For those of you who don’t know Bob Long, he’s everything you look for in an Arthur Murray professional: engaging, friendly, patient, extremely knowledgeable, and has been in the industry as a teacher, franchisee, and traveling consultant for over 39 years. And, as it turns out, this all-around cool guy and dancing dynamo has a few nuggets of wisdom in some very non-dance-related activities.
First up? Fly fishing. That’s right, dancers can learn from fly fishers. In Bob’s words, “fly fishers commonly snap the line too quickly, which makes the sound of a whip cracking, and many dance students transition between steps/components too quickly”. In both situations, Bob recommends waiting “until you feel the connection”. And that means leaders should wait until they feel their follow, and follows must fill the connection to give the leaders what they need.
Bob switched gears (and sports) by emphasizing body movement over arm movement. “In golf, you swing your body to swing the golf club. Most people start with their arms.” Sounds like something Yoda from Star Wars would say. Bob even goes so far as to teach certain smooth patterns with a 9 iron in hand. How cool is that?
He then took the whole athlete/dance thing one step further. “Most defensive stances in sports are 2nd position breaks (feet side-by-side, roughly shoulder-width apart), with the weight on the inside edges of your feet.” He explained that this allows you to move laterally more quickly, which is the name of the game in dance as well.
Moral of the story? No matter your background, there’s a surprising amount of experience that can be applied to your dancing. And if Bob can teach a thing or two about sports to someone whose knowledge of sports is limited to bowling and putt-putt golf [points to self], imagine what he can teach you!
Want to know more about Bob Long? Check out this article
If you want to see the man in action, check out this blast from the past
And, as always, if you’d like more information or have questions about anything, feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org