Here's a 2-minute video clip from my solo dance practice in my kitchen last night. I've been practicing once or twice a week since last fall, trying to get better at finding the beat.
The rock 'n roll songs?
- You probably were just a twinkle in your father's eye when Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits hit the charts in 1978. "Savin' it up, for Friday night. With the Sultans. We're the Sultans of Swing."
- Your parents may not have been born when Yakety Yak by the Coasters was released in 1958. " If you don't scrub that kitchen floor, You ain't gonna rock and roll no more. Yakety yak (Don't talk back) "
When I started, I had to just stay in one spot and think "quick-quick slow slow, left-right left right," trying to find the beat. (I have no idea what dance step that is.)
I'm now at the point where I'm able to move my body in different directions and only lose the beat about half the time.
I've been deploying the learning principle of 'desirable difficulty' by trying to find the beat on different songs, especially ones that seem a little more complicated, as well as ones that are slower and faster than I'm used to.
Plus, interrupting my rhythm by doing a kitchen task and then trying to quickly get back to finding the beat seems to be a version of "practice like it's game day" in sports. When dancing casually at a bar or wedding, there are all sorts of interruptions (other dancers bump into you, the music stops, etc) that happen and this seems to be a way of practicing that prepares me for that.
I'm more confident in my ability to learn so I decided today to purchase the Show Her Off online dance course, Date Night: Living Room Dancing ("Enjoy a magical night of love & laughter in the comfort and privacy of your own living room.") Props to my sweetie for her willingness to do this with me. I'm sure we'll soon be ripping around the house like the couple in this image: