There’s one quality that ALWAYS gets noticed on the floor:


This kind of magnetism is attractive both on and off the floor! Consider yourself lucky if it comes naturally to you.

But if you don’t feel like you’re naturally “fascinating”, don’t fret. Remember the first time you tried samba rolls or pivots?

Not very comfortable, right?!

You probably questioned whether they would ever be comfortable. But just like patterns, performance qualities can be developed with PRACTICE.

Recently here in Los Angeles, Dutch mental trainer and author of Dance to Your Maximum, Maximiliaan Winkelhuis, presented a workshop for competitors of all levels to help them uncover the charismatic dancer inside.

max workshop


About Max:

The title of the workshop was “The Charismatic Dancer–the energy that gets you noticed on a crowded floor”–what dancer wouldn’t want that?!

Max knows exactly what dancers want and need, having trained many of the top dancesport competitors from around the world to bring out their personal best. Through strategic planning, using energy, touch and feeling to enhance performance and strengthen the mind for competition, Max teaches dancers to enhance physical abilities with mental techniques. The result: a whole new level of performance.

(Erik and I were lucky to have Max as a mentor during our competitive years. If mental training isn’t part of your regime, add it in…it’s a must!)

His book “Dance to your Maximum” is the premier resource for competitors wishing to intelligently plan their careers, and covers all manner of details, from practice schedules, to creating your personal branding look, to preparing the mind and body the day of the event.

If you’ve not gotten a copy yet, we highly recommend it!

UPDATE 6/15/15:  Max has released a second book “Dance without Stress”, which shows dancers how to turn stress into performance energy. Check it out here.

The Charismatic Dancer:

Max’s presentation on the charismatic dancer focused on what sets apart dancers (and others) who we find charismatic.

Charisma is not defined by the boundaries of law and rules, but touches others by being innovative, unique, groundbreaking and because it is unorthodox, can be both loved by some, hated by others, but not ignored.

A charismatic dancer opens your heart and touches you personally by his authenticity, vision.

Max describes it as, the “WE” FEEL, which is what makes others feel that they are connected to the dancer or creates a desire to be like him.

Part of connecting to others is through the sense of touch and of course as dancers, there’s a lot of touch going on! How the dancers physically touch each other and the energy they use to touch the audience (through eye contact and dance expression) draws people in and gets them noticed on the floor.

Being charismatic doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be outgoing, but rather, it’s about how you use your energy to share your feeling with others.  This is what pulls attention.

This is what FASCINATES.

Through defining the factors that create charisma and practicing the use of positive energy through touch and eye contact, dancers are able to effectively develop their own CHARISMA.

Max’s confidence and encouragement (AKA charisma!) inspires dancers!  Practicing these techniques can add the dazzle factor to any dancer’s performance. Even if you’re not a natural, charisma can become comfortable…just like those rolls and pivots!

Click to learn more about Maximiliaan Winkelhuis