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  • Writer's pictureLynn Armsby

Teaching Methods: The BOGOF

This week I have been employing one of my favourite techniques for teaching the BOGOF. You buy one you get one free…..You buy one you get one free. Well you know how the advert goes.

In dancing this means that you teach something which works in one dance and then transpose it into another dance. There are many steps in the technique book which work in other dances, and once people have learnt the foot pattern they only have to relearn the timing. Of course they have to be pretty confident in the foot pattern to be able to change the timing.

Someone who was a brilliant exponent of this was the very talented Natalie Lowe. I saw her on Strictly use a figure in the Waltz, which she later used in the Foxtrot and the Quickstep with one of her Strictly partners. Now that is clever! It also works in the Tango. It consists of an Open Telemark and then moves forward and then back into Fallaway and repeats. I teach it to all my students who now know it as the “Natalie Lowe”. (It has a marvellously long technical name).

So on this theme tonight I have had fun re-teaching the Ballantyne Bossa Nova. I am not sure when it was devised but it has to be in the 60’s I think. We dance this to Blame it on the Bossa Nova by Edie Gorme. Later I replace the box at the start with a Reverse Samba Basic and introduce some armography into the dance and BOOM you have a Samba Routine. We then dance it to Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. Now you can see how well the BOGOF works. You buy one You get one Free.

Last week I had a busy week too. On Tuesday I attended a Latin Faculty Meeting at The Place in London. It is always full of dancers and choreographers, leg warmers and scarves. Richard Hopkins who had been attending a Ballroom Faculty Meeting in the morning was carrying some chairs into the meeting and some dancers asked him what he was doing. He tells me that he told them he was choreographing a piece about the relationship of chairs to space and the body. They were impressed. I do hope that story was true………..

On Thursday I attended Examiner training. We discussed approaches to examining professional candidates. It was a warm and wonderful day amongst talented like minded colleagues. In the picture is Joyce Welford, Tracey Aspin and myself.

I love Continuing Professional Development days like this. They are always useful. Why not get your staff together and do some CPD or invite colleagues from other local businesses for coffee.? It is amazing what you might have in common with a yoga teacher, or the leader of a local gymnastics club. Start with coffee and then discuss how you might work together on projects. Whatever you do next week, make it productive.

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