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Understanding the musical character of each of the many dance styles is a vital part of being able to express yourself effectively on the dance floor.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, a number of top coaches gave digital lectures on Zoom covering various technical aspects of Ballroom and Latin dancing. Even though most ballrooms around the world were closed, it was a way to continue dance education and training. One of the coaches we had the benefit of learning from was Marat Gimaev.

I first saw Marat and his partner Alina Basyuk at the SnowBall Classic in 2003, where they competed in the World Cup 10 Dance event. They continued to attend SnowBall Classic for two or three more years as amateurs. They always impressed me. I recall one year talking to Marat and discovering that the couple had flown from Moscow to Vancouver that same day, opting to avoid the impact of jet lag by competing directly after the long trip. It was a gamble, but they didn't look any worse for the wear.

In this hour-long lecture, Marat goes into detail about how the musical characteristics of each dance help to differentiate it from the others, and how to relate that to your dancing. It's one of my favorite lectures on musicality.

Marat and Alina were World 10-Dance champions from 2001-2003. They went on to become Ballroom finalists at the World, European, Blackpool, UK and International Championships. In 2011 they won the Blackpool Professional Rising Star Ballroom title.

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George Pytlik

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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