Technique and Skill

Don’t look down!

What happens when you look at someone who is looking down? Your eyes tend to follow. This means if you are looking at a dancer who is looking at their feet, you will end up looking there as well. Which is great if their feet aren’t doing “variations”!

I remember when my cat would be sitting in the room, and would look up at the ceiling. Natural curiosity, I couldn’t help but look up at the ceiling. Nothing was there! By the time I looked back down, she was looking at me like I was silly.

I never danced with my cat, but this proves a point that as humans we can’t help but look where other people are looking. It happens with my cat. It happens (unfortunately) with accidents on the highway. People look somewhere, and we turn to look and see what they’re looking at.

How does this apply to dancing?

If you look down at your feet, the people who might be watching you will also look down at your feet. Most likely you’re looking at your feet because you think they’re doing something they aren’t supposed to – which could be the case. But when everyone else looks down at your feet as well, they will see any “step variations” that you may be making down there; or at the very least they will think you’re not as confident as you could be.

The point is, keep your eyes up … looking at your partner, looking at other dancers, looking at pictures on the wall. Anything shoulder level or above. Keep the eyes up, and anyone watching will also keep their eyes up, meaning they will see your smiling face (and not that accidental step you just took on your partner’s toes!)

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