“Partner dancing can be sociable, easy and fun.”
Dr Duncan James
ticket2dance Videos in Post Production
A ground-breaking online dance resource is being created! This webpage exists to keep volunteers informed, start spreading the word and also because my preferred approach is to share my projects during development.
“A new and amazing way to experience partner dancing. In just one hour learn to feel the music, connect with your partner, safely navigate a crowded dance floor and be able to dance to a whole song!”
Dr Duncan James
At Duncan headquarters audio is being re-recorded, new scenes are being shot, completed videos are being rendered, written resources are being edited and excitement is in the air! ticket2dance will launch soon!
The ticket2dance email list.
A quality email every month.
D:Ream Shoot Me With Your Love (Cha-Cha Demo Dance) (YouTube)
“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.”
The ticket2dance Online Dance Resource
The lighting, audio, graphics, editing and camera angles will be better than the test videos you can see here. It will also feel much more like an real-life dance class. I am so excited!.
The following links go to pages with no videos, only the text. This is for my proof-readers to review and also to give everyone (including potential volunteers) the chance to see ticket2dance coming together.
Spot something you would like more help with or a clearer explanation or some other constructive suggestion? I have a long list of change requests which is a really important tool for making ticket2dance better.
There are many simple things you can do to learn much faster and better. See the How to Learn to Dance article for lots of ideas.
I suggest either reading this first or skipping it and reading it after you have tried a couple of videos first.
How to Dance A quick start lesson for complete beginners and some general skill videos for everyone.
The simplest version of partner dancing I have managed to come up with. Anyone can learn to dance creatively with a partner to any music within about 10 minutes. Plus some other general dancing videos including lead-follow exercises.
How to Dance Ballroom An elegant partner dance.
Get dancing with a ballroom style asap with the easyBallroom video. Alternatively you might try the Foxtrot Complete Beginners video which is similar but more detailed and to slower music.
Want to do more ballroom? I think a good learning order is Foxtrot then Quickstep then Waltz. Foxtrot clearly leads into Quickstep. Waltz has a different timing but shares many of the same skills. I think it is best to do Waltz last because you have had time learning the easier timing of the Foxtrot and Quickstep and can now learn the different timing of the Waltz. If you have a real-life teacher I think it is possible to adjust this order as the teacher can monitor your timing.
How to Dance Foxtrot A simple yet beautiful dance.
This can be a good choice of dance to learn first. Works to slower tempo music.
How to Dance Quickstep Fast and furious and fun.
Only try this after learning some foxtrot. This is fairly difficult and I teach it as a speeded-up version of foxtrot.
How to Dance Waltz A ballroom dance to a stylish rhythm.
Waltz has a unique timing and can be learnt independently of all the other dances. You can learn this first or at any point after learning another dance.
How to Dance Latin Keep it simple or show off as you dance with your partner to latin music.
Get dancing with a latin style asap with the easyLatin video. Alternatively you might try the Rumba Complete Beginners video which is similar but more detailed and to slower music.
Want to do more latin? I recommend learning Rumba first. Then Salsa which is like Rumba but faster. Finally learn Cha-Cha which like Rumba but has extra steps during the pause: if you can already do Rumba all you are doing is adding something extra and not changing anything.
How to Dance Rumba A slow dance full of shapes. Time for your personal expression to show.
Definitely start with rumba before trying salsa or cha-cha.
How to Dance Salsa Fast and furious latin dancing with less time for styling but with the momentum for fast turns.
Learn this after doing some rumba. It is to faster music and essentially the same dance. Dancing quicker is more difficult and so best to learn after rumba.
How to Dance Cha-Cha Five steps every bar make this an energetic dance. All the same moves as rumba but with more dynamism.
Learn this after doing rumba. The same speed music but more steps to fit in.
How to Dance Merengue Dance to this one-two beat. While the feet keep in time the rest of the body can go slower doing steady moves.
This can be learnt at any time as it does not rely on other dances.
How to Dance Jive Typically done to pop music with moves to fit with different types music. Many people have a personal preference to dance to faster or slower music.
This is slightly more fiddly than the other dances to learn. In the jive videos we take our time to learn a few moves and techniques and then put the whole dance together.
"I try not to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself."
The videos currently on YouTube are "work in progress" videos from many months ago. Since then nearly 50 (much better quality) instructional videos have been recorded and are now in post-production.
Absolute Beginners Waltz (ticket2dance test video) (YouTube)
Learn a Simple Partner Dance (in-outs and rotating/turning) (ticket2dance test video) (YouTube)
The ticket2dance Philosophy:-
- Dancing can be more fun for absolute beginners if a simplified version of every dance is taught that still has authentic styling;
- Dancing can be more sociable if there is an emphasis on techniques that work with a wide variety of different partners;
- Dancing can be accessible to more people by not being prescriptive about things like step length and arm position;
- To create an online resource that champions the social aspects of partner dancing;
- To avoid anything that would create bad habits and make learning other forms/styles of dance more difficult later.
“Real people, real dancing; fun and easy to learn!”
Dr Duncan James
Note, private lessons, corporate training and party bookings are always available. These help me subsidise the cost of creating ticket2dance. Please contact me directly if you are interested. Private lessons will be dedicated to your needs which might be either social or technical dancing. For corporate bookings, benefits of my dance teaching style include unlocking creativity and trust in others. Party bookings can be anywhere on the scale from fun to serious lessons and I have a variety of music we can dance to.
Video Production (Mainly in Bournemouth)
Video production is in full swing. You are welcome to come and help me with the videos and in return learn and enjoy Waltz, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Quickstep, Salsa, Foxtrot, Merengue and more for free in Bournemouth if you are happy to be in my videos. You are welcome to look at my YouTube channel and you will see that I always aim to put my volunteers in a good light and a lot of footage ends up in the bin if I am not happy this is the case. Please look at the change requests page to see what currently needs filming and you are welcome to choose anything on that list or we can just chat about it via email/phone.
Who: Absolute beginners and all ages welcome. You're welcome to volunteer on your own, as a couple or as a group.
What: You get a free dance lesson in return for helping me produce clips for the ticket2dance videos. Typically half the time we have the camera off doing personal learning for you with the rest of the time being (still useful for you) learning with the camera on.
When: This varies and I can even book extra sessions just for you (but you have to be reliable as this costs me money). There are always up-and-coming dates available please contact me to then find out more.
Where: Currently I am mainly filming at St Stephens Hall, St Stephen's Way, Bournemouth, BH2 6JZ. (Nearby car parks and some free on road parking as well.)
Cost: free! Yes really! As a thank you for helping me with the videos the classes are free.
How: contact me to book your place. You must contact me in advance and get confirmation from me that you can come. Please either call or send a very clear email can with details of who you are and if anyone else wants to come as well. I have a separate page with my contact details.
“Dancing is a contact sport. Football is a hitting sport.”
It would be great if you could help!
Show your support by subscribing to my YouTube channel, liking my Facebook page and/or following me on Twitter. You can also subscribe to my newsletter to get personal updates from me. This all helps by making my content more visible, for example it pushes my content higher up the list when people search on the internet. I have chosen to make this free and that limits my marketing budget (to pretty much zero) but hopefully means that people will share it much more.
If you are running a social event (but it has to be a public event and not just a private party) I am happy to come and provide a free taster class to get people dancing to the music you are providing. ticket2dance benefits from some publicity and another chance to spread the word about a sociable alternative to other more technique-heavy approaches to partner dancing. I only ask for travel expenses which might be zero if I am in the area anyway. This is subject to availability and sufficient obvious publicity benefits for ticket2dance.
Remember I need volunteers to help record the videos. See above for more information.
Salsa Celtica - Correla (demonstration dance) (ticket2dance test video) (YouTube)
A new article I am starting to write: How to Teach a Dance Class
If you like my philosophy behind ticket2dance you might appreciate this article which was originally published in the Dance Gazette and reproduced in the Daily Telegraph about inflexible marking in ballet exams. This leaves me frustrated that so many of the dancing opportunities available in Britain have these strict rules. There are so many flexible/accessible ways to enjoy dancing but it often feels like these are in such a minority that they are difficult to find if you are new to the hobby.
People often ask for advice about a sound system to use for parties. Probably a standard house music system will do for most indoor situations. Try not to turn it up too loud as distorted music can sound awful. Consider getting someone with good hearing to adjust the bass, mid-range and treble to sound nice. I recommend avoiding turning the bass up too high as this inevitably sounds great for a few minutes but then gets very boring. If you watch DJs in clubs they often boost the bass just for short periods to create an impact. A great solution I have found for outdoor parties without a power supply is the "Tailgater" (search online for this and you will find it). Be aware however that if you are in an open space with no walls (such as a beach) the sound will not bounce back towards the listeners so it will not be as loud as when you test it indoors. Also, if you (for example) search on Amazon the links to "what other people bought after looking at this" or similar information on their website will show you alternatives from other manufacturers.
“1 + 1 = 1”
a basic principle of Argentine Tango
Have you noticed funny clicking noises while I talk? This has been one of the biggest technological problems with the filming! I found a nice article about mouth clicking which helped me a lot. Mainly I have had to work really hard at not swallowing nor allowing my lips to open too fast all the time I am videoing! If I could employ someone to hold a boom mike for the entire video or use a professional recording studio this would not be a problem. I have been forced to use a head mike because in my earlier videos you could hear things like people talking in the background and air conditioning hum. Many of these sounds are not obvious to us while recording but even a focussed microphone will pick them up. Oh, and even once you have a microphone I have found you have to be careful about letting the cable attachments be clear of touching anything and also the leads seem to work best if they hang loose and are not scratching or being pulled too much against other objects - this is consistent with an article I found on the BBC website about microphone use.
“If I cannot dance, I want no part in your revolution.”