Teaching the Unteachable: If You Can Imagine It, You Can Achieve It

I understand how you feel. With some students, you feel like you are endlessly adding fuel to a dying fire. You correct feet, arms etc to discover that they un-correct the moment you let go. It is like working in a factory on an item that will not sell. Our task is to sculpt bodies, but some bodies will never execute the correct technique. These students are not lazy. Most have an outstanding work ethic. They always show up, ready to dance and take whatever is before them with great attitudes. But life in general often dishes out great injustices. These people are endowed with few physical or often mental assets to help them with the demands of dance. Their bodies forbid them to advancing, some more than others, let alone have a dancing career.

We as instructors painstakingly aim for strong legs, a 3/4 releve beautiful arms and supple bodies. Luckily we gain strength, stamina and some style. For dance it takes three main attributes- talent, passion and the ability to implement corrections. Some people only come with passion or drive. You can correct the technical problem but there is no improvement. you cannot beautify their line. It is so unfair you want to cry. You wonder if what you are doing has any merit what so ever.You wonder what you are doing wrong.

You need to keep a mental list of the positives that come out of a quality dance education even if it does not produce a dancer.It will instill poise and fitness for life and a cultural education.It teaches alignment, body awareness and a way of presenting oneself in any situation. Helps to develop an appreciative audience. Gives physical and mental exercise that prevents senility, and aids in the formation of new connections to the brain made even stronger with the added use of music.

With all this in mind, remember all students, even those with little aptitude benefit from taking class. This type of thinking will give you the strength to continue doing, what you do so well, week after week and class after class.

This idea came to me after discussing with another teacher of mine about her choreography and observing classes and teaching every week. With keeping the positive thoughts that benefit any student of dance, do not give up. Teaching is a hard career to choose. Constantly remind yourself that not everyone has the passion for dance, the ability in body mind or spirit. r the talent. The benefits are great!

Art/Dance Academy Complex in San Diego North County is home to Tales1001
Check out our web site = http://www.tales1001.com/
E-Mail =Tales1001@sbcglobal.net

Original article

What Do Kids Need When Taking Dance Classes?

If you're interested in signing up your children for dance classes, one of the first questions parents ask is 'What will my child need?' Most studios have rules on the type of clothing and shoes that need be to worn during the class, but parents aren't sure why these special items are necessary. Before signing your child up for dance lessons, learn what they will need to participate and, more importantly, why they're necessary.


A leotard and tights are some of the most common clothing items worn during lessons. Some studios even require that students all wear the same type of uniform such as black leotards and pink or white tights. But why is this important?

Leotards fit closely to the body because this way an instructor can easily see the dancer's movements. The instructor will be able to easily see if a student needs further instruction or practice when going through the steps. Additionally, having everyone wear the same clothing means that instructors can tell with just a glance whether someone is dancing off beat or needs more help staying in tune with the music.


The type of shoes required depends on the type of lessons. A ballet class, for instance, will require special ballet slippers, while a tap class will require tap shoes. As dancers become more skilled at different types of dances, different shoes may be required. An advanced ballet class will likely require toe shoes, while an advanced tap class might require tap shoes with a small heel over flats. Before purchasing footwear for a ballet class, ask the teacher if he or she prefers pink or black. Typically teachers will want each student in the same color.


If your child's hair is longer, she may be asked to pull it back during classes. Teachers often request that the hair be pulled back in a bun, though a ponytail might be sufficient. This is because hair that is kept off the face allows the teacher to better see the lines of the neck and back.


Most dance classes celebrate the end of the year with a recital for parents, grandparents and other loved ones. Students often work for the entire year on their recital routines and this typically means that they'll have a themed costume for each routine. These costumes can include sequins, tutus, headpieces and more. The cost of these recital costumes is usually above and beyond the cost of dance lessons and can cost anywhere from $50 all the way up to $300. If the cost of a recital costume is a concern, make sure to ask before you sign up for classes.

Extra-curricular activities such as a ballet class can be a fun way to keep children active and off the couch. Before you sign up, however, know what is expected of you as a parent. Check to see if your child will need anything special like clothing or shoes so there aren't any surprises when you arrive at the studio for your first lesson.

A Step Above Dance Academy offers dance classes in Batavia, IL. The school offers a number of different dance lessons in Batavia for students of all ages. If you're interested in learning more about a ballet class in Batavia or want to view a class schedule, visit their site.

Original article

Choosing the Right Latin Dance Instructor

There have been concerns from beginners not feeling comfortable about the honesty of some instructors. There are smaller communities with fewer Latin dance Instructors to choose from, and then there are the larger communities which are saturated with instructors. So how does a beginner dancer know which dance instructor is being honest, and which dance instructor is 'trying to make the studio rent for the month'? As with many personal endeavors, there is only so much research that can be done. After that, one has to give it 'face time' to get the real feel whether the dance instructor chosen will be best suited for your dancing experience. Maximize your personal investment to experience all that comes with Latin dancing. Is the instructor honestly pulling out your full potential? Is the instructor right for your style and demeanor?

Checking Instructor Credentials: Most dance instructors will have a website with short instructional videos of dance styles provided in their dance school or academy. Review the videos and make sure you can feel a connection with that particular dance instructor's style of teaching the dance.

Beware of Recommendations: Of course friends will have recommendations, and being in a dance class with someone you know makes the beginner or intermediate experience less stressful. However, you will need to be the judge and decide if that style of dance instructor will be best for you. Similar to choosing your dance footwear, just because a friend recommends a certain style of dance shoes, doesn't mean that style will fit you. And of course, should a dance instructor not be a fit for you, use cordial etiquette with a smile, and give your thanks but no thanks, as you continue your search for the instructor that fits your needs.

Beware of Sales Pitches: In selecting a dance school or instructor, be realistic in fulfilling your dancing needs. Paying a higher price for lessons does not always guarantee quality instruction. Do the dance classes move too fast and the instructor seems to be watching the clock too often? Does it seem to be too much, or not enough instruction for one lesson? When you ask a question is it honestly answered to your satisfaction? Granted there are other students, but if you are paying and the cost is high, you should feel every right to get a full answer, and not be rushed on to the next phase of the lesson.

Consider Group before Private Lessons: When a personal decision is made to get involved in social dancing, most would think about taking private lessons. As with everything, there are pros and cons to this decision. Private lessons are best when comfort is found in connecting with an instructor that honestly understands your level and how to grow your dancing experience. A rush to private dance lessons can sometimes go to waste because you are missing out on the social aspect of dancing. Once the private lessons are done, there may still be a level of insecurity or lack of confidence to experience what you've learned when at a real dancing event without your instructor as a partner. For this reason, getting involved in group lessons is recommended first for beginners. Dancers are always meeting up at clubs and dance events, so it's no mystery that group lessons are the way to go.

Although this is not the bible on how to choose the right dance instructor, it is a brief guideline on where to start. The thought process for choosing any Latin dance Instructor is just like choosing your dance footwear. Is it a style you like? Are you comfortable and confident? Is it a great value? Social dancing is super fun, and just as in life, using your common sense feelings in addressing your comfort level can be applied to the same process in choosing dance lessons or a dance instructor, just as if you are choosing your first dance shoes. Keep dancing, and keep smiling!

Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been a Latin music entertainer for over 30 years. He is known in the Midwest Salsa and Latin Jazz scene as "The Pioneer" - "El Pionero" since the mid 80's. From the mid 70's he worked alongside Orchestra Charambo and backed up various vocalists from the Fania All Stars. Other artists include such legends as Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente and many more.

Motivated by his fans with questions about dancing and what shoes to wear or not to wear, he has opened an online store which specializes in comfort fitting dance shoes with style. Visit Classy Dance Footwear today to find your desired dance shoes.

Original article

The Reason Why We Need Ballet: Video Games

As a ballet teacher both my wife and I have noticed a sharp drop off in the basic level of physical ability among our students and in particular among the 10 year old and younger segment. What we have come to realize is that in the rush of daily life a great many parents are both attempting to limit the use of babysitters or daycare if they can (no doubt a good thing) but in order to keep their children occupied the use of today's electronic devices from iPads to PS3 to Wii and so on have become extensively used. The outcome of this is a lot of sedentary behavior by children right at the age when they need to be spending a lot of time developing their general physical coordination and abilities. Ballet lessons are an excellent way to counteract this because children are four-dimensional beings whereas video games and electronic devices are all at best two-dimensional things.

What I mean by that is children exist in three dimensional space and have a complex body designed to deal with a three dimensional universe. There is no owner's manual or quick start guide or Google-available cheat sheet of any kind to tell them how their body works. Add in to this the fourth dimension of time passing by and it quickly becomes apparent that it takes a bit of focus time to really learn how to deal with both the universe we live in and how the body moves through that universe. In the absence of being able to spend hours outside roaming around the farm or even playing outside in the neighborhood due to safety concerns, many children have definitely lost a lot of ground over their predecessors due to a lack of just general physical play time and activity. The average farm boy or farm girl "back in the day" spent much more time doing all types of physically complicated things whether doing work or occupying their time in a world without electronic immersion.

Video games and electronic immersion in general is at best a two-dimensional thing - all electronic images are totally flat and are really only a combination of pixels on a screen being lit, there is no real object there. Video games do take place with time so that adds a second dimension to them but even then, many games have slow down or speed up features altering the speed of time within the game which in my mind renders video game play completely useless to the development of a child outside of thumb/finger coordination. But there is far more to the body than the hands, far far more. The number of 6-10 year olds who are seriously challenged at skipping or skip traveling backwards, for example, is at least twice as high today as it was in the 1990's. To say nothing of the lack of imagination of children nowadays due to a high level of electronic immersion stunting the need to have a vivid imagination for the sake of creative play.

Ballet is a supremely four-dimensional activity. The Ballet student is on a quest to master three dimensional space with their body but added to this is the extra challenge of doing that on a tempo set to the time scale of the music the ballet is being done to, and over which you cannot have any control like you can on a video game. You simply must be able to control your body well enough in three dimensional space that you can accomplish the movements based on a time dimension. This is far, far more challenging and therefore far, far more beneficial than any video game or electronic device will ever be for childhood development. And, this is exactly what makes Ballet an absolute necessity in the 21st century world of iPads, PlayStation, smartphones and nearly 100% electronic immersion of children. The human body will not condition itself, it will not acquire stamina or flexibility or power nor will it maintain any of those once gotten without regular use in the real world under real conditions. With the heavy emphasis of creativity and imagination that also goes into it, Ballet is a perfect antidote for the highly interconnected sedation most children now live in.

Matthew Reinschmidt
Ballet Master,
Ballet North Inc
On the web: http://www.balletnorth.com/

Original article

Salsa Dance: Find That Latin Beat Everywhere

Now that you have the confidence and know the core principles and fundamentals of Salsa dance, don't restrict that knowledge to just the Salsa dance scene. Share that soul warming experience you have with the power of Latin dance and the fun of dancing everywhere you go. Variety is the spice of life, and with the addition of Latin dance to your repertoire of dance skills, show off your awesome glow and confidence. Anytime you hear any style of music that taps into that Latin soul inside of you, get up and dance it! Don't hold it back!

No matter what level you are at in your Latin dance skill, there are two points to recognize. One is the visual outer presentation of your ability. Second, and more important, is the personal and powerful inner passion that comes with Latin dance. There is no doubt that even though your skill level may be basic, it's that inner passion that raises any dancer's aptitude. Your inner passion is the fuel that takes you to that 'moment of Zen' when it seems that time stands still, and also puts that shine on your outer visual self. Everyone will want to share in your inner passion and glow no matter what your skill level.

As the saying goes, we only live once, and you should not pass up the opportunity to take that happy dance soul and apply the full liberating advantage at any given moment. DO IT! Dance to any live music show anywhere when the moment arises. You will be part of creating positive energy in every room and convert your personal soulful dance moment into everyone's personal moment. You will create a super 'domino effect' by one simple action in sharing your knowledge of the core principles and fundamentals of Latin dance. It's automatic that you will get a satisfied feeling knowing that you took advantage of that instance, that moment in time, that your 'Latin Dance Soul' called out and gifted you.

With Latin Jazz you will hear 'The Clave' and a percussion rhythm that, although it may not have vocals and the hot brass of Salsa, is very much danceable! So apply your skills to any and all music events you visit, not just Salsa events! Anyone who makes the initial commitment to Latin dance realizes at one point that it becomes a part of your being, part of your soul and has a positive impact in lifting self-esteem and confidence to shine in any room you enter. So don't fight your feeling, dance to that Latin Jazz beat that's calling out to you. You already have the confidence and excitement inside your soul that you want to be the first on any dance floor, and you know you are not alone.

It's very helpful being comfortable with your level of dance abilities and not to worry that you are not 'Dancing with the Stars' quality. However, if you watch the show, you see that they're not so great themselves. So get out there and dance whenever you hear that Latin beat and spread that inner glow. Keep Smiling...Keep Dancing!

Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been a Latin music entertainer for over 30 years. He is known in the Midwest Salsa and Latin Jazz scene as "The Pioneer" - "El Pionero" since the mid 80's. From the mid 70's he worked alongside Orchestra Charambo and backed up various vocalists from the Fania All Stars. Other artists include such legends as Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Tito Puente and many more.

Motivated by his fans with questions about dancing and what shoes to wear or not to wear, he has opened an online store which specializes in comfort fitting dance shoes with style. Visit Classy Dance Footwear today to find your desired dance shoes.

Original article

Ballet Workouts on DVD

When considering taking up ballet as a form of exercise, sometimes taking classes is not an option. Perhaps no adult ballet classes are offered in the area where you live, or your schedule simply cannot commit to specified class times. Whatever the reason, there is still the option of using ballet as a workout in the comfort of your own home by means of ballet workout DVDs.

The aim of such DVDs is not to train you in ballet technique, rather, to use certain features of ballet and dance in general to provide a fun, yet physically beneficial product. Most of such products on the market are affiliated with dance companies or choreographers, who tailor these workouts specifically for people with no technical training. Moreover, most feature established professional dancers demonstrating the exercises.

My personal favorite of such products are the New York City Ballet Workout DVD's. Although an established and world renowned ballet company produces these videos, the workouts are easy to follow, even for people with no background in dance, without being over-simplified, as some other DVDs tend to do. That way, the practitioner is busy thinking on the sequence and form of the steps, and not on the fact that they are actually exercising. This is a good form of distraction for those who dislike the repetivity of gym exercise, as you do not focus on what you feel, because your mind is too busy thinking on what your body should be doing in the first place.

There are two existing DVD's produced by New York City Ballet, Workout 1 and 2. Workout 1 introduces several ballet exercises, 17 to be exact. These exercises range from warm-up exercises, to footwork, abdominal exercises, and stretches. although there are no Barre exercises, as is usual in Ballet classes, this is made up for in their floor barre exercises, which is essentially doing barre work on the floor. It is arguable that floor barre achieves better muscular results that regular barre work as one is working more against the weight of their own body than when standing up.

The second Workout DVD is similar to the first in structure, but a little more faced paced than the first. It contains new exercises and combinations, as well as a glossary of ballet terminology. It is recommended to start with the first DVD, and move unto the second after you feel confident enough with the first DVD. You could then possibly alternate between the two choosing what pace would be most suitable for that particular day.

Both products are professional, user friendly, and the DVD's are easy to navigate. Good music accompanies both DVDs, which is a lovely change from the generic music that some dance workout DVDs use.

Weather you choose to join a Ballet class or workout at home, a workout DVD is always a good product to have at hand, perhaps for the days when you cannot make it to class or as additional training.

Valentina, dancer, fitness enthusiast and long term ballet practitioner. I believe that dance is an art form that can be enjoyed by anyone, and therefore encourage people to practice dance for different reasons.

Original article

Why Send Your Children to Ballet Dance Class?

Why would parents send their young kids of 3 years old or 4 years old to ballet dance class. It doesn't need us to tell you that it is normally the parents that want their children to learn ballet, rather than the children like to dance. In this article, we tell you why we send children to learn ballet when they are young.

Ballet helps to foster child discipline. During the class, the ballet teacher will guide each and every children the proper dance steps and dance moves. So children will required to follow the teacher guidance to learn to dance properly. They follow instruction so that they have the proper dance step and posture. This ensure discipline inside the children.

Ballet class is also a platform to learn on group dynamics and provide plenty of opportunity for social interaction. A typical class of ballet lesson consists of 4-12 children. During the class, there will be interaction within children. They make friends and started showing each other the right dance move, or even tell the other kids what was wrong with their moves. Thus for home school children, this is a place where your children will get to know friends of their age. Often they are ballet performance from the class too. Children learning ballet together will be asked to performed in the group, thus they will be required to sync up and foster "team work" within them since young.

Even if professional ballet dancer is not what you envision your child to be, ballet students will learn and practice good body posture and learn to take care of their body fitness. Children who learn ballet since young will practice good body posture. It is the key element when performing ballet. They have to stand straight up. You don's see ballerina with hunch back. Ballerina is also required to watch out their body fitness. Ballet is just like exercise, children who likes to stay at home and play computer game at least can be send to a ballet class once or twice a week to get some stretching and exercise while having fun with other kids.

Often, children that learn ballet have self-confidence as they will need to perform in front of audience. Dancing in public does required a lot of confidence. For shy kids, they can start by performing in public with a group of young kids. Doing so for a few rounds will definitely boot up their confident and in no time, you will be surprise that this shy kid may actually perform solo!

Last but not the least, ballet is the root of all dances! Master ballet when they are young, and they can pick up any other dance easily in future. Regardless whether it is a jazz, modern or ballroom, once children learn ballet, they can master any of the dance easily.

Original article

Achieve Health Through Dance And Have Fun With Ceroc Dancing

Have you ever heard of Ceroc? Well if you have the success and popularity has obviously reached your senses! Ceroc it has to be said has over the last few years achieved remarkable success and the dance style has franchises all over the world from the United States to the UK to Australia. Dance sure has been championed by Ceroc and Ceroc has become very popular in the UK and is found in every major town throughout the land.

So what is Ceroc dancing exactly I hear you say? Well Ceroc is best described as blend of various dance styles, specifically Salsa, Jive, Ballroom and Rock & Roll but unlike Salsa and other Latin dance styles does not contain the complex footwork which means it is easier to focus on the rest of your body. Ceroc is also sometimes dubbed "Modern Jive" due to its mixing of Jive tempos in conjunction with other Latin based tempos and movements.

Ceroc was first seen as a dance format in London around 1980 and is attributed to the work of James Cronin who held the first Ceroc event in the Porchester Hall in London in 1980. It must be said that the roots of what was to become Ceroc are found in post WW2 France, while the modern form of Ceroc lies more within the 1980's. By the late 1980's and early 1990's Cronin and a Sylvia Colmen had set up Ceroc Enterprises and Ceroc was then made a trademark. By 1994 Ceroc teachers were starting to be taught and subsequently licenced and by about 1994 "Taxi Dancers" were introduced into events to assist beginner dancers. In 2004 Ceroc Enterprises were running over 100 different venues and in 2006 started to run "weekender" events. So you will not be surprised to hear that Ceroc Enterprises has franchises in France, Italy, Canada, USA, Ireland and Hong Kong, there are also related Ceroc organisations in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Dubai.

Anyway that is the brief history lesson, Ceroc is one of the newer dance forms like Zumba and akin to Zumba has spread dramatically in a short space of time and has become a very popular way to dance, achieve fitness, have fun and meet new people.

So heh I guess you're wondering what this Ceroc dance is all about! You have had the brief history and an the introduction and if your still reading (of course you are) you must be wondering how this Ceroc dance stuff works right. Just so you know I personally do Ceroc myself from time to time so have some direct experience. Ceroc is as mentioned earlier a blend of Salsa, Jive, swing and even some would say dirty dancing and like many Latin based dance styles is a male lead dance which can be danced to music as wide ranging as 50's swing, 80's pop, Blues, to modern pop music. The tempo can vary considerably to be honest speaking from experience; you can be dancing to some slow 80's love ballad, then dancing to some funky salsa tune and within the next song be dancing to Lady Gaga! For those of you who have tried Salsa then you will know that within Salsa footwork is seen as a core component of the dance style. Footwork takes a backseat in Ceroc and unlike Salsa footwork is simpler and not as ridged. That said Ceroc has footwork and steps like any other Latin based dance style, the footwork is based on an in-and-out style with either foot stepping back and the weight being transferred onto that foot before either the same foot returning to the original stance or the other foot moving to complete a move.

You can be forgiven for feeling that due to Ceroc being a partner dance that you need to bring along a partner or friend, well rest assured this is not the case as you can simply turn up! A regular Ceroc night works by people rotating along during lessons so everyone gets the chance to dance and during freestyles the floor is yours, freestyles work by either asking other people to dance or being asked to dance yourself. Ceroc is a very social and fun dance and is a great way to meet new people and achieve dance fitness at the same time, believe me it will get you in shape and also keep your joints in tip-top condition.

How easy is it to learn and pick-up Ceroc dancing I hear you cry! Well that depends on you, having other dance experience can help but it is not a requirement as when you start Ceroc you can learn at your own pace and begin with beginner moves before you learn the more harder moves. I would say that the moves generally have similarities with other Latin based dances notably Salsa and Jive and vary from being one handed to double handed moves. What is great about taking part in Ceroc as a beginner is that you are given a special extra helping hand in the form of "Taxi Dancers". Taxi Dancers are instructors that specifically teach new dancers and teach them in smaller groups away from more experienced dancers and are able to offer advice and guidance in a more relaxed setting. Taxi Dancers during freestyle segments on regular dance nights also are solely available for new dancers so if you're a newbie seek them out, if you don't they will find you so do not be shy and go for it!

I would say that getting fit and improving your dance abilities is a real distinct possibility with Ceroc as the moves can be learnt by anyone as Ceroc is highly accessible as a dance form and its popularity and success is evidence of this!

So what are you waiting for give Ceroc a go, you will not regret it trust me!

I am speaking from experience here too! I have every confidence that you will enjoy yourself and achieve dance success.

I am the website manager of healththroughdance.com I have set this site up due to my passion and interest in dance and its many physical and social benefits. I dance the Salsa and Ceroc personally and am keen to share my experiences and promote dance where I can as it has changed my life and most certainly for the better! For information on Zumba, Salsa, general dance, modern Jive look no further!


Original article

Salsa Dancing - The Beat of International Dance

Salsa dancing is popular all over the US, Europe, South America, Latin America and even parts of the Middle East. Salsa dancing originated from the Cuban Son and the Afro-Cuban dance of the 1920's - 1940's. The dance can be performed with a partner or line a line dance form or a circle. Salsa dancing has taken its own style in different areas. There is NY Style, LA Style, Cuban Style, Puerto Rican Style and several other styles. We are going to focus on NY Style.

NY Style Salsa Dancing is danced in a line. Nightclub Salsa is one of the most popular styles in New York City. It accents the second and sixth beat of the music. It was "invented" by Eddie Torres, the Mambo King. The NY Style Salsa dance is more elegant than the LA style. The NY Style is also referred to as Mambo Style or On2.

NY Salsa dance parties are quite popular. Women love to dress to impress, and often have custom made salsa outfits. Clothes can be bought on line or in stores. The outfit has to be comfortable to dance in and look great as well. Shoes can be open toe, closed toe, Cuban thick heels, boots, or platform shoes. Part of the elegance of the dance is the right shoes to go with the right outfit.

Men love to dress up too! Ladies and audiences love a well dress leading man. Men's salsa shirts have attached trunks with snaps at the crotch. Pants are high waist with no belt. This combination makes clothing comfortable with no worries of a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor. Men's dance shoes have a 1 1½" heel. Shoes can be leather or sneakers.

There are several Salsa Dance Clubs in New York City. It is best to take lessons if you have never danced before. Classes vary from Beginner to Advanced. Beginner classes teach basic steps from the beginning, breaking down each step. Advanced beginner starts to put these basics together into a basic dance. Next is intermediate partnerwork. This is where a couple will start to master their turn patterns, execute multiple spins and style their movements. Finally, the dancers will be taught "Shines" which are solo steps where the dancer gets to showcase their moves and style to the audience.

Once you feel comfortable with your lessons and clothing, it's time to step out into the limelight. There are salsa socials, dance clubs, night clubs in every part of New York City. New York is a huge city, so it won't be hard to find a place to dance. There are clubs in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx and of course Manhattan. You can go to a small, intimate club to one of the huge dance clubs with multi levels, depending on your personal preference and your companions. There are some reasonably priced clubs in Manhattan, but many have a cover charge, pricey drinks and expensive food. But, that's what Manhattan is about, it is the greatest city in the world!

Salsa dancing is a great way to get in shape by using all of your muscles. So put on your new dancing clothes and shoes, put on your makeup, grab your partner and go have yourself a great time.

For more information about salsa dancing and to learn about the various methods and classes visit http://www.newyorkcitysalsadancing.com/

Original article

Getting Ready For Pole Dance Performance: The Psychology Of A Dancer

If you are pole dancing you probably know, that learning to do all the tricks is one thing, but giving a performance absolutely another. To put on a truly amazing performance as a pole dancer, you must start with the most important part of the dance - the mind-set. When you have the correct psyche, you will look hot, even if you are wearing sweatpants! You must become someone else, and you can do several things to help you create your new, sexy, alter ego. That's the focus of this article - getting your mind ready to dance. Let's go!

Chances are you wouldn't recognize a pole dancer at the bank or post office or even when she is dropping her child off at school. There is a reason for that: pole dancers are not themselves when they are on stage; they are a fantasy. They become someone else, and for most dancers, that's the only way they can get up there and do it. All pole dancers have split personality. As soon as we get into our costumes and on that stage, we become the other person.

Pole dancing is all acting, and when you act, you become another person. To help yourself psychologically with this "transformation" you need a stage name to make your personality change tangible. When you have that name, you have taken the first step in becoming someone else. You have a name, and thus another complete personality.

You can choose an adjective that may reflect a small part of yourself, such as Spicy, Vixen, or Foxy. Standard stripper names are also always a good choice, because when you hear names like Bunny, Bambi, Candi, Coco, or Amber, you automatically think of someone hot.

Eve just a normal name you find pretty, like Brittney, Tiffany, Juliana, Veronica, or holly can work, or you can be creative with names like Aurora, Xandra, Harley, Blaze, Saber, Gypsy, or Lace. Two names are also very sexy, such as Sexual Chocolate, Sweet Thing etc.

Or you could follow that old schoolyard rule of picking your stripper name using the name of your first pet with the first street you lived on. In my case, my name would have been Lolly Main. That method could backfire though if you end up with something like Ralph Butterworth.

Overall, have fun picking your stage name. Be creative. Get your thesaurus if you need to. This will help you transform into another personality, relax and perform much better than before.

Julia is a fitness writer and a passionate pole dancer. You can check her latest reviews on different dance and fitness poles on her website, where she writes about Carmen Electra Pole, Peekaboo Pole, X Pole Xpert and other dancing poles brands.

Original article

8 Tips To Improve Your Dancing

1. Take dance lessons consistently. Whether its group classes, private lessons or online dance lessons, you need to keep sharpening your dance knowledge. The key is to have lessons on a consistent basis. That way your teacher will get to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and be able to help you improve quicker.

2. Practice frequently. Make it a habit to practice as often as you can. You can take all the lessons in the world but if you don't practice what you had been learning, you will not get anywhere. Make it a rule for yourself to practice at least 1 hour for every 1 hour of lesson.

3. Go out dancing on a regular basis. You need REAL WORLD experience so go out to nightclub, a Ballroom dance party or a studio party for social dancing. Try to lead and follow different people and see how it feels. After the night is over, analyze within yourself what you did right and where you can improve.

4. Have a goal. Having a specific goal will motivate you to get better quickly. You will work much harder if there is a specific event you are looking forward to. Review your goals daily or weekly for absolute commitment. Some examples of things you can work towards are competitions, showcases or a wedding dances,

5. Dance with people who are better than you. The more you dance with people who are better than you, the quicker you will get to their level. Dancing with advanced dancers will also push you outside of your comfort zone.

6. Take lessons from teachers who push you to your limits. It is important to find teachers that will expect a lot from you and don't settle for second best. The best teachers should be critical and yet provide guidance and instruction to help you become a better dancer.

7. Visualize your dancing. Have a clear image of what you want your dancing to become. You should visualize yourself dancing in your head daily. Then, when you practice at the studio try to move towards the image you have in your head. This clarity will help you work towards the dancer you want to become.

8. Make technique a priority: It's not what you do, it's how you do it. Many people want to do the triple spins and all the other "crazy material" way too early. Work on the fundamentals first. Remember, even basic steps can look amazing if done right.

For more Dance Articles, Dance Videos, Tips, Discussions
Visit: Learn to dance online website!

To browse our online dance lessons, visit Online dance lessons

By: Leon Turetsky
Professional Dance Instructor

Original article

How To Find The Best Ballroom Dance Shoes

Ballroom dancing is a form of couple dancing originally undertaken by the upper classes. Deriving from the Latin word meaning "to dance (ballare)," ballroom dancing is meant to be done in a large room created specifically for this type of social dancing. Nowadays, people from all walks of life enjoy ballroom dancing, and competitive dance has become rather popular.

With competitive dance, it's necessary to have the best ballroom dance shoes available. The best ballroom shoes don't need to be terribly expensive - it's possible to find cheap ballroom shoes which work just as well as the pricier models. Here are some things to look for when shopping for the best shoes:

* Suede Leather soles. Brushed Leather soles are necessary for good traction on a slippery dance floor. You should be able to pivot on the balls of your feet comfortably in order to avoid knee strain. Some cheap ballroom shoes have rubber soles, which you'll want to avoid. Some of the best shoes for women also have suede on the bottom to provide a better gliding ability.

* Ankle straps. Ankle straps on ladies' shoes aren't just aesthetically pleasing, they also provide support, and help in keeping the shoes securely on your feet.

* Proper support. Whether purchasing a pair of cheap ballroom shoes or ones costing hundreds of dollars, you'll want to be sure they provide proper support. Try your shoes on in the evening when your feet are swollen to ensure correct fit, and be sure to walk around for a while to really get a feel. The best shoes will have good arch support as well as a nice insole for cushioning.

* Carrying case. Since shoes are a bit of an investment, you'll want to have a place to store them to keep them in tip-top shape. Also, remember: even cheap ballroom shoes should never be worn outdoors, especially ones with suede soles, which can be damaged from wet sidewalks and streets.

* Attractive style. For all their function, the best shoes should also look good! There's no point in purchasing cheap ballroom dance shoes if they aren't attractive and don't make you feel more confident in your dancing AND your appearance. When you feel confident it shows through on the dance floor.

In the end, the best ballroom shoes are ones which you feel comfortable in. Whether you want cheap ballroom dance shoes or prefer to invest a pretty penny in a more costly pair, you should feel relaxed and confident in your choice. After all, ballroom dancing is all about having fun, and only happens when you're feeling secure with yourself.

http://www.tangorougeballroomdancewear.com/ offers the finest ballroom dresses/costumes & dance shoes in the industry. Nancy is a 5 year pro-am ballroom competitor, competing in both the American & International Ballroom styles. She is committed to providing quality ballroom dance apparel and accessories, and offers beautiful custom Latin dresses and more at discount prices.

Original article

Lap Dance Classes - Why They Are a Huge Waste of Time and Money!

Lap dancing may not be the world's oldest profession, but until recently, mainstream society has considered it along the same lines. That perception is changing rapidly. In the last few years, there has been a huge increase in popularity for live erotic entertainment, not only in strip clubs but in private homes as well. More and more, lap dance classes for women are being offered around the country in suburban and metropolitan areas.

Chances are, if you take 'professional' lap dance classes, you'll learn everything you need to know about lap dancing, whether it's for the fun of it or because you want to break into the erotic entertainment business. But if you're just a regular gal, you probably don't have a lot of extra money to throw around. That's A-OK! Why? Because you really don't have to pay crazy by-the-hour rates or course fees to take lap dance classes. You can learn what you need to know at minimal costs on internet websites like this one and others!

You probably already know that lap dancing is a type of erotic entertainment provided on request (and for a fee) to patrons of the strip club scene. It usually involves, among other moves, a dancer rubbing her body sensuously against her client's lap and groin, much to his enjoyment!

Most guys have this 'thing' about lap dancers. They secretly wished they were married or engaged to one! This is not to say that they don't totally respect you or that they would ever consider cheating on you with one of these dancers. But you can trust and believe that if you gave him the occasional steamy, sexy, hot lap in dance in the privacy of your own home, he'll be fantasizing about you and not that sexy, talented stripper at the nudie bar across town!

If you're looking for lap dance classes that will teach you how to dance like a pro, then the internet is all you really need. Instructional websites and articles will offer step-by-step instructions on how to make the right moves, what kind of clothes to wear, what kind of music to dance to, how to set the mood with lighting and aromatherapy so you can really turn a guy on and have him eating out of your hand in no time.

You can also find informative reviews about which of these classes are worth checking into, and which are a complete waste of time and money. And as is usually the case, you'll discover the most expensive programs are not necessarily the best!

The good ones are produced by some of the industry's top erotic dance pros from places like Las Vegas, Reno, Hollywood, Palm Beach. They don't have time to teach traditional in-person classes, because they're too busy making money! On the other hand, most of the "pro" strippers who are giving one-on-one instructions are doing so because they were not good enough to make a living at lap dancing -- so they try they hand at over priced online course teaching their trade. Be wary of such offers!

Having said all that, look around. Do some comparison shopping. Check the credentials of instructors offering lap dance classes online, and read some reviews by those who've tried these services before. You're sure to find the right site and the right course for you! Before long, you'll be wrapping your guy around your little finger because he's smitten by your sexy, sensual lap dancing moves!

For more information about where to get lap dance lessons or to just get a few tips for how to do a lap dance, visit LearnHowToLapDance.org right now. They'll teach your everything you need to know!

Original article

Do You Need Dance Shoes? A Guide for Dancing Footwear for the Beginner Salsa Dancer

Ok one big question when people are starting off is what kind of shoes should I wear? This is a big one and I have what might be some unconventional opinions. First a little background about my experience. I used to work in a resort in the Caribbean (I know awesome right) and that is where I first learned about salsa dancing. During my breaks I would go to the salsa class which happened everyday at the same time. Over months and months I got the hang of the basics and learned some moves from the guys teaching. Most of the time the lessons were in the outdoor club and we danced in bare feet, sandals, runners or whatever. Socially we danced on sidewalks, clubs, beaches or wherever. I mention this because I am a firm believer that you do not need special shoes to dance. Salsa was (is) first and foremost a street dance, not a classical formal dance requiring equipment. Normally when I have partners who have a hard time following it has nothing to do with their shoes and more with experience.

Now here is one caveat. Modern dancing involves lots of double, triple and more spins and for this reason a pair of dance shoes can make turning much easier and avoid injury. This of course is only something you will do once you have been dancing for a while. If you are just learning how to dance I would wear something comfortable with a smooth bottom, that ought to do it.

Examples for leaders would be:
non-marking dress shoesrunners without gripExamples for followers would be:flats (like the heel style without the heel)1 or 2 inch heeled shoes

For ladies I would stay away from a high since after a few dancers they will probably kill your feel. The important thing for me and something that should always be part of the equation is something that looks nice. I now that some of you are thinking "no duh" but it still needs to be said. This is a social scene you are meeting, impressing, flirting, talking, etc with people and how we look is (whether you like it or not) important. We are not only learning how to salsa, but also how to dance with someone else.

Here is a note for leaders. If the person you are dancing with is not wearing good shoes for spinning or if you are not on a dance floor adjust your dancing. In other words don't try double/triple spins. This is a big complaint from many followers. Followers don't be afraid to let the guys know. As a leader we sometimes don't think about that kind of stuff and a little:

"lets stick to singles spins, this sidewalk is kinda hard to spin in" is totally OK.

Salsa dancing, is a social dance and you can't have social without communication. You salsa dance skills should not be effected by what shoes you wear, but which of those skills you use should be tempered by the floor and your partner. Pay attention to both.

Ivan Wan is a dancer and teacher in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has been dancing for almost 10 years around the world. He also has a blog called salsame on Tumblr and operates his own dance school in Vancouver. For questions, article ideas and feedback you can contact Ivan through his website.

Original article

Learn The Cha Cha Slide in 10 Minutes From Home

The Cha Cha Slide Line Dance is a very popular line dance Why... because it's easy and FUN! Basically if you have ears that "WORK" you can do It! Here's the best part about learning the Cha Cha Slide; you don't have to memorizes the steps D.J. Mr. C (Casper) call out the steps.

Still worried that you won't catch on to the the moves? Don't fret we'll spell it all out for you. Our cha cha slide line-dance instructions are so explicit that even a blind squirrel can pick up the moves. But I have to warn you in advance, that there are a lot of steps. However, you won't need a cheap sheet because the DJ will announce what to do next. His words are italicized..

Below are the steps

"Take it to the left!" or "Take it to the right!" (This is the "grapevine" step)
"Take it back now!" (step back three times with a tap.)
"One hop this time!" Hop like you're doing the bunny hop, using both feet.
"Left or Right foot let's stomp!" Stomp right or left foot the DJ will let you know.
"Now, Cha-Cha!" (This step is actually from the Latin dance form, the Mambo.) Cross the right foot over the left, step back with the left foot, step to the right with the right foot, step forward with the left foot.
Turn it out!" or "Let's Go to Work!" (Begin a "grapevine" step with a slight turn.) Make a slight turn to the left, step to the right with the right foot, step across right foot with the left foot, step to the side with the right foot, touch the left foot beside the right.
"Clap your hands!" Feel the groove, clap your hands to the beat.
"Criss Cross!" Jump up with both feet, cross right over left, or the visa verse.
"Slide to the left!" Slide either left or right, listen carefully or Not!
"Reverse, Reverse!" Face the opposite way.
"How low can you go?" This is the "drop it like it's hot, but at a lot slower, speed, Bend your knees to the beat and go as Low as you can go!
"Bring it to the top!" Return to a standing position.
"Hands on your knees!" Place your hands on you knees in a crisscross position, add a bounce to the beat.
"Charlie Brown!" Rock forward and backward resembling a child's rocking horse.
"Freeze!" Freeze and strike a pose...with some attitude!

After you freeze just listen to the DJ and he will tell you exactly what to do next. It's always something different,. And before you go to worrying you won't be the only one that won't know what to do... Nobody knows, because there are a lot of different versions of the Cha Cha Slide.

But if you really want to Show Out and not just SHOW UP and attract the attention of a few of those cuties at your next function; feel free to view our step by step cha cha slide video, its, FREE and there's no Opt-ed needed. See you at the Party!

cha cha slide video

Original article

The Right Dancing Shoes

Finding a good pair of dancing shoes may seem like a challenge, but just know they are out there waiting for you.

First and foremost you need to decide which dancing shoes are right for you. If you are a dancer of a certain modality then you should know which shoe is appropriate for the job. For instance you would not get Pointe shoes if you are a tap dancer or vice versa. As a ballerina you know that your feet not only need to relay your talent to your audience but that the shoes you wear need to be free and flexible enough to help convey that message of grace while still being able to support you while you do your work. That is why Pointe shoes are probably the best fit for a ballet dancer who does toe work. They will have a split soled bottom to allow for flexibility and movement of the arch and bridge of the foot, but have a more structured box at the toe to help support the body while upright onto of them.

A tap dancer, on the other hand, needs a much sturdier type of shoes. Their shoes tend to be a stiffer leather overall and with the tap securely fastened to the bottom of the soles for that famous tap tap sound to be made. Tap shoes, unlike ballet shoes, can be bought used from a thrift or second hand store. Obviously they will need to be in good repair, but the taps on the bottom can be switched out and the laces replaced as long as the form of the shoe is good to go still. This could save a dancer quite a bit of money in the short term although it should be considered how long they intend to use these shoes before purchasing them used.

Regardless of the type of shoes you need and decide to purchase, you need to make sure the fit is just right for the you. This also goes back to which modality you dance. In the above examples the fit of the shoes would be totally different. Point shoes should be quite snug and tight without any room to slip and slide. These Pointe shoes will actually mold to your feet with wear so that they become one and the same. Tap shoes, on the other hand, should not fit quite as tightly. They will fit more like regular shoes would fit, still not loose, but definitely not as form fitting as Pointe shoes.

dancewearstyles.com is filled with info on Dance Shoes and more. Visit the site for more information.

Original article

The Progression of Dance

It is totally normal for a small child to look at a professional dancer and want to be just like them. They probably don't fully grasp the reality of the situation which is that there a progression of dance that a dancer has to go through to become as talented as those veteran dancers they may see on television or on stage.

Many a dancer starts by taking ballet, tap and jazz lessons as a child. These traditional disciplines act as a foundation for future modalities of dance to be built upon later. Kids enrolled in these classes learn important aspects of dance such a different postures and dance positions. They learn basic turns and how to gain a focus point to move onto more difficult leaps and bound down the road. Flexibility and mobility is achieved through these repetitions as well, which are vital aspects of any good dancer.

Arguably the most important feature of what these kids learn in the beginning is discipline. A small child just starting out may just have formal dance lessons twice a week with an occasional recital through in every few months. In addition to these classes they will have to practice at home to become good at their routine and to execute it properly. This consistent practicing their dance steps is an important lesson because it teaches them the importance of practicing their craft to gain a better understanding of the form and steps in preparation for a performance. This discipline lends to a deeper commitment and dedication to evolving their craft, molding the dancer into a more advanced performer.

As a young dancer progresses they may shift their attention to other modalities of dance from hip hop to modern to more advanced ballet or tap. Whatever their focus shifts to, they will take the lessons learned early on and be able to apply them to whichever discipline they follow later in their dance career and can quite possibly lead them to becoming great successes in the dance industry or in other arts as well.

By following these steps, these progressions of dance, these dancers build upon the skills they learn every step of the way, constantly getting better and better with every new step. This eventual outcome is what a small child looks upon and wants right away, without thinking or understanding all the hard work and dedication that went into that professional's transformation.

dancewearstyles.com is filled with info on Children's Dancewear and more. Visit the site for more information.

Original article

Salsa Crazy DVD - Is It A Fake Or A 5 Star Product?

How do you really know if something is a scam or not? Well one thing is for sure, if you can't verify that a site is legit and has been in business for a while, then run for your life!

Is Salsa Crazy DVD a scam, well one quick way to know for sure is to visit their site. If you go to their website you will see testimonials from many people that have had positive reviews for them. This is a very good sign.

Next when your on there website look at all of the information I know it's a lot, but zone in on all of the different styles that they teach. This should make you feel good as a customer knowing that they have different products for different styles. This also means that at salsa crazy they are educated in many styles which is why they can teach them to you.This also is a very good sign.

Okay so next we will try to find out some information about who started this site and what experience do they have to teach me salsa. Well on the site there is a section title about salsa crazy, when you click on it there's a bunch of info. When you look through all the info you'll see that they have internationally recognized instructors, you will see how long they have been in business, and even how they can prove there methods are tested. This is also a very good sign.

Remember don't only trust all of the info you find on a main site. Trust when I say that some people will lie on their site to make you feel good about them. So go and search in Google about what other people think and then form your own opinion.

So lets sit back and think a little. If you go to salsa crazy's site and are able to have every question a customer would want answered is it a scam? Well here's the answer. NO. Salsa crazy is a site that offers a bunch info so that you feel comfortable buying from them. They have more than enough info about who they are, why they sell salsa DVD's, how long they have been in business, how you can contact them, and you can see all of the happy customers. Ding, ding, ding we have a winner! Salsa Crazy in my opinion is a great place to buy from that is proven to be trusted.

I'm sure glad that there's finally a site that I feel comfortable buying from. If you visit learning2dancesalsa.com you will find more info about Salsa Crazy DVD and more sites that are great for learning salsa and you wont have to worry about getting scammed.

Original article

Body Language in Partner Dance

Body language is always communicating. We can't stop it. And this communication carries over to partner dancing. It doesn't matter if we are dancing socially or in a competition. Our body language will affect how well others think we dance.

In this article the basics will be covered. Then the role of the body language in dance will be covered. Finally, the article will cover how you can use this knowledge to improve your partner dancing (and probably other types of dance as well).

Body language basics

Body language can communicate things such as real thoughts and feeling, and can at time communicate if someone is lying. However, the main issue within the context of dance is confidence. Typically, dance looks best when it is done confidently.

So what communicates confidence?

When we are feeling confident, we do not feel we need to protect ourselves. Thus, we are less inclined to cover vital areas of our body. Areas such as out chest, stomach, face ribs and genitals. Therefore, body language that communicates confidence will often involve our arms being away from our core. Also, we will not pull or hips back in an attempt to protect our groins either. So essentially, an open body communicates confidence.

Body language in dance

Often when dancing in a strange place, with strange people or perhaps in a competition, we will not be feeling confident. This means we will have a natural tendency to pull our arms in and pull our hips back. Now think about the number of dance moves that require your arms to be out and your feet splayed so that your hips are forward. It's quite a lot so you can see how important a confident body is.

But here's the problem.

Body language is instinctive. That makes it powerful and hard to detect in ourselves. In fact we might try lifting our arms and actually feel they are too heavy to lift further. That's the instinctive part of our mind taking control without us realising.

So what to do?

Using body language to improve your partner dancing ability

Two things can be done. We can become more confident or we can prepare for such moves.

The best thing about body language is that it is a two way street. That means if you put the effort into displaying confidence, then you will start to feel more confident. Prior to dancing, try to ensure that you're moving and standing with a confident look. Some guide has been given here, but any book on the topic will give you some more pointers.

Being mindful of your body is also a powerful too. By simply realizing that a certain move can be hampered when your instincts take control you are able to compensate. Be aware of moves that require a confident body pose. Then as you're about to perform them, put that little bit of extra effort into being bold in your movement. That will override your instincts, and your dance will look better.

Clint Steele is a social dancer with an interest in learning and how people can get better at something with minimum time and effort.


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Original article

Hip Hop Teacher Training - An Alter Ego When Dancing - A Useful Technique to Teach Your Students?

Great Hip Hop dancers and teachers ooze confidence when they dance. Being confident when you dance is integral to giving a great performance. Having an alter ego can dramatically increase how confident you feel when you dance.

Therefore, having been in the Street Dance industry for the last 18 years, and having taught thousands of people worldwide, I believe that you definitely want to encourage your students to create their own alter ego. After all, why wouldn't you want them to be more confident when they dance and to improve as dancers?

What is an alter ego?

Many top artists and performers have spoken in the past about taking on an alter ego when they perform. One of the most famous is probably Beyonce's alter ego 'Sasha Fierce'. When Beyonce wants to go for it and give it her all, she talks about letting Sasha Fierce do her thang! By doing this, she says she is more able to commit to her performance. I say if it is good enough for Beyonce, it is good enough for me!

Why encourage your students to take on an alter ego?

If your students are not giving 100% or they are not throwing themselves into the choreography, you may want to suggest that they take on an alter ego of their own. This will help them liven up their performance of your choreography and feel more confident when they dance.

If you encourage your students to do this, you will find that they dance with more confidence. By stepping into the shoes of someone else, your students let their own inhibitions go. After all, it isn't them dancing, but someone else who is maybe better equipped to give more energy, dance with more passion and generally throw themselves into the choreography with more commitment. In my experience, when students imagine they are somebody else, (somebody more confident, sexy, loud, energetic, bubbly or whatever it is they need), they relax, dance better and give a better performance.

4 steps to creating your very own alter ego

So you may be thinking - great, I now know why I should have one, but how do I go about creating one for myself?

Follow my 4 step process below, to utilise this technique:

Name your alter ego.Dress as they would dress.Ask yourself 'what might they say to themselves in their head?Ask yourself, 'what do they believe about their dancing ability?

For example, a student might say:

Her name is Slick & Sexy SarahShe dresses in the latest street wear and wears it with style - so I will do this.She says "I'm awesome" to herself in her headSlick & Sexy Sarah knows she looks hot and can bang out the moves

Lead your dance students through my 4 step process. Just by going through this process, your students will feel more confident and be able to commit to the choreography even more. If your students do this, you'll see different students appear before your very own eyes.

Have fun with this technique and encourage your students to do it too. You'll be amazed at the results you get!

And now I could like to invite you to claim your FREE audio training called "Avoid the 5 Biggest Street Dance Teaching Mistakes" http://www.StreetDanceTeacherTraining.com/mistakes.php?referrer=ezine%20alter-ego

From Hayley Hall, International Street Dance Teacher Trainer and the Co-Founder of the Street Dance Teacher Training Company http://www.streetdanceteachertraining.com/

Original article

How To Relieve Muscle Pain That Has Become Chronic In Ballet, Dance And Cheerleading

Dancers and cheerleaders need to know how to relieve muscle pain that has become chronic. Often, some area of the hips in particular can become imbalanced because of a postural misalignment. It seems like nothing gives those sore muscles relief.

In many cases, you will see a dancer's or cheerleader's postural habit when they are not dancing or practicing. There are variations on the lack of the postural plumb line, which is a line going straight down through the body, through the natural curves of the neck and spine. Ideally, the ankles, knees, hips, waist, and shoulders are all stacked neatly.

A tight area in the psoas, one of the large muscles that lifts the legs to the front, will pull the low back out of alignment. The back will look swayed, and the thighs will turn inward.

This is one way that leads to imbalance in the development of the hip muscles. A dancer or cheerleader will try to resolve this with more and more stretching. Yet, one muscle or another will get tighter and tighter, and others may get over-stretched.

Some students will feel a clicking, a snapping, or a clunky movement for a long time before it starts to hurt. Please tell your teacher or coach immediately if you feel these things. You can correct your posture and how you use your core and hip muscles, before you get the inflammation and pain that is so hard to get rid of.

Misalignment in the basic posture, and in the basic ballet positions (used everywhere in dance), will develop one muscle or area of muscles too much. Consequently, other muscles in the same group remain underdeveloped and weak.

Understanding the muscles around the hips, and how they work in connection with the deep low core muscles, will help students or dance team members prevent injuries.

Can you stand sideways to a mirror and check your posture? Can you see the natural curves of your spine and visualize the plumb line going straight through the curves? Can you pull up the very low abdominal muscles? Sometimes they can be harder to feel than the higher stomach muscles.

If you are not sure that you are using these low ab muscles properly, try this:
lie down on the floor, and make sure you have your natural curve at the small of your backyou should be able to slide your hand under the curve therefirst do this wrong - suck in your stomach so that the small of your back pushes into your handrelease the stomach musclesnow do it right - pull your very low ab muscles straight up from your pubic bone and away from your hip boneskeep the curve in the small of your back

Your belly button will move UP toward your ribs. Up not IN. This action, when you are doing barre exercises, or routines to warm up for your cheer leading, will support the right activity in the hip muscles. It is going to help you develop long lean muscles.

If you take contemporary dance classes and study the Martha Graham technique, you know that the contraction movement actually elongates - even though it changes the shape of the spine and DOES push out the curve at the small of the back, it requires that you pull UP the lower core muscles and maintain length in the spine.

The stronger your low ab muscles are, the more fluidity you will have in your ballet movements. For cheer leading too, your core control will be so much better.

Make sure you get the right ballet stretches. It includes a whole section on sore muscles relief.

Original article

Ladies! Dance All Night - 5 Simple Rules to Help Ladies Get on the Dance Floor and Stay There

You spend hours picking out the perfect outfit. You stand in the mirror for God knows how long making sure no hair is out of place. Shoes and purse... fierce. Make-up... completely flawless. You've been taking dance classes for the past few weeks and in fact you just finished a 6 week beginners Salsa course. You have the look...you have the moves... but you will soon find out you're missing one important piece... the attitude.

You ride along with your friends, with the music blasting expecting a fun night. You arrive at the club and you hear the beat of the conga. You watch as smooth gentleman whisk women away to the dance floor and the ladies gracefully move to the beat. "Wow" you think to yourself..."everyone is just so good!" Before you know it you're in the back of the room with clammy hands avoiding eye contact. You've gone from hoping for a night of dancing and great times to feeling like your back at your 6th grade Sadie Hawkins dance. In an effort to maybe meet someone or bring a bit of attention to yourself you move to the bar. No one says anything to you and certainly no one asks you to dance. You think to yourself... "Maybe I should buy a drink to loosen up". You get the drink... and feel a little better... but no one comes over to you. Your friends have already spread out. The ones who had no intention to dance are hovering near you while the brave are out on the floor.

What went wrong? If you're like most women especially women who don't get out much... within the first 20 minutes of being out you started to doubt yourself. Women, we are our own worst enemy. We tear ourselves down before we give anyone else a chance too. I have taught countless dance classes where I have heard the following...

I don't go out because no one will dance with me... I'm overweight.

No one will dance with me because I'm ugly.

No one will dance with me because I don't have nice clothes.

No one will dance with me because I'm not that good.

No one will dance with me because I'm not sexy.

No one will dance with me because I'm not thin enough.

The list goes on. What I am here to tell you and what I have told many of my students is that NONE of that is true. I have given the following advice to countless women who after following my simple tips would find that not only were they being asked to dance, but they could barely get off the dance floor!

I wrote this quick guide to getting on the dance floor to help women everywhere get out... get moving and feel better about themselves.

Rule #1

Realize there is NOTHING wrong with you. When you feel insecure you act insecure. Sometimes insecurity or shyness comes across as unfriendliness. So first thing is first... realize there is nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful. You are smart. You're entertaining and you are worth someone's undivided attention. Remember self esteem is what one thinks of them self. It comes from within. You decide how you view you. So from this point on see yourself as the gorgeous and sexy vixen you are!

Tip: Want instant weight loss? Stand up straight! Just by paying attention to your posture and standing up straight you will appear thinner and more confident.

Rule #2


Smiling does wonders not only for your face but others perception of you. People who smile often appear to be friendlier. What women often fail to realize is that asking someone to dance is a nerve racking experience for men. Just like they were in the 8th grade...they're often still a little afraid of the other sex. No one likes rejection. You might be thinking no one is talking to me because I'm not pretty but it might be the exact opposite. There might be tons of men in the room that think you're the most beautiful woman in the world and are just too afraid to say something to you...let alone ask you to dance with them. Now imagine if you're unconsciously scowling. No one is going to come within 10 feet of you.

Now you might be thinking..."smiling sounds nice and all...but what the heck am I supposed to smile at?" Yes staring off into space and smiling will in fact make you look like a lunatic. You don't want to go that far. What you want to do is look for reasons to smile...such as people or things to smile at. Personally I like to go places where there is a live band. When I am watching a live band it's hard for me not to smile and bounce to the beat. Another easy way to slip in some smiles is to spot a couple on the dance floor who is either having a great time or are phenomenal dancers or both. As you enjoy their dancing smile!

The easiest way to smile...find someone hot...make eye contact and smile at him. He just might smile back!

Once you're on the dance floor, keep the smile on your face. Smiling really softens you and it will appear to your partner and to those watching that you're actually having fun!

Rule #3

Get near the dance floor.

One of the first mistakes women make is to head straight for the bar or to find a seat. It's ok to find a place to set your jacket down...but if you want to dance don't sit. You have to make it a point to stand and to stand near the dance floor. Men tend to assume that women who are sitting don't want to dance and women who are near the bar are getting a drink and will not want to dance. You want a fast track to the dance floor...stand next to it and bounce to the music. I guarantee someone will swoop you up in an instant. I have heard guys refer to women who stand near the dance floor as an "easy target" because they can tell they're ready to dance. Don't forget to smile!

Rule #4

Dress Appropriately.

If you're studying a specific type of dance and you're out for practice and to have a good time then dress the part. If you're learning Latin dance, invest in a good pair of Latin style ballroom shoes. If you're learning general ballroom, same thing get a good pair of closed toe ballroom shoes. There are appropriate types of shoes for almost every dance. If you're serious about learning the dance or could see yourself going out to dance that style often, invest in the shoes.

Firstly men who are out dancing and want to dance will often scout out the scene and find the ladies who have the correct footwear. They target the ones with appropriate shoes because they assume they know how to dance and they rightly assume that the women wearing the proper shoes want to dance. Second you'll be more comfortable. When I first started dancing socially I wore regular high heels and could not understand why after one hour I was sore and wanted to go home. One night a lady was nice enough to clue me in on her secret which was ballroom shoes. Shortly after I bought my first pair and never looked back.

You also want to make sure that you're not dressing too skimpy. A lot of women feel like they have to show all of their body parts in order to get some attention. This simply just isn't true. While wearing a super short mini dress and platforms will get you attention...chances are it will be the wrong kind of attention. I mean if you're looking for that kind of attention more power to ya sista...otherwise be sexy, but not slutty. Just like there are different types of shoes for every dance there are typically different types of dress that go along with each style. Observe what is most appropriate for the style of dance you're interested in and try to stay in that realm. If you're into Latin dance like me, you will soon discover that there are many ways to be sexy yet classy, which I will discuss in my next guide.

Rule #5

Be a Kind and Gracious Dance Partner.

Once you get on the dance floor, be nice! Some women go from being on the sidelines to turning into an instant snob once they hit the dance floor. Be kind to your partner. Also don't shy away from the ones you believe to be poor dancers. If they are there to learn be kind enough to let them practice with you. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if they are terrible (in your eyes)...smile. If they are off beat...be off beat with them. Dancing with a partner is about lead and follow...it's not always about doing the dance correctly according to the "textbook". Let him lead. There is nothing worse than watching a woman with a back-lead that is so strong that it looks like she and her partner are doing karate instead of dancing. Believe it or not...if you're in tandem most people won't even realize you're doing it wrong or off beat. Just smile and have a great time. And unless you're insulted, injured or there is a fear of injury never just leave your partner on the dance floor. Finish the song and allow your partner to escort you off the dance floor.

Not only will your partner thank you for your patience, but other men are watching you. They will take note of your kind and gracious behavior.

You don't have to dance with a poor dancer all night, but make sure you try and dance with everyone at least once. There is something that can be learned from everyone. You should make an effort to dance with people of all skill levels.

Be sure to always thank your partner at the end of a dance. It will make him more likely to want to dance with you again.

Now get up...get out and get dancing!

Johnnya Burruss (Center) is a Los Angeles based lover of Latin music and an avid Salsa Dancer/ Instructor and Zumba instructor. She is the Creator and Editor in Chief of http://www.salsasouthbay.com/.

She has dedicated her free time to spreading the love of Salsa and Dance fitness to the South Bay area of LA County via her website.

By day she works in television, radio and PR...holding a BA in Broadcasting and by night she hits the dance floor to the hottest Latin beats. She enjoys helping others enjoy music and dance as much as she does. For more information contact Johnnya directly info@salsasouthbay.com.

Original article

How To Breakdance

People have been trying to learn how to breakdance or Bboy since Break Dancing became popular in the 70's. The best method to learn how to breakdance is by finding other breakdancers and practicing with them. The moves may look difficult at first but if you practice constantly and do not give up you will learn them. My suggestion is to take it one move at a time and build up your skills. Many bboys or breakdancers create "sets" or "routines" that they practice over and over. They go from one move to the next and practice the set over and over until they have it memorized. This way if they get into a battle they have routines that vary in difficulty they know they can count on. The most important thing is that you take your time and practice the basics. As you practice your basics and master them it will make your sets better and it will make learning the power moves and more advanced moves easier. You can even look for breakdancing lessons and breakdance classes online.

The Internet

If you cannot find a crew to practice with there are many resources to learn the moves. If you search Google for " how to breakdance " and "how to do breakdance powermoves" many sites that will teach you how. Also if you search for breakdance lessons you will find people who can teach you online or come to your home. Remember learning how to breakdance is easier than you think. There are tons of resources from really amazing dancers who can teach you how to breakdance easily.

Dance Classes

Dance classes are an easy way to learn how to breakdance. If you can join a studio or take classes online and learn how to dance by streaming the videos and following along. Dance class is often under rated but you get access to great teachers who have lots of experience. Also most teachers are proud to have students and they will tap you into the break dancing community and introduce you to others.

Break Dance Moves

When you first learn how to breakdance, you can get overwhelmed by how many different types of breakdancing moves there are. You can break the moves down to three main categories

Style Based Moves

Style based moves are moves like CC, and six step. These are footwork moves that you can easily use to match the beat of the music and dance. They are called style based moves because style can be easily customized to fit the dancers style. These are relatively simple to learn.

Power Moves

Power moves are the more flashy momentum driven moves like flares, head spins and air flares. They are the showstoppers and the main reasons that most people want to learn how to breakdance in the first place.


Freezes are moves where you hold your body still and "freeze" for a while. There are so many different ways to freeze but the most common freezes are baby freezes and chair freeze. There are also Air Freezes, Hollow back and more.

Final Tips

If you really want to learn how to breakdance you are going to have to be patience and put in a lot of hard work and effort. The moves don't come easy but you will be rewarded once you get them. Join a crew or practice with your friends because the be bboy community is massive and a wonderful place. Dance classes are a great way to learn how to break dance and can connect you instantly to the bboy world. Once you join you will meet people from all over the world who share a love for what you do. Bboying is a lifestyle not just a dance. Learn how to breakdance and become a Bboy.

Original article

The Most Important Tip for a Salsa Beginner

When first learning Salsa, it's easy to make a few assumptions about learning this wonderful dance. Being a bit more experienced, I now wish my teacher or someone else had pulled me aside and said, "This is the most important tip for a Salsa beginner." Do it this way and you'll have no problems learning. So, just in case no-one has already told you what it is, I am going to.

I'll just give you a bit of background first. I'm a musician and I simply went about learning to dance the way I learnt to play the guitar. That is; learn the scales, learn the chords, practice them as much as possible (unless you're a bit lazy or pressed for time) and then play songs. That should work for Salsa dancing. Right?


It's just not the same with dancing. Salsa dancing, for that matter nearly all dancing, is partner work, and a man has to learn how to lead as well as dance. (Women need to learn how to follow.) Added to that, a combination is not just the fingers but the whole body (with the parts usually working independently). Finally, unless you have a partner who is learning salsa with you, and you can practice at home, nearly all your learning and practice is in public, whereas a guitar can be played alone and can also be played any time.

Salsa dancing is very different to other learning.

Also, I guarantee you that you are unlikely to remember all the combinations you learn at lessons. There are just too many. For one, they are stylistically your teachers, so some will simply not feel right for your physicality. Secondly, only the girls in the lesson will be able to follow you at first because they know what's coming (and they unconsciously lead you as part of their learning strategy). Try these combinations out of the lesson context and you soon realize how challenging it is to reproduce a whole combination with a partner who hasn't done the lesson.

In a nutshell, you are never going to remember it all - so don't beat yourself up about it and come up with a good learning strategy instead.

With that said, here is the most important tip for a salsa beginner.

Start with a very basic combination of your own of say, five or six steps/moves you know you can lead well. For example, forward and back, open out step, followed by a cross body lead, a right hand turn for the lady, a right hand turn for yourself (low hand), a cross body spin for the lady, and a Cuban turn. Tell anyone you dance with that you are a beginner, and practice leading these really well, concentrating on staying in time (but having fun of course).

Each lesson, grab one or two of the new moves you just learned that you found the easiest, and add them to your 5/6 steps, but don't add another one until that one is solidly in your repertoire. If you want to add two per week, you will need to salsa at least 2 times a week - one to learn the combination/move and another night to dance it over and over again until you know it by heart.

There you have it - the most important tip for a salsa beginner!

Just think....if you do it this way, you will add 52 moves in only 6 months, and that is pretty impressive by anyone's standards!

Have fun and watch out for my next article at Salsa Beginners [http://www.salsabeginners.net] on discovering the easy way to remember combinations!

John Sammers has been working with people as a therapist, communications trainer and a coach for many years. Some of the work he does helps people rid themselves of painful memories and some of the work is to help people develop themselves and their skills. He is also a keen musician, guitar teacher and salsa dancer. John's history is in education and music. After 20 years as a musician and 10 years or so of teaching he retrained as a life coach (now incorporating NLP and Law of Attraction). He then continued his professional development to become a certified Master Practitioner of NLP & Hypnotherapy. John's personal interests are in writing and recording music, Latin dance, Tai Chi and all aspects of the guitar. He writes on a number of areas of interest.

Original article

Salsa DVD For Beginners - Top 3 Dangerous Myths About Salsa

Is salsa dancing dangerous? Am I going to be able to still live a physically normal healthy life after I take a dancing class? Is Salsa Dancing dangerous for my relationship? These are all great questions that are hardly ever answered but I am going to give the real answers to the real questions you have.

#1 is salsa dancing dangerous? Well ask your self a simple questions first. Are you honestly physically in shape? Some people go into dancing with little or no physical training which usually leads to injury. You see dance is like almost every sport out there. If you are constantly playing basketball everyday, your body has what we call muscle memory and it makes it easier for you not to get injured.

But if you do not play basketball alot I can guarantee you that you will have a higher chance of getting injured. So If you don't do any physical exercises that keeps your body in shape then yes dancing salsa can be dangerous. But there is a quick way to change that. You can start working out, go to gym and get some cardio in your life and lift some weights so your muscles can wake up again. This can help you make sure that salsa won't be dangerous for you!

#2 Am I going to be able to still live a physically normal healthy life after I take salsa dancing? The answer to this question is simple, can you injure yourself walking up a flight of stairs? Of course, but if you are constantly paying attention to what you're doing then you have a lower chance of hurting yourself.

Most Injuries happen because people stop paying attention to what they are doing because they think that they know everything already. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Always pay attention to what you are doing even if it is a step you've done a thousand times, because if you don't pay attention you will get injured.

#3 Is Salsa Dancing dangerous for my relationship? Honestly I have found that dancing can actually help relationships. Usually couples will go and learn how to dance salsa together which is great because of the time you get to spend together. Also when you take dancing classes as a couple there's something new you will have in common. Who knows you might go out on weekend's and dance salsa together.

I'm pretty sure that being able to have your partner wanting to take you out dancing is not so dangerous as much as it would be fun. Relationships from my experience grow when you interact with each other. In my opinion salsa dancing is a perfect way to interact with your partner while having have fun together. You guys might end up even loving salsa so much you end up taking more classes to get better together which can be something you can share with each other for the rest of your relationship.

Salsa dancing has many dangerous myths that people associate with it. But if you really want to find out juicy info about Salsa DVD for beginner go to learning2dancesalsa.com and I will uncover even more mysteries.

Original article

Do You Stretch Before Your Dance Classes?

In this article I want to expand on why stretching is an essential warm up for your dancing.

Here is a common scenario:

It's three hours before dance class and as usual, you're sitting in front of your computer, facebooking.
Your body is relaxed and this is what it's thinking: "OMG! This is so relaxing, I'm never getting up."

Then it's time to go to dance class. You promptly close the browser, tell everyone on your status that you're going to class, grab your bag and get out the door (not in sequence of course). You get to class, put on your shoes and all of a sudden you are required to exert yourself. You have to point your feet, use your hips and stand up straight! Imagine what your body has to say to this dramatic shift.

Your body: " Whhhaaatttt? You got to be kidding me! I'm going to twist my ankle now. Like. Right. Now."

Your body is not ready for all this physical activity. Your body feels abused. It was just sitting down and all of a sudden it has to do ALL this stuff". The last thing it wants is another injury.

The Solution:
You need to PREPARE your body for dancing by stretching before the class. Dancing requires as much physical exertion as any other sport. Would you run a marathon without stretching?

Once you stretch, not only are you going to avoid injuries, but you will also be able to push yourself to the maximum. Another great side benefit to stretching is that it will inspire you mentally for dancing.

So do yourself (and me) a favor and whip out a mat 30 min to an hour before your class, and do some exercises. Your body will thank you and say something like; "I'm ready to give it my all!"

For Latin and Ballroom dancing I recommend that you concentrate on the following body parts:

1. Neck area.
2. Arms/shoulders
3. Hip flexors
4. Hamstrings
5. Ankles

If stretching is Greek to you (and you're not Greek), check out stretching videos on YouTube. I found many with some excellent beginner exercises:

Personally, I love and do yoga almost everyday. There are tons of studios available and you can even take yoga classes online! I find that it really helps loosen up the body and I strongly recommend it.

How do you stretch? Or do you at all?

By: Leonid Turetsky
--Professional Latin & Ballroom Dance Instructor--

Learn to dance online with our videos:
Learn to dance
For dance lessons in Boston area:
Ballroom dance Boston

Original article

A Great Exercise To Start Dancing Today

Are you hesitant to take dance classes at your gym or intimidated to join a dance class at a local studio? Are you tired of being a wallflower at parties while all of your friends are on the dancefloor having fun? You're not alone. Every day I watch people working to overcome their fears and here's a wonderful exercise to try out before you dive right in.

The next time you are home alone turn on your favorite tunes and just let the music move you. Pandora internet radio is perfect for this. The "DJ Got Us Falling in Love" station always gets me moving. You can start small with just the feet or the shoulders or the hips. The trick is to make sure you are dancing however you feel (without judgement!). If you need some more inspiration, search for videos online of people dancing. I found one of a woman cleaning her kitchen, listening to techno, and totally gettin' down (LOVE it). You can do it in your bedroom, in front of a mirror or even while cleaning - think Mrs. Doubtfire vacuuming style.

Moving your body to your favorite jams is a wonderful de-stresser and we both know you probably need it. If you allow it, dance is an excellent outlet for expressing how you feel. Try selecting the music based on your mood. If you're pissed at your boss or if you hate housework, who's to say you can't put on some rebellious music (ska or metal comes to mind) and express that too? Ha. Or the next time you need a pick-me-up try working from the outside in. When feeling down select some upbeat music (pop or big band even), bounce around the house for a bit, and you'll find it's hard to stay in a funk. There's no wrong way to do this exercise so long as you keep moving and exploring. Don't worry about technique yet. Just for now, practice when no one else is around and you'll find this to be a perfect way to get that body and spirit going. It will be liberating!

As your confidence builds with dance this will transcend to other aspects of your life too! You will bring new poise to your professional life. Imagine spontaneity and even enjoyment on those wedding dance floors. It could even help you become a better lover. Seriously. Understanding how your body moves can work wonders in your relationship. Start slow and simple with the exercise above. The goal is to let go of what's stifling and holding you back. Another wonderful perk of dance is that each step brings a dose of endorphins, making the next move easier than the last. Keep going even if it gets uncomfortable. Like anything new, it will ebb and flow. Dance may be intimidating at first but using this exercise in the beginning, or revisiting at any stage of your dance journey, will keep the things creative and fun!

Original article

Learn Your Basic Step Footwork More Quickly By Breaking Through The 'Conscious Competence' Barrier!

When new dancers attend their first Imperial Swing* dancing class and learn the mechanics of performing their basic step, they seldom have a miraculous epiphany when all the elements of their six-count, triple step footwork suddenly fall into place; instead, they simply manage to somehow shuffle through the prescribed sequence of alternating steps without making a mistake. Never mind how many steps there are, or how those (eight) individual steps interface with the (six) beats of the music; rather, there just comes a transient moment in time when a beginning dancer can, for the very first time and by rote learning, perform his basic step footwork properly. It may be said that at this watershed moment, when a swing dancer is born, that he performs his footwork in a 'consciously competent' manner; that is, he is stiff and mechanical, and although he is blissfully unaware of the impact of his transient weight shifts on his center of gravity, he does know which foot is his lead foot as he proudly marches through his footwork in a painfully robotic manner! Dance instructors see this birthing process take place every week during their club's introductory swing classes. Like other challenging endeavors in life, swing dancing has an attrition rate and sometimes beginners get discouraged and quit taking the classes because they cannot make the transition from being 'consciously competent' students whose movements are too premeditated, to becoming 'unconsciously competent' dancers who move fluidly with carefree abandon. The teaching technique presented below eliminates this unnecessary transition because it enables new students to perform their basic, triple step footwork almost immediately without the usual hesitation that often erodes their confidence.

Dance instructors have about one hour to present the different syllabus swing 'moves' which are specified for an introductory lesson. Since new students cannot perform any of these elementary 'moves' until they first learn their basic step, instructors in St. Louis are now beginning to use a new technique that teaches this six-count, triple step footwork in the quickest, most spontaneous and uncomplicated way possible...by enabling their students to relate the first six steps of their eight-step footwork to "skipping" forward and back; the last two steps are their in-place rockstep. Since most people can remember their carefree years as a youngster when they gleefully skipped around their school's playground, this technique redefines the basic step footwork and verbalizes it as follows: one skip forward (1 and 2), one skip back (3 and 4) and a rock-step (5 - 6). Gentlemen begin skipping forward with their left foot, and their left foot always remains in front of their right foot until they perform their rockstep. Ladies begin skipping forward with their right foot, and their right foot always remains in front of their left foot until they perform their rockstep. Unlike the bouncy, undisciplined movement associated with children skipping, dancers must not allow their shoulders and arms to move up and down; all of their upper body movement should be absorbed at their waist. New students must be taught that their first two triple step counts of "1 and 2" and "3 and 4" are actually 'scoot steps' best expressed as: "1 'n 2" and "3 'n 4" because dancers cannot take eight full steps in only six beats of the music. In other words, "1 'n" is a beat, "2" is a beat; "3 'n" is a beat, "4" is a beat; "5" is a beat and "6" is a beat. After everyone in the class demonstrates that they can perform both their basic step by skipping forward and back, and their in-place rockstep, the instructor should then refine his explanation of this same footwork in the traditional, detailed manner described below.

When dancers perform their basic footwork, they use triple step footwork rhythms; i.e., they take three steps for every two beats of the music. This footwork count is: 1 and 2 (first triple step), 3 and 4 (second triple step), 5 - 6 (rockstep). Dancers take three smooth (not bouncy) steps forward on the 1 and 2 count always keeping their feet in the "chase position"; i.e., with their lead foot ahead of their other foot. The male dancer keeps his left foot ahead of his right foot and his partner keeps her right foot ahead of her left foot. The first step that both dancers take on the "1" count creates the distance between their feet that keeps their weight from becoming centered over both of their feet at the same time and confusing their balance. This weight shift cues them on how to execute their next step (see below). Their second step, on the "and of 1" count, is an accelerated, "scoot" step which is followed by their third forward step on the "2" count. On 3 and 4 count, both dancers take three smooth steps backwards, and again, they keep their lead foot ahead of their other foot in the "chase position." On the 5 - 6 count rockstep, both dancers step back onto the "ball" of their lead foot keeping their heels from touching the floor, and then they rock forward onto their other foot. Notice that this rockstep is the only time when either dancer's lead foot moves behind his or her non-lead foot!

Although dancers take 8 steps (make 8 "weight changes") in their triple step footwork, they have only three "weight values" while executing their footwork. On the 1 and 2 count, the male dancer makes 3 weight changes (left-right-left) but he has only one weight value (or bias) that is on his left foot. On the 3 and 4 count, he makes another three weight changes (right-left-right) but again, he has only one weight value on his right foot. To dance with more lilt and balance, the male dancer must keep his "center" over his foot with the weight bias. Finally, on the 5 - 6 count, although he makes 2 weight changes (left-right), he has only one weight value because his two-step rockstep is counted as only one. The instructor presents the weight values for triple step footwork as follows:

On the 1 and 2 count, when the male dancer steps forward with his left foot, his right foot and then his left foot again, he makes three weight changes but he has only a single weight value (or bias) on his left foot. On the "and of 1"; i.e., the "and" of this first triple step count, the male dancer's "transitional weight" is momentarily on his right foot so that he is able to step forward again with his left foot, but his weight value remains on his left foot and he should adjust his posture and weight to favor (or bias) his left foot!

On the 3 and 4 count, when the male dancer steps backwards with his right foot, his left foot and then his right foot again, he makes three weight changes, but he has only a single weight value (or bias) on his right foot. On the "and of 3"; i.e., the "and" of this second triple step count, the male dancer's "transitional weight" is momentarily on his left foot so that he is able to step backwards again with his right foot, but his weight value remains on his right foot and he should adjust his posture and weight to favor (or bias) his right foot.

On the 5 - 6 count, when the male dancer steps backwards with his left foot and then rocks forward onto his right foot, his weight value is "left-right" because he shifts his weight from his left foot to his right foot. There are only three weight values in triple step footwork because the breakstep, which has two quick weight changes (left foot to right foot), is considered as a single weight value (L-R). The faster the music's tempo the quicker these weight changes become. After reviewing the basic step footwork, the instructor asks everyone to rejoin their original partners and then he teaches the couples how to execute their basic step together in the closed position while he corrects their body stances and arm positions.

St. Louis Imperial Swing is a "mirror pattern" style of dance. The male dancer and his partner begin their basic step footwork together in the closed position standing at about a 45 degree angle to each other in a mirror opposite stance. In this "V" position, both the angle of their bodies and the bow of their arms in front of them form the letter "V." The male dancer holds his partner's right hand in the "cupped" fingers of his left hand without any thumb pressure; his right hand is centered on her upper back, and his right upper arm is angled downward with his partner's left arm resting on top of it. The female dancer leans back against her partner's right hand and she positions the palm of her left hand lightly on the top of his right shoulder with her fingers draped forward. These body connections establish the "frame" within which the male dancer leads his partner. Both dancers should stand up straight with their diaphragms raised; center their weight on the balls of their feet, not on their heels; avoid leaning forward and maintain eye contact with their partner while they dance. The instructor concludes this first segment of the class by discussing the importance of the "slot," and how it should be oriented to the room.

The male dancer leads his partner within a rectangular dance space that is called a slot. He orients this "line of dance" to two of the four walls of the room by aligning his closed position stance on the dance floor as follows: on a wooden floor, he orients his slot to the floor boards; on a tile floor, he either goes with the length of the room if it is rectangular, or he goes with the width of the room (sideways to the DJ or stage) if it is square. The slot is often referred to as a railroad track and its sides are called "rails." The breadth of the male dancer's shoulders defines the width of the slot and the distance that he extends his arm (bowed in a "V") to touch his partner defines the length of the slot. The female dancer always has the undisputed right-of-way over her partner on this track, and it is jokingly said that: "when she gets the gravel (between the wooden ties) then he gets the steel (of the rails) or they aren't tracking properly, and he will get run over."

During the second part of the class, the instructor introduces his students to the remaining dance 'moves': the "Glideaway;" the Open Position Basic Step (with and without using the 'patty-cake' handwork);" the "Right Side-Pass (with an Underarm Turn)" which is also called a "Crossover;" and finally the "Basic Return (into the Closed Position)." Whenever an instructor teaches these fundamental swing 'moves,' he should always emphasize how critical the female dancer's arm resistance is to his ability to lead her. For the male dancer, trying to lead his partner when she provides insufficient arm resistance (or a "noodle arm") is equivalent to him trying to maneuver his car without a steering wheel! All of the swing 'moves' above are very important because they not only improve the male dancer's ability to lead his partner, but they also enable both dancers to use their newly learned, triple step footwork to practice stepping around left and right and reversing their positions in the "slot."

There are numerous, excellent swing dance clubs located in the St. Louis area and every night of the week at least one of these clubs hosts scheduled lessons and a dance. If you are a swing dance instructor then I hope that the information presented in this article is helpful when you teach your introductory classes. If you are an aspiring, new dancer then consider attending one of these classes; it is the first stop on your fun, life changing journey into the world of social swing dancing. The large, friendly community of enthusiastic dancers welcomes you to join them when you are ready to take that first step. And, speaking of steps, don't forget, if you have ever "skipped" around your school's playground as a child then you already know how to perform swing dancing's basic step because the footwork is identical. Plan to take your first lesson at an upcoming dance and put your newfound knowledge of the footwork to music!

*Note: Imperial Swing is St. Louis' own style of East Coast Swing that is danced in a rectangular slot (instead of in-the-round) and infused with a touch of West Coast Swing styling.

Copyright © 2011 by Henry H. "Skip" Culver, Jr. Member of the West County Swing Dance Club and author of: Imperial Swing Dancing (visit: http://www.imperialswing.com/ ).

Henry H. "Skip" Culver, Jr. is a member of the West County Swing Dance Club in St. Louis Missouri. He is a Gold Seal Instrument Flight Instructor and the author of the bestselling book on navigation titled: IFR 'Pocket Simulator' Procedures. In 2000 Skip turned his attention from aviation towards the dance floor. He became a Certified Swing Dance Instructor in 2004, and then with over seven years of detailed notes from various classes and workshops in hand, he began assembling the Imperial Swing Dancing manual which he published in June of 2007. Skip is a frequent contributor of articles on swing dancing to different club newsletters throughout the United States.

Original article