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Dancing With Your Face: Crazy Face Says What?

By Grace Badillo
Dancing With Grace Productions, Inc.

After judging competitions you immediately realize who the astonishingly talented dancers are. Some are able to do things I wish I could do again (I’m past my prime but loving it!). These talented beings audition for TV Shows, compete in competitions, and practice almost every single day. After all their hard work they can sometimes come away angry at not winning or not placing at all. The one detail that may stop them from placing or making the grade isn’t their dance technique or lack of ability, but their face. Sometimes the difference between placing and not placing in a competition comes down to the expressions used on their face. Whether you are a competitor or a social dancer, here are some categories you want to avoid being placed in by the judges and or spectators on the floor:

The “Psycho Smile Dancer”: This dancer smiles the entire dance and the expression never changes.

The “Floor Dancer”: This dancer’s face seems to love dancing with the floor. They rarely look at their partner and are anxious about eye contact.

The “Pucker-Upper Dancer”: This dancer puckers throughout the entire dance and this pucker sometimes comes with a small neck bobble as if they are saying “I’m so gooooooooooooood”.

The “Porno Face Dancer”: This is the worst! This dancer is constantly making faces that are better left for intimacy in marriage. They also accompany this face with touching their body a lot which is not necessary. They make a complete spectacle of themselves and certainly attract the wrong kind of attention.

The “I Forgot to Blink Dancer”: This face is usually done by beginners. It’s their nervousness that puts them in the “don’t blink” state. If you are one of these, just breathe and relax. Dance is supposed to be fun! If you have trouble, take a private lesson and ask your instructors how to overcome your anxieties.

The “Angry Faced Dancer”: This is the most popular dancing face in the scene of salsa/Latin dance. It is the face that makes people laugh and be curious all at once. The angry faced dancer looks mad the entire dance and thinks its “cool” not to reply to their partner with a kind face when they are having fun together. This is the most annoying and prideful of faces! Dancers want to avoid being categorized by the judges and socially in a negative way. After focusing on their routines for countless hours and months they sometimes forget how faces can make or break even the best of choreographies.

Here are some exercises you can do to help with this issue:

  1. Video tape your performance or practices and get an instructor or coach to watch it and focus only on this aspect of the choreography or social dancing. How do you look? What can you change?
  2. What do the words say in the song? If you don’t understand the language, get it translated. If they say something you can accentuate with your face with a momentary soft look or angry glare, it can help you tell a story rather than just dance moves.
  3. Mean the movement. If one of the movements is you reaching, actually reach; don’t just look like you are reaching. What does the dance make you feel? Express that!

Why do you dance? Do you dance because you love it? Because it makes you feel free and as giddy as a school boy/girl? Does it make you feel like you can finally express yourself through movement what might be impossible to say in words? If you said yes to any of these questions then it shouldn’t be too hard to focus on this feeling while you dance and allow yourself the opportunity to not only dance with your body, but your spirit, and from it will come the TRUE EXPRESSION OF YOUR HEART, that the face cannot hide.


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