How to improve my timing please?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by smiling28, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator


    Not going to lie, my timing needs a lot of work :) :) :)

    How do I improve this please? Particulary ths slow counts in music (hold 4/8 on 1 and even in bachata).

    I have taken privates, got timing cds and just done basic step to timing cds repeatedly but obviously I need more work.

    Appreciate all suggestions.

  2. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    I didn't notice any problem with your timing?
  3. chr

    chr Shine Officer

    Drink less! :cheers: (Based on first hand experiences...)
  4. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    If the problem is perceiving the beat, take a percussion class.

    If the problem is your feet going earlier than your brain, focus on balance and weight distribution. Try slower music, learn to tango or to chachacha, or take t'ai chi or learn to unicycle. seriously.
  5. azzey

    azzey El Sabroso de Conguero

    I'm not sure what to suggest as I'm not clear what problems you think you have.

    The problem can be split into two parts: Perception and physical movement.

    ** Perception of the music **

    I'm guessing the problem is probably not here, since you've done the whole timing CD, listening intently for years thing but it is possible to degrade your otherwise perfect timing... make sure you refresh your perception from time to time.

    ** The physical part of dancing **

    The slow is just like any other beat of the music. Question: If you dance precisely on the spot do you have timing problems? If not, when does it occur and how do you know? is it only with a partner? or with specific steps, e.g. CBL, forward basic?

    When dancing on the spot the feet travel the same distance 123-pause-123-pause.

    The only difference with say doing the forward basic, CBL, or any other footwork is the distance that needs to be travelled between steps in order to stay on time. i.e. the timing is the same 123-pause-123-pause.

    Your feet should hit the floor on the beat and then transfer your weight.

    Once your foot lands the dancing may require that you pivot your foot. e.g. in a CBL 360. This happens between beats.

    In my opinion it's always nice to see clean, sharp footwork and smooth body movement.

    OK so does that help you think about your problem more clearly?

    The main way to improve is to *focus* and pay *attention* while dancing to a specific area such as: rhythm, syncopation, sharpness, size of steps, smooth or sharp pivoting between steps etc.

    Also try to remove any bad habits you might have such as habitual tapping, flicking or kicking of the feet (I didn't notice any of that in your videos that I remember). Such effects should be applied judiciously to reflect specific parts of the music and can throw your timing off if you do them all the time.
  6. sweavo

    sweavo Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    LOL. I read "flapping" (which also should be avoided)
  7. Lola

    Lola Sonero

    :lol::oops: The funny thing is that I actually have absolute beginner students who I do make use tapping/clapping/something that makes them stop (whatever fits what we're trying to learn) on the fourth and eigth beat the first class or two. Not to add style but because they'd forget the beat was there. Never more than one or two classes though, otherwise it becomes permanent.

    Most guys I help out by clapping the four and eight rather than counting. It's just a mind set to be honest.

    As for how I keep my timing, I count literally. I was copying something the other day and realized I was counting out the 8 beat to the rhythm of the copier. Everything has a rhythm. Just keep counting it out. It helps that I'm always counting out loud for beginning students.

    Not so helpful on the dance floor when we get out there and I go straight into the basic...the guys have taken to either jumping on beat with me or doing that look up and silent counting/mouthing of the count before finding the 1. That's only minor backleading, right? I promise I follow them otherwise.

    Best I can do without knowing more specifically what the problem is.
  8. agarcia97

    agarcia97 Sonero

    haha...I even count non salsa music all the time just out of force of habit.
  9. spotcat

    spotcat Banned

    There are loads of ways timing can be off.

    One trick I learned, is for when you can find the beat, but you keep losing it. Particularly in complicated music when the horns can get almost percusive.

    Simply tap your teeth together in time when you pick up the beat at the beginning (keeping your mouth closed of course). It seems to be less obtrusive than counting and no matter how loud the music and other sounds, you will always feel the beat in your head.

    It has worked for everone I have suggested it to. Alternatively, everyone I have suggested it to has been too polite to tell me how stupid an idea it is.
  10. azzey

    azzey El Sabroso de Conguero

    LOL. Yes complete Autism is to be avoided, at least on the dance floor. ;)
  11. chr

    chr Shine Officer

    Real suggestion

    I just recently took a 6x2 hours workshop with an excellent instructor.

    In the first two hour he did the following: he started a metronome and we had to step the 1-2-3-hold on the metronome. As exactly as we could. (Of course a bit later, he let us practice different rhythms as well).

    The advantage of using a metronome (as opposed to music) is that you can hear your own steps and whether they are in sync with it.

    I'd say, it was a real eye opener... :eek:
  12. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Thanks everyone,

    I did 20 minutes of basic step on1 and on2 to a timing cd last night. I think the issue is balance/technique/weight change as I can do the song fine but when I social dance, I expect I get ahead of myself (excitement) plus off balance so then try and return to sequence which may throw the girl off.

    Also I will undergo a refinement of all the moves I know to ensure compliance with timing :)

    Thanks again

    *love the metronome Idea, will try
  13. theamoebaman

    theamoebaman Son Montuno

    Looks like your issue is not with perception of the beat and timing. As you said the issue may be with balance and weight transfer as well as timing while dancing. The best way to improve this is to practice. Also be listening to the music and not just concentrating solely on the sequence of moves.

    Make sure your feet aren't getting lazy and keep them moving while doing turn patterns. Balance more on the balls of your feet as that makes your steps lighter and more able to react to changes in balance.

    The best thing to do is to practice but to also go out socially and dance. Getting better comes with experience and the more you practice the better you get.
  14. MacMoto

    MacMoto Administrator Staff Member

    Yes I think that's it. I've been working on this myself all summer.
  15. sac

    sac Tumbao

    Surprisingly, if both of u have the same prob, u guys should have no problem dancing with each other. its only when u dance witht he better dancers, thats when u find that ur either rushing through the song or generally slow.
  16. Tom

    Tom Son Montuno

    At least you recognise your timing is off - some people are completely oblivious to it. There's one guy who used to dance around here who was apparently a really nice dancer with a good lead and very regular timing: trouble was his timing had nothing to do with the music that was playing! As long as the girl ignored the music and concentrated on what he was doing it was fine, apparently.
  17. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    Thanks - really noticed last night. In class, I have to concentrate REALLY hard on keeping the nice slow count. So I imagine the issue is that socially I just think of so many other things that I neglect timing thus as Theamoebaman said, practice and experience he he :)

    Also, I always think my balance etc can be improved.

    I will report on my progress in due course!

  18. theamoebaman

    theamoebaman Son Montuno

    You have to remember though that it's actually harder to dance to a slow song than a fast one. With a fast song you can "cheat" a bit and have lazy feet (ie: not moving your feet on every count). However with a slow song, your technique and timing must be very good otherwise it's quite obvious that you're off-time. Also keeping your feet and body moving through a slow count is harder as moving your feet and body too quickly can make you look jerky and detaches from the smooth feel you want to have when you dance.

    Personally I like dancing to slower, groovy songs simply because you have so much more time to play with the music and it really challenges your dancing.
  19. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    I MUCH MUCH MUCH prefer slower songs. It just has that ooze, waiting for the bus and grabbing it at the last second but in such a cool way as if there was never any doubt you would make it feeling.

    Love that!!!
  20. Flujo

    Flujo Sabor Ambassador

    This might help if you want to slow some songs down.
    www ;)

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