Latest News & Events

Beginner Argentine Tango Lessons

argentine-tango-deborah-and-jordiThere is probably no other dance that has the romantic and sensual expression of the Argentine Tango.

The Argentine tango is often described as the most romantic of all the dances. Now you can experience the beauty, passion and romance of the Argentine Tango with our new series of beginner Argentine tango lessons.

 

  • Level 1: Saturdays – 4:45 – 5:30 pm
  • Level 1.5: Saturdays – 5:30 – 6:15 pm
  • Level 2: Saturdays – 6:15 – 7:30 pm

Argentine Tango

This series will help develop a more comprehensive understanding of how to “connect the dots”. A strong focus will be placed on Argentine tango improvisation, navigation and timing as well as an introduction to the two main systems: Parallel and Cross System. In addition, students will learn how to combine the core elements and implement new figures essential to Argentine Tango. Lastly, students will be introduced to the social dance etiquette preparing them for the tango socials (Milongas/Practicas).

For more information on our Tango lessons call 310-391-0400

Here are a couple of videos of our fantastic tango instructor Jordi Caballero. In 2007, Jordi was an associate producer and co-star of Valentina’s Tango, opposite celebrated tango master Guillermina Quiroga.


Jordi Caballero & Zita Gonzalez dance the tango to “Verano Porteno” at the Downey Theatre in California


Monica Orozco & Jordi Caballero perform in “Tango Evolution” at the Downey Theatre in California

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Help Us Spread The Word

man-w-megaphoneThank you for your business and we hope you are enjoying your dance classes at By Your Side Dance Studio. We strive to be the best dance studio in Los Angeles and your opinion counts!

If you have a moment please consider sharing the details of the dance class you attended and your experience at By Your Side Dance Studio. It takes no time at all to leave a recommendation and help us spread the word about our business.

If you are a Yelper visit us on Yelp.
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If you are a Gmail or Google user visit our Google Plus page.
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If you are a Facebook user visit our CitySearch page.
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Finally, if you have any problems or suggestions on how we can improve our service please either speak to me directly or send me a message here.

Thank you for your consideration.
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By Your Side Dance Studio Voted Best Dance Studio In Los Angeles

Best Dance Studio In Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA – By Your Side Dance Studio, a ballroom dance studio that makes learning to dance easy and fun for people of all ages and abilities, announced today that they have received the Top Choice Award for Best Dance Studio in Los Angeles by Top Choice Awards. Top Choice Awards is an organization that identifies businesses that have risen above their competition and have earned the people’s vote in top cities around the world.

“The public has been voting for the past three months and the results were clear! By Your Side Dance Studio has demonstrated top quality, service, value and professionalism in providing the best ballroom dance lessons and adult dance classes to the people of Los Angeles,” said Francesca Filippelli of Top Choice Awards.

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Ballroom Dancing Practice Parties

We need to promote ballroom dancing in Los Angeles so we are now offering a ballroom dancing social party for Ballroom Dancers the 4th Friday of every month.  We will focus on ballroom dancing such as the Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing and American Tango at these practice parties.  Deborah will DJ the music and there will be free refreshments.

$10 Admission
($7 Admission for USA Dance and Dance Buddy Members)

7pm – 10:30pm

Free street parking after 6pm, free parking behind studio and metered parking in the new city lot beside the studio.

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Become a Better Ballroom Dancer More Quickly with Ballroom Dancing Medals

Taking ballroom dancing lessons allows you to improve your coordination, get a great dance workout, and most importantly have fun. But, if there are no set goals for a ballroom dance lesson, your dance lessons can quickly become dull and unexciting. Ballroom dancing medals help improve your ballroom dancing and make you a better ballroom dancer more quickly with progressive dance instruction and achievable goals.

What are Ballroom Dancing Medals?

The word ‘medal’ makes it appear as if these are physical awards that are given to ballroom dancers to show off a big win at a recent competition but they’re not. Ballroom dancing medals are awarded for accomplishment in ballroom dancing technique.

Ballroom dance students have the opportunity to take part in what is known as the Medal Test. A ballroom dancing Medal Test is an event that allows students to have their dance skills assessed and evaluated by an independent source.

Dance students can work on ballroom dancing medals in a number of different dance styles ranging from Foxtrot and Waltz, to Swing, Salsa, and Tango. Students have the option to achieve their ballroom dance medals in either one style or multiple ballroom dance styles.

Ballroom dancing medals are awarded for showing an understanding of technique and footwork for a particular level. There are three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

How Ballroom Dancing Medals are Awarded

Dancers take the dance floor only when the music is being played for a specific ballroom dance style. The dancer then dances a pre-set routine with another partner or with their teacher and the ballroom dance is judged by a panel of independent judges.

The independent judges will assess a dancer based off of the following criteria:

  • Footwork
  • Lead and Follow Technique
  • Dance Style
  • Timing

If it is determined that the ballroom dancer has met or exceeded the expectations for a specific dance level they will be awarded a certificate and an award. Once they have received their certificate or ballroom dance medal they can now move on to the next level and work on harder, more complex ballroom dance sequences and dance techniques.

Why Medals in Ballroom Dancing Matter

Taking part in the ballroom dancing medal test is not required in order to enjoy the art of ballroom dancing but it is encouraged. Earning medals in ballroom dancing is encouraged because having attainable dancing goals can really improve your dancing and make you a better ballroom dancer much more quickly.

Ballroom dancing medals matter to students because:

  • Dance lessons are focused and dedicated
  • Students have dance goals and an outline of what they want to achieve
  • Dancers feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they achieve their ballroom dance medals

Improve Your Ballroom Dancing in Los Angeles

Want to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment while learning to dance the beautiful ballroom dances? Get our platinum dance package to receive 25% off of our private ballroom dance lessons.

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Ballroom Dancing Tip: Swing Dancing Closed Position

ballroom-dancing-tip-swing-dancingFor this Ballroom Dancing Tip we cover the Aspects of Connection in Swing Closed Position: Connection in Swing Closed Position differs from Rhythm and Latin Closed Position in the following ways:

Keep Joined Hands Low: There is a tendency for students to lift the joined hands. For well-connected leading and following, it is important that the joined hands are low at the Follower’s waist or hip level.

Leader’s Right Arm: While the Leader’s right elbow may not be as high as in other Closed Position frames, take care not to let it drop down – it is important to maintain the stretch and tone in the Leader’s right and Follower’s left sides.

Also, when dancing back breaks in Swing closed Position, the Leader’s right arm must be responsive and expand with the Follower’s back (so as not to restrict the Follower’s back step and allow for a larger V-sharpe or Fallaway Position to occur).

Follower’s Right Arm: The Follower’s right arm has a sense of lightness, connecting with the Leader without pressing down.

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Preparing For A Ballroom Dance Competition

With many of our ballroom dance students competing or preparing to compete this year, as well as those on the fence about it, I thought I’d post this information.

Why Compete In A Ballroom Dance Competition?

Going to a ballroom dance competition is a fun and thrilling experience. Ballroom dance competitions are usually held at a hotel so that ballroom dancers from all over the country (and even the world) can attend. It is typically a one to three day event, running from morning until midnight, consisting of ballroom competitions, professional ballroom dance shows, dancing workshops and general ballroom dancing.

ballroom-dance-competitionDancing in a ballroom dance competition has many benefits. Students who participate in ballroom dance competitions tend to learn faster and dance with a better technique and more style than students who focus solely on the social aspect of dancing. One of the biggest advantages is that ballroom dance competitions create goals. As students learn the figures and technique they need for the ballroom dance competition, they get more value from their private lessons. Students’ dancing improves by leaps and bounds, and they enjoy the experience of increased poise and confidence on the dance floor.

Competitions are also a great place for dance students to meet people with whom they have something in common. Everyone at the ballroom dance competition – from the newest dancer to the seasoned veteran – has worked hard to get there. This builds a feeling of camaraderie among the ballroom dancers. By the end of the weekend, students usually feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and are inspired to learn even more.

Some students may say they don’t like “competition.” However, I can reassure you that the environment at most Dancesport ballroom dance competitions is one of friendliness and support as most students are focused on the progress in their own individual dancing. Competitions also give students the opportunity to work with their dance instructor on setting their goals, practicing hard, and then going out on the dance floor and dancing their personal best.

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Our Ballroom Dancers Win Big At The Emerald Ball Ballroom Dancing Competition!

emerald-ballroom-dancing-competitionWe are so proud of all of our ballroom dancers who competed at the recent Emerald Ball Ballroom dancing competition!

Congratulations to all the By Your Side Dance Studio Students who competed at one of the largest dance competitions in the nation, the Emerald Ball, winning almost all first places and a few second places. Out of 62 ballroom dancing entries we had an incredible 56 first places and 6 second places!!!

Visit our Facebook page to see all the photos of our amazing ballroom dancers!

Dancing in a Ballroom Dance Competition

Ballroom dancing has become increasingly popular in recent years with shows like Dancing With The Stars”. Competitive ballroom dancing often gives ballroom dancers the incentive move forward and accomplish their ballroom dancing goals while showcasing their skills and competing with their peers.

A ballroom dance competition is divided into four main categories:
American Rhythm – Swing, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Bolero, Mambo
American Smooth – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz
International Latin – Jive, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble
International Standard – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz

The competition is also divided into sections by the ballroom dancer’s level of experience.

In a ballroom dance competition it’s all about selling the character of the dance.

The most exciting aspect about entering a ballroom dance competition is that you are “on stage” from the second you set foot on the dance floor to the second you get off. That includes walking on, waiting for the music, dancing, and walking off the floor.

Here are a few of the characteristics and expressions you should be showing when dancing in a ballroom dance competition:

Overall
- Smile! This is supposed to be fun, remember? So look like you are enjoying yourself in all dances (except maybe in the rumba and tango where “fun” is not appropriate.)

Swing/Jive
- Big, big smiles. Look like you’re having the most fun you have ever had in your entire life.

Cha-Cha
- Sensual & Flirtatious. Partners should be teasing each other. Game of now you have me, now you don’t. (works for the Samba as well)

Rumba
- Steamy and romantic. Gaze deep into each other’s eyes. Show the lust!

Waltz & Viennese Waltz
- Elegant and graceful. Float across the floor angelically.

Foxtrot
- Smile and look pleased. Get a nice, relaxed, noproblem look about yourself and feel the music. Look like you are taking a leisurely Sunday stroll in the park.

Tango
- Serious and dramatic. You’re tough, and you dare anyone in the place to say otherwise. Leaders, you partner is a prize trophy, show her off.

Take your ballroom dancing to the next level

Contact Deborah at 310-391-0400 if you are interested in participating in a ballroom dance competition and learning the ballroom dance techniques that will take your ballroom dancing to the next level.

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Adult Tap Dancing Class Starting Saturday June 14

Tap Classes Los Angeles

Tap dancing classes start Saturday June 14!
Ready to put some rhythm into your life?
Want to have fun while burning calories and getting fit?
Join the best tap dancing class in Los Angeles!

Adult Tap Level 1

This class focuses on Level 1 footwork and learning a choreographed routine.

  • Start Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
  • Dates: Saturdays 11:30 – 12:15pm
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Cost: $130.00 for 10 classes

Adult Tap Level 2

This class focuses on Level 2 footwork and learning a choreographed routine to “Watch the Birdie” by Lisa Stansfield.

  • Start Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
  • Dates: Saturdays 12:15 – 1:00pm
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Cost: $130.00 for 10 classes

Adult Tap Level 3

This class consists of Level 3 footwork and a learning a choreographed routine to “Cups” by Pitch Perfect!

  • Start Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
  • Dates: Saturdays 1:00 – 1:45pm
  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Cost: $130.00 for 10 classes

Tap dancing is a great way to get in shape, feel the rhythm of the music and add flair to your dancing. Tap dancing is recommended for all dancers no matter your style or ability.

We pride ourselves on having the best comprehensive and progressive set of tap dancing classes in Los Angeles. If you are a little nervous about learning tap dancing you may take the first tap class at our single lesson rate of $15 to try it out.  If you decide to continue with the course, you can simply pay the difference for the full 10 week series.

By Your Side Dance Studio
12613 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(X-Street is Centinela)

Call 310-391-0400 to reserve your spot today! These classes fill up fast.

 

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Dancing Makes You Smarter

ballroom-dance-classes-los-angeles

For decades doctors and scientists have talked about the health benefits of dancing but these studies have typically promoted the benefits of dancing as a physical exercise. Now recent research suggests that not only is dancing a great method for stress reduction and promoting a sense of well-being, but dancing can even make you smarter!

A recent study published in the New England Medical Journal indicates that participation in leisure activities such as dancing has been associated with a lower risk of dementia in the elderly. In fact of all the activities studied, dancing was associated with a 76% reduced risk of dementia.

While many activities such as reading books, doing crossword puzzles and playing musical instruments were beneficial to the brain not many physical activities such as playing golf, swimming or bicycling offered the same mental benefits. There was only one activity that combined the physical and mental benefits and offered protection from dementia – and that was dancing!

The study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine revealed that dancing has a positive effect and can improve the health of the brain. The study specifically measured four factors as they related to dancing:

  • Cognitive memory
  • Sense of well-being
  • Serotonin levels
  • Stress levels

The study found that dancing frequently was the best activity for maintaining both mental and physical health. Dancing seems to incorporate several brain functions that stimulate the brain and provide a sense of well-being. Some of these functions include listening to enjoyable music and creatively thinking and coordinating your dance moves with your dance partner. When someone dances, they are improving their mental capabilities. And by keeping the brain active, the brain’s health can be maintained which makes one smarter and less likely to lose memories.

How does dancing make you smarter?

It appears that the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of our brains are very elastic which means that they can rewire themselves. By utilizing our brain in coordination with our body, dancing helps keep the brain functioning by rewiring itself and keeping brain pathways open. This combination of creative thinking and physical activity also promotes serotonin levels which elevate our happiness and reduces our stress levels. Dancing simply seems to stimulate the brain in a constructive way that helps to maintain brain health and make the brain less likely to lose memories. Dancing is a fun and engaging mental and physical challenge which stimulates neural pathways in the brain for long-term brain health.

So there you have it – dancing, which is so much fun, is also is a great way to work out the brain and body, reduce stress and keep those brain cells and neural pathways active! See you on the dance floor.

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By Your Side Dance Studio Ballroom Dancers Are Competing At The Emerald Ball Ballroom Dance Competition

emerald-ballroom-dance-competitionWe are proud to have many of our ballroom dance students competing at this years 25th anniversary Emerald Ball April 29 – May 4at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton.

Summary of dates and times that our ballroom dance student are competing at Emerald Ball:

Jacob Quan:

  • Tues. April 29th – 2:16pm (Salsa) AND
  • Wednesday – April 30th 6:05pm (Waltz)

Charles Ramsey:

  • Wed. April 30th – 2:10pm (Samba Solo)

Monica Angelats:

  • Tues. April 29th – 2:22pm (Closed Salsa)
  • Tues. April 29th – 8:23pm (Open Salsa)

Amy Chang:

  • Wed. April 30th – 10:15am-2:38pm (Arg. Tango)

Jane Glaser/Rene Perez:

  • Tues. April 29th – 2:37pm-3:38pm (Open Bronze Rhythm) AND
  • Tues. April 29th – 8:12pm-8:45pm (Open Bronze Rhythm) AND
  • Wed. April 30th – 6pm-7:13pm (Closed Smooth)

Rene Perez/Deborah Perez:

  • Tues. 29th – 9:17pm-9:20pm (Rhythm Open Bronze) AND
  • Wed. 30th – 11:45am-2pm (Rhythm Open Silver) AND
  • Wed. 30th – 6:44pm-6:47pm (Closed Smooth)

All our kids:

  • Sunday, May 4th – 4:53-7:12pm

Get tickets at www.emeraldball.com if you want to come cheer for us and everyone else competing those days.

The Emerald Ball is pleased to be celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of the largest Dancesport Ballroom Dance Competitions in the country.

For the first time The Emerald Ball will be expanded to 6 magnificent days of Pro/Am, Amateur and Professional ballroom dance competition from some of the best ballroom dancers in the United States and around the world.

The highlight of the week will be the ballroom dancing showtime event “25 Shades of Green” created by Tomasz & Izabela Lewandowski. Performers will be a grand surprise.

The Emerald Ball
April 29th – May 4th, 2014
Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel
5711 W. Century Blvd.,
Los Angeles California 90045

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Social Dancing Tips: 6 Aspects of Social Dance Etiquette

SOCIAL DANCING TIP:
Imparting Social Dance Etiquette

Dancing is a social activity which requires interpersonal as well as physical grace. Being a considerate and thoughtful dance partner helps ensure a wonderful experience and is even more important for a social dancer than dance technique.

There are six aspects of social dancing etiquette.

1. Asking for a dance
2. Saying “no”
3. Personal hygiene
4. Partner’s ability
5. Floorcraft
6. Group classes

MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?
In a social dance situation it is customary to dance with a variety of people. (This is also a great way to improve one’s dance skills). Therefore …

When YOU ask someone to dance, be sure to make eye contact with your prospective dance partner, offer your hand and ask directly, “Would you like to dance?” If the person says yes, then smile, offer your hand and walk with him or her onto the dance floor and into dance position. This helps a partner feel supported and at ease.

When social dancing and someone asks YOU to dance, your response should nearly always be, “Yes, I would love to!” It is not acceptable to say no because you do not think the dancer is good enough for you or because you are hoping someone “better” will ask you. It is important that all dancers are supportive and kind to each other at all skill levels.

During the dance, be sure to be aware of your dance partner, including your dance partner’s comfort and skill level. Smile and make eye contact, but do not stare. Be gracious and appreciative At the end of the dance, always thank your parter and walk with him or her off the dance floor.

WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE TO SAY NO?
When a person asks you for a dance, it is appropriate to say no under a few circumstances:

If you are really tired when someone asks you to dance, say that you are taking a rest now and would be happy to dance later. Then be sure to keep this commitment.

If you come to the dance to watch and someone asks you to dance, it is fine to say, “Thank you, but I’m just watching tonight.”

If the same person asks you to dance repeatedly, it is acceptable to tell him or her that you would like to dance with others right now and would enjoy another dance later.

If the person has been physically or verbally abusive to you on a previous occasion, it is of course appropriate to say “no!” It is also appropriate to say “no” if the person is obviously drunk or threatening in some way. If you feel that a social dancer at the party is physically dangerous to the other dancers, report the situation immediately to the person in charge (e.g., the teacher, front desk or management).

CLEANLINESS IS HEAVEN
Social dancing is an intimate activity in that it requires a certain degree of physical closeness. Good hygiene before and during a dance party shows respect and consideration for the other dancers. Considerations include:

Bathe or take a shower, use deodorant and wear clean clothes.

Brush your teeth before going to a dance. Use breath mints or gum at the dance if necessary.

Bring a towel and/or a change of clothes if you tend to sweat a great deal. If you get excessively sweaty on the dance floor, stop, dry off and cool down for a few minutes.

Use a light touch applying perfume or cologne, or avoid wearing it altogether, as many people are sensitive or allergic to fragrances.

PARTNER’S ABILITY
Get along with partners of varying ability levels. For example:

Compliment rather than correct your partner. Unless someone asks you directly to make a correction, never volunteer criticisms of your dance partner’s abilities. Know that your dance partner is doing the best that he or she is able.

If your dance partner is dancing off time, consider ways to make it fun for yourself. For example, you might view the situation as a challenge to dance to the same internal rhythm as your partner, an opportunity to have fun dancing slightly off the music or simply a chance to appreciate the experience of moving with another person.

If your partner is physically hurting you, it is probably inadvertent. Stop dancing for a moment and say something like this, “I’m sorry, but you’re holding my hand a little tightly. Could we do it again?” If you receive an inconsiderate response or your dance partner seems unwilling to modify his or her behavior, it is then appropriate for you to say, “Thank you, but I’d like to stop now.” Social dancing should not be physically painful or dangerous.

FLOORCRAFT AND THE LINE OF DANCE
In order for a dance to be enjoyable for all the social dancers, it is crucial to be considerate and aware of floor craft. No matter how inspired you might be to let go and express yourself, have respect for the other couples on the floor. Careful observation of the traffic lanes in a ballroom helps prevent mishaps. Here are some guidelines:

In social dances that travel (i.e., Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Peabody, Samba and Argentine Tango), ballroom dancers move in a counter-clockwise circle known as the line of dance. The line of dance has lanes, similar to those on a highway.

*Fast Lane: the very outside lane of the line of dance is the “fast lane.” This lane is generally used by very experienced ballroom dancers who cover a lot of ground.

*Slow Lane: The middle and inside lanes are for beginners and less experienced social dancers who are not traveling as much as those in the fast lane. Beginners dancing basic steps and not traveling as much should stay on the very inside lane.

*Center of the Floor: When repeatedly practicing a figure that does not travel (e.g., the Waltz Box with Underarm Turn), use the center of the ballroom dance floor.

GROUP CLASS ETIQUETTE
Get along with each other as you rotate partners.

Say hello and introduce yourself to each new partner.

If you only want to dance with the same partner for personal reasons, you may do so by stepping out of the circle when it is time to rotate. This way, it is clear that you are not part of the rotation. To help avoid confusion when rotating, direct fellow students to rotate past you.

If you’re having real difficulty with the figure, it is perfectly acceptable to tell your partner that you need to step out of the rotation for a minute to practice the dance steps on your own. If you want help, feel free to ask the teacher.

It is not acceptable to refuse to dance with someone in a group class simply because you are of the same gender. There are many reasons why social dancers choose to learn the non-traditional role (i.e., women dancing as Leaders and men dancing as Followers). Reasons range from being teachers in training who need to know both roles, to wanting to learn the other role to improve their dancing, to simply preferring the non-traditional role. If you are a male Leader or female Follower, you may not be accustomed to dancing with someone of your same gender. Nevertheless, dance etiquette requires that you respect other dancers’ choices, regardless of their reasons for choosing the non-traditional role.

SOURCE: TEACH LIKE A PRO by Diane Jarmolow

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Tap Dancing Tips: 4 Tips for Better Tap Dancing

TAP DANCING TIPS: 4 Essential tips for better tap dancing!

With the new tap dancing series about to start tomorrow morning, I thought this was fitting for today’s daily dance tip.

Although tap dancing isn’t simple, it won’t be long before you will be tap dancing your way through lively dance routines. Tap dancing requires lots of practice, patience and determination. Following are four tips to help you improve your tap dancing skills.

1. Relax Your Ankles
Have you ever wondered how professional tap dancers make every step look completely clean? The secret lies in relaxing the ankles. try not to overuse your ankles in order to perform your steps more quickly. Make sure you make a concious effort to relax your ankles. Try using your legs, starting from the hips, limiting movements from the ankles. Allow your legs to do all the work, letting your feet just follow along.

2. Slow Down
Many beginning tap dancers tend to rush through steps, speeding through combinations. Rushing will cause your steps to run together, blending individual tap sounds into one. If you find yourself skipping steps of combinations, slow down. Producing clean tap sounds is much more appealing than sloppy speed tapping.

3. Lean Forward
One of the keys to tap dancing is the placement of your weight. Both of your feet must be capable of being lifted at any moment, so your center of gravity has to stay primarily in the middle. Try holding most of your weight forward when tap dancing, balancing on the balls of your feet.

4. Keep the Rhythm
When you tap dance, you are doing more than dancing to music… you are making music. Make sure you keep in time to the music you are dancing to, instead of competing for the lead. Try not to get carried away with your own tap sounds. Listen to the music and move in time to the beat. if your tap sounds compliment the rhythm of the music, your audience will be truly mesmerized.

Learn more about our tap dancing classes in Los Angeles.

Source: About.com

tap dancing

 

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Ballroom Dancing Tips: Proper Ballroom Dance Posture

BALLROOM DANCING TIP OF THE DAY: Posture

In ballroom dancing, your dance posture is critical, and good ballroom dancing is not just about looks and style, your posture also affects how well you will dance together with your partner on the dance floor.

SMOOTH AND STANDARD BALLROOM DANCING CLOSED POSITION
(Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz & Quickstep)

FRAME: The means of connecting with your partner using correct positioning of the arms, shoulders, elbows and hands. A toned frame is essential for good leading and following when dancing.

LEADER’S ARM POSITIONS (see photo below):

Leaders Smooth Dance Position

LEFT ARM: When ballroom dancing, the Leader’s left arm is bent at about 90 degrees, with the forearm inclined at a 45-degree angel from the floor (i.e., halfway between perpendicular and parallel to the floor.) The left elbow is held to the side, approximately in line with the left shoulder. The Leader’s left fingers are together and slightly curled, with the thumb separate.

RIGHT ARM: The Leader’s right arm is extended to the side and slightly forward. The right elbow is held at the same height from the floor as the left elbow, but is slightly more forward (approximately in the same plane as the front of the right hip). The right arm slopes slightly downward from the shoulder to elbow and from elbow to hand (unless the Follower is taller than the Leader). The thumb and fingers of the right hand are together with the hand slightly cupped.

FOLLOWER’S ARM POSITIONS (see photo below):

Followers Smooth Dance Position

RIGHT ARM: When ballroom dancing, the Follower’s right arm is extended to the side and slightly forward with the elbow softly bent. The palm of the right hand is turned slightly outward (i.e., away from the Follower’s face) with the fingers gently curled. The feeling is one of giving the arm forward and upward toward the leader.

LEFT ARM: The Follower’s left arm is extended to the side, approximately in line with the left shoulder. The arm is bent so that the angle between the forearm and upper arm is a little less than 90 degrees. The hand is slightly turned out from the wrist — the fingers gently fan to the left with the thumb held separately, in continuation with the line of the inner forearm. The four fingers are closed (i.e., not splayed apart) and styled with the middle finger down and other fingers raised, with the pinky held highest.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When ballroom dancing, always remember to keep your Shoulder Blades Down, Elbows High and Heads Left.

Information brought to you from the book “Teach Like a Pro” by Diane Jarmolow a highly certified and renowned ballroom dance instructor. Her book is available for purchase at dancevision.com

Take your ballroom dancing to the next level! Learn about the ballroom dance medal system and our ballroom classes in Los Angeles.

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