Bookmark and Share

What is Slow Dance, and why do it?

In this present time of musical history, it would not be an exaggeration to state that 80 percent of what would be heralded as songs of romance, love and passion are indeed too slow for a waltz, foxtrot, or rumba. Their music tempos are so under the beat, no standard form of ballroom dancing is applicable.

The tempo range for Slow Dance starts as low as 14 measures (or bars) of music per minute and accelerates to as much as 26 BPM, compared to the other slower forms which begin around 30 BPM. As long as popular hits have been recognized, there have been popular love or romantic ballads, many of which have topped the charts. At least 80 percent of songs for Slow Dance are comprised of these ballads. They are poetry to music, and deal with every expression of emotion in love’s history.

Without some alternative, couples had resorted to a junior high school technique of dancing, where they sort of huddled in place, flopped over each other rocking back and forth. Even though the movement, romance and elegance of ballroom dancing were in the back of their minds, this mass of humanity simply had nothing better to do ... until relatively recently!

Dance organizations recognized this scenario as a problem for which they indeed had a solution. By taking some of the basic figures of many of the more popular dances, and adjusting them to the slower tempo, instructors have created an easy, but elegant style of dance that is well suited for this popular style of music.

But is Slow Dancing the same as “waltzing?” Since dancing to very slow ballads had no formal name, the term “waltzing” had often been used to mean the same thing, becoming an idiomatic expression. The two cannot be the same, simply because waltz is danced to a 3/4 timing, while Slow Dance is always to 4/4 beat.

Now, there is no reason why you cannot simply and comfortably dance together to these symbolic and beautiful love ballads in a form deserving of the music. Once learned, Slow Dance can put the elegance back into the belly-rubbing style of dancing, that occasions itself to venues such as weddings, parties, special events, and social dancing.

Join us Sunday, Feb. 7, for a three-hour workshop on Slow Dance.

In Step Dance Associates, with Deb Aspen, a certified World Professional Dance Teacher’s Association instructor, is teaching February’s workshop and three additional practice sessions. Registration starts at 2:45 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and a partner is not necessary to attend. The Slow Dance Workshop and practice sessions will take place at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

For more details, call Deb at (970) 731-3338.