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. 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. 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 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.

Get a free e-book on how to dance better now

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"

From Hayley Hall, International Street Dance Teacher Trainer and the Co-Founder of the Street Dance Teacher Training Company

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 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) If they are off off beat with them. Dancing with a partner is about lead and'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

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

Original article