Surprise Your Valentine with Dance

Couple learning to dance in dancing schoolValentine’s Day can be a fun holiday. It’s an excuse to celebrate your relationships and show your love to your husband, wife, or even family and friends. If you’re looking for something different and special to give them, consider the gift of dance. You can give this gift in several ways.

Gift Certificates are always an option.

You can easily purchase some gift certificates for either classes or private lessons. They can be for the recipient only, or for the both of you to do together. If you give the certificates early, you can spend Valentine’s Day together somewhere special and use all you learned, and dance together. If you have other plans, the gift certificates will last; you can extend the feeling by celebrating Valentine’s Day, and the using the gift later to continue enjoying time together.

You can learn to dance for Valentine’s Day.

Start the fun and love early. You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day to take the lessons. Go with your significant other and take some lessons. Have private lessons or classes, and then use them later on the big day. You can make Valentine’s Day even more special by planning ahead together. Or, you can surprise your partner by encouraging him or her to take lessons, and then revealing a special event or night out on the holiday, during which you use what you learned together.

It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Dancing is an activity that couples can do together throughout their relationship. By giving the gift of dance on Valentine’s Day, you do more than celebrate a special occasion; you offer something that lasts. You now have something that allows you to come together, to rekindle the romance from time to time, to go out and meet new people, and to try new things like different types of dance. And, each time you dance, you’ll both remember that special Valentine’s Day when you learned to dance together.

Do something different this Valentine’s Day. Dance has the potential to be so much more than a small activity for the special occasion. You can make it the central gift to your loved one with a gift certificate, or it can be the something special you do together on the day. Whatever you choose, we at Dance Passion Studio are happy to help you make it the best Valentine’s Day. Get gift certificates for classes or lessons on our website, or take lessons with your significant other.

History of the Wedding Dance

wedding, danceYou are probably familiar with the wedding dance, or the first dance. The tradition of the bride and groom’s first dance on their wedding day is classic. The internet is full of wedding dance videos in which couples try their best to be fun and original. Some are perfectly happy to go with the old classics, like a wedding waltz. So, why do we have this seemingly widespread tradition?

The history of the first wedding dance extends so very far and is so widespread that it is difficult to know precisely when it began. Historically, in many cultures, the first to dance at an occasion were special individuals, such as the King and Queen. If royalty did not dance first, then others had to wait for royal permission to do so. Over the years, traditions evolved, but special, celebrated people continued to be the first to dance.

In some cultures, the first dance is very specific. It may be a traditional tribal dance, something people of the culture have been dancing for ages, or it may be associated with the dominating religion. This is not too detached from what many couples do now. Today, many newlyweds select a dance and accompanying music that representative of them as a couple.

With a vast amount of dances from which to choose, and the option of going to a teacher who can choreograph something special, the first dance at a wedding is just as important as it ever was. It continues to be symbolic of the couple’s importance in general, but now, in many cultures, it is more individualized. Rather than represent the overall culture, it usually represents the couple.

If you’re getting ready to celebrate one of the happiest days of your life, consider coming to Dance Passion Studio for dances lessons. We can help you have the most wonderful first dance at your wedding.

Communication and Dance

Couples having dancing classGood communication takes practice; arguably, no one instinctively knows how to communicate well. But, it is an important skill in all aspects of life, including dance. In fact, dance calls for more than verbalization. You use physical cues and try to sense, to some degree, your partner’s need and intentions, and a combination of other forms of communication.

There is a variety of communication during a dance. You not only learn steps and how to take them, you learn to address your partner and surroundings. Additionally, all modes of communication have to be accomplished in sync with the music and dance step patterns.

You still need to communicate verbally.

Over time, you and your dance partner may be able to go without much speaking at all when dancing. You will learn the steps well enough so that they come naturally and you can focus on sensing what your partner is doing physically. However, before that can happen, you must speak to your partner about what you’re doing, what you need in order to learn and dance your best. You must verbalize your confusion, your triumphs, and perhaps engage in some constructive criticism. So, it is essential to learn to speak on these things in positive ways.

You will learn to read and communicate through body language.

Dances have their own moods. They are meant to express passion, love, anger, and more. Every dance has its own character and that allows you to express without words. These dances also have physical cues that partners use to lead and follow. The lead uses physical motions—sometimes big, sometimes subtle—to take a partner into the dance. The partner generally accepts those cues, but sometimes there is resistance. All healthy dance relationships call for this back-and-forth and give-and-take.

Physical movements, expressions, gestures, and even posture make up the silent expressiveness that is dance communication. They display strength and confidence, or the need to withdraw and start again. They express joy and passion, and sometimes sadness.

Part of all this communication is listening and watching.

Of course, none of this expression will work if one partner is not paying attention. A good communicator must truly listen and address what’s being said, or watch carefully and respond to what is being done. Active listening involves both hearing and witnessing, and then responding accordingly, and of course, kindly. This promotes mutual understanding and trust so that each person knows the other is listening and watching, and will be there in support. It is very easy to let this part of communication slide; people get focused on themselves, and their own moves, problems, and enjoyment, and they forget to pay attention to the other person.

When you take dance classes or lessons, communication is essential. If you choose someone you know well as your partner, that helps the growth of trust on the dance floor. Of course, sometimes you end up dancing with someone new. So, it’s important to be ready to try and communicate well with that partner. At Dance Passion Studio, we can do far more than just teach you the steps. We can teach you how to interact with your dance partner and learn to express yourself to them, and listen to them in turn.

 

Give the Gift of Dance Classes

Young couple in love dancing in winter ParkWinter is here and the holidays will follow soon. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, another winter holiday, or you just want to give a gift during the season, give the gift of dance. If someone to whom you want to give a gift might appreciate dance lessons or classes, there are plenty of benefits to giving someone gift certificates for dance.

Dancing is a Fun Physical Activity

Has the recipient expressed a desire to start a new physical activity? Perhaps she or he wants a way to be more active and get more exercise. Dance is a great way to implement fun, low-impact movement into your normal exercise routine. It is also a method for adding a social element to your workout schedule and picking up a new hobby, all at the same time.

The Chance to Dance Together

If you and a friend have plans to go somewhere together, you want to dance with your husband or wife who cannot dance, or you want to have a dance partner for any reason in the future, then give them dance lessons or classes as a gift. You can even join in and take the classes with them. What better way to get in on the fun and prepare for your future fun together?

Dance Any Dance

You don’t have to buy gift certificates for a specific dance class. Your friend or family member can choose any class or lesson. That means if you have a friend who has always wanted to learn the Foxtrot, the Waltz, or Two-Step, they can now learn.

To the Happy Couple

Do you know a couple getting married in the new year? Dance lessons don’t have to be for an established dance. At Dance Passion Studio, we can help a couple prepare for their first dance as a married couple. We can choreograph something special and unique to them. This would make gift certificates for dance lessons both a great wedding gift or Christmas gift for a couple soon to be wed.

Dancing is always a good idea—at any time of the year. There are people all around you who would love to try a dance class or take some lessons. If you’re having trouble thinking of a gift to give, consider giving the gift of dance classes and lessons with us at Dance Passion Studio. They are available online only, so head to our Gift Certificate page to purchase.

Dance of the Moment: The Foxtrot

Couple learning to dance in dancing schoolAmong the many styles of dance found in ballroom, the Foxtrot is a classic. It is said to have first appeared in the very early 20th century—1914, to be precise—though the certainty of its origin and name is inexact. Some say that actor Harry Fox created the dance and named it after his grandfather. Whatever the truth, it became popular in the 30s and remains so.

In the dance’s early days, it was done to ragtime music. The dance appears similar to the waltz, but the timing and characteristics are very different. The foxtrot is an excellent dance for a first-time dancer.   The dance’s basic steps are a slow slow quick quick timing.  As you progress to more difficult steps, the timing changes to a slow quick quick timing.  It is often referred to as the “walking dance” as it resembles a smooth, gliding walk across the floor.

The man begins with these steps:

Slow –  step forward with the left foot

Slow – step forward with the right foot

Quick – step to the side with the left foot

Quick – bring the right foot in to the left

The partner, of course, does the opposite by mirroring. The steps are danced to a 4/4 rhythm.

Whether you want to learn the Foxtrot, other forms of ballroom dance, or you want to learn something special for an upcoming occasion, we can teach you at Dance Passion Studio. Contact us and tell us what you want to learn, or join one of our dance classes today.

Express Yourself and Dance 

dance, healthSelf-expression is more than just modern art, film, etc. We all express ourselves in some way, be it via the arts, physical activity, or merely vocalizing our feelings. And, when we do, it often lifts our spirits and gives us energy—just like learning to dance.

Dance is a long-time form of expression.

Dance has always been a form of expression. Historically, ancient people used it to communicate during ceremonies and religious celebrations; they told stories and exhibited strong emotions via movement. Anyone can find a type of dance that moves them and allows them to express themselves—no performance or ceremony necessary. From regional standards like the Two-Step, to bellydancing, to ballroom, and beyond, people have discovered the great joy that dancing brings.

There are many benefits to choosing dance as your way to express yourself.

Of the modes of self-expression available, dance is also one of the healthier ones. It is active; it moves your body, strengthening it and teaching it to move more easily. It also promotes healthy brain activity, aiding memory and other mental abilities.

You can work with your dance teacher and request a special dance, or you can choose to take classes, and learn any style that moves you and makes you feel like you’re expressing something.  You don’t have to choreograph a grand ballet to express yourself through dance; just the fun of dancing to your favorite song, whether it is with someone special in your life like a friend, husband, wife, or family member, or even with someone you just met is enough to feel expressive.  The true joy of dancing is when you share it with others.

We teach many different dances at Dance Passion Studio. You can learn with a class, take private lessons, and we can even help you with something special for an event. Come express yourself, or learn to dance for any reason.

Try the Cha-Cha

Couples having dancing classYou have probably heard of the Cha-Cha. It has been around for quite some time and is a popular ballroom dance. The Cha-Cha is a Cuban classic.

The Origins

The Cha-Cha is a Cuban dance that dates back to the 1950s. The music to which it is danced has the same name. A composer named Enrique Jorrin introduced the music with a beat similar to the danzon-mambo, but created for dancers who struggled with the rhythms. The dance became known as the Cha-Cha-Cha, A.K.A. Cha-Cha, because dancers began improvising a step that created a “cha-cha-cha” sound. Soon, new compositions for the dance were created and the dance was a hit in Havana. It quickly spread through the 50s into Mexico and more of Latin America, and then to the U.S. and beyond.

The Dance

The Cha-Cha is commonly danced to Cuban music, though it can be danced to a variety of Latin-based tunes. It’s both an energetic and potentially sensual. The dance’s styles can differ, but the basic steps are counted as, “two, three, four and one.”

  • The lead steps to the side with his left foot on the first beat then he rocks back onto his right foot on the second beat.
  • On the third beat the leader replaces weight onto his left foot.
  • Next is the chasse to the side.  There are 2 beats, but 3 steps so there is a syncopation counted four and one. The lead takes a small side step with the right foot on ‘four’, then steps with the left foot bringing the feet together on ‘and’, and then he takes another small step to the right with the right foot on ‘one.’
  • Then, the step continues with a rock step forward with the left foot followed by a chasse to the left.
  • The partner does the same, but mirrored.

Want to learn? Come to Dance Passion Studio and we’ll teach you.

 

 

 

Rumba is the Dance of Love

Latin danceThe Rumba, or Ballroom Rumba, is not just a mere dance with steps and standard accompanying music; it is storytelling. Rumba is a dance that tells a tale of passion. Its movements show the flirtation, the teasing, the longing, and the ultimate connection between two people in love. Many dance-lovers declare Rumba to be one of, if not the most passionate dance in existence.

The Dance

The Rumba is a Latin dance, originating largely from Cuba in the early twentieth century, probably in the 1920s. It also has some roots in Spanish and African dances. As a dance term, the Rumba is an umbrella for several types of music and dance found in many areas of the West Indies. The word, “rumba,” comes from “rumbear,” which means to party and dance. The dance made its way to clubs in New York and Los Angeles, and eventually became a staple of ballroom dance.

It is one of the slow Latin dances, in which the partners come together and move apart. Professional dancers often choreograph the dance so that the woman’s flirtation, teasing, and rejection of the man’s passions are clear and exaggerated through the movements. These choreographed dances often include particularly dramatic movements by the woman.

The Moves

Exaggerated hip movements are an important part of the dance’s flair. These movements, called Cuban Motion, are characteristic of the Rumba, along with a straight upper body and strong leg motions—mostly of the knees—when stepping. This hip movement is, in large part, a result of the leg motions.

The steps are danced to music with four beats per measure—4/4 time. The Box is the basic Rumba step, counted slow, quick quick. It consists of six steps—walk and chasse—that form a box shape:

  • Man: Forward walk with left foot, slow. Chasse to the side with the right foot, and then left foot for the quick, quick steps. Back walk with the right foot, slow. Then, chasse to the side with the left foot, and then the right foot for quick, quick steps.
  • Woman: Reverse from the man. Back walk with the right foot, slow. Chasse to the side with the left foot, and then the right foot for quick, quick steps. Forward walk with left foot, slow. Chasse to the side with the right foot, and then left foot for the quick, quick steps.

In addition to these basic steps, turns may be added—a full turn after two complete box sets, or a one-quarter turn in the middle of each box set. Of course, professionals can create all sorts of dramatic and engaging Rumba dances. At Dance Passion Studio, we offer rumba in our ballroom classes, and we encourage you to come learn this beautiful dance of love and passion from us.

This is Your Brain While Dancing

Did you know that there is more to dance than merely learning steps to music? Dance has a history of stimulating people, physically and mentally. In fact, the benefits of dance are so widespread—it’s sometimes recommended to help those suffering from neurological disorders—that studies have been conducted to find out how and why the brain is so affected by dance.

The Brain While Dancing

It is mostly about coordination; dance requires the brain to not only ask the body to move, but to do so in sync with the music, and in very specific ways. The mind is thus coordinating complex processes using several regions of the brain, and dancing has the potential to improve cognitive functions in many ways.

Specifically, bodily movements begin in the brain’s motor cortex. This area also contains its own parts, which each control an individual part of the body. The motor cortex sends signals down through the body, telling it to move. For dance, this part of the brain works overtime; it coordinates all parts of the body involved in all of the movement, and all at once. Therefore, the brain gets significant exercise, too.

The Affected Areas

True, some other activities may work similarly, but studies have shown that dancing regularly, in particular, can increase brain activity and processing. Science has also found that the combination of music and movement stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain while dancing. This not only creates the euphoric feeling many describe while enjoying music and a physical activity, but it can help improve brain functions such as:

  • Memory: The more you learn and retain, the better your memory. Dance requires learning and memorizing steps to such an extent that they become almost natural the more you practice. Thus, memory is improved.
  • Coordination: The various positions and movements of dance require some dexterity. Placement of feet and hands at the right timing is excellent practice for improved motor skills and coordination.
  • Spatial Awareness: Dance requires that you learn to navigate with and around your partner, as well as other people. This improves special awareness and control.
  • Balance: Learning controlled movements and patterns teaches the body—via the brain—to move better over time, promoting strength and balance through muscle memory.

Depositphotos_53974753_s-2015Dance as Therapy

Some studies have found that dance may decrease the risk of dementia in elderly patients. Dance is also encouraged for young children to aid in their early cognitive development. Dance therapy and related health recommendations are common practices. Dance therapists work with a variety of people, all who have different needs. Therapy through movement is used to aid in the improvement of physical, mental, and neurological conditions.

A person does not necessarily have to engage the services of a dance therapist, however, to reap the same benefits. Under the recommendation of a doctor, a patient may seek out a professional dance teacher and take lessons at a studio. At Dance Passion Studio, we provide dance lessons for any adult learner, at any level. Whether you’re interested in its therapeutic value, or you need to learn for an event, we’re happy to teach you, and have fun doing it. So, come see us today and let’s get dancing.

All About You: Private Dance Lessons

Private dance lessons help make certain that you get precisely the instruction you need. You can take as many classes as you want, and being the sole student means you receive all the attention. By being the focus of the lesson, and through positive experiences and reinforcement, you could gain not only the skills you need to impress on the dance floor, but the confidence, as well.

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Customization

A great element of private dance lessons is the customization; whatever you need, your instructor can give it to you during lessons just for you. Whether you want to focus on one dance, or learn several different dances, the private lesson is very flexible as far as what dances you learn. You can easily learn a single dance, or a variety of dances such as Salsa, the Two-Step, or the Foxtrot—it’s entirely up to you.

This personalization is also beneficial if you need more lessons in a certain amount of time.  Whether you feel you are more advanced, or need more help than most, private dance lessons help make certain you get precisely the level of instruction you need and at your speed.

Scheduling

Those with busy schedules who work long hours, or who have schedules that change from week to week appreciate that private dance lessons offer flexibility to tailor the schedule to them. Being able to create a convenient schedule with your teacher is a great way to make learning to dance much easier on you.

Confidence

Few things inspire confidence more than being the focus of positive teaching and clear results. It is much easier to see the positive outcomes of your lessons when you are the focus of the lessons. Getting all the attention you need in an encouraging atmosphere is a classic way to build confidence. Taking the time for yourself, having lessons tailored to you, seeing the results you want in your own time, and proceeding only when you are ready is an excellent way to achieve your dance goals. They are also ways to feel confident while learning and in the final results.

If you need customized private dance lessons, we can accommodate you at Dance Passion Studio. We also provide the positive instruction at your pace that builds confidence. Just call us and tell us you want to dance, and we’ll teach you how.