One of the major differences between the approach to learning how to dance between ballroom and ballet is in the style of learning. Ballet uses a class format that emphasizes repetition of basic movements to train the body irrespective of step patterns or combinations. Their philosophy maintains that by focusing on movement first, the technique will be present and visible when step patterns are introduced. Ballroom dancing tends to teach the other way around. In other words, ballroom dancing is a form of dance that originated as social dancing or party dancing, and therefore, learning step patterns had a much heavier importance than the nitty-gritty mechanics of movement. Technique was then taught secondarily, and only based on the individual steps a dancer had already learned.
There are pros and cons to both methods of teaching. Latin Barre is a way of borrowing from the ballet format of teaching movement in order to train mechanics into second nature. Designed for the competitive dancer and serious hobby dancer, Latin Barre is a series of exercises done “at the barre”, or more or less in a stationary manner, in order to maintain a focus on the mechanics alone.
It’s not necessary to have a barre of your own! Any stationary object will suffice as a makeshift barre. Use the back of a chair, your kitchen counter, even a wall. The important thing is the focus on body mechanics, irrespective of step patterns or combinations.
Your host, Kora Stoynova, is a professional Latin dancer who competed with her husband, Simeon, for 20 years prior to filming this video. As a competitor, she was 3 times Bulgarian National Champion, 3 times American National Vice-Champion, and a World Finalist. She is also in her second and third trimesters of pregnancy at the time of this filming, so excuse the bump! 😉