Performance Dance

Ballroom Dancing

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1. Just do it! Too many would-be dancers have convinced themselves, or let others tell them, that they ‘just cannot dance’, so they never even attempt to learn. If you can walk, you can learn to dance. Ballroom dancing is composed of steps, forward, back, to the side, and in place. It’s the combining of these steps in different ways that creates the pattern of a dance. The steps are learned one at a time, just like when you were two and learning to walk! Don’t let anyone discourage you, you CAN learn to dance!

2. Choose a studio carefully. All dance studios are not the same. It has been my experience that the best value for the money is with a locally owned, independent studio, rather than one of the nationwide chains. This is not always the case, but I’ve found it to be true more times than not. I would also strongly suggest that you find a studio that caters specifically to ballroom dancing, not one whose primary interest is ballet, tap, jazz, with only a couple of ballroom classes added as an afterthought.

3. Sign up first for a beginner group class. I recommend this for several reasons. Group classes are usually quite reasonably priced so there is no huge initial outlay of cash. Everyone in the group is just like you, a beginner, so there’s less chance of feeling silly if you miss a step or two. (And you will, but so will everyone else. You’ll quickly learn to just laugh it off and keep going. ) Whether or not you have a partner will not matter in a group class. Most instructors will rotate the partners in a class, partially to take care of uneven numbers of men and women, but also to improve each member’s ability to lead, if you’re a man, or follow, if you’re a woman. There’s a lot of joking and laughing during group classes as everyone learns new skills and makes mistakes doing so. They’re always a lot of fun, and you’ll be surprised how quickly you begin looking forward to the next class. Classes generally meet once a week, usually for an hour, for a period of 6 or 8 weeks, at which time you can choose to continue with that class or choose another.

4. Don’t get discouraged! You’ll probably come away from that first class feeling a bit overwhelmed and letting negative thoughts invade your head, telling you that you’ll never get it right. Simply not true! You fortunately cannot remember back when you were two and first learning to walk. How many times do you suppose you fell on your tushie before you actually made it all the way across the room?
What if you had told yourself to just give up, this is too hard, I’ll never learn this? I guess we’d all still be crawling! No, don’t give up. When you get home, try to repeat at least some of the steps you learned during that first class. Even if you cannot remember them by the time you get to your car, the next class almost always starts with a review of the last class. If you’ll stick to it for the duration of the 6 or 8 week session, you’ll come out on the under end with the knowledge of some basic moves under your belt, I promise.

5. What should you wear to class? The attire worn to ballroom dance classes is as varied as the people who attend them. Some wear jeans or slacks, some women prefer to dance in skirts or dresses. Wear clothes that are comfortable, perhaps a little loose, to give you the freedom to move without constriction. Another thing to consider when choosing your apparel is temperature. Most studios are kept a little on the cool side, so you may be tempted to wear a sweater or long-sleeved shirt. I would advise against this. Believe it or not, your body temperature will increase as you dance, to the point that some people actually perspire. A short-sleeved, lightweight shirt will serve you well. Be clean, casual and comfortable.

6. Your choice of shoes can make the difference between enjoying ballroom dancing and not being able to even master the steps. Please don’t make the mistake of wearing rubber-soled shoes. They don’t offer the proper traction for sliding, spinning or turning. A loafer-type is good, or any shoe with a smooth sole. For women, a shoe with a heel makes for attractive movements, but certainly is not a necessity when you’re first getting started. Later on, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of dance shoes. These are specifically designed to be worn on the dance floor and nowhere else. The soles are suede, allowing them to slide easily, which makes turns and spins almost effortless. Some studios offer dance shoes for sale, or there are many sites online from which you can order. I also don’t recommend wearing open-toed shoes, such as sandals or flip-flops. Remember you’re in a beginning class, and there is always the possibility of someone accidentally stepping on those toes!

7. Arrive a few minutes before the time the class actually begins. There is typically a sign-in sheet and many studios give out name tags to help you learn your fellow dancers. If you have dance shoes, you’ll need those extra minutes to change from your street shoes. Arriving early also gives you the opportunity to mingle a bit with others who are there for the same class. Nothing disrupts a class more than someone rushing in late while the instructor is demonstrating a new step.

8. Commit to practice. You will never become proficient in ballroom dancing, (or anything else, for that matter) without practice. If you’re having a problem with a particular step or pattern, it’s perfectly acceptable to hang around a few minutes after class and go through it a time or two with your partner. Practice the steps at home once or twice a day, you’ll be amazed how much better you retain them throughout the week and it will make the next class just that much easier. This is another benefit of arriving early for class, it affords you the time to practice those steps once more before the instructor begins. Most studios also offer a ‘practice party’ or ‘studio dance’ weekly or monthly. These are excellent for praacticing what you’ve learned as well as seeing the more accomplished dancers, which is what you’re striving to become! I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the studio dances and the role they play in honing your dancing skills. Make plans to attend whenever possible, even when you’re new and just starting out. Maybe even ESPECIALLY when you’re new and just starting out! The seasoned dancers are always happy to help a newcomer and the dances provide a perfect complement to your classes.

9. Enjoy all the non-dancing benefits of ballroom dancing. Through your dancing, you will find a boost in self-confidence, an increase in balance and an improvement in posture. Through your dancing, you will raise your heart rate, thus improving your cardiovascular health. Through your dancing, you will meet new people, make new friends, improve your social skills, and possibly establish new business contacts. The dance floor is a great equalizer. In a beginning class, everyone is a beginner, whether they are a doctor or lawyer, a construction worker, waitress or school teacher. For that hour each week, the stresses of daily life simply melt away as you immerse yourself in learning the steps and listening to the music and connecting with your partner. It’s great therapy and a lot cheaper than a psychiatrist!

10. Most importantly of all, HAVE FUN! It’s not a race or a competition, everyone arrives at the same place eventually, dancing with their partner and having a wonderful time. You may experience moments of frustration with yourself or your partner, but don’t let that overshadow all the benefits of becoming a ballroom dancer. If you find you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, consider a different dance. Perhaps the foxtrot or waltz is not your cup of tea, try the cha-cha, tango or the swing. Given time, you’ll find your most treasured and you can focus on that. My guess is that you’ll wind up like most ballroom dancers, loving them all and not wanting to stop until you’ve learned them all!

Welcome to the magical world of ballroom dancing!

Ballroom Dancing

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Ballroom dancing, like most other sports, (and if you don’t believe it’s a sport, get out there and do swing dancing for an hour or so and view if you don’t work up a sweat) has it’s own ‘uniform’ of sorts, including the style of clothing as well as the type of shoes worn. That varies, of course, depending on whether you’re going to class, a studio dance or a competition.

I generally hear the question – ‘What kind of shoes should I wear to dance in? It is my opinion that the very best choices for footwear are those designed especially for ballroom dancing and even more specifically for the exact dance style you plan to be doing. But until such time as you decide to reward yourself with that sexy strappy Latin shoe with the Cuban heel for the cha-cha or rhumba, or a gorgeous sequined number for the elegant waltz, practicing in street shoes is perfectly acceptable.

Now. . . having said that, let me quickly add that not only any street shoe will do. Styles that should be avoided include anything with rubber soles, like sneakers, (they just don’t give you the slide you need on the floor), open-toes (for obvious reasons, you’re still learning and chances are so is your partner), such as sandals or (heaven forbid) flip-flops! And yes, I’ve actually seen people show up for class wearing flip flops! Try to execute a double spin in those!

But, if you’ve a leather soled shoe, such as a loafer-type, or for men, a dress shoe style, these will usually accommodate you nicely. The most important feature is that they must be comfortable and not tight on your feet. If your feet are aching, you’ll soon be unable to focus on anything else.

The dance floor itself plays a part in the comfort level of your feet. Some studios have the proper flooring for dancing, which usually includes a cushiony, almost spring-like underflooring. This type floor enables dancers to dance for hours without feeling much effect. . . IF their shoes are also adequately comfortable. But some dance studios are built on a concrete slab, with only a layer of hardwood over it, and on those floors your poor feet will take a pounding.

When the time comes that you decide to invest in a good pair of dance shoes, shop around a bit. Prices and styles vary and the selection is almost endless. Prices can range from $30-50 on the low end to well over $200 on the high end. Dance shoes are designed not only to be best suited for dancing, but to enhance the overall aesthetics of your dance. . . you’ll simply look better out there on the floor.

Several of the features of dance shoes serve practical purposes. The ankle straps are not only eye-appealing, they actually help your feet stay firmly in your shoes. Some of the pump styles have elasticized rims on the uppers which ‘hugs’ the shoe to your foot. The heels are different heights and widths, depending on the style of dance they’re designed for. The soles are typically suede, which gives you the ability to really ‘glide’ as you dance across the floor, and are especially helpful when doing turns and spins.

To preserve the life of these suede soles, dance shoes should never be worn outside. Two other accessories that will extend the wear of your dance shoes – a carrying case for transporting them, and a sole brush to lift the nap of the suede every couple of weeks or so.

One final note – dance shoes (or any other shoe, for that matter) should be tried on in the late afternoon or evening, when your feet are typically at their largest. You’ll be requiring a lot of your feet over the span of your dancing experience. . . treat them right, dress them properly and you’ll have a good foundation on which to build a lifetime of ballroom dancing.

Ballroom Dancing

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Ballroom dance is a style of dancing with a partner of the opposite sex, which has its origins in the Western Europe and is now enjoyed at both social gatherings and competitions around the globe. It’s a form of entertainment which is widely enjoyed on stage, films, and on television. There are a variety of social dances performed by couples in the ballroom like Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Swing, Cha Cha, Polka, Charleston, Jitterbug, Merengue etc.

In the early 20th century, the on-screen dancing pair Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers greatly influenced ballroom dancing in the USA. Ballroom dance was popularized in U. S. by Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire, who established ballroom dance studios throughout U. S. Here ‘Fred & Ginger’ classes and workshops introduced the “American Smooth” style of ballroom dance. The other popular one is the “American Rhythm”. Ballroom dance contests are particularly popular in Europe and feature both amateur and professional dancers. The other types include Nightclub Dances such as Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing and Hustle. In Europe, Latin Swing dances include Tango Argentino, Lindy Hop, Mambo, Swing Boogie and Disco Fox.

Variety and Judgment in Ballroom Dancing

Classic and Vintage dance groups are dedicated to the performance and preservation of ballroom dances of the past, having its origins in the folk dances associated with a particular place, time and costumes like The Twist, Minuet, Quadrille, Mazurka etc.

In U. S. amateur dance proficiency levels are defined by USA Dance as Bronze->Silver->Gold for syllabus dancers and Novice -> Prechampionship -> Championship for open competitors. Among professionals, the levels are classified as Rising Star and Open Professional. In a competition, ballroom dancers are judged by various criteria such as connection, frame, posture, speed, proper body alignment, proper usage of weight/ankles/feet and grooming.

Each type of dance has its own specific set of movements and dancing methods. While dancing in a crowd, always move counterclockwise around the floor following an imaginary line of dance for both the Waltz and the Fox Trot. The Swing, on the other hand, is more of a confined dance and is great for dancing on crowded dance floors. The people that are moving fast are on the outside of the floor while those who are moving slower or in more confined areas are in the middle. In other words, Waltz and Fox Trot are typically done on the outside of the dance floor Swing is performed in the center.

Ballroom Dancing

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Step one: Put on your dancing shoes. Step two: Grab a partner. Step three: Tango!

Ballroom dancing, from the fox trot to the charleston, has long been a popular part of American culture. Adults love it, but lately, younger generations have been tapping into the music and rhythm of the waltz and the cha-cha – dances that once excited their parents and grandparents.

This is due in part to ballroom dancing’s resurgence in television and film.

In the recent documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom,” now available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment, pupils from three New York City schools discover the world of ballroom dancing through 10 weeks of required classes taught by the American Ballroom Theater.

The film showcases the children’s candid, innocent and hilarious perspectives as they are transformed from typical urban kids to “ladies and gentlemen. “

With each scene, the audience watches as they strive to meet their ultimate goal – the final city competition known as the Rainbow Team Matches.

Kids are not the only ones with a renewed interest in the dance form. Parents, too, are recognizing the potential of ballroom dancing in keeping their children occupied, out of trouble and in shape.

Studies on the benefits of ballroom dancing conducted by California State University at Long Beach show that even beginning students can get their heart rates up to near-maximum training rates with a five-minute warm-up and a 20-minute cha-cha, polka or swing. Moderate ballroom dancing burns between 250 and 300 calories per hour. Vigorous dancing can burn as many as 400 calories per hour.

Along with its benefits to the body, ballroom dancing develops coordination and teaches children important lessons in social interaction and good manners.

Adult Ballet

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Becoming a ballet dancer can be difficult. It is not something that can be learned overnight, nor can it be mastered in a few months. Taking ballet classes is imperative to learn the proper techniques necessary to become a truly magical ballet dancer whose every move and step personify grace and beauty.

As a resource for beginning through advanced ballet students, The Complete Ballet Bible Package written by Anita Leembruggen, reinforces what students learn in class. It’s like having your own private tutor at home.

Broken into three components, ebook, audio and ballet dance videos, these user friendly formats allow you to navigate through every ballet exercise with ease.

Part 1 – titled “The 3 Simple Rules of a Prima Ballerina” is a PDF ebook with over 200 pages of text and detailed pictures. This guide not only shows you how to do a movement or gesture correctly, but shows you how most dancers do it incorrectly, and tells you WHY. No other book I have ever read shows you this. I feel this is a fundamental aspect to learning.

Part 2 – titled “Audio Terms and Definitions” is a audio software package that allows you to find any ballet term and learn its meaning. For each exercise, step, position, and/or pose, a simple point and click allows you to do any of the following: Scroll through the whole list of terms. Find specific terms. Learn the correct French accents for specific terms. Click a button to hear each term sounded out for you with clear and concise definitions and a visible pronunciation guide.

Part 3 – titled “Video Demonstrations” is a collection of over 60 videos on ballet technique. If you are a visual learner like myself this is a real benefit. Being able to watch how to correctly perform a Ballonce or Entrachat Quatre whenever you like, and as many times as you like, is an excellent method to reinforce proper technique.

All in all the The Complete Ballet Bible Package is unlike anything else I could find on the market. It is a flexible online teaching tool that provides you with a visual model of ballet steps, exercises, and principles typically taught only in an educational setting.

Dance For Kids

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The clouds in the sky are as usual for all of us as the sun rising and the sun setting. We pay no attention to the beautiful dance of the clouds that can inspire us to live a pleasant life. Have you ever thought of the clouds? From where do they come? Where do they go? What do they do in the sky? How can they bear the harsh sun directly?

As I said, where do the clouds come from? Think about it? It is as if they come from nowhere. And it is as if go to a place unknown to all of us. None of us thinks about them. But they stay peacefully in the sky moving slowly with the wind. Some clouds have beautiful shapes, any are in a cluster and sometimes we see a lone cloud in the sky. They all look so peaceful and serene. As if they are the masters of peace, showing no disturbance at all.

And look at the colors of the clouds. Most of them are white as if someone has spread pure white cotton in the sky. Soft and silky in texture, white in color – innocence personified. The birds do know something about the clouds, because they meet the clouds often. What must they all be talking with each other? All mysteries of the world that we refuse to admire.

And what is the chief objective of the clouds? Either to bring rain to the parched earth or give shade to the needy. That is the lesson we can get inspiration from. Innocent and pure clouds expect nothing, but give what all they can. What a meaningful lesson.

If any of us learn this lesson of remaining pure and unselfish in thought, with no anger towards anyone and compassion towards all irrespective of any differences, our living would become so much better. Good deeds are not meant only for the saints, but all of us can act in our own way to give more and expect less in return and create a peaceful life for ourselves.

Ballet For Kids

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Ballet shoes are an important purchase for the beginning ballet student and many elements will affect your purchase decision. To make the correct choice, you will need to listen carefully to your instructor and follow their advice about which shoes to buy. If you are not taking ballet lessons, and can’t seek advice from an instructor or a more advanced ballet dancer, then you will benefit from reading up on the types of ballet shoes available and appropriate for a beginning ballet dancer.

Your ballet class instructor may have requested you purchase a certain type of ballet shoe. Several instructors will provide very clear instructions on which shoe to buy – including the brand, color and style. Fortunately, instructors will mainly also advise where the best locations are for finding and purchasing your ballet shoes. If your instructor makes specific requests about the type of ballet shoes they prefer you buy, then by all means, follow their directions.

Your choices of ballet shoes is virtually unlimited, if your instructor has made no particular requests, and you will need to take your status as a beginning ballet dancer into consideration. This means you should only consider purchasing basic ballet shoes, not pointe shoes. Your instructor will advise students when they can advance to pointe ballet shoes.

You need to be mindful of two things as you make your ballet shoe choice: the shoe’s sole and how the shoe is held on the foot.

Genuine leather soles are preferable for ballet shoes. Imitation leather will not hold up well to dancing and will cause you to need replacement shoes sooner. One thing to be aware of with leather soles is that they can stick to the floor, especially when used by heavier dancers. Sticking to the floor means your shoes can wear out more quickly, and can mean the chance for injury. If you notice this problem, consider purchasing canvas shoes, which do not stick to the floor.

Ballet shoes are kept on the foot either by an elastic strap sewn to the top opposite sides of the shoe, or by ribbons wound around the ankle and lower leg and tied in place. Check with your instructor to see if they’ve a preference of elastic straps or ribbons. Normally, practice shoes, and shoes for children, have elastic straps. Shoes with ribbons are mostly reserved for recitals.

Therefore, when you have chosen your ballet shoes — try them on! They should be comfortable to walk in, of course, but to be certain they’re best for you and dancing, try several ballet steps in them as well. If you feel any discomfort at all, try another pair of shoes in a different size or brand. Ballet shoes are essentially slippers, they should be completely comfortable when you are walking or dancing. The idea of ‘breaking in’ does not apply with ballet shoes, so do not purchase shoes thinking this will happen. You need ballet shoes that fit correctly without abrading your feet anywhere.

Ballroom Dancing

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Anybody whoever still believes the myth that ballroom dancing is for sissies has either been living under a rock or is simply using that as an excuse for their own fears.

Emmitt Smith of Dallas Cowboys fame, and former Superbowl Champion, waltzed away Wednesday night with another winning trophy to place on his mantel, this one the championship Mirror Ball Trophy from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”.

I am so proud of this man for shattering all the stereotypes, and offering a resounding response once and for all to the age old question: what type of man learns ballroom dancing? The answer. . . . a REAL man!

There can surely be no question as to this man’s virility, nor his confidence in himself. Not only did he plunge wholeheartedly into unfamiliar waters, but he chose to do it on nationwide television, in front of millions of viewers. How many men (or women, for that matter) have the guts to do that?

I have heard all the whiny excuses for not taking ballroom dancing lessons. . . I have got two left feet. . . . dancing is for sissies. . . . I don’t have time to learn something new. . . . what good does it do to know how to dance, I’ll never compete. . . I’ll look stupid. . . . I’m no good at it. . . I don’t like it. . . . it is too expensive. . . and on and on ad nauseum. It doesn’t matter the words they choose, they’re all saying basically the same thing. . . “I lack confidence in myself and I’m scared”. How terribly, pathetically sad.

Knowing what I know about ballroom dancing, there simply is no excuse for not learning. I have seen men without legs on the ballroom dance floor. I have watched macho types, geeky types and overweight men move with grace as they executed a gorgeous promenade. I have known men whoever took on odd jobs to purchase continued lessons. I have witnessed men literally dragged into the studio against their will and watched with pride as they developed into, not just great dancers, but one even went on to become a phenomenal instructor. How much they all would have missed if they had let their fears keep them from trying.

There are many things in this world to be afraid of. Ballroom dancing is not one of them. Don’t be afraid to open yourself to new possibilities. The numerous benefits you’ll receive may shock you.

Ballroom Dance

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If you’re looking for a night out or you just need to meet new friends, ballroom dancing is a superb way to achieve this it doesn’t how old or young you are. The experts acknowledge that ballroom dancing is unique in that it provides both brain stimulation and physical exercise. Ballroom dancing is fun, and there are more opportunities to go out dancing than you might think. Ballroom dancing is also a great way to stay in shape and is much more pleasurable than merely exercising to music. The exciting difference between round dancing and free-style ballroom dancing is that each round dance has been fully choreographed ahead of time.

Several dance styles offer dance lessons for a minimal fee, while intricate ballroom dancing lessons will naturally cost you more. Professional dance lessons by qualified dance teachers are given in all types of dancing. You need to know the low more about dancing before you commit to lessons.

Try to find ballroom dance instructors or classes in your area. Group classes are an important aid in learning to dance. Classes are meant to show the fun in ballroom dancing and prepare everyone for a lifetime of social dancing enjoyment. In addition you should practice as much as possible.

If you do tango dancing, do you have to do other ballroom dancing too. Body language can be as important as movement with the tango:. Hip hop, jazz dance, pop-n-lock, tap, ballet, modern, lyrical, tango, ballroom dancing, flamenco dance; break dancing. Other specialties include Argentine Tango, ballroom dancing, swing, and performance arts photography. During the Nineties, of the six major Ballroom Dances, only the Tango had not been accepted by western dancing. Tango is a dramatic, sensual social dance form that originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is sexy, and step by step, whether it’s the salsa, swing, meringue or tango, ballroom dancing is sweeping across the country.

Ballroom dancing is a great way for anyone to learn how to dance, develop self-confidence, and improve social skills. Ballroom dancing is basically a performance, so a bit of a flair for the dramatic is a useful attribute. Ballroom Dancing is by definition a man and a woman moving as one. To any people, ballroom dancing is a hobby or serves as a social outlet. Even ballroom dancing is enjoying something of a renaissance. Ballroom Dancing is for students interested in developing ballroom dancing comptency/skills, coordination, rhythm, and diversity. Ballroom dancing is the best contact sport in the world. Ballroom dancing is really easy, more so than most people seem to think. Ballroom dancing is by its very nature both a competitive and/or social activity that can easily be learned and enjoyed by all.

Dance Lessons

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Keeping our hearts healthy is important. Cardiovascular exercises, which increase heart rate, keep our hearts in shape. Regular exercise has also been shown to lower blood pressure, freeing our heart from some of the effort in moving blood through our system.

But many people don’t get much enjoyment from disciplined workouts. They know they need regular cardiovascular exercise to stay heart-healthy, but what activities are there to steer clear of tedious typical exercise programs?

Many find dancing to be one such activity. Dancing allows you to get your heart pumping and your limbs moving without having to endure the monotony of exercising on a treadmill or at a gym. Dancing regularly keeping not only keeps ones heart healthy, it also helps maintain balance and coordination. Plus, of course, dance lessons and events let you get you out of the house regularly and make and meet friends.

Local organizations, universities, community and, sometimes, churches hold dancing lessons and events that are open to people of all abilities and skill levels. If you have not danced in a while, or even if you’ve never tried it before, it’s never too late to learn. Adding another skill to your list never hurts, and dancing is an ability that comes in handy mighty often. Dance lessons are typically offered by style (ballroom, folk, Latin, swing, et cetera) and ability level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, competitive). Most dances that you’re probably familiar with fall into the category of “ballroom dancing. “

Ballroom dancing is performed with a partner (don’t worry; there are typically a number of “singles” taking lessons. You’ll be able to pair off when you go to the lesson). Everything from the internationally renowned waltz, to the classic American Foxtrot, to the Latin salsa and cha-cha, fall into the category of ballroom dance.

Folk dancing typically refers to square dancing, contra dancing, or one of several Irish, Scottish, or English styles of dance. Folk dances can sometimes be more social than ballroom dances (since partners typically split up and join with others during the course of the dance). Other popular styles of dance include swing, Latin, traditional and many others. Feel free to explore.

Books and videos can also be found online, if you just need a refresher, or would rather get the basics in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re looking for a great way to be heart-smart, stays fit, and meet new people, try dancing. Dance lessons allow us to try something new, exercise, and take part in a social activity all at the same time. Find a style that interests you, pick the appropriate skill level, find a place, and dance!

Ballet For Kids

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A ballet dancers best friend are her ballet shoes. The wrong shoes can result in disater. Ballet shoes that are not well fitted can cause a dancer to improperly execute ballet techniques. Injury and improper balance can also occur when ballet shoes are not properly fitted. Any ballet dancer with a little experience knows that properly fitted ballet shoes are critical to good performance.

Ballet shoes have five components: The binding, quarters, drawstrings, side seams, and pleats. Each of these parts must be adjusted to fit the dancer’s foot exactly. Properly fitted ballet shoes will ensure the dancer can feel the floor beneath them. In other words, ballet shoes should fit like a glove.

Grace, poise, and technique is the essence of ballet. To accomplish this a ballet dancer must have excellent fitting ballet shoes. For the best fitting ballet shoes, there are necessary steps that must be taken. Here are four tips to help a ballet dancer achieve this.

Number One – Realize your feet can be different sizes, meaning your ballet shoes may not be exactly the same. It is sometimes necessary for ballet dancers to have two different sized ballet shoes. Try on various ballet shoes to see what fits best.

Number Two – Make sure to wear tights when fitting your ballet shoes, just as you would when wearing your ballet shoes to dance. This will ensure a better fit. Never try on ballet shoes without wearing tights.

Number Three – When you first put on your ballet shoes, pay close attention to your toes. Stand flat on the floor. If your toes curl, you need to change your size, as your ballet shoes are not fitting correctly. If your toes curl you cannot achieve proper technique while dancing and you will have a poor performance. Injury may also occur if you cannot perform the proper dance techniques because of your toes curling. If your ballet shoes are too large you will curl your toes in an effort to keep the ballet shoes on. This can also result in a poor performance, bad technique, and possible injury.

Number Four – The last step is to criss-cross your drawstrings, then “pointe” your foot. There should be no gap in the width of your ballet shoes. Simply put, this means there should be no extra space at any part of your ballet shoes. There should also be absolutely no toe room. If there is toe room you will not be able to properly “pointe” your foot. You will also not be able to feel the floor beneath you. Hence you cannot perform any dance techniques properly.

Properly fitted ballet shoes are crucial for a ballet dancer. With these tips in mind you will be able to properly fit your ballet shoes, and be on your way to a beautiful dance performance.

Dance Clothes

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The dazzling costumes in NTDTV’s Chinese New Year Spectacular are as much a part of each dance as the dance movements themselves. They are, in many ways, the palette on which the dance is performed. Clothes, hair, colors–this is what transports us to the Divine Land of ancient China.

The Spectacular’s wardrobe designers put great effort into creating just the right effect. A costume starts with a concept of the dance. The dance may have a powerful story or be found in a specific dynasty. Designers pore over paintings, frescoes and even statues to find the right look. Accessories then come into the design–hair, shoes, hats, belts. Next come sketches. Designers must consider not only how an outfit looks but also its flexibility for dance movements and whether it is durable enough to withstand over eighty performances.

Then the sketch goes to the sewing workshop. Here garment makers select just the right fabric, make the pattern and produce a sample. If it’s not only right, the whole process starts over. If the sample is approved, the task of making the clothes begins. Multiply this countless times. A single dance in this year’s Spectacular, the dance drama of General Yue Fei, required more than 100 costumes and accessories.

For Amy Lee, the principal designer in New York, this effort is well worth it. “When I came to the United States, I saw it was very difficult to find any expression of traditional Chinese culture. Through this show I view the hope of being able to preserve my culture for the benefit of my daughter and the next generation. ”

Ms. Lee has worked in the fashion industry for more than twenty years. She was a professor of fashion design and fashion history in China. Although her costumes take inspiration from different dynasties and ethnic regions, her most adored dynasty is the Tang. She says the Tang Dynasty reflects the zenith of Chinese culture–artistically, economically and politically. During this time China was very open-minded. Prosperous and peaceful, the Tang Dynasty drew on influences from India, the Middle East and Europe.

According to Ms. Lee, all this is reflected in the clothes. “The clothes were rich and confident. They were uplifting,” she said. “Women wore large, open sleeves, sometimes up to two and a half feet wide. They wore see-through materials and gowns with high waists that were decorated with large, open flowers. ”

Each dynasty had its own characteristics that were likewise reflected in the clothes. In general, Ms. Lee says many things can be found in the clothes–even the ancient people’s morals and values. “Clothing is not only a way to cover the body. It also reflects a person’s thoughts, culture and respect for the gods. ”

Ms. Lee and her team use costume design to make ancient Chinese culture come alive today, to help the audience understand that traditional Chinese culture has much it can teach us today. Ms. Lee knows that through her efforts with NTDTV, these positive aspects of ancient China will not be forgotten.

Ballroom Dancing

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Ballroom Dancing has never been hotter than it is now since Dancing with the Stars hit the air. Who knew that this show would be such a hit and that it would revive ballroom dancing the way that it has. Ballroom dancing is an enormously fun thing that you and your partner or a friend can do together. Ballroom dancing is a great way to spend some time together away from all of the normal everyday stress of life, that is what makes ballroom dancing such a fabulous thing to learn.

Ballroom dancing is something that everyone can enjoy whether they are young or old, man or woman. Not only is ballroom dancing fun it is great exercise and after a short while you will find that you will be in much better shape than before you started ballroom dancing.

Ballroom dancing is sexy and relaxed and one of the most desirable forms of dance worldwide. Everyone loves to watch ballroom dancing and most people would jump at the chance to actually take some ballroom dancing classes. If you would like to take ballroom dancing all you need to do is look in your local Yellow Pages. There you will find plenty of dance studios that offer classes on ballroom dancing. There are other ways to find ballroom dancing classes and schools in your area. You will find ballroom dancing classes online as well. You will be able to do a quick search online and find many different studios in your area that will be able to teach you all about ballroom dancing. And even if you are single you will still be able to take ballroom dancing classes, as there are many ballroom dancing classes for single people. Who knows you might meet the man or woman of your dreams.

Belly Dancing

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When one conjures up the images of belly dancing it is most generally female Indian belly dancers that saturate the visions in the mind however there is little known about Indian belly dancing men or the fact that they even exist. Indian belly dancing men do exist in fact and there are still many of modern day male dancers that exist in all areas of the globe from the Americas to Turkey and Egypt. The practice of men belly dancing has been going on for hundred of thousands of years and has even been traced back to the very beginnings of belly dancing.

Naturally the mind flows to cross dressing males that try to masquerade themselves as women however that is not typically the case and certainly it was not the case when belly dancing was just being introduced to the world. It is not uncommon to see Indian belly dancing men or to read of men from the ancient years that had amazing stage props to assist their dances. Many times they held such things as swords and wore capes and it was all part of the entertainment personality that the Indian belly dancing men would demonstrate.

Of course, there are also the cross dressing men that to try to try to be like women and the dances that they perform are very generally extremely feminine and beautiful. In fact, the Indian belly dancing men do such a fantastic job of setting out to impersonate women that most generally the audience has no idea that it actually is a male dancer. This is the exact goal of the Indian belly dancing men is to not be noticed as a male while they perform the most amazing dances with the demonstrations of physical dexterity, suppleness and abdominal strength.

The original reason the Indian belly dancing men first began is due to the fact that the origins of belly dancing began in the Middle East where society do not view women as equal to men and most generally are separated from the men. In fact women were not even allowed to belly dance in the presence of men and as a result the Indian belly dancing men would impersonate the women belly dancing in order to still have a performance to provide the royal men. There are still many Indian belly dancing men today that perform and in fact there are several all over the world however they are for the most part, no longer dancing to replace women dancers in the presence of men.

Dance Steps

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Everybody thinks the same thing. Everyone thinks that they’ve seen it all and they know it all already. Well there is a substantial chance that these people are right and that they have seen it all. However, dance instruction should be something that you shop for and something that you should take seriously if you really want to make a career (or serious hobby) out of dance. Let’s take a look at 2 easy ways to shop for dance instruction lessons and dance instruction professionals using the power of the internet.

1)Go local. A lot of the search engines are now putting special attention on local results. Many people are looking to buy something close to Just because it’s the world wide web, it doesn’t mean that you cannot boil the web down into some very manageable parts. If you live in San Francisco, you can make sure that you only receive the results that are local for you by searching for ‘dance instruction San Francisco. ‘ Furthermore, Yahoo has an incredibly useful yellow pages section where you can find all sorts of local information relevant to your information quest. Google even has gone so far as to offer a text messaging service where you can enter ‘dance instruction 77002″ (keyword or service and zip code) and Google will send a text message to your mobile device with the information you are looking for.

2)Look for independent reviews. A lot of different websites have independent reviews of different services which you can find. Dance instruction is no different. Citysearch can be a great place to find such reviews. If you search for dance instruction in Los Angeles there will undoubtedly be plenty of dance studios and dance instructors listed on Citysearch. Some will have reviews of current an past customers who were either satisfied or dissatisfied with their experience of the different dance studios. Reading up on these somewhat independent reviews can be a great way to find out what people think of dance studios.

Ballet For Kids

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Practicing ballet is great not only for your body, but also for your mind. It teaches you discipline and determination.

Here is a great ballet move that also doubles as a great leg workout. Ever wonder how those ballerinas have such great legs?

Grand Plie

To do a grand plie, which is one of the most graceful ballet moves, you will begin at the barre. You want your back facing the bar, and one arm resting out on the barre.

You want your feet to be together at the heels, toes pointing away from each other. The further you can point your toes the better.

If you cannot do it completely, where your feet are completely pointing away from each other, don’t worry. With all ballet moves, practice makes perfect.

Next, you will perform the grand plie by allowing yourself to bend your knees slowly. While you bend your knees, your arm that is not on the barre, will move slowly up until it is straight out and in line with your shoulder.

You can let your elbow on that arm drop some, so that the movement is fluid and elegant. You want to sink all the way down, keeping your heels together, until your thighs and calves are touching each other.

You want to be in a complete squat. You will hold that position, and then allow yourself to come back up, arm going back down.

You should give the illusion that you are floating, and after practicing ballet moves such as this one, you will be able to perform it in one smooth movement. Here are some tips that you should pay attention to before you attempt to do ballet moves.

Make sure that you stretch completely before you start. You don’t want to pull a muscle or injure yourself.

Warm up as well, with some type of exercise that gets you loosened up and ready for ballet. Jumping jacks, running in place and things like this are good warming up exercises. You can do it if you practice and stay motivated.

Keep practicing these ballet moves and before you know it, you will have the Grand Plie down perfect. You will also have much stronger legs to boot. If you want to read up on and discover some more great ballet moves, tips and advice visit http://www. balletmoves. net

Dance Costumes

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If you are a dancer, can you dance well without your dancewear on? A dancer who is used to wearing dancewear, even in practices, would feel uncomfortable without her costume on. But different people have different tastes in dance costumes.

Wearing exciting dancewear will give life to your performance. On stage, you want to grab the attention of the audience with your perfect dancewear. If you are wearing the best dancewear during a performance the audience will be able to distinguish you from all the other dancers. Of course, the dancewear is not all there is–your dancing skills matter, too.

Tights and leotards are perfect for ballet dancers. They emphasize the figure of the dancer. This adds impact to the graceful moves of the dancer. Ballet dancers prefer wearing tights because they feel nice to the skin and body. It allows them to move flexibly and freely without compromise. Although tights are tight, they don’t squeeze the body to discomfort because of the material they are made from. Most dancers love wearing dancewear because it gives them a good look and feel. Wearing a perfect costume gives them confidence with their performance. It does not only make them look good, but the performance is enhanced, as well. The catchier your costumes are, the more lively the performance.

Dancewear also reflects the personality of the dancer. All people have different tastes in clothes. Some may like dark colors and others light colors. Some dancers like to complement their clothes with their shoes and accessories. They love picking clothes that go perfectly with their style. Some dancers like to show off some skin while in a performance and they choose more seductive clothes, such as short tight skirts that accentuate their figures. Many other dancers prefer to show less skin and they wear dancewear that covers them well.

Your dancewear should depend on the type of dance performed. If you are in a dancing class, you are required to wear dancewear or a dance costume because it brings uniformity to the class. There might be several kinds of dance groups and particular styles of dancewear can be used to separate the various groups. Although it is not necessary to wear dancewear during rehearsals, many dancers do in order to get used to wearing it. Wearing a costume for the first time might not be comfortable but the more you wear it the more comfortable it becomes.

Another advantage of wearing dancewear during rehearsals is that you will be more comfortable performing on stage.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your dancewear, put on those dancing shoes and get into the groove.