3 Ways to Know You’re Ready to Join a Group Dance Class

adult dance lessons in ArizonaAre you ready to learn to dance!? Yay! That’s the spirit! Dancing is healthy, exciting, fun, rewarding, romantic, and a fantastic way to meet new friends. Now that you’re on board to explore Country, Latin and Swing dancing, you’ve got some choices to make. The first one is “where”? Where you choose to learn is key to sticking with your new hobby. To solve the question of where to go, I suggest looking up “local dance studio for adults” to see what’s available in your area. From there, try out a Beginner’s Dance Lesson and see if you feel comfortable at the studio you chose. If not, keep searching so once you get into the learning process, you can focus and feel relaxed.

Next, you must decide if you’re going to go the Group Dance Class route, or take Private Dance Lessons first. There are pros and cons to each, but I always suggest starting with Private Dance Lessons if you are in a position to set aside some time and finances. Like anything else worth learning that’s super-cool like dance, taking Private Lessons will help you to become competent and confident on the dance floor much faster. Without getting too sidetracked, with Private Country or Swing dance lessons, for example, you will give you the detail and technique needed to be successful while out dancing. Plus everything will be tailored to your learning style, assuming that you’re in a dance studio that customizes each lesson for their students.

Whether you have a partner or not, Private Lessons will also give you the chance to really learn to lead or follow, both very important when learning to partner dance. At any rate, you may be ready for Group Dance Classes. Here are three ways to know if that is the case…

You’ve already taken Private Dance Lessons.

Now that you’ve made the investment in yourself with Private Dance Lessons, and you know how to lead or follow,  how to hold your partner properly, and understand the timing of various dances, Group Classes are going to be great supplements to your Private Lessons. In fact, if you can still stick with your one-on-one lessons, you can learn a few new moves in a Group Classes and then bring them back to your instructor for refinement. That’s an ideal situation! Regardless, Group Dance Classes will offer you a chance to learn a different set of moves that you will be readily able to decipher because you have laid a healthy foundation in your dancing.

Group Dance Classes in Salsa or Swing will also give you the opportunity to meet new dance partners, or practice your leading/following skills with a new person. Even if you have a regular dance partner, this is a useful way to test out your role on the dance floor and make sure that you and your sweetie can’t just dance with each other and no one else. While that sounds like a good plan, it’s always nice to make sure that you can dance with anyone, should a situation arise where you may want to dance with someone else.

Tight on finances.

If money is short, Group Country, Swing or Latin classes are a great way to get social, connect with others and burn off some steam after a long day at work. While I still recommend saving for Private Lessons and taking those first, Group Classes will help you to maintain your dancing long after your initial larger investment, and for much less. Generally speaking, Group Classes can run anywhere between $10-15 per class, per person. Packages or membership discounts may also be available if you plan to attend class on a regular basis, which is great for continuing to grow in your dancing while saving you money in the meantime. When the time is right, you can always go back to Private Dance Lessons for a brush up, and to push your dancing to the next level in a short amount of time.

Ready to ask someone new for a dance.

Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to ask someone new to dance for the very first time, you may be filled with both excitement and fear. The possibility of looking and feeling as good as you do when you dance with your instructor is what you’re shooting for, but know that most of the people that you dance with in the “real world” are not going to make it all look so easy. My advice for easing into social dancing for the first few times? Group classes!

While Group Classes are not by any means like dancing in a crowded Country bar or Latin nightclub, you will get a better sense of what it means to navigate around more people that you would when you’re in your Private Dance Lessons. You will also get a chance to dance with other newer dancers who may be just as nervous and can relate to your experience. That would be a relief if you didn’t have to go it alone for the first few times. He/she may also be at a similar skill level, which could be great for seeing what you know, and what hold need to be filled in your leading or following skills. Remember, as long as you have your one-on-one lessons to go back to for questions, you’ll be able to iron out any mishaps that pop up throughout your night out dancing.

Social dancing is such a blast, and it’s wonderful that you’re interested in giving it a shot! As I mentioned, whether you have a partner or not, you will be gaining a rewarding new skill and hobby that most people only wish they had.

Be patient with yourself as you discover what I call the “language of dance”. Think of how much time it might take you to learn to speak French or Spanish. What are the steps you’d go through and how often would you need to practice to become proficient? It could take months, or depending on how often you study, even less. Either way, it will take time. With structured guidance by a professional instructor, though, you will develop fantastic habits that will last a lifetime. Then those Group Classes you attend will keep you plugging along, giving you a chance to dance for years to come!

Gym Membership vs. Club FX Dance Membership

adult dance lessons mesa azAre you going to the gym a couple times a week, and feeling like you’re not accomplishing much? Are you bored with the same old thing? Something big could be missing from your everyday workout routine that can give you that boost of confidence that comes from looking and feeling your best. What is that thing?? Social dancing, of course!

I’m sure you already considered the possibility that there may be other ways to elevate your heartbeat besides running on that awful treadmill for 30 mins a day, three days a week. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun and rewarding if you could get fit while doing something that you love, like salsa or swing dancing? I’ll tell you where the real joy is; it’s being excited to be healthy and doing it with a smile on your face! So, if you have ever pondered any of these questions about your fitness, then I have some great news for you! In this blog I’m going to discuss the benefits of why someone would come in to Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona for fitness, rather than getting a gym membership.

Multiple studies have been done around the world proving the fact that dancing is one of the very best exercises you could possibly do throughout your life. In a previous blog called “The many benefits of social ballroom dancing“, we discovered that in a 21-year study done by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City that ballroom dancing was the only physical activity to offer some kind of protection against dementia! Dancing has the greatest risk reduction to mental deterioration than that of any other activity studied, mental or physical! How incredible is that?! So yes indeed, dancing is a sure way to quickly get healthy, gain confidence, and while doing so, extending the longevity of your mental health and stability!
It seems that if dancing has so many more benefits than just regular workouts, why not find a dance membership to a local studio near you? Here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizonawe can help you reach your fitness goals in a much more exciting way. With Group Dance Classes and Private Dance Lessons for singles and couples, you’re investing own your mental, physical, social and emotional health. (Yes, there are that many reasons to learn to social dance!)

With our our new Club FX Membership, you’ll enjoy all of your favorite dance styles, from Country Two Step dancing to Latin dancing, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you start to feel healthier! Membership does have its perks too! You will gain access to exclusive dance videos, dance discounts on lessons and special events and so much more, with a Club FX Membership. For just $99 for six months of classes (one per week), you really can’t go wrong.

What’s even more amazing about investing in yourself with adult dance lessons is that you can burn up to 450 calories in an hour, and at the same time that you’re getting your workout, you’re also having a blast by learning new moves and building confidence! Going to your local gym isn’t usually a stress-free environment, nor is it too creative or fun, but dance lessons provide you with an appropriate outlet for all that built up stress and anxiety, and assist you in unwinding in a positive and productive way.

Getting healthy is more than just about how we look after we complete a workout. Most important is how we feel about ourselves when we’re finished with our workout. Now I’m not saying that going to the gym will not provide you with these wonderful feelings. In fact, going to the gym will most definitely make you feel good. However, varying your workout is ideal. Adult dance classes may be just what your workout routine was missing to give you those all-around benefits that come with feeling healthy, while challenging you in the best way possible! So stop wasting your valuable time and money by just going to the gym, and join us here at Dance FX Studios to start your journey on becoming truly healthy in body, mind and spirit!

Why Men Don’t Dance; Confidence Vs. Pride

adult dance lessons near mesa az“And,! And,!” And… The counts go on. OMG! What does all this mean??Each number being counted aloud is met with sharp, complex steps that seem to require some previous ability or at the vey least, an aptitude for dancing. “But I don’t know how to dance”, you’re thinking.

Social dancing – especially for men, can be a lot like this. Its not exactly that there’s an absent interest in the subject matter, but more like intimidation and pride that can get in the way of becoming a great social dancer.  We all fear what we don’t understand, and maybe for some men out there dancing is more like a foreign concept, than a past time. As a woman, perhaps things like singing and dancing came like second nature or at least could be achieved with little practice. However, as a guy maybe not so much. And to top it off, we men don’t want to fake our way through it. We need to know what we’re doing first.

Now, if you’re one of those ladies who loves to dance, but has a guy that’s not quite there, you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “My husband/boyfriend, will never go out dancing with me!” I’m willing to bet that the only reason he doesn’t want to go out is because he can’t dance and doesn’t want to embarrass himself, or you in the process. Like I said, it’s not about indifference, it’s about pride. Breaking past that pride just requires a bit of confidence that he will gain through social dance lessons. 

One of the things we pride ourselves with here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona is our beginner’s dance lessons program. There’s just something about being the one who shares this experience with someone who’s learning to dance for the first time. Whether he’s part of a couple, or still single, Private Dance Lessons will boost his self-assurance and get him ready for any Latin club or Country dance bar.

And, our whole goal is to get him familiar with the basics of how to do popular social dances like Salsa, Swing and Country Two Step with you, if he’s part of a couple. If the problem is unfamiliarity with dancing, this is a great place to make yourself at home and get right into the fun of it all.

Remember, men only seem to “hate” dancing just because, generally speaking, they’re not as familiar and haven’t had the same amount of experience as most women. But therein lies the answer to our riddle. Beginner’s dance lessons here at Dance FX Studios are a private, stress-free, fun, no-experience necessary kind of adventure. So start getting excited ladies! These lessons are aimed at individuals in your exact position, and we’re proud to say that we have an excellent track record getting couples comfortable and dancing together more and more! With dances like Country Two Step, Salsa, Swing and more, social dancing is our area of expertise and exactly what you and your significant other need. So, come stop on by Dance FX Studios and let’s start something that will bring you and that special person in your life closer together than you’ve ever been!



Three Reasons Why She Won’t Dance With You

ballroom dancing in PhoenixGetting rejected is tough. All you want is to show off your cool Country dance moves, but you can’t catch a break. You keep asking her for a dance, but all you’re hearing is “No”. Have you considered why? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why she won’t dance with you.

First, it’s easy to get sweaty when you’re dancing the night away-especially here in Arizona where temperatures dip down to 100 degrees at night. That’s darn hot! Just speaking for myself, I don’t particularly love dancing with someone who is dripping sweat all over me-especially if I don’t know them. So my first thought is to handle your perspiration issue before asking her for a dance. OK, it’s not really an issue, but it’s also not that becoming, and could leave a sour taste in her mouth when it comes time to future dance opportunities with her.

On that note, if your hygiene in general is not up to par, teeth brushed, deodorant on, etc…, then we may have just identified why you’re being turned down. Whether you’re going out to the Country bars around town, or the Latin clubs, we ladies appreciate a guy who takes care of himself. Now don’t go overboard by dousing yourself in cologne, but a nice-smelling man is always a plus.

If you can match that sweet scent with some solid moves on the dance floor, you’re definitely on the right track! So another way to prevent rejection is to take adult dance lessons. There are so many fun styles to explore, from Country to Swing to Latin and Argentine tango, so why not be that guy who actually knows what he’s doing on the dance floor?! Women love a man that can dance, and your confidence will be a very attractive quality to onlookers.

In that regard, there’s a huge difference between being self-assured and showing her off in a way that doesn’t make her feel safe. When I go out social dancing, I scope out the scene first before I decide who I am going to accept a dance with. If my friends and I are at a salsa club and he’s flipping and dipping her without regard for her comfort, he’s automatically on the “no” list.  Please keep her comfort in mind. She is not a rag doll waiting to be tossed around to make you look cool.

When I see a guy who is well-groomed, on time with the music and focused on her and having fun, I’m hoping that he will ask me to dance next. That’s the kind of guy that I would venture to guess that other girls would like too. If you’re lacking in any of these areas, it’s not too late to prepare for your next night out. Go take some beginner’s Private Dance Lessons and a long hot shower, and you’re on your way to a better experience. I promise! Good luck!!


social dancing for adults

Dance Into the Holiday Season

rsz_1rsz_dsc05514We know it’s only September, but as the days go on, we are getting closer and closer to the holiday season. It just creeps up on you every year, doesn’t it? Here at Dance FX Studios, we think Private Latin, Swing or Country Dance Lessons with us are a great way to prepare for every holiday.

You know those family members that are so hard to shop for? They have anything and everything you could think of, and you are completely lost when it comes to what to get them for the holidays and birthdays. We can bet there is one thing they haven’t received… Private Dance Lessons with us! Giving the gift of dance is a unique way of spreading the holiday cheer this year. Your family members will love the idea of discovering dance with their loved one, or even solo so they can meet new friends here in Arizona. You know that your gift will be the only one of its kind, so you don’t have to worry about getting your mom the same set of pots and pans that your sister got her.

When you’re cooking, cleaning, and wrapping gifts for any of the holidays coming up, all you want (and need) is a break. A great way to take a step back from all of your errands and worries is with social dance lesson! If you have a spouse or a significant other you guys can use what you’ve learned in your lessons right there in your home. Once you start Country Two Step Dance Lessons or Swing Dance Lessons,  you will be transported to another place altogether. That gift wrapping can wait when you’re having this much fun! If you don’t think you’ll be able to leave the house and go out, just put on the radio and dance your heart out in your kitchen or living room. You will be so thankful during the holidays when you finally make time for yourself to recharge and unwind. Everyone deserves a break from the holiday madness!

A lot of work places like to throw holiday parties, especially around Christmas time. Depending on how big your company is, dancing will surely be a part of the event. If you and your spouse feel nervous about stepping on to the dance floor, come to us for Couple’s Private Dance Lessons. Our instructors are amazing at easing your worries and giving you every tool you will need to feel comfortable and look smooth while dancing together on any floor. Since you won’t be stressing about dancing in front of your co-workers, you and your partner can just focus on having a great time together and getting to know the people you work with better. Plus, you may also get the chance to impress your boss with your smooth moves! You could be the one everybody is talking about in the office…in a good way!

Set your stress aside this holiday season and take advantage of our New Student Introductory Offer for Private Dance Lessons. We know it isn’t holiday season just yet, but we want you and your partner to be prepared before it’s too late. Winter will come faster than you know it…

Country Dancing AZ

Why You Should Take Country Swing Dance Lessons

rsz_1rsz_dsc05533Here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona, we love to Country Dance! Don’t you? It’s so fun, freeing and not to mention, a very popular and useful skill to have. Yep, Country dancing is here to stay in Arizona and, if you don’t know how to Country Swing dance, there’s no better time than now to learn. Country Swing Dancing is incredible because of how upbeat and fun it is! Here are a few more reasons why we think you should take Country Swing Dance Lessons with us…

Country Swing is one of the most popular Country dances out there right now! Any Country bar you go  to will most likely be playing lots of up tempo Country dance songs, and Country Swing dancing can be done to most of them. Now you may see lots of Arizona dancers doing flips or something that you are unfamiliar with, or moves that even look uncomfortable. With the skills and proper techniques that you will learn at our dance studio, you will learn the correct way to Country dance and discover what works in social dance situations, and what doesn’t. That way, once you do go out dancing, you’ll be able to feel confident asking someone to dance. You’ll have everyone on the floor wishing they could look like you! Every lady and guy will also want the chance to dance with you.

With Private Country Swing Dance Lessons , you will get the boost of confident that you need! Everyone around you will be extremely jealous once you tell them about your amazing new talents. Plus, you will be able to show them all of the great moves you’ve been learning with us once you take them out. We’re not saying you should flaunt your stuff in front of everyone, but it is a good opportunity to impress the right people. If you’re single, there is no doubt being a great dancer will help you meet the right person. Women love men that know how to dance and take control on the floor, and men also love a girl who knows how to follow and who doesn’t try to take charge. With Country Swing Dance Lessons our instructors can teach you everything you need to know for a fun night out!

Country Dance Lessons (or ANY dance lessons for that matter) are a great hobby. You are constantly learning as a dancer in your dance journey. There will never be a day where you don’t want to add something new to your dancing tool belt! We would love to be the one to create the beginning steps of your own journey so that you can look great while enjoying a fun hobby. If you’re working all week, you can turn Country Swing Dancing into a weekend way to unwind from your job. Let go of the stress from your work week and shake it off on the dance floor! There will always be new places for you to try your Country Swing dance moves so you will never feel stuck in one bar with the same people. Dancing is a hobby that has many enthusiasts and with that in mind, you will create many new friendships with people who enjoy doing the same things you enjoy doing.

If you want to know more, check out our New Student Offer for Country Swing Dance Lessons and start creating a new hobby that can be used to dance with anybody at a Country bar around town soon!

Local Country Dancing AZ

Social Dancing Etiquette for Country Dancers

rsz_1rsz_1dsc05426I’m sure you’re wondering why we don’t teach any flips or dips in our Mesa, AZ dance studio. You see people doing them all the time when you go out Country dancing especially, so why aren’t we showing them to you? Well, we have some pretty good reasons why we avoid them.

Our studio focuses on social partner dances, like Country Two Step, Salsa dancing and Swing dancing. When you are out socially, it is of primary importance that you are mindful of others. Flips, dips and tricks not only require lots of space, but can be very dangerous to onlookers, or fellow dancers. Rather than tossing our partners around, we recommend learning to dance with all 4 feet on the ground (his and hers). We love to teach, and would encourage you to learn, practical dance moves that are not only safe, but will help you dance with anyone at your local bar, or even at a wedding or other special event. When you see couples who are doing flashy moves, it is most likely they can only do them with the people they practice with. They can’t dance with anyone else in that way because any move that both you and your partner have to memorize is considered choreography. At Dance FX Studios, we want you give you the tools to lead or follow anyone around any floor, not memorize patterns or flashy moves that are not able to be led or followed. Being in a social environment, these types of moves really should not be used at all and we strongly urge you not to try them.

Many couples who do the more eye-catching moves are often looked up to by novice (or non) dancers who truly do not consider the ramifications of a slip up. The couple may look flashy and cool, but they are really just getting in the way of people who want to social dance and enjoy each other. Plus, we would bet that they have unfortunately kicked somebody in the face before when they flipped their partner, or maybe their shoe flew off and hit someone… and if you trust someone to throw you in the air and they don’t catch you, guess what? You will end up falling on the hard floor, which most of the time is wood or concrete, and you could seriously get injured. Honestly none of the risks are worth the “cool” move. You aren’t on the set of “Dirty Dancing”…so relax.

The same thing goes for dips… We know traditionally people love to end a dance with a cute dip, but we like to save those for our wedding routines. Notice that we said routine. A routine is choreography; this is the only time we will teach moves like that… because technically, you will be on a floor to yourself. While it looks cute and romantic, do you really want your head that close to the dance floor? Or, being the male, do you want the responsibility of possibly dropping someone? What if you dance with someone you don’t know and they aren’t expecting a dip? All of those scenarios could seriously end up badly. Most importantly point, those moves aren’t made for a social situation and they should be left on the stage.

If you think you can’t look as cool as, or cooler than, that couple doing crazy stunts, you are so wrong. With Dance FX Studios’ New Student Offer for Beginner’s Dance Lessons we can show you tons of great looking moves in popular Latin, Swing and Country dances without having either of you lift anybody in the air. Join us in the fun!

Local Country Dancing AZ

Country Dancing in Arizona

rsz_1rsz_1countryI don’t know about you but we are sick of regular old night clubs. Bumping and grinding gets old after a while, doesn’t it? Rather than finding a potential date at a traditional dance club, have you tried Country dancing, Salsa dancing or Swing dancing around Phoenix? There are tons of Country bars in particular that are a ton of fun! From Naders to San Tan Flat to Buffalo Chip, Phoenix offers Country dance bars/clubs everywhere.  What’s great for people who love to dance is that when you go Country dancing, you get to be around even more people who like to dance the way that you do! At our Mesa dance studio, we will even take you out Country dancing with us if you’re afraid to go alone, or want more company.

When you go to a regular night club, you will see a few people who are usually too drunk and definitely cannot dance. It tends to get annoying when intoxicated people are bumping in to you nonstop and spilling their drinks. Granted, this can happen at any establishment that serves alcohol, but we have seen it way less where there is more partner dancing. You could try to partner dance at your usual club, but most likely people who are partnered up aren’t dancing the type of dance that you would like. When you go to a Country dance club, most people have the same goal as you; to practice all the moves they know and to meet new people.  They most likely are dancing the same way you are which makes dancing a great way to connect with others.

It is more fun to be prepared before you head out Country dancing. The best way to get ready, of course, is with Country dance lessons. At our studio, you will learn only the most popular Country dances which include Country Swing, Country Two Step, Country Waltz and the Nite Club 2 Step. These four main dances will keep you on that dance floor all night long, having a blast!

Country dance lessons are an amazing investment in yourself too! From the health benefits that you will receive by burning up to 400 calories in an hour on the dance floor, to the stress relief that social dancing has to offer, you will get more for your money than you could ever imagine. And don’t forget the biggest reason to dance…confidence. When you are confident on the dance floor, it’s nearly impossible to not have that confidence transfer into other areas of your life. That will help you in the workplace(especially if you are in sales), to your home life, and with your friendships. Who couldn’t use a little more self-assurance in their everyday life?

It may seem like you would rather sit in the corner and just drink, but we will have you dancing before you know it. We can help you get over that fear of being embarrassed with our New Student Offer for Private Country Dance Lessons Then when you feel like you are ready to go out and you want to go somewhere that is a great partner dancing environment,  will will take you out with us, or send you to the right place. Who knows what doors will open once you know how to dance!

Dance Lessons AZ

Dancing in the Rain!

rsz_1rsz_20150714_183203 (2)Welcome to another beautiful day here at Dance FX Studios  in Mesa, Arizona. It is nice and overcast and though the Arizona heat brings humidity, the smell of rain fills the air and we can not help but get excited. Dancing is always fun in an indoor environment, but my personal favorite is dancing with my significant other in the rain or under the bright blanket of stars.

There are many relationship benefits to dancing, whether its a fun and sexy Salsa or an intimate and slow Nite Club, connecting with your partner creates romance and even some stress relief! Imagine you get home from work, it’s pouring rain and the last thing you want to do is drive anywhere. That bar you two usually spend your weekends Country dancing at is so far away! Take a note from the cliche chick flicks, grab your partner and dance your hearts out in the storm! Trust us when we say both of you will be giggling as you run back inside soaking wet. But will it be worth it? Yes!

Private dance lessons can help you build a new hobby as social dancers that both of you can enjoy inside or outside! At Dance FX Studios here in Mesa, Arizona we love helping our couples learn how to create a fun and exciting pastime that will spice up your relationship. Not only will you and your partner be in each other’s arms for the entirety of the lesson, but when you go outside to practice, your neighbors may be sneaking a jealous peek at the two of you through their window, wishing their partner would explore with them the amazing world that is dancing. Please do watch for cars on the road though… 😉

You or your partner may feel a bit weary of Country, Latin or Swing dancing if you have never done it before. This comes with all activities that involve a social atmosphere, but don’t fret, we can help with our New Student Offer for beginner’s dance lessons and once you two start dancing together, the whole world will be blocked out and you can focus on the love of your life right there in your arms. Your stress will fall off your shoulders and your night will end in laughter and love from your one and only.

Dancing together can truly be an amazing experience and will boost your relationship to another level that can only be felt through the connection of dance. The time you put in to learning a romantic activity pays off in the long run for your relationship. You will always want to dance together, even if it is just a simple spin on the kithen floor. When you are turning grey and can’t travel anymore, you can escape reality by pushing back the couches and swaying to the sound of your favorite song with the one person who took those dance lessons back in 2015 with you.

It is starting to rain outside so I may just grab my own partner and head out for a quick slow dance before the sun starts to shine. Maybe you should do the same and enjoy some time together!

Country Two Step dancing AZ

Relax, Unwind and Dance!

Country Two Step dancing AZWelcome back to John’s Little Corner here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona! I am glad to see people taking time out of their busy lives to read my “Little Corner” blogs. I hope you are getting something from them, both on a dance and an emotional level. Emotions have a strong connection with dance, and yesterday, after a full day of lessons, I realized what an emotional journey my students are on. I wanted to share a couple of their stories with you, so you too can see how dancing can be positive exper for anyone!

Hannah came to the studio for Dance FX Studios’ New Student Offer for beginners because she wanted to do something fun. Hannah is a single mother of two, with a strong career in the hospitality industry as a General Manager of a 4 star hotel in Scottsdale. Now, Hannah is a pretty busy gal. In fact, her dance lesson needed to be on a Saturday while her kids were at a birthday party. Hannah literally had her entire day planned out down to the half hour; her lesson time was marked as FUN in her phone. So as you can probably imagine, Hannah was a very organized lady between work, home life and her children. So as we sat and initially talked, Hannah opened up about not going out often enough, if ever, and felt the only personal time she had was when she was asleep! I noticed during our first hour together that Hannah was not very big on smiling; however, by the end of the hour, she had smiled a total of five times and laughed twice. I was actually able to count them! When we sat down after our dance lesson (she focused on Country dancing mainly) to talk about her experience, I was blown away by her first sentence asking, “How can I sign up for more lessons?”. I truly thought she did not have that great of a time during her lesson. Hannah chose our five hour Foundation course and even found a way to help her to schedule her dance lessons close together, as we recommend. One of her lessons was even on her lunch break!

Hannah’s first lesson was at night, after her long day at the hotel. She was still in her work attire and frazzled from a busy shift. I instructed her to kick off her shoes and join me on the floor. Hannah’s following was very resistant, and you could just feel from her the need to take charge of the dance. After having a little chat of the benefits of being a great follower on the dance floor, Hannah began to relax, and slowly a smile came to her face. I could see that stress relief was much needed and that dancing fit the bill as a means of unwinding after a crazy day. When the lesson was over, she literally danced her way out the door. Every lesson since, she came stressed, tight, heavy in her follow, and talking about her hectic day! Yet by the end of the hour, she was relaxed every time.

Hannah went on into our General Studies Program. However, she does not come in frazzled or stressed anymore, but smiling, because she knows that relaxation and fun is in her future! Even better… her weekends are now mostly unscheduled; nowhere is FUN scheduled in her phone. When we last spoke, I asked her what has changed at work, and her answer was…”ME!” Hannah said since she began social dancing, she almost enjoys work. Her productivity is up, and her coworkers have even said how much more pleasant she is to be around. Besides work, her life at home has become more relaxed, and she even recently went out on a date, dancing of course! She apologized to me because she found herself back leading during their dance but only because he was not very good at it! I am very happy for Hannah because dance gave her stress relief in her day opened her up to relax a little bit more in her life. She is still very organized, but now she takes time for herself and doesn’t always schedule it on her phone. So proud!

Another student I have is Fred. Fred is just a simple 42 year old guy, very open, humble and experienced in life, as he would say! Life has thrown a lot at Fred, and Fred has stood strong at every devastating blow. Fred had defeated cancer at the age of 26, while also going through a divorce at the same time. He even went through a second divorce later on down the road that rendered him homeless and lost. Those are probably some of his worst stories. He has so many that even when things are bad, he tells the story with humor and pride.

It’s the second divorce Fred went through that makes me tell his story, because it was during that time I met him. When Fred found out his second wife wanted to leave him, it hit him hard; especially because he had just started a new job. Fred is a man of honor and carries the code of a true gentleman. He graciously left his home to give her space and tried everything he could to save the marriage- living in his car, trying to work, going to couples therapy alone, and filing a petition for reconciliation in the court to put a hold on the divorce she filed for three days after he left the house. Fred continued on this path for about two months, trying everything he could to keep his marriage and fight for the one he loved. Fred found out she had gone out on a date, dancing with another man. Fred decided in an attempt to save this marriage to surprise her with a date night dance lesson, learning her favorite Country dance, the Two Step. Fred also set up a dinner date at a Western theme restaurant with a live band and a dance floor. He called the studio and set up a beginner’s dance lesson focused on Country dancing and came in with Kristin (his still technical wife). They had a great connection with each other, both laughing at their situation and both seemingly enjoying each other’s company as if nothing really was wrong. They even went on to enroll in our Foundation program! Fred set the first couple lessons up with us, and they left for dinner and dancing. Fred later called the next day thanking us for the lesson and how well dinner went. The dancing was rough, but the overall night was great! Two days later, Fred rescheduled the lessons for a week later, and when the day came for the first lesson, Fred showed up alone and unsure if Kristin would show up. She never did.

Being who he is, Fred completed his dance lessons alone and even enrolled into General Studies because he found something he enjoyed doing for himself. He laughs every time he works on that Country Two Step and says, “ I wonder who she is tripping over right now!” Fred has become an awesome dancer!

One day while at work, Fred was helping a customer carry items to her vehicle, and along the way did a little dance step to avoid a no parking sign that she had parked in front of. In a sweet giggle she asked Fred what was that he just did. When Fred explained it was a Country Two Step dance move, she very quickly stated she had always wanted to learn how to Country Two Step! Fred introduced himself, and they began talking about dancing, music, and eventually how experienced in life he was. The customer’s name was Sarah, and they have been dating for about 6 months now. Fred has taught her to dance more than the Two Step, and even though his lessons are completed here with us, he stops by to say hi to me from time to time. Yesterday we spoke about life for a moment. I asked how Sarah was, and if there were any plans on marriage down the road. Fred’s reply almost made me cry…

“Ya know John, I came in here looking to fix a love that I thought was broken. A love that really wasn’t broken per say, just not shared by her. But what I found in trying to fix that love was the love I have for myself, and for life in general. Once that happened, true love found me, and all because of that first dance move I wanted to learn in Country Two Step. So, if you are really asking me, after two divorces and everything else I’ve been through, if Sarah and I will be getting married, I’ll just put it like this, we are taking things one dance at a time and loving each other every minute of it!”

I wanted to share these stories with you because it proves a point that I try and share with everybody.  Dancing can benefit anyone and everyone, not just physically, but emotionally as well! These stories are testaments to our inner strength, our determination to improve ourselves, and goes to show that even when love is lost, it’s still there inside of us, just like dance, waiting for that connection to truly be made. It’s these stories that affect me as an instructor, because even though I don’t play a huge role in their lives, the little direction I give has influence to affect peoples lives far beyond my reach! So when you think about what it is you want in life, try to remember what it is you need in life that helps get you there. I call it the foundation step, the basic step in which all others are based upon. And when you’re ready, I’ll be glad to help you find that beginning step…

Thanks for hanging out in my Little Corner today.  As always, I’m John, and I cant wait to see how Dance FX you!!!