Since receiving a birthday dance on Sunday evening I have received several questions on the topic…questions about how long it is, how to change partners, what is appropriate, etc. Here is some info that may be useful when participating in a birthday dance or being the star of the birthday dance!
First of all, remember that there are usually many people interested in participating so the amount of time you spend dancing with the person should not be long…30 seconds is the usual time frame although it depends on whether there is someone waiting. If there is, keep to the 30 second rule. If there isn’t you can go on longer until you see someone approach.
How do you aproach? First you see if there is a line up. If so, go to the end of the line and wait for your turn. If not, start to do your basic on the oustkirts of the circle and slowly move closer to the dancing couple. Make sure the leader sees you and just wait. The leader will do the rest.
If you are leading and you see someone approach, finish the combo you are doing and then execute a move that allows the follower to be led into the new lead easily. Moves like arm throws, free turns, bowling balls, etc. Anything where you direct the dancer to the new partner and let them go. Be careful not to push the person into the new partner. If you are a lead and the birthday person, gently let your partner go with a similar move and then dance closer towards your new partner.
I find sometimes dancer want to show off their most difficult moves in a birthday dance. Just remember that the birthday person has to adapt to many different partners in a very short time so keep your moves clean, easy to follow and execute, and most of all, fun.
Hope you all have wonderful birthdays…see you at the next birthday salsa dance!