“Do’s and Don’ts” of ballroom dance by Katherine Warwick

by Katherine Warwick / Questions by Katherine Warwick – romance fiction Novelist: interview with Katherine
Answers by Vadim Garbuzov, World Youth Ten-Dance 2005 Finalist: benom.com

What’s the best way to ask a woman/man to dance? On competition’s general dance time I would ask if she can dance to this music or her she wears suitable shoes to come onto the floor. Not to say anything at all and let the movement speak for itself.

How do you discover whether or not she/he can do any moves? By posture, shoes, people she is talking to. If she saw my dancing before and won’t take my invitation it means she is not self secure. If she calmly joins me, she knows what she’s doing.

Is a club the right atmosphere to teach a prospective woman/man you’re interested in, dance steps? It certainly depends on the private intentions. If I want to get to know her more I will invite her to a private ballroom to feel freer. If it’s a dance of the moment I will teach her right in the club. Learning steps in the middle of the street is also a good Idea. It’s exciting and it draws audiences with applause. The ballroom dancer would look in a ballroom club, the bar frequenter in bars. For each of them there is specific place of comfort.

What DON’T you say to a woman/man who wants you to teach her some steps? It seems that you’re not the right type for dancing. Don’t worry, you’re just born that way. It’s not your fault! I would avoid discouraging a beginner by criticism.

What DO you say? It’s getting there. It’s getting better every time. I like your expression. Very good for the first time.

What if she/he has two left feet? Tell her to use her other left foot. If I am interested anyways, I would not focus on dance skill.


How do you ditch her/him? I have preparations for the world championships. I need my rest. If I am not on one to one date, then it is very easy. Just wait for the end of music. Is it better to fake it or be real, even if you don’t know what you’re doing/are a novice? Always be real, but do everything in a self secure mood. You can express yourself verbally in either way with no problem.

Does an experienced dancer like you ever ask a woman to dance just to be suave and so you can then SHOW her how to dance? Not really. I would prefer to dance with women who have a feeling for it. Showing someone how to dance can be destroying the party atmosphere sometimes. I would let her dance how she feels whoever she is. Most real life examples are couples that not only belong to dance world but also danced together and both have business in this field. Though exceptions exist, they still both have interest in it. It is not like I am engineer and you are nurse and I do not care what you do at work. Here it does not work like that.

Do pros ever dance with “regular folk” when they are out socializing? For sure. “Regular folk” has innovative interpretations sometimes. Yes, dancesport competitors go to disco and other clubs where their ballroom skill is not useful. There they are just like everybody.

What’s a common/biggest misconception of pro dancers that they run into when they meet non dancers? Sometimes they forget that these people have a completely different view on the dancing. They do not understand the lifestyle that the dancers are having. Practising, sweating, arguing, spending big amount of money for someone to help them improve the dancing a bit. (I’m talking about ballroom now.)

Also: for my own curiosity: You’re from Austria ( I read on your website ) what are your plans? Do you ever get to UTAH for the dancesport events here? ( I live in Utah. March is Nationals at BYU ) Just wondered if you ever came here. I have never been to Utah, though I met teams and individuals from there. You have rare ballroom university department or something like that. But seems, it specializes in American style. I will be happy to visit you one day. My citizenship is Canadian, origin – Ukrainian, current affiliation – Austrian, and as other dancers I am pretty open to other options of tomorrow.

Your advice for novices? If you like it, do it. Before happiness and freedom will come on a high level dance floor, you must feel it in your daily life as well. I hope, Katherine, I helped you a bit with my answers. Can’t wait to see the end result of your project.
Thank you, Vadim. You’re an angel for all of your help!
http://www.katherinewarwick.com    Where passion goes beyond the dance

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