As we've all seen in the movies or TV, dipping is very sexy, and it adds a fabulous flair to a routine. It’s one move that’ll wow the audience, for sure!
Here’s the thing: it may look like a simple stunt to pull and it only takes a second to execute but dipping is a complex dance move. It’s definitely not for beginners!
Dipping a person in real life is not only tricky; it can be dangerous if you're not used to making such a stunt. It’s all fun and games until someone breaks a nose or bangs the head on the hard floor from a stunt gone wrong.
The dancers doing the dipping on TV are professionals with *years* of experience and training with such maneuvers.
Part of the fun of dancing is that you can experiment with different moves and give your own twist to the dance style itself. And yes, dipping your dance partner seems like a great idea to attract attention on the dance floor. So should you do it? What are the essential factors that you should consider before dipping a partner? If you’re the one being dipped, what are the things that you need to know before pulling such a complex stunt? Here are some tips:
To Dip or not to Dip? Essential Factors to Consider Before Dipping Your Partner
Are you fit enough to dip?
One of the most important things to consider when executing a complicated stunt is your own level of fitness and experience making such a move. You don't want to risk injuring yourself and your dance partner with a spontaneous dip.
When you’re doing the dipping, you’re basically taking on your partner’s body weight on top of your own. And your back, shoulders, and legs will take the brunt of the pressure as you dip someone. Sure, dipping is only done for a split second, but one wrong move and you and your partner could end up crumpled on the dance floor.
To dip a partner safely and successfully, you need to focus your center of gravity lower to keep the torso and legs stable. Keep your legs wide apart at hip-width to maintain your balance, then bring one leg forward and bend as you dip your partner lower. This way, you can keep your balance while shifting your force to your hands as you hold your dance partner lower. Bring her back up gently by shifting your force to your upper torso and back.
Your hands should hold the partner firmly, so you don’t lose your grip. Also, your arms should be strong enough to take on the added weight.
Lead your partner
If you’re doing the dipping, then you have to lead your partner. Since you're leading the dance, you need to ask your partner if it's okay to dip because surprising her with one might lead to a broken nose!
If you are dipping a stranger and not a regular dance partner, you need to know if she has the technical know-how to be dipped. If she doesn't, and she’s trusting you with this dance move, you need to check yourself if you can dip her safely despite her lack of experience and figure out ways to maneuver the dance in a way that lets you dip a first-timer properly.
Pro tip: Always check if your dance partner is appropriately dressed before asking for dipping. If she’s wearing a short dress, she might accidentally expose herself in the process.
Assuming that you have the technical ability to dip a total stranger safely, you need to check the area where you'd like to make a move. The area should be big enough for the dip. Check if other couples are going in and out of the space before the dip, so you don't end up accidentally bumping heads.
If the dance floor is crowded or if people kept going in and out of the area where you'd like to dip your partner, do not make a move. You can only control your own movements and not the actions of those around you. You cannot avoid bumping to other dancers if the space is too tight for a dip, and you don't want to injure someone just because you insist on making this dance move.
Dance Basics: How To Dip Your Partner
Bachata: A Quick Dip
No one likes a spontaneous dip. When you’re about to do the dip, let her know. Give her a signal or something, like placing your hand on her upper back and gently lowering her backward. She’ll get the message.
If your dance partner stiffens as you try to lower her backward, it’s a sign that she doesn’t want to be dipped and never force her to perform one.
Finally and most importantly, do not push your partner too far for a dip, and never dip aggressively. Dipping should be done gently and with care. It's a difficult stunt to pull off as is, and you don't want to give the impression that you’re too much of a showoff by dipping aggressively at the expense of your dance partner.
I’m a male Belly Dancer who got involved with a mashup of Vaudeville, Andrews Sisters with a Belly Dance vocabulary scattered throughout. I can now say I’m one of the few males who has been dipped by a woman – its a rather unique experience and you absolutely have to trust your dipper!