Each week, Hugo Miguez and Stacy Kay post Tuesday Tips, advice from the pros to the larger Westie community about everything from dance etiquette to great ways to learn in workshops. We at Wandering Westie are looking to expand upon these with stories from our own Westies each week – proof of these tips in action!
Somehow, everyone ends up with a gross and embarrassing dance story that involves food, or sweat, or something like that. These are simple things that a baseline effort can keep from happening, but always end up happening. They’re hilarious stories later, but they’re kind of terrible in the moment. And they are sometimes avoidable – at least on your end.
Stop. Don’t do the thing. It’s that simple.
When you chew gum on the dance floor, you’re putting yourself at risk, you’re limiting your own movement, and you’re going to make about a hundred more weird faces as you don’t just have DanceFace on but you’re also chewing. You’re more at risk to bite your tongue. If you’re following, your lead will change how they connect with you because they recognize this limitation. If you’re leading, no matter how awesome you are, you’re looking substantially less awesome than you would if you would stop eating for two seconds and dance your dance.
If you regularly read Tuesday Tips, you’ll see a lot of stuff that boils down to Common Sense. Pay attention to your partner. Remember that dance is about having fun. Etc. But the food thing specifically gets on my nerves because it feels so simple.
Just because eating is a social endeavor more often than not and dancing is a social endeavor does not mean the two mesh well together. Dinner and then dancing works great. Dancing until dawn and then breakfast, fantastic. But when you get that late-night event food, you wait until you finish it to go dancing again. You take your time and compartmentalize your experiences. You have plenty of time.
Also, you are defeating the purpose of gum if you are chewing it when dancing. You want your breath to smell better, but whatever repulsion your partner would have experienced with your breath is replaced with an internal monologue kind of like this:
Uuuuuuuuugh. They’re chewing gum. Gross. I hope it doesn’t fly out and get on me. Ok, smile and sugar push.
Having seen that kind of incident happen, and having seen spins and food be a very bad combo, I feel justified in saying “people, just don’t do the thing.”
If you’re worried about how you’re presenting yourself at events, remember two simple rules.
- There is time for everything. Finish what you were doing before you dance.
Read: Don’t ask someone to dance if they’re mid-pizza. Don’t ask someone to dance if you’re mid-pizza. Pizza and dance are like fruit and cake. Individually they’re amazing. Together, much like fruit cake. they’re an awkward experience nobody would wish on anyone.
- Remember how you are appearing to others, and decide how you’d feel dancing with you.
If you’ve never danced with someone who’s had a bit too much to drink, basically you suddenly become hyper-aware of how to make sure they stay safe in the dance. Don’t put yourself in situations where other circumstances take your or their mind off the dance – whether this is eating on the dance floor, chewing gum on the dance floor, or not watching how much you’ve had to drink before getting back on the dance floor. Everyone wants to make sure everyone has a good time and stays safe
A little bit of self-awareness goes a long way. Stay aware of yourself on the dance floor, remember to consider how others will perceive you, and remember that there is time for everything.
Finally, if you really need to freshen your breath, grab breath mints or breath strips. They’re quick, they melt, and they’re far less cumbersome or obvious, and far safer. Then go out and rock the dance floor with ease and comfort!
Hugo Miguez and Stacy Kay are renowned for their precision, variety, and teaching methods within West Coast Swing. Since 2011, they have taken the circuit by storm with their Classic routines and are re-defining the learning process of the dance world. They will lead you through energetic dances while sharing their advice on all things dance. Hugo and Stacy reside in sunny Clearwater, Florida and travel as competitors, judges, and choreographers for numerous events in different dance styles. Both continue to share their passion for dance and enjoy working with all levels of experiences. They work with top professionals in many different dance styles distinctly furthering their education and experience. Their philosophy is to introduce and foster fresh, comprehensive dance knowledge for their students by giving more of themselves within every experience. They can be reached at www.hugoandstacy.dance.