I know what you are probably thinking: how is it possible
to learn to dance to everything that might be played in
a nightclub setting? Actually this is easier than you might
think. Most dance beat music falls in the tempo range of
105 to 130 beats per minute. Ill call this tempo range
the tempo sweet spot of nightclub music. Its the perfect
tempo range for dancing swing, hustle, and cha cha. Youll
find that most nightclub music is suitable for swing, hustle,
or cha cha dances. In addition to these dances, you will
need a strong slow dance and you will need what I call a
Quick, Quick, Slow dance such as rumba, which can be adapted
to a very wide range of music tempos. To sum up, you will
only need to learn a few basic dances to be able to address
almost all nightclub music. More good news is that these
dances are much easier to learn than ballroom dances such
as waltz, foxtrot, and tango, which can be very technical.
Here's a brief introduction: The three-count hustle is the
perfect dance for classic disco beat music. The hustle is
a true nightclub dance. This dance was born in the nightclubs
of New York City during the disco era of the 1970s.
The basic step is easy and you should be able to start dancing
the hustle after only a few minutes of practice. You might
think that disco is dead, but the disco beat rhythm and
tempo continues to live on in almost all nightclub music.
In fact, having the disco beat is an important factor in
the long term success of dance music. The hustle is the
perfect dance for the music tempo range of 105 to 130 beats
per minute. The basic step of the hustle is easy. The steps
are often called out: ball-change, walk, walk, ball-change.
Now lets look at he four count hustle, also called
the four count swing. This dance is perhaps even easier
to learn than the three-count hustle. This dance uses the
same steps and figures as three count hustle. The only thing
that changes is the footwork timing. In this dance, you
simply step on each beat of the music. You can count the
music and the step timing 1,2,3,4; 1,2,3,4. Its just
like marching. Now lets talk about when to dance the
four count hustle. Most dancers prefer the three count hustle
over the four count hustle, but when the music speeds up
and gets above about 130 beats per minute, you will need
to switch to the four count hustle this gives you
an extra beat of music to complete each pattern. The four
count hustle is perfect for fast disco music and for techno-beat
music. The four count hustle is also a perfect dance for
merengue music, which is popular in Latin Clubs. The basic
step of the four count hustle is easy. The steps are often
called out: forward, back, together, forward.
All nightclub dancers need a strong slow dance. Almost
certainly, a number of slow songs will be played through
the course of the evening. The dance called the one step
is really easy to learn. The footwork timing is also easy.
Its just like the four count hustle, where you step
1,2,3,4, with one step taken on each beat of the music.
Most dancers, when dancing a slow dance, move very little.
This dance allows you to move to the music. Most women
enjoy dancing with a guy who knows how to slow dance well.
Learning this simple dance might be the most valuable
lesson youve ever had. The foot placement pattern
is easy. Its just: side, back, rock, step. Side,
back, rock, step. The count is just a simple 1,2,3,4;
1,2,3,4. The One Step is not suitable for all slow dances,
but it works well for many songs, especially those that
have a slow blues rhythm pattern.
Now lets look at the next dance style: triple step
swing also called triple timing swing. This is also called
jitterbug. The triple timing swing is a great dance for
tempo ranges that span from 120 to 160 beats per minute.
This is a versatile dance, because it can be danced to
swing, blues, or disco beat music. It can be danced in
many different venues, from ballroom settings and wedding
receptions to rock and roll nightclubs. Initially, its
a bit of a trick to learn. The secret is to practice the
basic step until you dont even have to think about
it anymore. Then you can start having fun. The basic pattern
is a follows: triple step, triple step, rock step (repeat).
The counting is called out 1&2, 3&4, 5,6.
Now lets look at the next dance: cha cha. In this
video, we are going to show a very basic, very easy to
learn version of this dance, suitable for nightclub dancing.
For our easy version, we will count the dance as follows:
rock step, cha cha cha (repeat).
Now lets look at the next dance, which I will call
a quick quick slow dance. This one dance can serve as
rumba, salsa, mambo, bolero, and night club two, depending
upon the music being played. I know what you are asking:
How is this possible. All of these dances - rumba, salsa,
mambo, bolero, and night club two - all share the same
basic footwork timing of quick, quick slow, quick, quick,
slow. In addition these five dances share many many patterns
and dance figures. In fact, overall, they are more alike
than they are different. Where they differ most is in
the tempo and the style of the music. You can look at
this as sort of a bargain: you learn just one set of patterns,
and now you can dance five different dances. The footwork
timing is quick, quick, slow, quick, quick, slow. Each
quick step requires one beat of music, each slow step
requires two beats of music. Thus, the three steps require
4 beats of music.
A key skill required by the nightclub
dancer is the ability to quickly analyze music to determine
which dance is most appropriate. In this video, Ill
show you how to do this.
The video will give examples of
popular songs representing each dance style. You do not
have to have practice music to learn from the video. In
fact, you can dance along with us as the tape plays.
Joe and Jamie
Length: about 90 minutes