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DanceTalk Blog

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Dancing for Better Grades

Cutbacks in the arts have become an all-too-common phrase these days. It seems like few people – beyond parents, some teachers, and the kids themselves – see the benefits of artistic activities in the public school. Dance is particularly shunned,...
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Dig Deeper with our New Ballroom Workshops

By: Deborah Lim How are those Ballroom classes going? Group classes are great to get started learning to dance, or learning a new dance style. It’s fun and social as you learn with others who are at about the same...
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Dancer’s Burnout: The Important Questions

So know you have a basic understanding of burnout (read this if you haven’t), and the two most common reasons why we feel it. Let’s focus today on the de-energized form of burnout, when we overwork our body to the...
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Dancer’s Burnout: De-Energized or Dissatisfied?

Are you losing your motivation to dance? Skipping practice sessions? Snapping irritably at your teacher? Maybe you feel your coaches aren’t appreciating what you’ve accomplished so far. Or maybe you’re just really chronically tired.  Yep, that’s burnout all right. And...
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Ballroom Certification Program

Like a duck swimming, dancers’ feet move so quickly they blur together with ease and confidence while their bodies exude a soothing calm, and their faces radiate joy. You too can experience this grace and delight in your life! Ballroom...
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Affording Lessons Without the Insomnia

Doesn’t it strike you as unfair, that the most fun and enjoyable activities are often the most expensive? Golfers and skiers will know what I mean, and dance lessons - especially private ones - are no exception. Purchasing a several-hundred...
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Hacking Your Dance Lessons, Part Three

In part one, I gave you a taste of how a few simple tricks could transform your dance practice. In part two we took it further, covering everything from preventing foot blisters to making homemade icepacks out of wet sponges. But this...
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Hacking Your Dance Lessons, Part Two

We all have them – those sneaky little #LifeHacks that make our lives a little bit easier, a little more convenient. Why not apply that logic to dance as well? In part one, I focused on #DanceHacks that helped us...
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Beginner Ballet Retreat with Allison Nichol

The effortless ease of movements and beautiful long lines of a ballerina inspires people to take ballet classes, regardless of age or gender. Regular weekly classes are a great way to start off, and more often than not, you’ll want...
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Hacking Your Dance Lessons

Anyone familiar with a social media platform and hashtags has probably come across this one: #LifeHacks. What’s a Life Hack? It’s a small thing you do to make life just a little easier. Mixing your peanut butter and jelly together...
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How to be a BAD Performer

(NOTE: The following article is meant to make you laugh, or at least crack a smile or two. Please don’t take it as serious advice.) So, you’ve “mastered” the art of ho-hum dancing; what’s next? How about sharing your lack...
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How to be a BAD Dancer

(NOTE: The following article is meant to make you laugh, or at least crack a smile or two. Please don’t take it as serious advice.) Ugh! All those dance lessons just reek of effort! And who needs be a good...
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MORE Dance Drills We All Could Use

Ready for more punishment? The previous article looked at drills focusing on Cuban motion, rise and fall, and greater control in basic turns. Now, we move into a slightly more rarified atmosphere. The drills below focus less on the big...
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emily

3 Dance Drills We ALL Could Use

Drills. Like apps, there’s one for every situation. And there’s plenty of “situations” we find ourselves in on the dance floor, from needing more smoothness to improving our rise and fall or our Cuban motion. While not the glamorous part...
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(Your Instructor Knows) You’re Better Than You Think

Students, we owe you an explanation. Over the time we’ve spent together, you’ve discovered that learning to dance can be pretty challenging. You’ve grown frustrated with your progress at times, and assume that we must be frustrated with you too. ...
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You’re Better Than Your Brain Thinks, Part Two

The more power we give a belief, the more control it has over us. Likely you’ve heard something like that before, but never thought about the reverse: The less time we pay to a limiting belief, the more we break...
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wedding dance

8 Ways Your First Dance Prepares you for Marriage

As I like to joke to my wedding couples, if you can survive the dance, marriage is a cake-walk. While I’ll admit that grossly underestimates the challenges of marriage, the point remains the same: Dancing with your life partner prepares...
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My Wedding Dance Experience

For most of the soon-to-be-married, the wedding dance is more of an afterthought, the thing you hurriedly invest in after everything else has been taken care of. The pressure of learning a routine in the midst of wedding preparations can...
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Your First Dance: Tips from My Wife

When you imagine your wedding day, and your first dance as life partners, how do you feel? Nauseous? Anxious? TERRIFIED? Well, fair enough. It is a big moment. A moment you may have dreamt of your whole life. A pivotal...
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Dating Like a Dancer

Stick with any style of dance long enough, and inevitably, someone will suggest you showcase it to a larger audience. This carries certain unique challenges, not least of which is learning to connect with said audience, so they can enjoy...
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Bowling Like a Dancer

One of the first dance metaphors (I love metaphors, can you tell?) I was taught was back in a low-key studio called Dancing at Twilight. It so happened that Don, one of the two owners, was teaching that day. “Anyone...
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Walking Like a Dancer

There’s a secret exercise I like to do as I walk around the city: I tone my core slightly, pull up through my abs and back, and stand as straight as I can. I also let my legs swing a...
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Forgotten Details: Adapting to a Dance Schedule

Several months ago, there was an influx of new students, and I suddenly found myself teaching much more frequently than I had just previously. Welcome as this change was, it was soon accompanied by changes that were rather less welcome:...
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Forgotten Details: Measuring Out Your Energy

The most common mistake I see, other than simply getting your moves wrong? Putting too much energy into the move, so it looks like effort, instead of effortless. Ironically, most students tend to make new moves harder than they have...
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Forgotten Details: Eye Contact

About two times a month, I hop on a bus East to the Chester Village retirement home and teach chair dancing to the locals there. This isn’t always easy, mostly because half my audience has a tendency to nod off...
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Forgotten Details: Time Management

If I was superman, time management would be my kryptonite. I’m not good at keeping appointments, and have to constantly check the clock to make sure I’m on track in my lessons. Most of the time, time is not my...
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Intermediate Ballroom: Spot Turns

I’ll admit: These suckers are one of my personal favourites. There’s a lot going on to make the move work, but once it works, it feels SO good. To be clear, I’m talking about the partnered spot turn, the one...
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Barre-Fit Was Designed with YOUR Body in Mind

A few years ago, a new kind of workout started cropping up in gyms, Pilates studios, and on the Instagram feeds of Hollywood actresses and Victoria Secret models alike. Barre-fit sells itself as a synthesis of Pilates, isometric strength training,...
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Intermediate Ballroom: Closed vs Open Figures

As we move to higher levels of dancing in our smooth/standard styles, greater emphasis is put on speed, momentum, and distance. One of the biggest changes occurs when we stop closing our feet on most of our steps, and start...
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CBM, and Why it Helps Your Partnered Turns

Happy New Year y’all! ’Tis the season when new resolutions are made, including resolutions to drag your partner into a dance studio for the first time and pray he/she doesn’t run out screaming at the end of it. It’s ALSO...
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10 Things Dancing Taught Me in 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, I find myself looking back over my experiences this past year as a dancer, and what they’ve taught me. I’ll admit - this year was a tough one for me, yet it’s from these...
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What the Stock Market Taught me About Dancing

Recently, my wife and I attended a 3-day seminar on trading in the stock market. It was Kaitlin’s idea: For me, it was simply a chance to learn something new. I certainly didn’t expect to be blown away by how...
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Destination vs Journey

I can’t recall how many students who came in telling me they “just wanted the basics”, “just wanted to get ready for their son’s/daughter’s wedding”, “just wanted to feel a little less awkward”. I wonder how many more of them...
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It Sucks to Practice Dance

Yep, I said it. Having to practice dance moves and technique is frustrating and boring.  Most of us start dancing with dreams of whirling around the dance floor in no time. We get the best dance partners. We look like...
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The Dancer’s Guide to Injury Recovery II: Shin Splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome - more commonly known as shin splints, is one of the most common stress injuries impacting dancers, and ballet dancers in particular. One of the most common overuse injuries, shin splints are the result of repeated...
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tango

The Magic of Argentine Tango

Argentine tango is more than a dance or a musical style. Many tango dancers say it is a way of life. It has been called “a secret danced between two people”, a “feeling that is danced”, and “a walking embrace.”...
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The Dancer’s Guide to Injury Recovery

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve landed a grand jété poorly, didn’t get over the box of our pointe shoe quick enough, overextended an arabesque. Injuries are common in the dance world, and dancers are at a significantly higher...
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Destroy Your Dance Demons

I consider myself to be a fairly spiritual person. And by that, I mean I spend an above-average amount of time thinking about how we can live happy, fulfilled lives. Naturally, that also includes how to deal with the fears...
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hustleintensive

How to Laugh at Mistakes (And Why You Should)

I’ve been writing a lot about how to make friends through dancing lately. But you know, one thing I’ve avoided talking about (because it required it’s own article) was how important it is to not get too hung up on...
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What Your Body is Saying

Ever talked to someone who just rubbed you the wrong way? They may have looked fine and been perfectly courteous, but you just felt like they had no interest in talking with you. Most likely you picked up on something...
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How to Meet New People Through Dancing

I firmly believe that partner dances like ballroom are THE best way to meet new people - assuming you actually enjoy dancing, of course. But even dancing poses challenges for those uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the social jungle. Here’s a...
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Why Dance is Great for Making Friends

Stick with any hobby long enough, and you’ll find it’s full of high moments and low, successes and failures. It’s a journey, blah, blah, blah… But what I love in particular about dancing is that it makes making friends effortless,...
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WHY You Should “Dance it Slowly” in Your Dance Practice

“But it’s so boooooooring!!!” I hear you shout. And you’re right - it’s WAY more fun to go full speed during dance practice (or even double-speed, if you’re really excited). Thing is, assuming the purpose of your lessons is to...
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WHY Do We Use Heel/Ball Leads in Our Dance Patterns?

For an activity as challenging and agile as dance, it’s no surprise that correct foot placement is “kind of a big deal”. What IS a surprise for many is how much the way your foot hits the floor plays a...
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WHY Is “Turning From Your Centre” Good for Dance Balance?

Fall out of a turns one too many times and you’re likely to hear the phrase “turn from your centre” from your instructor. Presumably it does good things for your dance balance, but many of us - me too -...
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WHY do Ballroom Dance Steps Include “Alignment”?

As I’ve mentioned before, I love knowing WHY we dance the way we do - it helps me understand what I’m doing, which makes it easier to explain it to others. For instance, what’s the deal with alignment, and how...
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first dance

6 Often-Forgotten Details Planning Your First Dance

You pick your song, learn some moves, and perform an awesome first dance. Simple, right? Not so fast - the devil is in the details, so they say, and covering these details will make your first dance a LOT less...
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12 Secrets for a Spectacular Surprise Wedding Dance

The bridge and groom aren’t the only ones who can have a wedding dance - sometimes friends and family get together to surprise them with a dance of their own. It’s a way of celebrating the happy couple’s union, and...
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wedding dance

A Timeline for 3 Different Wedding Dances

Whether you’re looking up studios a year before the big day (you’re crazy, and I love you) or flying into one the week before and praying you won’t be sent away, you all want your wedding dance to look AMAZING. ...
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Dos and Don’ts of Sexy Ballroom Dance Moves

I love how ballroom dancing lets you bring out parts of yourself you’d rarely reveal in public otherwise. Fun as it is to “get down with your bad self” however, certain ballroom dance moves can be done in a way...
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Latin Dancing: Sexy, or Raunchy?

Recently, I asked one of my students how she wanted to feel while Latin dancing. She confessed she wanted to feel sexy, but ‘classy sexy - like Emma Slater from Dancing with the Stars’. Several weeks (and many Emma Slater...
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Finding the Right Ballet Class – Part II

Royal Academy of Dance Exam Classes Last time, we talked about recreational classes. They’re a great way to dip your toe into the ballet world, and, with time and dedication, you might find yourself comfortable in all of the drop-in...
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Finding the Right Ballet Class – Part I

Why Ballet? Children’s ballet classes come in a range of levels, and are often separated into recreational and competitive/pre-professional streams. Adult classes, by comparison, are often lumped into just one level. However, as anyone who has taken an adult ballet...
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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Dance Intensives

I’ll admit it - Internet Land is choc-full of different guides to summer dance intensives. Do we really need one more? Well sure, seeing as each guide seems to have their own tidbits of information, and this guide has all...
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The Best Outdoor Places for a Summer Dance

As we’ve talked about recently, taking your summer dance moves outside is pretty awesome. One of the best things about it is you can literally bust it out anywhere - assuming you aren’t breaking the law of course. Here’s just...
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Summer Dancing: Taking it Outside

Summer Dancing: Taking it Outside Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but I’ve always loved outdoor dancing. Moving with a partner, combined with the feel of a breeze and the sounds of nature or passerby is a unique and lovely...
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Addiction: The Downside of Staying Fit through Dance

Last night, my wife and I danced at a wedding until after midnight. It was sweaty, crazy fun, and the good feeling stayed with me even after waking up today. I think we can all admit - staying fit is...
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Get Your Kids to Dance

I remember my mother telling me stories about when she was young. “When I was just a child”, she’d say, “your grandmother would toss me out of the house and say ‘find something to do, and don’t come back until...
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How to Improve Productivity at Work

Team cohesion. Focused employees. Fewer sick days. Sound like a dream come true? The studies are in, and the evidence is undeniable: Ballroom dance is an effective tool for businesses to improve productivity among their workers. According to Forbes, over...
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Dance Fitness: A Full Body Experience

When it comes to staying in shape, you just can’t beat dance! The following is just a short list of what exactly dance fitness means. Strength. Anyone who says dance can’t build muscle tone should try a grande jete. Or...
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Exercise for the Introvert: Keeping Healthy through Dance

“Gosh, she’s in great shape.” “Those guys are probably laughing at these wimpy weights I’m lifting.” “I hope the gym is empty today.” Traditional forms of keeping healthy can leave an introvert with crippling thoughts like these, which can be...
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WHY Does Sway Improve Balance in Ballroom?

A key part of what separates good and great smooth/standard dancers is sway, an incline of the body that creates cool body shapes and improves balance as you travel across the floor. But WHY is sway such as necessary part...
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WHY Do We Use Rise and Fall in our Dance Movement?

Last time, we discussed the importance of toe and heel leads in our ballroom dance movement, but we never talked about an important part of the latter: The raising and lowering of the body known as rise and fall. So,...
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WHY are Heel VS Ball Leads Used in Ballroom Dance Movements?

We’ve all heard it - take normal walking steps (i.e. walk normally) in smooth/standard dance movements, slide the ball or toe along the floor in rhythm/Latin dance movements. But the WHY behind this is often poorly explained, or even more...
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WHY is moving from our core “Correct Posture”?

I’m a WHY person. I understand everything I’m taught a thousandfold better when WHY it’s done is also explained - maybe you do too. For all you WHY seekers out there, I’d like to talk a bit about moving from...
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Sticking Points: Dance Partnering

Ah, that great question mark in every ballroom dance, the single biggest thing you can’t control (no matter how much you want to): Your partner. Good dance partnering can be one of the trickiest things to learn, simply because it...
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Sticking Points: Improving Your Expressive Dance Skills

Often considered the pinnacle of dance skill, is that elusive ability to express what we hear with different parts of our body - I’m talking about styling. Another aspect of expressive dancing is musicality. These two sure look great combined,...
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Sticking Points: Dizziness Cures for the Dancer

Care for a twirl? We ballroom dancers sure love our turns, whether we’re pivoting, pencil-turning, travel-turning, chaine-ing… Well, you get the idea. But if the mere thought of a turn makes you want to sit down, let these dizziness cures...
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Why Jazz?

Maybe you’re obsessed with theatre, and have seen every musical from Jekyll and Hyde to Chicago. Maybe you’re a hip-hop dancer who is filled with dread whenever a teacher calls for a pirouette. Or maybe you can’t stop watching videos...
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Dance Classes for Kids: An FAQ

So, you see your little girl or boy wiggling around to your iTunes playlist, and suddenly you wonder: “maybe he/she would like dance lessons?” There’s no doubt that it can be a very good experience for them, improving their strength...
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Motivation Masters: Les Brown

Born in an abandoned building and given up for adoption, declared mentally challenged in public school, it took the encouragement of his adopted mother and an inspirational high school teacher to help Les Brown become a well-known and respected motivational...
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Motivation Masters: Tony Robbins

Back for more energy-boosting wisdom from the masters? Well today, I’m pulling from perhaps the greatest one of them all: Tony Robbins. If you haven’t heard of Tony Robbins (seriously, where have you been?) he is an American author, entrepreneur,...
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Motivation Masters: Eric Thomas

For the skeptic, Eric Thomas’ story reads like something of a fairytale. Dropping out of high school and living homeless for 2 years, depressed and with thoughts of suicide, it took a chance meeting with a preacher to inspire him...
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Motivation Masters: Tom Bilyeu

Welcome to 2018! No doubt you’re all figuring out your resolutions for the year… And most of you will have forgotten about said resolutions by February. If you truly want to stay consistent with your goals, you’ll need to learn...
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Your Ideal Instructor: Sugar-Coated vs Tough-Love

Happy New Year folks! As we set new resolutions and plan for upcoming dance festivals, it’s worth coming back a final time to what to look for in our ideal dance instructor, this time looking at a characteristic they can...
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Your Ideal Instructor: Kinesthetic

One of the many benefits of dancing is it connects you more closely with your body, how it moves, what feels good or bad. Some teachers are so comfortable with the language of the body that it becomes their measuring...
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Your Ideal Instructor: Emotional

“Hm… That just doesn’t feel right to me.” “You need to bring your character into the dance more.” “If you behave confidently, you will become confident.” If any of that sounds familiar, you’re likely learning from an emotional instructor. Dance is often described as a combination...
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Your Ideal Instructor: Visual

Dance is a visual experience. A sharp or slow step, a look, a turn of the hips or a quick flick of the arm, conveys everything you need to know about the character of the movement. So, having an instructor...
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Your Ideal Instructor: Analytical

Remember your school days? There were teachers you loved, who seemed to just “get” you. And then there were ones who frustrated you, whom you always found your attention wandering away from. They weren’t worse teachers. They just didn’t match...
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The Beginner’s Guide to West Coast Swing Dancing

So, now you’ve dabbled in a number of different Latin and ballroom styles. Think you’re hot stuff yet? Not so fast - one dance we haven’t covered is truly unlike any other, and that’s west coast swing dancing. First of all, if...
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The Beginner’s Guide to Foxtrot Dancing

A romantic and classy waltz is great, but sometimes we want to add a little play and fun to our classiness. This is where foxtrot comes in, though be warned: This dance is easy to learn at first, but it...
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The Beginner’s Guide to Rumba Dancing

Welcome back to the studio! We’ve covered the guide to salsa dancing previously, and a lot of the same rules apply to rumba. Here’s a quick reminder of some wise clothing choices: Heels no higher than 3” for women and 1.5” for...
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The Beginner’s Guide to Waltz Dancing

Fun as salsa dancing is, sometimes we want to move to something that won’t leave us panting and sweaty by the end. Enter waltz dancing, with it’s slow, romantic, graceful movements… Well, you’ll get there. While many dance studios specialize in nightclub...
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The Beginner’s Guide to Salsa Dancing

Want to learn salsa dancing? Fantastic! Let’s get you started. You’ve probably already looked at Youtube videos of the dance - which are easy to find, since salsa is one of the most popular dances in North America - and...
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Cross-Training Benefits: Tap Dancing

Cross-training doesn’t work for everyone. That might seem like a strange way to begin an article on cross-training, but there it is. Where it works best however, is when you know there’s something specific you lack in your dancing, that...
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Cross-Training Benefits: Contemporary Classes

Contemporary tends to defy description as a dance form - largely because it derives from so many different genres and schools of teaching. The quick description is it’s an expressive dance, combining styles like modern, lyrical, jazz, and ballet. The...
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Cross-Training Benefits: Hip Hop Classes

Last week we covered the myriad ways that ballet lessons can benefit your dancing. Today, let’s take a look at it’s polar opposite: Hip hop. Despite their differences however, much of what you can learn from hip hop classes carry...
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Cross-Training Benefits: Ballet Classes

When we went to school to earn a degree, we took a variety of courses, from a variety of teachers; the result was a fairly well-rounded understanding of our career of choice. Strange then, that so many of us expect...
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Sexy arm styling

The 4 Tiers of Ballroom Dancing: Styling

We’ve finally come to it: The most overlooked tier, and yet one of the most important: styling. People often stop at tier 3, because once their dance is “functional”, everything else can start to feel unnecessary. They might say “only...
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The 4 Tiers of Ballroom Dancing: Dance Connection

Bottom line: If you aren’t communicating with your partner, you aren’t truly dancing with them. And that’s what a good dance connection - leading and following - is all about. This doesn’t mean you haven’t been dancing as you improved...
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The 4 Tiers of Ballroom Dancing: Timing

Although timing is sometimes taught after leading and following, I think we can all agree: If you aren’t moving to the music, you’re barely dancing. Timing begins with a basic understanding of the beat, and gradually expands into an understanding of the...
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The 4 Tiers of Ballroom Dance Technique: Footwork

I don’t care what dance style you’re learning, what level you’re dancing at, or the teaching style of your instructor - if you want to improve, there’s 4 tiers of ballroom dance technique that everyone needs to know: Footwork - How we...
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Not Practicing Can Be a Good Thing

You heard right: sometimes practicing your dance moves over and over can do more harm than good. I’m saying this - knowing full well countless dedicated dancers will be howling in protest - because of a certain disease I’ve seen...
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Dance Intensives: Coping with Burnout

No matter how well you prepare, sooner or later you’ll reach a point where all the information becomes overwhelming. Your tired brain can’t seem to keep up, your attention starts wandering, and you become increasingly frustrated with each new technique...
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Dance Intensives: Etiquette

Dance intensives, as we’ve already mentioned, are sweaty but fun affairs, and making a good impression is an important way to make new friends and connections. These of course, lead to even more dance events and sweaty fun. When it...
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Dance Intensives: Dealing with Jealousy

So, think you’re hot stuff? Then get ready for a generous slice of humble pie - well-established dance intensives draw talent from around the world, and almost certainly, someone is going to show you up. It’s not that you secretly...
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The Dance Intensive: Soaking It All In

“Practice like crazy, use mnemonics, connect it to something you know.” The people who give that kind of advice often forget how much of memory lies in the preparation for an event, not the event itself. After all, can an...
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Dance Intensives 101: What to Expect

Sweat drips down my face, and I’m regretting not bringing a hand towel. It’s day 3 of a 5 day dance camp, and I’m struggling to focus my eyes on the dance coaches in front of me. My body is so tired,...
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Performance Night: 20 Tips to Make You Sensational

Showtime folks! You’ve done all the prep work, and now a mere 24 hours (or less) lie between you and the stage. Now’s the time to finalize all those last-minute details to minimize your stress and leave you free to...
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Time-Tested Tricks for Overcoming Stage Fright

What if I mess up and fall down? What if they laugh at me? What if I have to become a hermit in the woods to avoid embarrassment? We’ve all been there (yes, even the instructors), and no, stage fright...
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The Performer’s Diet

The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak… and low on energy. A body that lacks fuel is like a new Porsche with an empty tank - it may look good, but it’s not going to take you...
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5 Secrets to Remembering Dance Choreography

Hey, how’s your dance choreography coming along? Not good? Well, you’re not alone - remembering choreo (read: Choreography) is as “easy” for many as memorizing historical dates for an exam. Being taught by the world’s most boring teacher. Shelve the stuffy endless...
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How to Prepare for a Dance Performance

AHHH!!! I’ve got to get ready for a performance in a month, and I don’t know what to do! Whoa whoa, calm down there friend, take some deep breaths now, that’s it… Getting ready for a dance performance, especially if...
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Mastering the Look of a Dancer

I like to say that the only difference between a total beginner and a dancer who’s mastered the ‘look’, is a lot of very simple straight-forward techniques. The hard part is remembering them all! Here’s a few final pointers, no...
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The Rhythm/Latin ‘Look of a Dancer’

Whether it’s salsa and bachata in the nightclub or rumba and samba in the dance hall, there’s always someone who’s just got that natural groove. How do they do it? Develop your core. Your abdominals stabilize your centre, your obliques...
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The Smooth/Standard ‘Look of a Dancer’

Last time, we tried to quantify the ‘X factor’ that makes certain dancers stand out from the crowd. Now that we know the skill set these exceptional dancers share, we’re ready to look more deeply at how we might learn to...
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Developing ‘the Look of the Dancer’

It’s elusive, mysterious, and yet we want it more than anything (isn’t that always the way? *wink*) There’s just something irresistible about the dancer who has the ‘look’. But what is the ‘look of a dancer’ anyway? In one sense,...
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9 Choreo Tips for a Killer First Dance

First dances can be tricky, because much as you might enjoy holding your beau, you also have to be aware of your watching audience. Having the perfect song isn’t enough: If you don’t want to put them to sleep, you...
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5 Rules for Choosing Your Wedding Dance Song

The song you dance to at your wedding is like the speech you prepared for the same: You’ll be remembered for it either way, so better make sure it’s a good one! Now that we’ve decided what dance style we...
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Types of Wedding Dances

So, you want a wedding dance? That’s awesome! Now, you’re probably wondering what kind of dance you want. It’s easy to get overwhelmed considering dance styles and favourite songs, so let’s start with a few questions that can narrow down...
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Nine Reasons for Having a Wedding Dance

Spring is (finally) here, and with it comes a new theme: Wedding Dances! I know, you’re already up to your ears in planning out the big day - why add even more stress with a choreographed dance, right? Fair enough...
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How to Learn by Doing

Closing off our series on learning styles, we come to what may be the easiest way to learn to dance: kinesthetic learning. These folks cannot hear or see what needs to be done as well as others - they need...
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Learning You Can FEEL

So far, we’ve explored how those who learn through metaphors, or with numbers and fractions, can make the most of their experience. But for some, learning to dance isn’t about picking up new figures; it’s about capturing a feeling of elegance, power, and sensuality....
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Learning by the Numbers

Not all of us see dance in terms of visuals or feelings. There are many who take a more mechanical view, perceiving dance in terms of degrees, angles, or fractions. Dance for these people is a cerebral experience, more about problem solving...
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The Power of Metaphors

When it comes to dance, everyone learns a little differently. These different learning styles generally fall into one or more of the following categories: Metaphorical, analytical, emotional, and kinaesthetic. This month, we’re taking a look at each one! Metaphorically Speaking...
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Dancetiquette: Making the Best Impression at a Social (Pt.2)

From your entrance to your exit, how you conduct yourself at a dance social tells your peers whether you’re a complete newbie, a seasoned veteran or anything in between. And that makes a big difference in how many of them...
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Dancetiquette: Making the Best Impression at a Social

As we know, making a good first impression is important. Many a new romance, friendship, or business relationship has started with direct eye contact, an easy smile, and a firm handshake. It’s especially important when social dancing: would you dance...
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How to Get Noticed at a Social

Let’s be honest here: you probably could use a few more dances at the next social. Or at least better dance partners - you might be nice enough to dance with a stumbler or backslider the first time, but every dance? Really??...
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When Passion Becomes Procedure: Getting out of a Rut

If dance could hold our energy, excitement, and passion as easily 5 years from now as it did the day we started, we would all be experts. Like a new lover, we took to dancing easily, effortlessly. We couldn’t get...
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A Beginner’s Guide to Rise and Fall

Whether it’s the gentle lilt of a foxtrot or the pronounced wave of a slow waltz, rise and fall gives your dancing a more dynamic look, creating excitement and momentum - and it can feel great too! To be clear,...
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5 Things that Are Holding Back Your Dancing

Do you know why you go to work in the morning? Why you love your partner, why you support your family, and yes - why you dance? Many think they do; they even have great arguments for it. And many are wrong....
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Make a ‘Dance Agreement’ with Yourself

I was watching a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, in which Leonard and Penny were fighting (again). To resolve their squabbling, they asked Sheldon to write up a relationship agreement for them. Sheldon happily complied, drawing up a contract...
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Advanced Connection: Frame Matching

I recently read an interesting research paper, Frame Matching and ∆Ted: a framework for teaching blues and swing partner connection. While I love the concepts they talked about, I think it applies to ballroom dancing as well. Basically, frame matching means developing...
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Beginner Ballroom Balance, Part Two

Now that we’ve covered the basics of staying balanced, we’re ready to start exploring the ‘little details’ that make all the difference in those upper bronze, silver, and gold figures. Ready to dive in? Let’s go! Keep it all together As...
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Theatre Arts Bolero

Beginner Ballroom Balance

‘If you can walk, you can dance.’ True enough, but what is it about walking that means we can dance by doing it? More than anything, it’s about controlling momentum and coordinating our movements to stay upright. It’s about balance. Of course,...
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hustleintensive

The Dangers of ‘Repetitive Dance Action’

So, you’re practicing that move for the upcoming performance - you know, the one you really want to nail down and look effortless. Over and over, you go through the same motions, until a sudden sharp pain brings an early end to...
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How to Make Your Own Dance Patterns, Part 2

A few weeks ago, we discussed how we could rework our tired syllabus steps into something fresh, by breaking them down into their smaller elements and substituting new ones, changing the speed, or repeating them. Now, we are ready to substitute elements from...
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How to Make Your Own Dance Patterns

I remember when the DVIDA syllabus was my whole world. Those fifteen bronze steps were what social dancers did, and as far as I was concerned, everything that deviated from these tightly controlled movements was ‘incorrect.’ Boy, was I ever...
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5 Secrets to Dancing Forever

Remember that 80-year old woman who blew Simon Cowell away on America’s Got Talent? Simon had just hit the red buzzer in disappointment, when suddenly she broke out into incredible lifts, spins, and even splits! She received a standing ovation, and the...
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How You Look vs How You Feel

When she first told me, I wasn’t even surprised. We’d just started our first series of private lessons together, and she explained she was ‘dancing just for me’. I had a hunch there was more to the story however, especially...
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The 4 Levels of Dance Skill

Ah, how our mind plays tricks on us, convincing us we are better - or worse - than we really are. It’s as though our sense of ourselves see-saws from one extreme to another, with little sense of how we...
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The Art of the Perfect Pivot

Pivot turns are notoriously tricky bastards, requiring no small amount of balance and/or cooperation with your partner. The trick is to recognize that pivot turns follow a different set of rules from other turns. But what the heck are pivot turns anyway?...
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Why the Teacher Isn’t Always Right

Okay, here’s the thing: We’re used to seeing our instructor as the authority figure. They’ve gotten all that training, practiced their butts off for years, just so they could etch all that great information into the blank slate that is...
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Low-Impact Dancing 201

Welcome back! You’ve done all the prep work, and are ready to hit the dance floor. Time to dance your hardest and forget about your body, right? Uh uh, bad idea - in fact, this is where the MOST important...
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Low-Impact Dancing 101

Ah, the ignorance of youth. The ability to dance at a moment’s notice, without warming up, without a single stretch, knowing your body will absorb the punishment without complaint, at least for many years. For those of us suffering from...
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The Art of Partnered Pivots

Now that you’re a seasoned pro with solo pivots (wink), it’s time to explore pivots we make while connected with a partner. Although partnered pivots follow many of the same rules as solo pivots, there are a couple crucial differences...
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Seriously, How Long Before I’m ‘Good’ at This?

Not going to lie - I’ve been avoiding writing about this. Not because it isn’t one of the most common questions ever, not because it wouldn’t be a useful thing to know, but because the length of time doesn’t really matter....
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Danial and Jameson

Why We All Have Time to Practice

‘But I’m so busy! How am I supposed to find time to practice my dancing between my work, house chores, and the classes I already take?’ It’s a valid argument, if you think of practicing as something separate from the other things...
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5 Musical Accents You Should Be Hitting

Let’s start with an exercise: What’s your favourite food? Would it still be your favourite if it was all you ate for a year? Of course not - it would get boring! Unfortunately, this is typical of most ballroom dancers:...
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The Mindset of a Successful Dancer, Part Two

Last week, we began exploring the mental landscape of a pro dancer, what keeps them focused and determined enough to overcome daunting obstacles. As you understand the principles they use daily, you can start to take advantage of them to...
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The Mindset of a Successful Dancer

Every day, I see students walk into the dance studio, ready to start or continue with their lessons. Sadly, most of them won’t make it past the beginner level, despite their passionate dreams of becoming something amazing. Why? Because somewhere...
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The 3 Most Important Things Dancing Can Teach You

When you read stories about people who have accomplished great deeds, one thing they all return to is how much they learned from the experience. In dancing, we tend to think of our learning as something that improves our body...
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5 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Film Yourself Dancing

I know, I know - you hate watching yourself dancing. Maybe you suspect you look terrible, and don’t want to demoralize yourself. Perhaps you’re thinking you can confine your dancing to the studio where only your instructor will actually see you. But,...
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The Power of Body Language, Part Two

For part one, click here. Have you ever gotten a ‘feeling’ about someone? Maybe you thought they were attracted to you, or you got a ‘bad vibe’. We get a lot of these intuitions from their subconscious body language. Dancing...
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The Power of Body Language

Dancing is your autobiography in motion. Mikhail Baryshnikov once said ‘dance with me for 5 minutes, and I will tell you who you are.’ No matter the dance, our body language conveys a lot about ourselves. A major part of...
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Little Details VS Big Picture Dancing, Part 2

Welcome back! To recap: We’ve talked about how easy it is to place too much importance in the drills, dance partners, and opinions of your fellow dancers, because in doing so, we forget why we enjoy dancing in the first...
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Little Details VS Big Picture Dancing

We all know that dancing well requires a lot of attention to detail. In fact, many students, especially competitive ones, can get so addicted to detail that it buries them. ‘Dancing’ ceases to be fun, and becomes one frustrating drill after another....
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10 Ways to Scratch that ‘Dance Itch’ Between Classes

Sometimes, that one hour a week dance lesson just isn’t enough. You want to get your dance fix whenever a moment presents itself! Fortunately, there’s plenty to do (especially in the summer) to keep you busy. 1. Check out new...
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Technique VS New Steps: What to Focus on?

You’ve probably heard the saying: ‘Beginner dancers take intermediate classes, intermediate dancers take advanced classes, and advanced dancers take beginner classes.’ Put another way, most of us start our dancing journey with an interest in steps. We like the variety, the...
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7 Reasons to Leave a Dance – BEFORE the Song Ends

For many people, the answer to this question is an automatic ‘no’. After all, you’ve agreed to dance with someone for the duration of a song - that means you have to hang in there no matter what, right? Well,...
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How to Get Your Partner into Ballroom Dancing

Getting a skeptical partner onto the ballroom dance floor can be like taming a squirrel: It will calm down over time, but one wrong move, and it bolts! Likewise, you may love the idea of dancing with your beau, but...
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Are Fears Holding Back Your Dancing?

We all have them. That one exercise you hate doing. That technique you can’t stand working on. It’s a giveaway if just thinking about it makes you want to pull out your hair in anger. But as a wise man...
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Overcoming the ‘Old’ Barrier, Part Two

Last time, we discussed how we might overcome some of the challenges that more senior dancers face. I’ve always believed that the door to dance is open to everyone, though admittedly it can be more open to some than others. I’ll...
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Overcoming the ‘Old’ Barrier when Social Dancing

Dancing, like many physical activities, has long been considered a young person’s sport. Whether you are tuning in to Dancing With The Stars, visiting the local salsa club, or trying your first group class, odds are, if you’re a senior, you’re...
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Dance Practice, and 3 Things it Teaches You About Balance

I had a revelation recently. It happened during my workout session, while I was trying to balance my butt on top of a large resistance ball. It occurred to me, as I struggled not to roll off, that finding that...
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How to Lead without Leading – Part Two

Last time, we went over the importance of body movement, controlled momentum, and good posture in effortless leading. We’ll start today with two more tips, before wrapping up with a game that helps leaders improve their technique immensely. Small is Classy...
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How to Lead without Leading (Or, How to Make it Look Easy)

‘Great dancers make dancing look easy’. Have you ever heard this before? Maybe it’s been a pipe-dream of yours, imagining yourself guiding your partner smoothly across the floor, seemingly without effort. I looked for this magical quality too, and what...
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A 5-Step Guide for Wedding Dancers

‘Let’s see, we’ve got guests to invite, decorators and a DJ to hire, food catering and… What the holy heck do you mean we’ve got to get a dance ready??’ For many brides and grooms-to-be, the wedding dance is slightly...
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5 Ways to Not Fall Down

It can happen anytime: One minute you’re flying across the floor, lost in the music and the momentum, and the next - BAM! Your sprawled in a very un-graceful position on the floor, with a sore tailbone to-boot. We’re so...
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4 MORE Ways Practicing the Basics Help You Master a Dance

We’re back, with 4 more ways you can practice your first steps to dance like a pro! As you work on these techniques and the ones we discussed earlier, it helps to remember that ultimately, learning the steps is the easy part. It might...
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4 Ways Practicing the Basics Help You Master a Dance

There is a saying: ‘Beginners take intermediate classes, intermediate students take advanced classes, and advanced dancers take beginner classes.’ In other words, the more experienced you get, the more you start to appreciate that the steps you know aren’t nearly...
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Ballroom Troubleshooting: Part Three

  Welcome back for our final(?) article in the ballroom troubleshooting series! Most beginner dancers have encountered at least one of the previous challenges. This time however, we’re looking at some issues that dancers with a little more experience might face. 1....
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Ballroom Troubleshooting: Part Two

Continuing our troubleshooting series on ballroom dancing, here’s 5 more common issues that can easily derail you if left unchecked. 1. ‘I get dizzy when I spin.’ The issue: It seems like you can barely keep your feet after a few turns....
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Ballroom Troubleshooting: Part One

We all have it - that one (or more!) area(s) in your dancing that seems to give you trouble time and again. Often when we finally figure out what we need to improve in this area, our dancing takes a...
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Pointing Places: Enya’s Story

Many dancers overcome physical challenges to achieve greatness. But sometimes, the challenge comes from within. After she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at age 6, Enya was forced to give up tap dancing classes, which she took...
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The Shy Dancer’s Guide, Part Four

It’s a long journey anyone takes, when they commit to overcoming their fear of dancing. From understanding that fear cannot be reasoned with, to using exposure therapy to gradually extend one’s comfort zone, to making that ultimate decision: is the work really worth it? But no...
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The Shy Dancer’s Guide, Part Three

Click here for part one or two. Sometimes our fears can get so buried under years of conditioning that we forget they are even there. It’s like a weed with deep roots: You might hack off the stalk, but the root system continues...
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The Shy Dancer’s Guide, Part Two

Missed part one? Click here. A fear is like a wild horse: If you want it to work for you instead of against you, first you must calm it down, until it feels safe giving you the reins. Likewise, your brain...
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The Shy Dancer’s Guide, Part One

Sweaty palms. Racing mind. Shaky legs. And that’s just from thinking about walking over to ask that beautiful girl for a dance. Before you’re halfway across the floor, your mind convinces you to reverse course, turn tail, slink back to the shadows,...
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Dancing Through Hardship: Ana’s Story

Dancing has helped many of us through difficult times in our lives, giving us strength, freedom of expression, and a chance to replenish ourselves mentally and spiritually. For some, it’s even more: a lifeline that keeps us connected and moving...
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beginners-foxtrot-dancing

5 Ways Followers Build Trust With Their Partner

While leader’s can build trust in their partners in a variety of ways, the follower builds trust in one way in particular: by showing their leader they are attentive, and will respond quickly to their leads. Leaders can then relax, knowing...
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5 Ways Leaders Build Trust With Their Partner

When a follower agrees to dance with you, they are trusting you with a lot of control over their body, including where you are going to move them next. The leader’s job is largely to prove themselves worthy of that trust. Less-trusting...
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Learning to Trust Your (Dance) Partner

As the title suggests, learning to trust your dance partner is much the same as trusting your life partner. But unless they are the same person, you probably don’t entrust your safety, or give/accept control of your body over to...
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5 Things Every Dancer Needs to AVOID

Just as we all seek certain qualities that help us improve our dancing, we also try to avoid certain pitfalls that can halt our progress… Or worse, rob us of our love of dance entirely. Here’s the top 5 things...
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12/31/2015

5 Things Every Dancer Needs to Succeed

Have you ever wondered why some people become great dances in their particular style, while others take a few classes and give up? No, it’s not because the great ones were born with any special talent or ability - they...
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Poised to move

Confusing Dance Concepts, Part Two

I believe that every person has a way of understanding, that is slightly different from everyone else. Why else do dance instructors need so many different ways to explain how to move your body? And why else would there be...
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Confusing Dance Concepts, Explained

What is the hardest part part about learning to dance? It’s not remembering the steps, or doing the drills, or connecting with your partner, although those can all make you want to pull your hair out sometimes. If you understand what you have to do however,...
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Overcoming the Blocks in Your Creativity

Creative dancers choreograph intricate dance combinations that seem to magically match the music. By comparison, you may find yourself stuck dancing the basic patterns you learned in class. It may be tempting to dismiss creativity as just another thing you...
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ballroom

Have Fun in Your Dance Lesson – With ANY Partner

Whether it’s your partner-for-life, or your group partner of the moment, sometimes you’re going to figure a step or technique faster than they do. A common reaction for many is to try and ‘make’ them get it faster, by critiquing...
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On Wanting Your Partner to Learn Faster

You’ve figured out the move, or so you think. Now, if only your partner would just ‘get it’ as fast as you… Sound familiar? Every couple I’ve ever taught has one person who naturally picks up what I’m explaining faster...
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The Best Leaders

Sometimes, it seems like the ladies have all the luck. After all, your favourite followers just need to show up to have partners lined up to dance with them, and most of them are more advanced than you. Are you...
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IMG_1857

The Best Followers

Followers at a dance are like first-come first-serve seating at community theatre: the best ones are always snatched up first. After this has happened a few times, some of the less-fortunates might decide they must not be young/attractive/scantily-dressed/etc. enough to...
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Learning to Dance Fearlessly, Part Three

As we discussed in the last article, our belief system originates from past experience, which then appears in our thinking patterns. These thought patterns colour everything that happens to us in life. So, if we have been rejected or made...
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IMG_2013

Learning to Dance Fearlessly, Part Two

Last week, we discovered that the fear that prevents us from dancing confidently - whether it’s with a partner, in front of an audience, or both - stems from the fear-based script that plays throughout our life. Perhaps we feel...
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Learning to Dance Fearlessly

Fear. It rules our lives, keeping us contained within the limits of what we have decided is possible for ourselves. Fear can drive us to be stronger then we ever knew we could be, but it can also suck the...
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Samba motion

Cuban Motion: The Next Level

By now Cuban motion should make a lot more sense to you. You’ve learned the basic exercises you need to create smooth and sexy hip movement. You’ve also learned where we frequently misinterpret what we were taught, and fall into...
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Cuban Motion: Bad Habits Worth Replacing

Last time, I explained some of the fundamental skills we needed to practice and master to give our hips new power to rock and roll with the music. But maybe you tried my suggestions, and something just didn’t feel right....
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The Basics of Cuban Motion (Latin Hip Action)

IMPORTANT: The following article is for those who dance American Ballroom. If you’re looking for International hip motion, maybe this will help. It can get pretty frustrating when you see others using Cuban motion like they were born to do...
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How to Tell a Story Through Dance

‘Before I studied the art, a punch was just a punch, a kick was just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer just a punch, a kick no longer just a kick. Now that I’ve...
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AIM_01

An Exploration of Creative Dancing

Imagine you woke up one morning, and realized you’d forgotten everything you knew about movement. How would you get out of bed? Maybe you’d swing your head over, and follow with your body like a snake? Or perhaps you’d grasp...
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How to be a Creative Dancer

You’ve got the moves, the frame, the connection with your partner. But something’s missing. You want your dancing to express what you hear, what you feel when you move. Your dance needs life. Spontaneous creativity straddles the divide between the...
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Remembering Your Dance Steps, Part 2

So, you’ve figured out your preferred learning style and some strategies to help you remember everything you learned in dance class (if not, click here), but they’re just not working. Don’t despair - every person has a unique method of...
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Remembering Your Dance Steps

Welcome all, and this week, we’re here to talk about… Um, what was it again? Bad puns aside, remembering material from our dance classes is no easy feat for most. ‘My memory is a sieve!’ ‘I can do it fine...
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Ballroom Connections: Two-handed, One-handed, and Promenade

The upper body helps give each dance style much of it’s flavour, especially in American smooth and rhythm. Now that we understand the closed position, here’s three common alternative holds we use. Promenade One thing we didn’t cover in the...
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The Secrets Behind the Ballroom Dance Frame

I recall my first ballroom instructor standing connected with a student, waiting impatiently for him to move. He seemed to want to go somewhere, but didn’t want to knock her over doing it. He was still getting used to what...
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Dancetiquette: How to Work With Any Partner

If what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, then partner dancing will either give you new ways to work with others… Or end with your hands around each other’s necks. Dancing with a partner is an intimate experience, and thinking...
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Ballroom Dancing: An Absolute Beginner’s FAQ (Part Two)

It continues! (For part one, click here.) What is the cost? As a first option, you can just go to a club or dance hall that offers a lesson. The teacher may not be the most experienced in the world,...
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Ballroom Dancing: An Absolute Beginner’s FAQ (Part one)

Something that’s always peeved me: making a decision to learn a new skill from the ground-up, looking up blogs on the subject, and discovering that the outstandingly stupid questions I had were never answered, because the writers all assumed you...
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Dancetiquette: How to Handle a Difficult Partner

Who wants to grab your dance partner by their shoulders and shake them, while screaming everything about them that frustrates you? When we develop pet peeves about our partners, it can result in less productive practice sessions, or even lose...
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7 Ways to Avoid a Dance Floor Collision

Knocked knees, crushed toes, and the occasional bump from a neighbour are inevitable as we get our dance legs under us and learn to navigate the highway of social dancing. The following pro tips will help you spend less time...
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Surviving Your First Group Dance Class

Like private lessons, group dance classes can be scary for first-time dancers. Thoughts of ‘making a fool of myself’, can keep many of us from ever taking the plunge. But, whether it’s scaling a mountain or attending a salsa class,...
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Surviving Your First Private Lesson

Great, you’ve chosen your dance studio! (If you haven’t, click here) Now the fear grips you as you realize what you’ve done. Learn to dance at a studio, surrounded by total strangers? Whatever where you thinking?? Fear not, the following...
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The 7 Traits of an Ideal Dance Studio

So, you want to learn to dance. Congratulations! Dancing is an exciting adventure, both fun and good for mental and physical health. To get the most from your dancing experience, it’s wise to make sure you pick a studio that...
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5 Arm Styling Exercises for the Ballroom Dancer

Learning about arm styling, much like reading about archery, doesn’t do you much good unless you actually get off your butt and start applying what you’ve learned. We can now move on to the exercises that will actually build great...
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Adding Embellishments: The Basics of Arm Styling

After everything you’ve learned, from connecting with your partner to keeping time with the music, (and breathing through all that too!) now you have to add arm styling? It’s enough to make some of us throw up our hands and...
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Cross-Training: What Different Activities Bring to Your Dancing

Last time, we looked at how we can improve our dancing by cross-training with other activities we love. But surely, you can’t just run off to play some soccer and expect it to improve your port de bras? Of course...
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Cross-training, and 4 Ways it Helps Your Dancing

Ever heard about what happens to workers in meat-packing factories? They complain of tendonitis, joint pains, pulled muscles… All due to the compounded strain of having to perform the same repetitive action, over and over. While dancing in any genre...
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3 Steps to Removing the Blocks in Your Dance Technique

Who can build the best car, an auto mechanic, or an unskilled labourer? They both can build an equally good one, IF the unskilled labourer is willing to put in extra time and materials. Learning how to improve your dancing...
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A Guide for Successful Dance Practice Habits

So, you’re frustrated with your dancing. You want to improve. But every time you try to practice, you feel paralyzed. What should you practice first? How do you know you aren’t practicing bad habits instead of good ones? Should you...
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hustleintensive

How to Ballroom Dance Efficiently

Pop quiz: who dances the most challenging steps? Answer: the beginners! The more advanced dancers have learned how to dance in the easiest way possible, with minimal effort. Of course, they had to spend a great deal of time honing...
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5 Exercises that Build a Dancer’s Endurance

As we’ve learned, there are plenty of changes we can make to our eating and sleeping habits in order to maximize the energy we can pump out during a social or performance. Like any skill however, our muscles can also...
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Why Even Dancers Need Rest

I recently heard that business people benefit from ‘free days’, a 24 hour period in which they not do or think anything about their business. After trying this myself, I confess I felt rejuvenated, more focused mentally, and ready to...
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Building a Dancer’s Diet: What and When to Eat

In our previous article, we looked at an overview of your diet, rest, exercise, and your efficiency in dancing itself, as ways to ward off fatigue on the dance floor. Now let’s look at how we can start using them...
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The Key to Dancing Better, for Longer

You can be in tremendous physical shape, be flexible as Gumby, yet still get exhausted after a few dances. Our muscles start failing us, and we can’t think clearly or stay focused on our partner. The secret lies in improving...
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Your First Dance Social: Surviving the Dance Floor

Previously, we took a compassionate look at how to overcome your fears of social dancing by easing your way into the social scene gradually. We also talked about how experienced dancers act once inside and looking for potential partners. Now...
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Ballroom Turns, and How to do Them Properly, Part 2

Last time, we looked at three common ballroom turns we encounter at the local dance hall or Latin club. We also learned valuable exercises to help each turn become less nerve-wracking, and a lot more fun. Now, let’s move on...
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Nervous social

Ballroom Turns, and How to do Them Properly, Part 1

Ballroom turns are are both one of the biggest and most challenging parts of every dance - nothing kills the buzz of a flowing dance like clutching your partner frantically because you didn’t prepare for that promenade pivot. Fortunately, we...
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Your First Dance Social: Do’s and Don’ts

So, you’ve worked up the courage to actually make it through the club doors (if you haven’t yet, click here), and are now faced with loud noise, crowded tables, and whirling bodies. How to make sense of this madness? Well,...
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Your First Dance Social: Welcome to the Jungle

For many of us, dance socials, whether at clubs, dance halls, or your local studio, are fun events that you look forward to eagerly, visit regularly and know you’ll have ready partners calling your name when you step through the...
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Finding that Dance Partner Connection

So, how often do you get out on the ballroom dance floor these days? Would you like to learn how to have more fun when you go? For most of us, whether we are guiding the action, or responding to...
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So, What is this Ballroom Stuff Anyway? – Part 2

In part 1 of ‘What IS This Dance Anyway??’, we covered how to distinguish 5 major dance music styles from each other . Today we’ll look at 5 more common Latin and ballroom dances: Foxtrot, samba, merengue, Viennese waltz, and...
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So, What is this Ballroom Stuff Anyway? – Part 1

If you’ve never done ballroom before, it may seem a very strange world. If you are a dancer (non-ballroom), you might tend to treat it as choreography” with a “what’s the big deal anyway” thoughts running through your mind. If...
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January Tip for Dancers

The philosophy of push through the pain is one we are all familiar with. The thing is that it can aggravate injury. Your body is your tool for dance and keeping it in good working order is an imperative. That...
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Nine Reasons a Guy Should Learn to Dance

Most guys really don’t like to dance. The question of why has been on our minds for a long time. I mean seriously, we get it so why don’t they? Here is what it comes down to: guys are uncomfortable...
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lyricalteens

Tips for Improving your Contemporary Dancing

Contemporary Dance is one of the most popular forms of dance and continues to be one of the dominating performance genres globally. With hit shows like So You Think You Can Dance, its popularity continues to mount as choreographers and...
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Halloween 2013 at Joy of Dance

Never let it be said that Joy of Dance doesn’t like Halloween. We love it!
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On the Ball Dance Tips

Practice your technique so that it becomes body memory. One of the things that may help is to break a particular piece of technique down into small parts. Maybe it’s footwork; maybe it’s the rise and fall of a particular...
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Going Beyond Technique: How to Become a Great Storyteller Through Dance

Dancing is something you do because you love it and that really is the truth. It’s a passion that has to be followed somehow, somewhere and as often as possible. If you decide to become professional, the passion never leaves...
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Ah… The Benefits of Taking Private Dance Lessons

There are many ways of learning to dance no matter what age you are. You can take a group class like ballet, ballroom or hip hop, or learn it from a video on YouTube (not ideal) or, you can take...
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Divine Decadance 2013 Performances

There were outstanding performances at Joy of Dance Divine Decadance.
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Divine Decadance 2013

Decadance celebrated the 1920′s on Sept 28th at Joy of Dance. it was a wonderful night with good music, food, drink and friends. A good time was had by all.
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What are the Different Styles of Ballroom Dance?

International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, American Rhythm, American Nightclub For those considering beginning Adult Ballroom Dance classes, the landscape can be confusing. We often get asked not only what the difference is between American or International Ballroom Dance but...
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Making a Living as a Ballroom Dance Teacher

You’ve heard it many times; you can’t make a legitimate living in dance let alone teaching dance. In fact, many if not most dancers who are performing or competing supplement their income by teaching dance. The unfortunate truth is that...
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college_dance-teacher

What Makes a Great Dance Teacher?

There are a lot of opinions and blogs out there on what determines a good or great dance teacher. In doing my research for this blog, I can safely say that most agree on the following: • Having a great...
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How to Create the Perfect First Wedding Dance

Your First Dance As A Couple You’ve made it through the ceremony, the picture taking and the receiving line. You are now officially a married couple and one of the main attractions at your reception is your first dance. This...
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Six Reasons to Send Your Kids & Teens to Summer Dance Camp

Welcome to June 2013. Summer is almost upon us and the question of what to do with the kids is on the minds of many parents. Summer Camp is the solution for many parents out there. So, the search begins...
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Bringing Baby to your Adult Ballroom Dance Class

AND BABY MAKES THREE For those of you who have very small or young, not quite walking babies, we know that you are busy, tired, and often have little time to yourselves. Date night? What’s that? Well even if you...
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annieandsteven

The Art of Great Dance Partnering

HOW YOU PARTNER DEPENDS ON DANCE GENRE There are all kinds of partnering in the dance word professionally or in adult dance classes. How partnering gets executed depends on the type of dance. In ballet or modern, it is often...
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Staying on the Ball

Benefits of Ballroom Dancing Did you know that ballroom dancing (this includes Latin), has benefits that help with decision-making, memory, physical strength and more? There is a well know study on the benefits of physical activity published by the New...
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Stolen Moments In-Between Dance Classes

WHEN YOU CAN’T MAKE DANCE CLASSES Stretch and Get Through Anything Whether you are a professional dancer or take adult dance classes as a hobby, finding the time in our hectic days to practice, tone, stretch, or strengthen can be...
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OMG! Dance Performance Anxiety

8 TIPS TO MANAGE THE PANIC Anyone who has had to dance in front of an audience understands that it goes beyond steps. It is about performance and that can be a scary place. Never fear. We are here to...
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Danial and Jameson

Toronto’s ‘Joy of Dance’ Host Celebrity Dance Champions Daniel McGee And Jameson Kilburn

West Coast Swing and Hustle Champions Teach Torontonians To Move Daniel McGee and Jameson Kilburn are still hot off two recent wins at The International Hustle and Salsa Competition in Miami, Florida, North America’s capital of Latin dance. The longtime...
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URBANESQUE AT MOD CLUB

URBANESQUE’S POWERFUL PERFORMANCE OF DANCE EXPLODES AT VIRGIN MOBILE’S MOD CLUB IN TORONTO . URBANESQUE’S striking and evocative performance debuts at Virgin Mobile’s Mod Club in Toronto this coming Valentine’s Day weekend. This unique production, inspired by Urban Dance, Musical...
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Selecting a Dance Studio

You’ve decided to put little Johnnie or Emily in dance classes plus you’ve decided that you are going to start classes as well. Now you are on the hunt for which dance studio to choose. If you are familiar with...
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Salsa Dancing New York Style

Joy of Dance had the honor of hosting a New York Salsa workshop featuring an Ahtoy Won-Pat Borja and Bernard Baffoe from BAILA Society in New York. Gulsaya Tuleubayeva also of BAILA Society was responsible for bringing them to Joy...
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On the Ball: Dancing Through December

On The Ball Welcome to the first Blog for Joy of Dance. For this first On the Ball blog, we debated whether to write about specifics. You know; a piece on Latin Dance, or perhaps Jazz- maybe even Ballet classes...
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Email social@joyofdance.ca if you are interested in contributing to our DanceTalk blog.

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