Dancing starts with embracing. It’s the first connection into the dance. The embrace in social dance is like an embrace in life: it has to be natural and with affection, otherwise it will not live. Embrace your partner as though you are about to dance the dance of your life. The leader must hold the follower securely but with freedom to move, must lead, not force. The follower must relax in the embrace and feel each intention of the leader’s lead, but know her own axis. It must always be a two-way experience. Each embrace is different just as each person is different. They say that you can tell whether a person can dance from the feel of the first embrace.

Music is another point of connection to your partner. Don’t just listen to the music; feel it. In dance, we dance to what we feel, either melody or rhythm; there are no counts. Be sensitive to each of the instruments that make the beautiful song. Neither partner should feel the music on their own. Each has to understand what his/her partner feels in the music and then dance to it. When the couple hears the music as one — that’s when the magic of dancing happens. Once you’re on the dance floor, stop thinking about the sequence you learned in class or the cool move you saw on YouTube, and just let the music sweep you away. It wouldn’t make sense to dance if you’re not dancing to the music.

There are many elements when creating a connection: the embrace, the music, technique and others. However the most important one is the intention of connecting. You are not dancing alone, you are dancing with another person. Forget about yourself, forget about making mistakes, forget about the coffee you had in the morning, and forget about your to-do list. Give the song to the person you are dancing with to make the dance “ours”. Live that experience and make it as the most pleasurable thing during this relationship that lasts the time of that song!