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Recently Wendy and I were at a social dance event. Couples ranged from inexperienced social dancers to a few competitors in Bronze and Silver levels. One middle-aged couple stood out from all the others. They moved fluidly together, always in sync with each other and with the music. The thing is, this couple probably had never taken a formal dance lesson in their lives.

They didn't know about or concern themselves with footwork or body flight or any other technical details. Yet they danced more rhythmically than anyone else on the floor, including the competitors. Why? Because everything they did was perfectly connected to the music. The man was clearly leading and his partner was moving in wonderful harmony, placing her feet on the ground in perfect time to him even though he was simply making up random steps. When the music slowed down, he slowed down and she matched the rhythm change. When the music was fast, he responded with faster steps and movements, which she always matched. It was quite mesmerizing to watch.

Of course I'm not suggesting people dance without training. But what I observed illustrates a point. The trained dancers were so busy trying to be technically perfect they forgot about the most important quality in dancing, the essence that must always be the foundation for all ballroom dancing.

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Author George Pytlik

Before turning pro, George achieved impressive results as an amateur competitor, holding the Senior (30+) Latin championship in BC, Canada for 7 consecutive years with his wife Wendy. The couple twice achieved a top-3 Canadian ranking in Senior Latin as well as a 3rd place Canadian ranking in 30+ Ten Dance. Today, George and Wendy are professional teachers with a vision of growing a strong dance community in Delta near Vancouver, BC.

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