I have been dancing for almost 5 months. Recently I realized that while doing my basic step-whenever I have to shift my weight- my body went in a zig zag manner, I was unable to make the figure 8 of the Cuban rocks during the basic step. On checking out a video on you tube, I was told that I should push my hips backward while doing a weight shift.
When I tried that I started to lose balance and started stumbling. Since my focus was on my hips my leg work for basic step, hand to hand, New Yorker and Spot turns all went wrong. The lead suffered the most. I kept on losing my balance even during the simplest routine.
How should I practice so that I am able to focus on balance,lead,leg work and hips so that I can look graceful? What changes should I make and how should I practice?
One more thing, I have seen the way Derek Hough of DWTS makes sharp turns. I have just learnt the Spot turn but I am not able to make it sharp, any suggestions?
I do realize that what I am asking takes years of practice, but I feel that if I can know the correct technique,right focusing points and the correct way to practice during the Basic level itself, I will be able to dance much better when I reach an advanced level.
SO let me start with what I assume is the mistake you are making...as everyone does....the movement does not come from your hip....your core engages and it is the movement of your abdominal muscles...your obliques in particular that create the movement. It is finished off by the settling action of your hip which arises from the proper use of your feet and straightening action of your knees. Its an illusion...the hip movement...it is a byproduct of doing the rest of everything the right way.
As to the turns...make sure the action begins where it is supposed to...at your shoulders...and practice, practice, practice.
Dancer 04/ Take one thing at a time. A Spot Turn is a walk turning. Take those instructions literally. Walk and then turn. The turn has only one beat which is beat two. That means you have to turn from facing one direction to facing another direction all on that same beat two. If this is a Spot Turn to the left I prefer to take my first step on a slight diagonal direction which makes it easier to enter into a Hand to Hand after completing the Spot Turn.. Major faults which I see is not dancing onto beat two with a straight knee. If the knee is bent what we see is the turn being made over the wrong foot. To quote a former world champion. How long do we have to practise these steps. For Ever. Good Luck
There is a very old (or fairly old, depending on your age) movie short called "Cuban Rhythm" that shows up occasionally (in the U. S.) on Turner Classic Movies. In it a couple from Arthur Murray shows how to dance Rumba (American style). One technique tip: Imagine you are standing on a street corner, waiting impatiently for a bus, shifting your weight from one leg to another. That gives you the necessary hip movement. I realize that this is a simplification, but it's a start.