Congratulations to our ballroom dancers as they competed at the top annual ‘must-do’ ballroom dance completion in Los Angeles – the Emerald Ball.
We are so proud of our fantastic ballroom dancers!
The Emerald Ball is one of the three largest ballroom dance competitions in the United States. This competition attracts the best of the best ballroom dancers from all over America and the world.
If you want to become a better ballroom dancer, one of the best ways is to start training for a ballroom dance competition. When you have a concrete goal with a date you can become more focused on achieving that goal. And, once you are totally committed, you will be amazed at how quickly your ballroom dancing improves.
When you attend a ballroom dance competition like the Emerald Ball, you will be able to see the some of the best ballroom dancers throughout the US. You are guaranteed to be inspired while watching some of these amazing ballroom dancers. You can then take this inspiration to and incorporate it to improve your own ballroom dancing skills.
Contact Deborah or Guillermo for more information on training for competitive ballroom dancing.
Our Comic-Con Showcase was a huge success and many felt it was the best dance showcase yet. A big thank you to all of our dancers, teachers, and supporters for contributing to our success.
Performing in a dance showcase is one of the best ways to improve your dancing in a short period of time because it gives you a concrete goal to work toward. Performing in a dance showcase also builds self-confidence, helps you understand how choreography and music work together to create a complete dance performance and helps you grow as an overall dancer. (It’s also a LOT OF FUN!!!)
If you are interested in dancing in one of our upcoming dance showcases contact Deborah or Guillermo.
Thank you to everyone that came to our James Bond License to Dance Showcase last Sunday… we had a blast! Here’s the link to the pictures and videos from the show (videos are at the end of the gallery).
By Your Side Dance Studio is excited to announce that seven of their competitive ballroom dance students will be ballroom dancing at the prestigious Blackpool Dance Festival starting May 23rd 2017.
The first Blackpool Dance Festival was held during Easter week in 1920 in the magnificent Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens and is now the world’s first and most famous annual international ballroom dance competition.
This year the Blackpool Dance Festival will cover nine days of Ballroom and Latin American dancing with the best dancers from dance schools and dance studios from over 60 different countries in attendance.
And, for the first time ever the Blackpool Dance Festival has decided to invite students to compete with their teachers. Our ballroom dance students will be competing in the ProAm division which refers to a professional dancer or teacher dancing with their student.
The Blackpool Dance Festival is like Olympic Games: it’s so prestigious that simply taking part in this incredible ballroom dance competition is a great personal achievement and winning it is like earning Olympic Gold for ballroom dancing.
We are proud to be part of this historic time in which Pro/Am ballroom dancing programs have been allowed to compete in the oldest and most prestigious ballroom dancing event in the world.
If you are interested in becoming a better ballroom dancer more quickly, consider Pro/Am competitive ballroom dancing. You will learn to dance with confidence, style, and grace while having a measurable goal for improving your dancing abilities.
For more information on Pro/Am competitive ballroom dancing talk to Deborah or Guillermo.
We were so happy to have four time undefeated US and World American Smooth Champions Slawek Sochacki and Marzena Stachura perform in our professional show at our Ten Year Anniversary Gala. We were very honored to have this amazing couple perform and their beautiful dancing was an incredible highlight to our professional dance show.
For three consecutive years Slawek Sochacki and Marzena Stachura were the European Champions in the 10-Dance Division, as well as 2005 Standard Champions. After moved to the US in 2009 they began dancing and competing in the American Smooth division. They were both US American Smooth Champions, World American Smooth Champions for four consecutive years in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and now teach the top ballroom dancing couples in the US.
They have been featured choreographers for the TV show Dancing with the Stars and are incredible ballroom dance instructors who believe strongly in bringing quality instruction, passion and beauty to the ballroom dance floor.
Let’s face it, for every person who is gliding and swaying in perfect time on the ballroom dance floor, there are many of us who are just “rhythmically challenged.” If you have tried to learn to ballroom dance and find it awkward to move your body to the beat of the music, you are not alone.
But guess what? The good news is that you can learn to dance and improve your rhythm by simply listening to your favorite music and practicing shifting your weight from one foot to another.
So, how do we begin to become more rhythmic? We begin by understanding the song structure. Most standard ballroom dance music, except for the waltz and cha cha which have triplets, is a series of 8 beat patterns. And, if you can count the sets of 8 beats in time to the music, then you have found the beat. The easiest way to learn this is to put on some music and immediately begin counting sets of 8 in time to the music. Make sure to listen to the drums as they will always be on the beat. If you are still having trouble hearing the beat, try either clapping or tapping your foot to the rhythm of the music while you count.
Counting beats to the music can also help you identify the song structure so that you will be able to dance in patterns that will naturally flow with the music. For example, you could plan a dramatic dance pose that is timed to a “break” or peak point of excitement in a musical number.
You will often find that the music structure changes throughout a song as one set of 8’s ends and another begins. If the song changes as the music transitions then you have found the beat. If you feel you are a little bit off in your counting during these transitions then you may be off the beat just a little bit. Always be sure that you are counting “1” at the beginning of each song section or transition.
If you truly want to learn to ballroom dance, its important to understand that ballroom dancing is all about weight shifts. In fact, the most important thing to keep in mind when learning to dance is to always know where your weight is. To practice this, start by simply swaying side to side with the music. Each side to side movement should be 2 beats so you would sway to the left on 1 & 2 and then to the right on 3 & 4. You can tap your hands on the side of your hips as you sway to the music to help you keep the beat. Notice that when you are swaying side to side you are shifting your body weight from one foot to another foot. Once you have practiced your swaying enough, believe it or not you now have the feeling of rhythm!
The next step is to expand your swaying into a simple rock step. Start with one foot forward and the other foot back. Now, instead of swaying back and forth, completely shift your weight to one foot so that the other foot has no weight on it. The count for this is a complete weight shift forward on 1 & 2 and a complete weight shift back on 3 & 4. Rocking back and forth is a great way to practice complete weight shifts while maintaining balance.
Finally, you can continue to expanding your weight shifts into simple dance steps and dance patterns. An example of a single rhythm dance step with one weight change in two beats of music would be something like “step touch, step hold”. A double rhythm with two weight changes in a beat of music would be something like “step step” or “quick quick”.
Many basic ballroom dance steps are a combination of dance rhythms. Salsa, for example, follows an 8 beat rhythm pattern and is often described as “quick quick slow – quick quick slow”, while the Rumba is “slow, quick, quick – slow, quick, quick”. In these examples the slow step gets 2 beats and each quick step is 1 beat. Remember, ballroom dancers don’t like to be “bouncy” so try to make your weight shifts as smooth and as elegant as possible.
Now that you have better rhythm to the music you just need to practice. The best thing is that you can improve your rhythm while listening to your favorite dance songs in the comfort of your home. Anyone can learn to ballroom dance, so start swaying to the rhythm and get dancing!
Get swingin’ with our fun swing dance class! We teach two styles of swing dancing and they are both very easy to learn.
Jitterbug swing or East Coast Swing is typically more lively and energetic and is great for dancing to high energy big band music. West Coast Swing is generally a little slower, more formal swing style and West Coast Swing dancers often stay within a specific rectangular slot on the dance floor. While East Coast Swing is more jumpy and energetic, West Coast Swing is more sensual and elegant.
No partner or prior dance experience necessary.
Marilyn Tucker danced in Bronze American Smooth and placed 1st in 14 dances and 2nd in two more. In her Multi-Dance Championship she placed 3rd in a heavily contested group. This was her first time competing with Guillermo in this style. Great job!
Deanna Stanton danced in Silver American Smooth and placed 1st in all her single dances. In her Multi-Dance Championship she came in 2nd (but taking 1st in the Foxtrot). She danced the best she had ever danced showing great improvement in her quality of movement and her showmanship.
The annual Royal Ball ballroom dancing competition takes place at the historic Biltmore hotel is organized by Paul Killick & Shirley Ballas with a full day of dancing competitions for all levels. The event goes out in style with a gourmet dinner, amazing dance performances and live music.
Visit the Royal Ball website for more information on this annual ballroom dancing competition in Los Angeles.
Have you ever thought about dancing in a ballroom dancing competition? Guess what? It’s really easy to start and it’s a whole lot of fun! Plus, you will become a much better ballroom dancer much more quickly when you are practicing your butt off for that upcoming ballroom dancing competition!
How does it work? Basically you will compete against similar amateur dancers based on your ballroom dancing proficiency (Bronze, Silver and Gold levels) and your chosen style of dance. Visit this link for more information on the ballroom dancing medal system.
For Pro/Am events, you (the amateur) will be dancing with your ballroom dance instructor (the pro). This makes the whole experience much less intimidating and much more rewarding because you will be dancing with and experienced ballroom dancer right there by your side.
Competitive ballroom dancing is about setting a goal and getting there. If your goal is to become a good ballroom dancer then practicing for a ballroom dancing competition will get you there much more quickly and with an attention to dance style and technique that you may not achieve with your regular dance lessons.
If you are looking for a hobby that will literally change your life for the better, look no further than ballroom dancing! Ballroom dancing is a lot more than just learning dance steps to music, ballroom dancing is the perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation that provides positive effects for the mind, body and spirit.
Studies have shown that ballroom dancing can help you lose weight, stay flexible, reduce stress, make friends and more.
Ballroom dancing is the perfect exercise for those who hate to “work out”. Studies have shown that ballroom dancing burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. That’s pretty good for a whole-body workout that is actually fun to do.
Ballroom dancing is a great way to improve your balance, flexibility and coordination. As you learn to ballroom dance, your body will find itself stretching and bending in different ways that all help to strengthen your core and improve your balance.
Ballroom dancing is a great hobby for reducing stress and increasing overall wellbeing. As the saying goes, there are not a lot of shortcuts to happiness but dancing is certainly one of them. Getting out on the dance floor and dancing to some upbeat music is a great way to “turn-off” the stress of everyday life.
A recent study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that ballroom dancing can improve your memory and cognitive functions. Since dancing requires you to remember dance steps you will enjoy increased brain power and improved memory function. In fact, studies showed that ballroom dancing twice a week can help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.
Dancing is a popular social activity and studies have shown that the social aspects of dancing and learning a new skill can contribute to increased self-confidence and a more positive outlook on life. When you join a ballroom dance class you are committing to work together with a dance partner to learn a new skill and ultimately have a little fun on the dance floor together. It is ultimately this camaraderie and enjoyment of ballroom dancing which will forever change your life for the better.
Our FREE Ballroom Basics dance class is every Sunday at 4:30 pm! No partner or prior dance experience necessary. Make friends and have fun while learning to ballroom dance. The class is followed by a Beyond the Basics ballroom dance class at 5:30 pm for $15 or just $13 with the purchase of a 10-class punch card.
Ballroom Basics – Sundays @ 4:30 pm
Learn the basic dance steps for common ballroom dances such as the Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Waltz and Tango.
Beyond the Basics – Sundays @ 5:30 pm
Learn to ballroom dance using our unique Interrelated System that shows you how you can use one move over several dance styles. Our Interrelated System of dance instruction helps you learn how to dance much more quickly by focusing on “leading” and “following” skills that can be applied across all ballroom dances.
Show us your moves! If you have ever thought about competing, then our non-intimidating dance competition will be a perfect opportunity for you to show your stuff while learning dance technique and stying from other dancers. > LEARN MORE