Use the couch to get you moving – by Cassie Tucker

Cassie practices at Dancesport Kingdom.

Use the couch to get you moving!

 

DK Ballroom Instructor Cassie Tucker writes about her inspiration for Ballroom, New Vogue and Latin American dance.

 

Use the Couch to get you Moving

I think I can safely say that like most people over the last few months I have developed a close, personal relationship with my couch.  Despite thoughts of “I should do dance practice” or “I should practice that new choreography from four months ago that I can barely remember,” in reality, without any deadlines or goals to work towards it is pretty hard to find the motivation to get up and move.

A few weeks ago I was sitting on my couch and thinking hard about what got me into dancing in the first place.  For me, it was a game called Just Dance - a dancing simulator where you copy the moves of a character on screen and try to match the choreography to get a high score.  The more accurate you are, the better your result, and the better your result, the more coordinated you become.  

I found that the more coordinated I became, the more confidence I gained.  It was that confidence that led me try dancing at Dancesport Kingdom.  From that very first dance lesson, I was hooked.

I then asked myself what it was that made me like Just Dance (and ultimately ballroom dancing) so much?  After all, I spent hundreds of hours playing that game.  Things like the rush of beating my previous scores, the challenge of improvement, the brain-power required to learn a new skill, plus the feel-good endorphins obtained from physical activity all came to mind.  I also loved the music. 

Bingo!  Ballroom, New Vogue and Latin American dance is all about music.  No wonder I don’t feel inspired to practice, I am missing half of the puzzle.  But why isn’t  the music I already have inspiring me?  Because it has become worn out.  That is what got me thinking:  I love to discover new music.  I also love to sit on the couch and watch Netflix.  Why not combine the two? 

TV and movie soundtracks are one of the best ways to discover new Dancesport music.  Often times we are so caught up with the action on-screen that we fail to notice great music in the background or credits.  Great music we can dance to!  

I now challenge myself to actively listen to the soundtracks and immediately add songs I like to my Spotify playlist.  Later, I am always excited to discover what new songs I have added and a challenging internal dialogue ensues: 

“This song is a New Vogue march;  Would it work best for Crunch?  Or Military Two Step?  Maybe Gypsy Tap?  Maybe even a Latin American slow Jive?” Or: “Is this song phrased?  Does the tempo change?” Or: “Would this song work better as a slow Cha Cha Cha or a fast Rumba?  Let me dance it through a few times to find out.”

I now find myself practicing daily without even thinking about it!  Every new song is a challenge and has helped me rediscover what made me love Ballroom dance in the first place:  movement and music.  Sure, I may not be mastering that complicated hip action, but I’m moving and having fun. 

And most importantly? I’m getting off the couch.

Cassie