Frequently Asked Questions
What is How To Dance With a Partner about?
Andrew Weitzen's How To Dance With a Partner explains the gentle method for communicating unambiguously in social dancing
following the ABCDs℠.
The ABCDs are the safest, most comfortable, most natural, and easiest way to dance with a partner.
Who is How To Dance With a Partner for?
How To Dance With a Partner is for everyone that wants to dance socially with a partner without pushing and pulling.
The ABCDs work for every social dance regardless of your skill level.
One of the basic principles is that social dancing should be easy
enough for a normal person to learn how to do in a reasonable amount of time.
Any dancing that requires extraordinary effort is not social dancing.
How To Dance With a Partner seeks to make social dancing more accessible
by making learning how to dance with a partner easier.
How does How To Dance With a Partner differ from how other people dance with a partner?
In How To Dance With a Partner, you learn to communicate unambiguously
so you know what to do all the time.
There are no other clearly defined methods of communicating with a dance partner.
With others, every person has their own way of communicating which differs in every dance from moment to moment.
With How To Dance With a Partner, everybody communicates in the same way.
You only need to learn to communicate once.
You apply the same principles with every person in every dance.
Why is How To Dance With a Partner the safest and gentlest way to dance with a partner?
In How To Dance With a Partner, you learn to dance without the use of force.
You learn to dance without pushing, pulling, or nudging your partner around.
Everyone does their own dancing.
Everyone moves their own body parts.
Everyone maintains their own balance.
With How To Dance With a Partner, you will dance safer, more respectfully, more comfortably, and more naturally.
You will have greater freedom of movement, more freedom to express yourself, and more freedom to improvise.
Your communication will be more accurate, simpler, and faster.
How does How To Dance With a Partner differ from other dance instruction for how to communicate with a partner?
Every other way we have seen people teach how to communicate in social dancing is ambiguous.
There are no other logically consistent methods.
How To Dance With a Partner differs by clearly defining how to communicate every step in every social dance in the same way with every person.
How To Dance With a Partner is the rule book for communicating with a partner.
You can look in the rule book to find the rules for how to signal each step.
This differs from how other people give instruction.
Other people instruct you on things they have found to work,
some of which are good and some of which are not.
Often, people will tell you one thing, but they are doing something else that they are not aware of.
In particular, anyone doing any pulling or pushing to communicate, often called tension or pressure,
will always have ambiguous communication since the amount of pushing and pulling will vary from
moment to moment and person to person.
How To Dance With a Partner does not use any pulling or pushing to communicate.
Are you saying that all other dance instruction is bad?
Not at all.
Just the opposite is true.
All dance instructors I have seen have been excellent in one way or another.
I always learn something from each instructor I watch.
You should go to as many different instructors as you can.
Each instructor has their own insights that can help you.
However, where communicating with a dance partner is concerned,
How To Dance With a Partner is the only clearly defined method for communicating.
Much of the other instruction on how to communicate is vague.
Some is harmful.
This is not the fault of the instructors.
Until How To Dance With a Partner, there was no method for communicating unambiguously.
Each person had to go by what seemed to work best for them.
Does How To Dance With a Partner really work for every step in every social dance?
Yes by the way we define social dancing.
We limit the choreography for social dancing to steps that you can theoretically communicate
with someone you are dancing with for the first time, in other words, steps that are leadable.
Not every conceivable pattern is leadable.
Some moves you must practice with your partner beforehand to do them safely.
One example would be lifts.
We call those types of moves Performance Dancing.
You can include Performance Dancing during your social dancing with your regular partner,
but you cannot consistently do those moves safely with someone you have not practiced those moves with beforehand.
Does How To Dance With a Partner work the same way with every dance?
Yes, the rules for how to dance with a partner are the same for every dance.
Some dances are very different from other dances having different characteristic patterns, postures, timing, and positions.
Some dances are danced in open positions, some in closed positions, some in body contact.
You will need to learn to move your body in ways appropriate to each dance.
You will need to master the individual elements of each dance.
Even though dances are different,
you can use How To Dance With a Partner as the basis of your communication.
Does How To Dance With a Partner really work the same way for every person?
everyone who follows the method in How To Dance With a Partner will communicate in the same way.
There are only three signals.
The signals mean the same thing with ever person.
Since the rules are the same for every social dance,
everyone communicates in the same way.
What they communicate will vary, but how they communicate should be the same.
How does How To Dance With a Partner work?
How To Dance With a Partner defines a specific set of communication principles, laws, rules, guidelines, and signals.
The man uses three signals to communicate to the woman what he wants her to do.
By following the three laws of balance, connection, and direction you can unambiguously communicate every step in every dance.
If How To Dance With a Partner uses just three laws and three signals, why is there a whole book?
While the major ideas are so simple they fit on a single page of paper,
the implications of those ideas requires more discussion.
Why is How To Dance With a Partner safer, more respectful, more comfortable, and more natural?
How To Dance With a Partner puts safety, respect, comfort, and naturalness above other elements of social dancing.
The method used to communicate in How To Dance With a Partner are designed to put these principles first.
Those people that follow the principles of How To Dance With a Partner will automatically dance safely,
be respectful of others, be comfortable, and dance naturally.
How To Dance With a Partner does not use any force to communicate, that is no pulling or pushing, no tension or pressure.
Each person moves their own body parts without moving or holding onto any part of their partner.
Since each person is in complete control of their own body, How To Dance With a Partner is safer, more respectful, more comfortable,
and more natural than any method that uses tension and pressure.
When physically connected, How To Dance With a Partner relies on physical signals, not visual signals.
Visual signals can cause confusion that can lead to injury.
By following only physical signals, the woman can more easily do what the man expects her to do.
Why do you have more freedom with How To Dance With a Partner?
How To Dance With a Partner uses no force so you are not restricted physically from moving.
How To Dance With a Partner uses the minimum amount of signaling needed to communicate
which gives you the greatest physical freedom.
How To Dance With a Partner defines the rules for how to communicate so each partner knows what to do.
Because each partner understands what is expected of them, each person has great lattitude in
their own freedom to do whatever they like within the framework.
Why is communication more accurate, simpler, and faster with How To Dance With a Partner?
Commonly, other people communicate by the man signaling the woman and the woman responding.
You can think of this as a two-step process with the man signaling the woman,
often by pushing or pulling on the woman,
and then the woman reacting to what the man did.
How To Dance With a Partner joins the signal to the movement so that the woman's natural movement is the signal.
The woman does not have to think, she simply does.
This is a one-step process of communicating that happens subconsciously.
Once the woman has received the signal, she follows the three laws of balance, connection, and direction
to complete what the man asked her to do with precision.
She knows exactly what he wants her to do because the language of dancing with a partner is clearly defined.
The communication is accurate, as simple as can be, and as fast as possible.