When I first learnt to dance ceroc 8 years ago, the big aim always seemed to be learning dips and drops. I think we all saw people doing them and thought, wow they’re great dancers, I’d love to learn those. And men did throw them in quite frequently on the freestyle dance floor. Of course, once you’ve learnt a few dips, drops and leans, you realise that those wow moves you see on Strictly Come Dancing, often aren’t as hard as a non-dancer might think.
But roll on to now, and I’m really out of touch with dips and drops, and I’m finding I don’t miss them at all. Do we really need them to make a good dance?
I’m definitely a technical dancer. With 14 years of ballet, several of modern dance, a bit of ballroom and then 2.5 years of really particular technical teaching in salsa, there’s no getting away from that. I love to have good technique I can fall back on. And dips, drops and leans require technique and precision (as well as a bit of flair once you know what you’re doing). But not all people doing dips and drops have that precise knowledge and practical understanding.
If you’re coming out of a class having learnt a drop, you know what you’re doing and can feel confident in them. I know in the past I’ve learnt a lot of drops and dips in class and at weekenders, from different teachers. But after 5 years out, plus having a severe lack of stomach muscles left after having a baby, I know that they’re unlikely to be my strength. To be honest, I cannot remember most of them – how to get into them or what to do during the move other than support myself and don’t fling myself into them.
So I’m happy to just enjoy a dance, enjoy the music and enjoy the surprise moves that a dance partner might throw in.
But there’s a lot of men who still insist on doing drops. Some men I’m happy to try them with if I’m really clear about the lead, position, and there’s the time to make that judgement call for both of us. Those are the leaders who take note of floor craft, space, and recognise their partners’ capabilities or nervousness on the dance floor. They’re the ones I’d want to do drops with.
At the other end of the spectrum, there’s the men who think they need to fling their partner around as fast as possible, not giving them time. This might be a generalisation but in my experience, the men I’ve danced with who’re keen on drops and try and put them into every dance, tend to be those who dance to show off their own moves and not to have a balanced dance with their partner.
Of course it’s a generalisation, but nowadays I’m finding fewer men are doing drops in general freestyle. This pleases me. Ok, so it’s a great feeling when there’s a pause or the finale of the music, and the timing of the dance just works to have a brilliant drop at that point. But I’ll quite happily live without flash moves if the rest comes together perfectly – the dancing, the music, the connection and the feeling of the dance.
For me when I’m watching others dance, I’m looking for something different to flash moves. I’m watching the connection, the feeling of the music, and togetherness. I’m not looking for a showcase performance, but a dance between 2 people who’re enjoying the dance and moving well together. When I started out, I’d have been wowed by people doing the wow moves, but as I’ve progressed, my interest has changed.
So if you’re one of those guys who loves drops, but doesn’t wait to work out if their partner is happy doing them, please rethink your moves. Or find the ladies who love throwing themselves into as many complex drops as they can get.
Are you a fan of dips and drops? How do you work out the level your partner can do? Let me know in the comments below.