The Three A's + 1
by Bill & Martha Buck
Oftentimes, we ponder why one couple is
seemingly more successful than another couple, even though they
appear to be about equal in their natural dancing ability. Invariably
we come back to the "Three A's + 1" philosophy that we use
in our classes.
Acceptance: Dancers must accept
their partners and themselves for their success or lack of success at
any given time. In a dancing couple, oftentimes, one partner is
stronger than the other, i.e., "catches on faster." Both
partners need to accept this fact and use it to their advantage
rather than disadvantage. We have seen many couples succeed in round
dancing simply because the weaker dancers allowed their partners to
help them with, for example, timing. We also must accept other
dancers on the floor and realize that we all do not learn at the same
rate. We must accept the fact that we are receiving group
instruction, and the instructor may not always move at the rate we
would like. He/She may move faster or slower than we would like, but
most instructors try to move at a pace that is comfortable for the
is by far the most important ingredient toward dancing well, or
toward accomplishing anything else. If you think you can't do it . .
. you probably can't. If you think you can . . . your chances are
pretty good that you can. But if you are positive that you can . . .
chances are extremely good that you will. Have a good attitude toward
your partner, other dancers, and the dance program. Come to your
lesson, the workshop, or the dance, with a positive attitude and a
smile on your face. Try it . . . good things will happen. Have you
ever tried to walk mad with a smile on your face? You can't do it . .
. your body takes its cues from your head . . . so SMILE.
to dance or to do anything in this world is varied. Some of our most
devoted dancers tell us they had never danced until starting Round
Dance lessons. They doubted their ability to dance. Having danced six
or seven years now, they realize they had the ability all along --
they just had to learn how to use it. We see other couples dancing a
routine and we feel envious of their ability. Don't. Realize that
good dancing takes practice and dedication, and appreciate the time
and effort that couple has put forth to learn that routine.
started with just "three A's." Recently we added the +1.
Oftentimes, we get in such a hurry to learn more and more routines
and to obtain a certain "level" in our dancing. We liken
this to a couple getting to a vacation destination. They were in such
a hurry to reach their appointed destination that they failed to
appreciate the beautiful scenery along the way. The destination is
important, but be sure to appreciate and enjoy the pleasure along the
way. Appreciate your partner. He/She may be the best partner you'll
ever have. Avoid developing a competitive attitude toward your
partner or other round dancers.
Round Dancing is a wonderful activity that brings us all great pleasure. Let's all practice the "Three A's + 1" with ourselves, our partner, and our instructor (or students) each time we attend a class, dance, or festival. It really works. Have you HUGGED A ROUND DANCER TODAY?
From RAL Journal,
1997; reprinted DRDC Newsletter, January 2012.
If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.
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Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)
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