Eyes up! A Few Legit (Or Not So Legit) Reasons We Look Down When We Dance

Stop looking down!

How many times did you hear that when you were first learning to dance?  Maybe you still get caught checking out that sexy wooden floor. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone, especially when we’re trying a new or difficult step. Our eyes drop. It’s apparently very difficult to think and look straight ahead at the same time. It’s like we think the floor we’re dancing on is as rocky as our brains feel trying to remember the timing. One wrong move, and we could stumble and fall. Then a dance partner is put in front of us, and we can’t move our feet unless our eyes are glued to them. 


What gives? 

Well, I don’t know what’s going on in your head when you’re looking down, but I can share what’s going on in my head. Here are just a few of the very reasonable excuses, uh, I mean, explanations, for why my eyes drop when I dance.

  1. It really is easier to think. Nothing else is going on down there at the floor, so there is nothing to distract me while I’m trying to remember if this next step went straight back or curved. 

  1. I’m a klutz. I really could stumble and fall! I’ve been known to trip on air, so I wouldn’t put it past me to trip on that nice, smooth dancefloor. There might be a stray rhinestone!

  1. I’m just looking for the hair tie I lost the other day. I guess I can’t use this one anymore now that I’m sporting a pixie cut. Damn.

  1. I don’t want to step on my partner’s feet. I know I’ve been getting silly, but I think this one is a legitimate concern of many beginner dancers. They honestly don’t want to hurt their partner by stomping down on their big toe! An honorable goal, but it’s actually easier to tell where your partner is if you focus on your connection with them instead of where your feet are (attached to the bottoms of your legs, guys, they’re not going anywhere). 

  1. What if I’m looking up and make eye contact with someone watching me dance?? I’ve reached a point in my dance journey where I love making eye contact with someone watching me dance. In that moment, they’re dancing with me and we have a beautiful connection. My heart sings when they smile! When I’m performing or competing, that is. At the studio, while I’m practicing or taking a lesson, I still get self-conscious about people watching me. It’s like letting someone see a rough sketch of your masterpiece. Don’t look, it’s not finished yet!  


While all of these are completely legitimate (#not) reasons to look down, it’s important to break the habit as quickly as possible. Looking down affects our posture, our balance, and our alignment when we dance, and when we’re affected, our partner is also affected. Plus ladies, when you’ve got a pound of makeup on your face at a competition and you look down, it looks like you’re dancing with your eyes closed. Do you really want pictures of yourself sleep dancing? 


So lift that chin up, open those eyes and take in the world around you! Don’t worry, your feet will follow you and the floor will stay beneath you. I promise.

Recap | Battle in Shanghai at GrandSlam Latin Finals

During the course of this Saturday, December the 8th of 2018, we all had the chance to witness the WDSF GrandSlam Finals of the Latin division. Let me be the first to say, this was quite the fantastic show! Not only was the dancing pure magic, but the arena was cozy, the audience was welcoming, and the arrangement of the final made the night that much more exciting and at the same time, nerve-wracking, to watch. Before we dive into exploring what happened during the final, let us rewind a little bit to see how everything got started.

Preview | GrandSlam Finals Standard Shanghai

2018 WDSF GrandSlam Shanghai Standard Hype

Sunday, December 9th, 2018 will decide the crowing champions of the WDSF GrandSlam Finals in the Standard discipline. The entire year leading up to these Finals is essential in terms of GrandSlam participation and ranking for the couples that aim to be a part of this concluding event. The World DanceSport Federation hosts five GrandSlams throughout the year, and the Finals decides ultimately, the champion couple of the entire series for that year. 

Preview | What to Expect at GrandSlam Finals Latin

2018 WDSF GS Shanghai Latin Hype

Throughout the course of this upcoming weekend, the World DanceSport Federation will be hosting one of the most anticipated events of the entire year: the GrandSlam Finals, to be held in the city of Shanghai in the People's Republic of China. As an athlete of the WDSF, becoming a part of these Finals is a true achievement, one that comes depicting a couple’s performances of that entire year in regards to GrandSlams. The top twelve couples for each discipline are chosen based on their GrandSlam ranking positions, positions compiled based on performances of each GrandSlam attended. 

Recap | World Championship Standard

There it is! Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova take their fourth title as undefeated WDSF Standard World Champions, the first couple to ever win a WDSF World Championship four years in a row! Not only did they make history, but they also paved the way for upcoming generations to aim for even higher goals in their competitive careers.

Preview | Standard World Championship Vienna

This Saturday, November 17th, the World DanceSport Federation will be sanctioning one of its most prestigious events of the year – the Standard World Championship. This event will be taking place as part of the Austrian Open Championships, a renowned event that usually sanctions a WDSF World Championship each year. It is popularly known to host the WDSF Latin World Championship and last hosted the Standard World Championship in 2014.

Recap | WDSF World Ten Dance

Being a ten dance athlete is not just about physical endurance, but also about mental and emotional stamina. This is what made the difference for the champions of the night. We saw a part of each of these aspects yesterday at the 2018 WDSF World 10 Dance Championships that took place in Warsaw, Poland. The heat was definitely on, and the competition was top notch, especially when it came down to the finals.

Preview | World Ten Dance Championship

2018 World Ten Dance Warsaw Hype

This upcoming weekend, the Polish Cup International Dance Festival will be hosting the 2018 Adult Ten Dance World Championship in the city of Warsaw, Poland. 38 couples from 38 countries are on the starting list and ready for the showdown to take place this Saturday, November the 10th. 

Recap | WDSF GrandSlam Standard Moscow

What a conclusion to the 2018 Russian Open Championships! The World DanceSport Federation’s fifth Standard GrandSlam of the year is now complete and what a night it was! The crowd went wild for our finalists, three of which were Russian favorites. Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova took yet another win under their belt with a purely flawless presentation throughout the entire event. Their quickstep solo presentation of the final scored them their strongest score for this GrandSlam, a 39.124 out of 40.000 points possible. They were the only couple in this Standard GrandSlam to achieve a score in the 39.000 percentile!

Recap | WDSF GrandSlam Latin Moscow

The fifth and concluding Latin GrandSlam of the World DanceSport Federation has officially finished for the year of 2018, the top Latin WDSF couples will make their way to Shanghai this December for what is known as the GrandSlam Series Final.  Let’s take a look over what has happened here at the Russian Open Championships just yesterday.