at Dancesport Kingdom.

"What to practice when you don't know what to practice"


DK Ballroom Instructor Cassie Tucker says stop making excuses and get practicing!


"What to Practice When You Don’t Know What to Practice

If ever you find yourself with a free moment at the studio  - or at home - and are out of ideas for practice, don’t underestimate the power of Merrilyn. 

Although Merrilyn is considered one of the easier New Vogue dances, it contains so many elements that appear in other dances (Lock Steps, Throw to Aerials, Chasses, Swivels etc.) that by refining your technique you will ultimately raise the standard of all your dances. 

Remembering that Merrilyn is a Slow Foxtrot rhythm, a key area to focus on is smoothly tracking your feet across the floor.  Picture yourself wearing skis, allowing one foot to slide past the other, both feet flat at the passing point.  

Practice your Swivelling action at steps 11 and 16 and during the Breakaway by allowing the turn to be made on the ball of the standing foot as you smoothly draw your moving foot to close and pass.

Strengthen your feet and ankles by drawing attention to accurate footwork and neat closes, ensuring you are rising strongly on toes and bringing knees forward during the chasses and side closes.  Bring awareness to the inside edge of the ball of foot when closing and preparing to take a side step. 

Use the forward and backward Locks to practice control, remembering these are New Vogue Locks with distinctive Heel Toe (HT), Toe Heel (TH), Heel (H) footwork, so you must remember to lower.  And what better way to practice balance than the Throw to Aerial Position (yes, the heel of the standing foot does need to come off the ground!).

Polish it all off with a Rotary Chasse and Merrilyn is a well-rounded dance for effective practice.  So find yourself a great playlist of Slow Foxtrot rhythms (there are plenty out there!), and get practicing!"