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Usually in October the biggest tournament organized in Russia take place. That event has helped to choose the theme for this article. Crowd of spectators, a large number of participants, a demanding graphic of the competition, all this has created the atmosphere of a very important competition and great responsibility.
With this, from the professional point of view attracted a special attention the way in which the dancers, both small and old, prepare to enter the track. The topic of preparation for the competition is very broad, so in today’s article only part of the topic will be discussed. That in which recommendations will be given to encourage and support the athletes depending on their mood before the tournament or between rounds.
In the tournaments we can see tears of young dancers, apathy, nervous tremors that prevent concentrating and dancing, aggressiveness towards everyone else, paralyzing fear and even hysteria.

The reaction of most parents, partners and coaches is one: stop, be an athlete, concentrate, etc. That strategy in most of the time does not lead anywhere. The task is to adequately assess the state of mind and depending on this provide the necessary support.

Aggression or agressivity can be caused by several causes – by the character of the dancer, by its defense mechanism, etc. The important thing is not to look for the reason (this can be left to us, the psychologists), but to choose the appropriate way to react. First of all, you must avoid the accumulation of people. You have to let the dancer «let go of the rage». Saying everything that goes through your mind, dancing a tango or a double step is also a good option. Try to show good intentions. It is not worth entering into discussions with accusations and criticism, even if you do not agree. A good solution is to describe the emotions and try to relax the environment. For example – «you are angry, you feel anger, you feel like releasing everything you think or destroying everything around. We will try to find a solution. » Aggression can also be stifled by the threat of punishment.

Apathy is a state of indifference in which all interests, emotional reactions, are reduced or lost. It translates into inappetence, indifference towards oneself and others, towards what happens around, in a lack of interest and desire. In two words, it is a lack of emotion. The most likely is that you see that state long before the tournament, and during it will reach its peak. How can you help? It is best not to leave that person alone. Take her to a quiet place, help her get comfortable, take off her shoes. It is advisable that you can sleep a little. In the event that there is no possibility of resting, take him by the hand, speak, ask something to which he has to answer in detail, involve him in a joint activity, be close in the breaks between the dances. Pay attention to your breathing: you have to breathe with passive inspiration and active expiration.

Crying is a normal state, which is seen very often, but can considerably lower the level of dance performance. It is important to be next to that person, you can hold her hand, pat her head or pat her on the shoulder. He has to avoid the desire to reassure the deportee. In that situation it is better to listen to him, to give him the opportunity to speak. And while, agree with the head, show understanding, you can repeat some of their sentences. You can give advice or ask questions only if they ask you. Remember that crying makes worries more bearable.

Fear is an inner state that is caused by a future misfortune, real or imagined. We are all afraid The difference is that some know how to control it and others succumb to it. I will tell you more about the fears of the dancers in one of the following articles. From the point of view of the help to mitigate the effect of fear, I can highlight the following: put the dancer’s hands on your wrists, feel your pulse calm. Pay attention to the athlete’s breathing – it is important that you take the calm and regular rhythm. It would be nice to massage his tense muscles. With all your attitude you must show your understanding and the desire to hear and help him. To control your own fear, you have to normalize your breathing – inspire and expire deeply and then return to normal rhythm.

Psychological tremor from a psychological point of view can be a reflection of different states. The tremor is shown in different degrees in various parts of the body: in the hands, feet, fingers, etc. The first thing that most people want to do in that situation is to hug that person, but just that it must be avoided. The most effective is to make the tremor stronger so that it happens sooner. If you yourself set the tremor, you must also intensify it. The tremor will pass and you will be able to enter the track completely prepared.

Hysteria reflects an uncontrollable external emotional state, which is accompanied by crying, nervous tremors, laughter, etc. Hysteria in an athlete can be a reaction to failure, a symptom of fear, or a desire to draw attention to their concerns, etc. Hysteria belongs to the group of states that most negatively affects the result. What are the psychological recommendations in those cases? A quiet place, relaxed atmosphere, that is to say that it is important to «eliminate the spectators» in order not to provoke the increase of that state. And do not give in to the wishes of the affected person. Speak to him in a firm way, with short, imperative phrases, such as «wash your face», «drink a little water», etc. Or change the focus of your attention with an unexpected action – drop something, splash it with water, yell something suddenly and things like that.

If you often find yourself with those moods in yourselves as dancers or in your son in the tournaments, I recommend that you consult a psychologist to find ways to help and solve that problem.
Only you yourselves direct your state,

Your psychologist

Anastasia Fedorushkina 






The choice of a coach for a dancer is one of the most important issues. A lot of articles on the subject have already been written, you can also find a lot of material in magazines, digital media, dance forums.

Some say that the coach should also be a professional dancer and that the rest is secondary. Others think that the most important thing is the talent of pedagogue, which does not have anyone.

Ilya Danilov (Latin)

Everyone exposes their point of view. But that does not help to have more promising couples or more champions. And we are in a vicious circle …
Speaking of the work of the coach, we think first of all of his ability to present the information correctly, make it reach the recipient and control the result.
The more details and details explained by the coach, the better. However, observing «from within» the work of most of the coaches I want to say that 80% of them or more lack an extremely important and even essential capacity from my point of view, which is the ability to motivate their students .
Yes, in today’s world there is a lot of information about what motivation is. On the internet we can find many workshops from different organizations on «How to motivate employees correctly» / «5 steps to successful motivation», etc.

So why is this topic almost untreated in the world of sports dancing? Why do not they talk about it in professional seminars or conferences? Coaches are limited to two-three sentences about the need to encourage students.

Mauricio Vescovo (Latin)

Is it that we ourselves, the people involved in the world of sports dancing, are simply not interested in the success and development of that sport?
I have observed the work of many coaches of all levels and couples with whom they work. And I can say with certainty that none of them had the idea of ​​approaching the learning process from another point, that is, SIMPLY UNDERSTAND THE MOTIVATION of the people they teach.
It is not a secret that each of us is unique, and we need different treatment.

Fabio Selmi (Standard)

So why those professors who proclaim to the four winds that they are very talented pedagogues, who aspire to create champions, why do not they apply such effective methods in their work? This question obviously remains rhetorical at the moment.
Being a coach and working with different types of people in matters of the construction of their professional career, of personal effectiveness, the achievement of life goals, I mean that a person, when he is aware of his objectives, and only for that reason, motivates to reach them.
And the coach only has one easy task in that sense – which is to constantly maintain those goals in his students. What are the teacher’s ways to achieve it?
The answer is surprisingly easy – we must preserve in the person the assurance that he is progressing well towards his goal (even if it is slower than the coach would like).

Dirk Heidemann (Latin)

It is also very important to assess the positive achievements of the student, their successes, and fix their attention on it. But of course, this refers to the people for whom achieving success and the coach’s attention are motivating factors.
Hence, any coach who takes his work seriously and wants to achieve success, must be interested in addressing the question of motivation in the right way. (On the types of motivation and ways of motivating, he had written the article called «Motivation in the world of dance: how to create a champion»).
Based on my own experience, I can safely say that positive motivation, ie a detailed evaluation of all the intermediate results, and the emphasis on the achievements on the way to the goal, are motivating factors for more than 90% of dancers. Even for those who do not like to be praised.

Siscu Pérez (Latin)

I will tell you about my observations, giving as an example two situations, the evaluation of the work of two high level coaches.
Ivan (not his real name – aut.) Trains a couple of initial level, both dancers are already adults, have finished their university careers and recently began in the world of dance.
The girl had previously taken individual classes with another teacher and for several motives decided to try another coach, higher level. In the first class the new teacher asks what he wants to get from his classes. You will agree with me that it is a good question and you can see that the coach is really a professional.
And the girl lets go of what she really thinks: «I want to be the champion of Russia.»


Karina Rubio (Latin)

And the girl lets go of what she really thinks: «I want to be the champion of Russia.»

Do you think he is too ambitious? Sure, some might laugh and say it’s impossible. I will not argue, there may be some reason for that. But I want to talk about something else. The coach’s reaction was to shut up and start with the steps and the explanation of figures.

This detail at first glance could be overlooked and forgotten. But if we think about the situation well, what did the professor do? He showed his student that he does not believe in the real possibility of fulfilling his dream, and in that way the demotiva to see him as a real coach and may even have taken away the desire to grow in his dance.

Alexey Silde (Latin)

Of course it is not a fact that that girl can be Russian champion, although who knows. Because it is also said that «by the laws of physics bees can not fly. But they do not know it and that’s why they fly. »

Observing the work of that coach later on (over several classes) my suspicions became certainties: he did not do any form of evaluation of the results of his students, he did not communicate his results, his changes in the dance.

Viktor Nikovski (Latin)

As expected, the students soon stopped taking classes with that teacher, perhaps without realizing the reason for their own dissatisfaction.
I wonder how a coach can create a successful partner without believing himself in his future. And if we examine that situation even in more detail we will see that first of all the coach does not believe in his own success as a teacher.

Pietro Braga (Standard)

The skeptics will surely not agree with me and say that you can not build a sandcastle and believe in the success of people who almost certainly can not achieve good results.

Well, I do not agree with that. Read stories of the lives and careers of people who really reached unthinkable peaks in their fields. Most of them were told at some point that it would be impossible. But they ignored, BELIEVED IN THEMSELVES AND IN SUCCESS, they just kept doing what they did approaching their goal.

Ruud Vermeij 

To finish I’ll tell you another example. A couple, also adult people, have been training with a teacher for about a year. Their results are rather regular. I went to his classes and what did I see?

That the teacher himself, without a doubt a dancer of a very-very high level, moved around the track in an enviable way. But throughout the whole class (and they were more than one) he did not once say anything positive to any of the dancers. However I write down all your mistakes and failures, putting a lot of emphasis on those negative details.

Lasse Odegaard (Standard)

Of course, already for half of the class, the faces of the boys no longer reflected any desire to move forward, develop and grow. Of course the teacher explained exquisitely the technique of hip movement in rumba bolero, the dissociation of the torso, but for some reason the work was slow and tense.

Surely then the teacher did not know, and will still not know, that motivating his students well for the execution of the dance, you can «turn on» the natural movement of the body so that it moves to the beat of the music, just as it should be done. according to all the technical standards of the execution of the Rumba bolero dance steps.

Alexander Melnikov (Standard)

Because the inhabitants of the country where that lyrical dance was born, when dancing it, surely they did not think of someone who was next to them with a stick and criticizing their steps, but simply moved according to the indications of their souls, trying to express their feelings …

Because they did have His Majesty’s Motivation – to like your partner, to have dozens of other people choose him.




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It is a very big and complex problem, it can be divided into two parts, if there is a private life within the couple, and if there is one outside the couple?

If one of the two dancers has a boyfriend / girlfriend, often many problems arise if the private life of the dance is not separated from the beginning, for example «Tuesdays and Thursdays I have private life, the rest of the days, the dance» .
The following questions are posed: should the boy accompany the girl home if he has his private life? And if it’s the girl who has a boyfriend, should she tell her dance partner?
The hardest part is when one of the two had plans about the other, and suddenly they are ruined before their eyes – their dance partner gets married. Usually that leads to the couple dissolving. The husband (who does not dance) can not see his wife hugging other men, not even in Standard, and the woman (if she does not dance) can not accept in her soul the dance partner of her husband, and if she dances, she will constantly think why her husband does not dance with her. And crush her husband with it.
But and within the couple, is there a private life? It turns out that almost all high-level couples come to that. And super professional couples, all. (Except for Berns, in Standard, oddly enough, absolutely all!) And in Latino, as they say, starting with class B there are movements that «you can not dance without being husband and wife».

There is also the option of couples of siblings, cousins, mother and child, etc. Well, what can we say? Maybe the Standard program can be danced like that (Standard’s are not offended), but the Latino … No matter how skilled the dancers are, the imitation of feelings is still an imitation, and reality is always more unexpected than any imitation . There are no international class couples or professionals who are blood relatives. And that says a lot.

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Go ahead the recognition that, even enthusiastic follower and apprentice of this our magnificent discipline, the DANCESPORT, I do not pretend because I can not teach anyone. But I can collaborate, I think, promoting reflection.

In other disciplines that I do know more thoroughly, such as Piano and Tennis, share the same basic principles to which I am going to refer for DANCESPORT: the PRECIPITATION at the time of proceeding to the stage of making the movements in a FAST, EXPLOSIVE way, without -not much less-, being the chosen moment mostly the appropriate one.

I see in Dancesport what I see also in many pianists and tennis players apprentices or in delevoping process They want to be fully employed immediately, and play as a professional.

That is precisely the seriuos mistake of which I humbly claim attention. SPEED -for developing athletes- is the ENEMY not only of PERFECTION, but also of PROGRESSION.


In the learning of a movement it is necessary to take to the limit the CONCEPT OF NEAT REPETITION, knowing what one does, controlling the movement deforms slowly and mentally «recording in the mind its execution». For this it is necessary to develop the movements in a SLOW, PAUSED manner and NOT PRECIPITATE THE QUICK EXECUTION PHASE UNTIL YOU HAVE SET THE MOVEMENT TECHNIQUE TO THE SACITY AND BEYOND, THROUGH THE REPETITION!

Speed can only and should arrive at Dancesport as a result of control and mastery of the technique.



I will start by trying to explain using what happens with the practice of piano.
Imagine a piece of high speed. For example, the Revolutionary Study of Chopin, in C minor Op. No. 10.

It is an EPIC piece, highly complex, mainly due to its high speed. The composer said that Tempo should be ALLEGRO CON FUOCO !!! Alegro with fire! (It is called Revolutionary because the author transmitted in the piece his willingness to support the Revolution of the Polish Cadets against the Russian authority in which he could not participate because of his health problems).
The complexity of the piece is to play it at such speed, taking into account also that the protagonist of the piece is mostly the left hand that has literally «to fly» with millimeter precision playing dozens of notes in fractions of a second.

The Musical Tempos marked by a composer in a musical work, from slow to fast, may be the following:

Largo 40-60 beats per minute (usually black (quarter) note).
Larghetto 60-66.
Adagio 66-76.
Andante 76-108.
Moderato 108-120.
Allegro 120-168.
Presto 168-200
Prestissimo 200-208.

Chopin’s piece, being ALLEGRO CON FUOCO, is within the maximum range of ALLEGRO, that is, over 168 blacks (quarter) per minute.
Normally a Pulsation is equivalent to the duration of a quarter note in a compass. The Revolutionary Study of Chopin is written in a Compass 2/4, that is, each compass lasts 2 blacks. And if we look at the Score almost all the notes are SEMIQUAVER (Semi-eighth notes)
In one minute of ALLEGRO CON FUOCO, 84 measures, 168 blacks, 772 SEMIQUAVERS notes.
This means that approximately 11-12 different notes per second are pressed with different fingers!

For their learning, good connoisseurs of the learning methodology know that not only do they have to learn at low speed. You have to «FASTEN» the learning also at low speed and repeat and repeat hundreds of times until you generate «an independent finger memory» in the fingers of each hand, an «automatic and precise automatism».
Low speed is for example half, 168 would be 84 blacks per minute.


Evgeny Kissin, great russian concert pianist, always betting on the best technique refined since childhood, when he already gave concerts and highlighted

(Piano: Evgeny Kissin. For me one of the best perfomances of these piece).


In the second phase, that speed must be increased slowly:

The next week’s trials at 90 speed always starting at 84 the first few times.
The next week to 96 always starting at 84. And so on until reaching 168 several months later.

But the piano players know that even if they are able to play the piece at maximum speed, they should always try it at low speed and play it only a couple of times at maximum. Why? Because the repeated practice at maximum speed messes up the interpretation in the medium term.


Not willing to extend too much.
But I am going to refer here to another important collateral aspect in the development of children as future tennis players and we are going to draw an analogy with the development of dancers in Dancesport.

The importance of the technique at early ages.
Tennis is a technical discipline, but in my opinion less than the Dancesport. The difficulty of tennis is to «adapt» body to an external element: the ball. Although for different types of hits (drive and backhand) and subtypes (cut, flat, topspin), and several kind of grips, finally only 4-5 are the «hinges corporations that have to adjust to accommodate the ball and perform the chosen hit».

I sincerely believe, however, that in Dancesport the number of «body hinges» is much greater. Even some of those «hinges» are almost unknown in the movements of a normal life. The  Dancesport BIOMECHANICS is extremely complex.


Therefore, I consider that DANCESPORT is the most technical discipline of all the sports I know.

Like all competitive sports, children want to win, parents want their children win, but coaches want to train future champions. However, they are pushed by the «resultadist dynamics». And many of them give in and allow the young players away from the technical purism in order to get good results instantly: win the games.

In fact, until 10-11 years playing competitive games, at least very often, it is worse than better, because to win you end up hitting the ball in a less orthodox way, moving away from the technique that is less still entrenched in the boy.

-Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow-.

The purified Technique is the only KEY or GUARANTEE that the advance in a discipline is infinite.
Only the refined technique will allow the more you train the better you play.

When a tennis player for the sake of winning forgets to hit with the correct technique even if he fails, he will win that match and many more in the next few years, BUT A MOMENT WILL ARRIVE AND THERE will be no evolution.

However, other players who lost but who continued to invest in PURISM Y TECHNIQUE, will reach that level and surpass those who bet on RESULTS and will see them years later «through the rear-view mirror».

In the present, International Dancesport has recognized worldwide the dedication to the refined technique naming Latin World Champions to Armen Tsaturyan & Svetlana Gudyno (main trainer Ilya Danilov) and in Standard dances to Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova.


Both couples are from Russian school, strongly characterized by betting on the most refined technique and working hard from early ages. That’s where the quality of dance and results comes from.





In DANCESPORT, in my opinion, the same thing happens.
Since you start dancing with 4-5-6-7 (Juvenile) years until you are at least 16 years old and you reach YOUTH the priority should be «sow and then collect».

However, in most cases it is not like that.

As DANCESPORT is a competitive sport and you want to win, young dancers tend to perform movements with great energy and speed, without realizing that SPEED MASKS TECHNICAL FAULTS AND PROVIDES THEM AT A TIME.

We see many parents excited about their children seeing «the amount» of dance but not the «quality», because not only do they not understand it, but as a consequence, they are not able to see it. And they encourage their children to make an effort by dancing «loud» «fast» and if it is with «special effects» then better yet. «Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow».

At early ages it is impossible to combine speed and energy, with technique, quality and precision in movement. And it happens just like in the world of tennis. There comes a time that no matter how hard you train, for many hours that you dedicate to it, you will reach a level from there, there will be no possible evolution: bad technique makes further progress impossible. You have reached the border of your capacity because of your lack of technical qualification.


Other dancers in their initial stages, perhaps pressured by the parents or environment, before learning the basics begin to exaggerate the postures and gestures (special effects). It is something that anticipates what is substantial and what makes the focus lose.

I have to admit that I have fallen as a father in that temptation sometimes, but I have the great good fortune to have a son´s teacher who has even more clear than me the principle that I am proposing.

I am aware that in some  competitions we have won some couples who danced with a lot of energy (Latin) or that fell more than us but they dismounted up and we did not (standard) and I have not gotten it well, but thanks to our coach we are beginning to collect the fruits of these appropriate didactic and methodology. Be patient, run away from the speed of the moment and bet all the chips of the casino by the Technique. So the future can be yours. Thank you Valera Zaiko for having it so clear and so methodical with my son!

Alex Gascón & Alexandra Zaiko, several times Spanish juvenile and Junior 1 champions and several International Open WDSF Latin & Standard champions.

If you are parents and want the best for your children as dancers of Dancesport, my advice is that you invest everything you can in good teachers and classes.


by Frank Gascón


Next article I will try to investigate and write about «The Ages Learning; Phases».


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