want good dance partners in increasing numbers and skill, and the
cruise lines want to invite gentlemen who are "easy to
dance with" on board the ships. This ability-- to be easy
to follow regardless of the dance skill of the lady partner--is
the key element in selecting and scheduling Gentlemen Host® volunteers.
- There should
be self-confidence in knowing one's dance steps / patterns.
- One should
be familiar with the rhythms of dance music -- seemingly without
thinking about it; having the ability to keep time to the music,
permitting the leader to concentrate on leading and how the partner
- There should
be precision in footwork as well as the communication felt through
the arms (in the correct dance position).
- Should have
the ability to indicate a change of direction with an unnoticeable
lean or change of weight.
- Need to have
sensitivity to your partner's dance knowledge or ability by sensing
how she moves, and thus being able to make decisions about how to
proceed. (The length of the step may need to be shortened or the
pressure of the lead increased, for example.)
- When dancing
with a less educated or experienced dancer, a repetition of basic
steps / patterns helps them understand and gain confidence. Any
mistakes should be treated lightly.
- Steps / patterns
that are too difficult or advanced should be reserved for the more
experienced dancer. Execute patterns that are leadable.
- Having knowledge
of dance floor courtesy and etiquette, being friendly, happy, complimentary,
and reassuring all go into making one easy to dance with.
of the women on the ships are basic dancers, some are not and because
of this continued dance instruction for the gentleman is very important.
Often many applicants believe that they do not require dance instruction.
However, usually just the reverse is true! The male dancer is required
to be knowledgeable of the dance fundamentals gained through basic
dance training, in command and able to make the decisions for the
couple. His responsibility is greater.
We highly recommend
to anyone who has the slightest interest in this program to immediately
enroll himself in dance instruction. If you are not actively enrolled
in any basic or fundamental classes, ask your dance instructor for
a few private lessons. Make sure these lessons are based on the 5
basic dances - waltz, fox trot, rumba, cha-cha and swing (jitterbug).
Your aim is to learn the elementary basic 4-5 steps / patterns in
each of these dances. These steps should be just the steps you can
do with (1) a new dance partner, or (2) a dance partner who is older.
You do not need
a wide variety of steps or patterns, but need to know the basic steps
or patterns and have a strong lead. Leading is essentially a balance
and shifting of the body. As you guide your partner around the dance
floor, you are the driver and she is the guest.
We highly recommend
that you enroll in group classes and perhaps a few private
lessons. It is also a good idea to ask the ladies that you dance
with for their feedback. Explain to them what you are doing, and above
all, dance with as many different people as possible and as often
as possible. Dancing is like learning a foreign language; you learn
better when you immerse yourself in it. Another good idea is
to take out videotapes from the library. Although you cannot learn
to dance with these tapes alone, it is a good idea to view them prior
to your dance class. Then after each class write down what you have
learned and make an effort to practice it several times before the
walking! The further you get away from walking the worse it looks.
Walking is balance. Step forward and the weight automatically
goes with you. Many people in the learning stages of dance try to
put in an unnatural movement. Some think that it is more difficult
than it is.
gentleman from the East Coast is an advanced dancer and has had
a lot of
At 66 years he is a natural-appearing dancer. Of course he has
14 years of lessons and experience! However, he attributes it all
to fundamentals. He says that it was easy for him because in his
he "first learned to walk, then to box in high school, then to
fence in college." The introduction to dance was a natural progression
because he understood the transfer of weight and keeping balanced
which he used in his chosen sports. We know that many boxers have
taken dance in training to prepare for the ring. Shifting from side
to side and being light on their feet is equally important in both
another important element in social dance. Men must show the
way to their lady partner. The ability to lead requires understanding,
training and development. Most women like a gentleman partner to give
firm cues as to acting in unison. Dancing is a communication where
two people relate and mirror the movements of one another. Rather
than verbal direction, the man's shifting his body weight, holding
an upright posture and slight pressure from the touch of his hands
gives the signals of direction and change of movement and direction
on the dance floor. "Leading is giving the proper dance-signals
appreciate your interest in the program and hope to hear from you
remember to notify us of any change in your address and telephone
contact number(s). And please feel free to call if you have questions
about any aspect of The Gentlemen Host® Program.
Thank you again
for your interest. Let's Keep Dancing!