Master any dance in minutes with the first major dance instructional book/DVD from America’s bestselling dance instructor
Cal Pozo, director of the bestselling “Dancing with the Stars–Cardio Dance” DVD and creator of the multi-platinum award-winning “Learn to Dance in Minutes” series, has taught more than three million people how to dance with his patented “Reverse View” method. Over the years, thousands of his fans have asked if he also had a dance instructional book.
Here is the package they’ve been looking for: an easy-to-follow, fun-to-watch book and DVD combination that gives the reader multiple angles and methods from which to learn. In addition to basic step patterns and rhythms, you’ll learn:
-Smooth dances like the classic foxtrot, waltz, two-step, and tango
-American rhythm dances like the Lindy and the hustle
-Latin dances like the salsa, mambo, chacha, rumba, and merengue
-Line dances like the Electric Slide, the Macarena, the Tush Push, and the Boot Scooting Boogie
From the foxtrot to the Lindy hop, the merengue to the Macarena, you’ll learn how to identify each style of dance so that you’ll be prepared for any type of dance party. Whether you’re looking to wow the relatives at your wedding, impress your boss at the holiday party, or get a spot on “So You think You Can Dance?,” Let’s Dance! Weddings and Parties will have you moving and grooving, turning and twirling, and hopping and bopping with the best.
To many people even the idea of dancing, especially with a partner, is intimidating. Yet dancing has been a part of our lives even before we’re born. While still in our mother’s womb, we are constantly reacting to the beat of her heart. Whenever she moves or changes body positions, we frequently respond by adjusting ours. Then, long before our eyes open or focus, our nervous system is commanding our legs and arms to respond to sounds and movements it continues to perceive internally and externally.
As our vision clears and we can make out the images of those who whistle, sing or baby talk to us, what do we do? We shake our limbs, we bob our heads, roll our eyes. We dance!
There are many different forms and styles of dance. All of them share two common elements. One is a physical reaction to music we enjoy listening to. The other is the use of the body as a tool to communicate that enjoyment. When two people are able to merge those two common elements while following a sequence of predetermined steps and moves, they’re forming a rhythmic partnership. They are partner dancing.
There are various forms of partner dancing. Each has its own levels of proficiency. Social dancing is the first level of what is traditionally known as ballroom dancing. Not all traditional ballroom dances fit into a social mode. Some need a lot of space to be danced correctly, something you won’t find in most nightclubs or halls where weddings and other parties might be held. If after reading this book, you become inspired to go beyond the social level, you’ll have all the ingredients you need, because the fundamental elements are the same in social and competitive ballroom dance.
Personally, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to bring dance into people’s lives. Dance has been a part of my entire life. My own first dance lesson took place when I was about ten years old in Havana, Cuba, my native country. My teacher was my family’s best dancer, my father. At parties he was often called “the mambo dancer.” The many times I watched him dance with my mother remain the most memorable moments of my childhood. In much later years, when my parents would come to see me perform on stage or in ballroom dance competitions, they never ceased to give me pointers. Although I had progressed beyond the social level of dance, they were still the masters; they had the ability to communicate and express each other’s love for dance on the floor, the ability to have fun dancing even if all you know is a couple of steps. That ability is what distinguishes a good dance partner from an unforgettable one.
Once you achieve that sense of communication between you and your dance partner, you’ll never want to stop learning more steps, techniques, and styles. Everything you’ll find in this book and its DVD is designed to get you started, to get your mind and body to think, “Let’s dance.” But my real objective is to get you hooked on dancing because I know that once you know you can dance, you’ll want to continue learning. You’ll never stop dancing.
Excerpted from Let's Dance by Cal Pozo. . Excerpted by permission of Hatherleigh Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Pierre Dulaine
About Partner Dancing
How to Use This Book
Part One: Fundamentals of Partner Dancing
Chapter 1: Footwork
Chapter 2: Timing and Rhythm
Chapter 3: Dance Stance, Frames, Positions, and Holds
Chapter 4: Dance Pattern Building Blocks
Chapter 5: Individual Characteristics
Part Two: The Smooth Dances
Chapter 6: The Waltz
Chapter 7: The Foxtrot
Chapter 8: The Tango
Part Three The Latin Rhythm Dances
Chapter 9: The Rumba
Chapter 10: The Salsa and the Mambo
Chapter 11: The Cha-cha
Chapter 12: The Merengue
Part Four: The American Rhythm Dances
Chapter 13: The Swing
Chapter 14: The Hustle
Part Five: Party and Line Dances
Chapter 15: Country Line Dances
Chapter 16: Party Line Dances
Abbreviations and Dance Terms
Index of Dance Patterns
About the Author