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Get Ready for Country Thunder AZ 2019 With Country Dance Lessons

With the holidays fast approaching, Country Thunder AZ 2019 is just around the corner! That’s right, mark your calendars for the hottest Country music festival around. What an awesome time to get together with friends and live it up…all weekend long! And what goes best with Country music? Country Dancing, of course!

Here in Arizona, we get to experience Country Thunder in April, the 11th to the 14th in 2019, to be exact. Will you be there? If so, you have got to know how to Country dance! How else can you truly enjoy your favorite tunes if you’re not Two Stepping or Swing dancing too them as they’re being played?

Within weeks, we’ll be pulling our Christmas trees out of the garage and dusting off our boots as the weather cools. Don’t let winter pass you by without getting started with beginner’s Country Dance Lessons. Before you know it, you’ll be scrambling to learn at the last minute, which is never fun. Besides, all you need is a pair of boots and the right Arizona Dance Studio to get you moving. The question is, where to begin…

Finding a Dance Studio where you’re comfortable learning is key. You’ve got to be able to relax and enjoy the process if you plan to stick with it. For Couples and single men, I highly suggest Private Country Dance Lessons over Group Classes. There are many reasons for this, but the most important one leads back to comfortability. When you’re learning with just your spouse and an instructor, you will be less inclined to worry about “mistakes” or “looking dumb”, and you will be more focused on getting the right information from your dance instructor that can be tailored for the way that you learn best. Now everyone knows that a girl loves a guy that can dance, so men, it’s time to get that ball rolling, either by yourself, or with your lady!

Once you have find the right place, you have to know what styles of Country dance are most popular. Of course, a great dance instructor will direct you, so rely on their guidance to get you started with fantastic dancing habits, but having an idea of what you have seen out dancing will help too, so feel free to bring up dance styles you like.

Oftentimes, we at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, AZ are asked by new students to be taught the Texas Two Step. This is not a dance that is used so much in Arizona, so we often wonder why this comes up so often. Regardless, the Arizona Two Step, is much more practical on the dance floors here in AZ, hence it’s name!

The big differences between the Texas Two Step and the Arizona Two Step are that the former is a bit more fast paced, and requires a larger dance space. As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, so it’s cool to do the Texas Two Step there, but in Arizona, we have much smaller dance floors. The Arizona Two Step is going to be your key to covering most of your Country songs and dance spaces here in AZ, so this is the one to learn.

Secondly, the Arizona Two Step is also referred to as the Rhythm Two Step because it doesn’t have to travel and can therefore work on any size dance floor, big or small. This is perfect for Arizona Country Dance venues!

In accordance with it’s name, though, being on tempo with the Rhythm Two Step is essential. This is the one aspect of Country Dancing that many untrained dancers seem to have in common, that is, not adhering to the beat when dancing. With Dance Lessons, you will learn how to find the beat to stay on time with the music, whether you’re Two Step dancing or Country Swing dancing.

Speaking of which, Country Swing dancing is going to be your second most used Country dance, so do request to learn this popular Country Dance style. Country Swing is a circular dance that doesn’t do any traveling, which is also ideal for small, crowded dance floors in AZ.  Country Swing is faster than the Two Step, so when you’re finding it challenging to dance Two Step, switch over to Swing dancing, and you should be good to go!

Have a blast next year at Country Thunder AZ 2019! Be safe, and most importantly, get out and dance! After all, what’s life without dancing in it!?!

8 Cringe-Worthy Habits of Untrained Social Dancers

adult dance lessons in arizonaHow many times have you gone out dancing and been stepped on, kicked, pushed, or simply disregarded on the dance floor? If your answer is even once, that’s one time too many. These days, it can be not only intimidating to go out social dancing, but downright dangerous! In this blog, I’d like to share my opinion of some of the most cringe-worthy behaviors of social dancers, and what you can do to change those habits if you happen to be guilty of them yourself.

As has always been the case, the majority of those who go out dancing, be it in Country bars, Latin dance clubs or even at weddings, are untrained dancers. Let’s face it, the average person does not invest in Private Dance Lessons before they go out dancing, which is why many mishaps occur in the first place. A least they’re going out and having fun, right? Agreed! I give anyone who goes out dancing major props for having the courage to step on to the dance floor without any experience. It’s scary to even ask someone to dance, let alone be expected to know what you’re doing…and it takes a lot of gumption to try something new.

The thing is, when you’re dancing in a social setting like a bar or party, bad habits can develop, mainly from what I call “the blind leading the blind”. Example…A couple tries something they saw one time on YouTube that looks “so cool”. The twosome watching from the sidelines wants to look awesome too, so they copy couple #1. From there we end up with the trickle down effect where everyone is simply mimicking each other, yet no one has a clue how to do the dance move correctly. Following others, especially in partner dancing, without training and practice can lead to trouble, big time!

This is just one instance of a bad behavior gone wrong. Let’s go into some other acts that may cause you to cringe too. Starting with…

Stepping on other people’s feet.

Ouch! Who likes to come home with high heel marks on the top of their feet after a night out Salsa dancing? What about a Cowboy boot landing on your toe? That hurts like no other. Trust me, I speak from experience. Being stepped on is unfortunately a common experience when you’re out social dancing. It can be avoided, though, if you keep a proper dance frame when you are leading or following. If either person’s frame is not in tact, you will inevitably drift too close together, putting those precious toes, and your pedicure, at risk.

You can also avoid stepping on other dancers by keeping your feet underneath your body. Social dances like Country Two Step, Swing, Salsa and Argentine Tango are done most often on a crowded floor, so if your feet are up in the air and not tucked underneath your body, you may end up injuring someone. In Private Country, Latin or Swing dance classes, you will learn helpful tips like these to make social dancing that much more fun!

Not dancing on time with the music.

How frustrating! Your favorite tune comes on. The tempo is obvious and clear, yet he is dancing to the beat of his own drum, so to speak. It is the man’s/leader’s responsibility to listen to the music and keep you as a couple on time, so guys, ask your dance instructor for ways to hear the music. That way you can begin enjoying dancing to the music, and not fighting against it. It really does make quite the difference, especially when you’re dancing with someone who feels the beat.

Yanking instead of leading.

Did you know that leading a lady on the dance floor involves finesse? The lightest of touches can give her just the right cue to get her to go where you want her to be. In a previous blog, I go into the “Less is More” concept behind being a great lead on the dance floor. Check it out. Yanking her arms out of their sockets like you may see often in the local Country bars can not only be unsafe, but it is truly unnecessary (not to mention rude). Think of “inviting” your partner, not “making” her go. It really will make all the difference in her experience, and hopefully get you another dance with her later in the night.

Expecting him to do all the work.

As a woman, this bothers me. Ladies, we are not meant to be limp noodles waiting to be tossed around. We have a role on the dance floor too. That is to maintain a proper frame-even in social dancing-and make sure that we are lead-able. OK, that’s not a word, but you know what I’m saying, right?? Don’t make him work so hard. Partner dancing should be fun and relaxed, not work in the traditional sense. Remember that ballroom dancing (including all partner dancing-Salsa, Swing, Two Step, etc.) is a conversation between two people. One of you can’t be yelling while the other one has her ears plugged. Acting and reacting, non-verbal communication, that’s what it’s all about.  Again, you can learn more about this with one-on-one dance instruction. These concepts are integral to being a self-assured social dancer.

Not asking for a dance, and not saying “thank you” at the end.

Communication. This is what dancing is about, as I said. Please don’t feel that, because you’re a good dancer, you can grab any woman and starting spinning her around. Ask her first, and let her accept before bringing her on to the dance floor. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and just pull someone onto the floor, but it’s much nicer to get her permission first.

Ladies, please thank him for the dance, even if you didn’t have the time of your life. It’s scary to ask someone to dance, and then try to recall the moves you know. The first few times he tries, he may freeze up and blank out. That’s normal, so girls, be kind. You may be his first dance ever. What an honor, rather than a punishment. Your “thank you” will go a long way.

Appearing to be bored by him.

To follow up from my previous point, ladies please do not roll your eyes if he does the same three moves over and over again. Please do not stare off into the crowd like you can’t wait for the song to be done. I can assure you, he’s doing the best he can. If you’d like him to want to improve, look for something to compliment him on. It will mean a lot and most likely motivate him to want to lean more. You never know. You could run into him six months later, and after some dance lessons under his belt, he could come in and sweep you off your feet! How exciting would that be?!

Wearing the wrong shoes.

Looking your cutest does matter, but if you’re planning to cut a rug, put on the proper dance shoes for the occasion. Latin dancing requires a heel with a strap around the ankle so your feet are protected. Country dancers, throw on a pair of boots and you’ll be good to go. Flip flops and sandals do not make for good dancing shoes and can detract from your cuteness in no time flat.

Doing the same dance to every song.

This is different from above, where I wrote on being off time with the music. There are many dancers out there that only know one dance. Country Two Step, for example. Suddenly, every Country song, be it fast, slow or medium tempo, is a Country Two Step. That’s just not the case. If Country dancing is your thing, great! Explore 4-5 main Country dances in your lessons so that you can be prepared for any speed of music that is played.

Same with Latin dancing.  Merengue music and Bachata music are both Latin based, but are very different in terms of feel and speed. Therefore, learning several Latin dances will only be to your benefit when going out social dancing, so all of your bases are covered.

If you’re guilty of any of the above mishaps on the dance floor, it’s OK, you’re not alone! Now that you know better, you can do better, right? Dance lessons will help to iron out a lot of common mistakes, and get you on the right track to becoming an awesome social dancer. So, contact your local dance studio for adults to get started. In the meantime, which one of the above can you improve on? I’d love to know!

 

 

 

Come Country Dancing With Dance FX Studios!

Country Western dance lessons ArizonaWhat did you do this past Saturday night? Do you wish you were out Country dancing with friends, or meeting new people out Country dancing? If so, we would have loved to have you join us at San Tan Flat in Queen Creek! We had a blast Swing dancing, Two Stepping and spending time with our group, who are all Country music and dance fans.

In the land of the Cowboy here in Arizona, Country Western Dance Lessons are almost essential if you plan to wrangle-up the Cowgirl of your dreams. Two Step dancing and Swing dancing are all the rage, so knowing how to do it with confidence is key! Ladies…don’t miss out on being swept off of your feet by a true Cowboy (or at least one in the making). And guys…you know the ladies love to dance, so why would you not want to explore Country dancing as a cool, new hobby? See for yourself how your social life will expand once you know how to dance.

Country dance venues are popping up on every corner around the Phoenix metro area, and Country dancing in Arizona is as popular as ever. Arizonans love to boot n’ scoot their nights away at Country bars like Whiskey Row, Denim and Diamonds, and Handle Bar J’s! When you’re thinking of learning something new, it just makes sense to learn to Country dance, especially if you live here in the southwest.

Did you know there is even a form of Two Step that is almost done exclusively here in Arizona? It is called the Arizona Two Step, or Rhythm Two Step. What’s great about it is that you don’t need a ton of space to learn the Rhythm Two Step, which is fantastic for crowded dance floors around town. Really though, it doesn’t matter what form of Two Step that you end up doing because they are fun and easy to learn and dance. You are sure to have a great time Country dancing, so grab your partner, a group of friends, or come solo, and get started with beginner’s Country Dance Lessons today!

If you would like to practice your Country dancing with a group of other Country dance lovers, sign up for one of our upcoming dance events. Our professional instructors will be there to help you look incredible on the dance floor! Plus, you’ll meet other dancers who are at all stages of learning to dance themselves. Check out our Dance Events page for details and to see what our Night’s Out include. You can even sign up to join us through our free app called Dance FX Studios.

Do you find yourself tapping your feet, smiling, and maybe even singing along to your favorite Country music? Then it’s time to discover Country Dancing! Grab your Cowboy boots and let’s get Two-Stepping. Replace those nights on the couch with evenings filled with laughter, fun and new friends. Dancing can offer a lot of fun for those who are willing to give it a shot. Who knows, this may even turn out to be something you really enjoy and can be a brand new skill and hobby for you.

Become a competent dancer and find out for yourself how to really heat up your nights. NOW is the time to get started so that you can really shine on any dance floor.  Let us help you to become the dancer you are envisioning – smooth and natural – while having a great time and learning a life-long skill that will cover you for any occasion.

Make Dancing Your Date Night Adventure!

couple's dance lessons in arizonaAre you and your sweetheart looking for a new hobby, or just trying find something new to do on a spontaneous date night? If you live here in Arizona with us, then you need to head on over to Dance FX Studios in the Phoenix East Valley! We have everything you need to have a wonderful night of bonding, connection and romance. 😉

Now you may be in your regular habit of the “dinner and a movie” kind of date night, but why not get out and try something new together, like couple’s dance lessons? Couple’s dance lessons are actually what every twosome needs to break up the monotony of  daily routines and schedules. Think about it. Would you rather be taking Private Country Two Step Dance Lessons, or going to that same old Italian Restaurant…again!? First, you can do both. After all, you will be burning up to 500 calories on your dance lesson, so you may want to eat first and dance off that pasta after. Now that’s a plan!

Once you get into the rhythm of regular dance lessons as a couple, your bodies will feel a connection you’ve never felt before. Salsa dance lessons are a fantastic way to reignite the flame, for example, and who can’t use a bit more passion at any stage of their relationship? Or how about lightening things up with some Swing dance lessons? Swing dancing is so versatile and useful that you almost have to have it on any occasion. From Country bars to weddings, you will definitely use your fun Swing dance moves!

When you visit us, the choice is up to you on what you want to explore. We will teach you a variety of social ballroom dances that will cover all of your social occasions from date nights to going out on the weekends with friends. With any dance style you pick, the point is that you’ll be learning and growing together as a couple, and therefore taking full advantage of what dancing is all about. Good for you!

We know that dancing is the key to any successful relationship, so why not make it a part of your weekly routine?  Once you learn your roles on the dance floor as leader and follower, you’ll be having a blast “working” together in harmony. There’s absolutely no better way to build confidence in your relationship than leaning how to literally move as one.

At our studio, couple’s come to escape from it all. Leave the kids with Grandma, or a sitter, and come invest time into each other. Not only will you both be happier and healthier, but everyone else around you will be too.

So don’t just take my word for it. Get out there and start making some real memories! If you don’t live in Phoenix, AZ, find an adult dance studio near you and start taking some couple’s ballroom dance lessons. We’re here for all the lucky ones who do live in town. Come on in and start your journey together as a more confident couple here with us. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!

3 More Things You Thought You Knew About Partner Dancing

adult dance studios in ArizonaAre you interested in learning how to Country two step, salsa or swing dance? That’s awesome! There’s no better time than the summer to begin taking adult dance lessons in these popular styles to beat the heat and stay fit.

Now that you know what you want to learn, there’s so much to discover! Most beginners think Country, Swing or Latin dance lessons are just about memorizing steps. Not so! While knowing where your feet go may seem important, there are even more key concepts that take precedence when learning to dance. Here are a few interesting things that you may not know about partner dancing…

First, for the men. Guys you don’t need to use your strength to be an awesome leader on the dance floor. That’s right…there’s no need to hit the gym before you invite your gal for a dance. While it’s common to see ladies being tossed around like rag dolls, especially in the Country dancing scene, treating her with a more gentle touch is best. Not only will you be protecting her arms from being ripped out of their sockets, but you will also be showing her that you know how to take care of a woman by making sure that you do not throw her into other dancers, objects, etc… This may seem like a common sense way to behave on the dance floor, and may just be the reason why you’re taking dance lessons in the first place, but being mindful of your partner is essential, and should be a topic of conversation while exploring partner dancing.  Bottom line: less is more. Learn to lead with finesse and the ladies will be lining up for more!

Next, for the ladies. It turns out that we’re not perfect either! Who knew? 🙂 What we need to keep in mind while out dancing is to not ourselves on the dance floor. All we want is to be turned and twirled, right? Well, ladies, that’s his job. He is the one who technically gets to decide when we get turned because he is the lead on the dance floor. While I can’t blame a newer dancer for turning herself, the idea of letting the leader do his job is key. You may not have known about it before your dance lessons, but now that you know, please empower him by letting him choose what he leads on the dance floor. What comes of this is confidence in a man, and a man that loves to dance, two exciting traits in a guy!

Lastly, you may not know that dancing is mainly about rhythm and connecting with the music. Staying on time with the music makes the dance what it is. For example, salsa dancing has a particular rhythm that you stick to: quick, quick, slow-two faster beats and one slower one. A two step begins with two slower beats followed by two quicker ones. As you learn new patterns and movements, make dancing with the music a priority over memorizing steps. You’ll tap into your inner rhythm and enjoy the dance that much more. I promise! Note: For those that think they don’t have any rhythm to tap in to, if you have a heart beat, you’ve got rhythm. Let your instructor show you how to bring it out, but just know, it’s in there.

You didn’t know you were delving into something so deep when you decided to sign up for beginner’s dance lessons, did you? The wonderful part is that dancing is a romantic and exciting hobby that you will use for years to come in many social situations. Enjoy the process of learning to dance and you will be investing in yourself, your health, your confidence and so much more!

 

 

How To Be Approachable For A Dance

Country Western dance lessons near Chandler ArizonaSo this Friday you’ve got plans to hang out at your favorite Country bar with the girls. How fun! What’s even more exciting is that there’s live Country music there on the weekends. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to Country dance the night away! What a great way to relieve some stress after a long week at work. For some reason, though, you always find yourself heading home without even dancing once. Boo!

Have you considered that you may not be making yourself noticeable to be asked for a dance? Are you  tucked away in a corner behind the bar, far away from the dance floor? Maybe you want to dance but you’re afraid of what will happen once you get out there. If so, you’re completely normal! Country dancing, with all of the cool moves, dips and tricks, can be intimidating for sure. Then again, if you don’t ever get out there and give it a try, you’ll be missing out on all the joys that social dancing can bring. Take it from me, that would be a real bummer! Here are a few of my favorite tips that will help you to be more approachable for a dance.

 

  1. Stand closer to the dance floor. “Wallflowers”, it will be hard for him to see you if you’re off in the distance, so get close enough to the dance floor so that he knows you’re interested in being invited out for a dance. Again, this may feel a bit scary because you have no idea of what’s about to happen once you do get on the floor, but at least you’ll have a chance to dance if you can be seen
  2.  Making eye contact with someone who seems to be a great Country dancer won’t hurt either. Scope out the room and see who you’d feel most comfortable dancing with, then shoot him a look. Maybe he’ll pick up on your interest and take you out for a spin. Warning: Once you get out there, you may not ever want to leave the dance floor! Dancing is highly addictive, but in such a great way!
  3. Take Country Dance Lessons. Once you know how to turn and spin with confidence, you’ll want to put yourself out there. With a series of Private Dance Lessons under your belt, your confidence will soar. You will get all of the in’s and out’s of how to be a great follower with one-on-one instruction Country Dance Instruction, and you’ll want to show off your skills, so get going with lessons and put yourself out in the mix.
  4. Lastly, be proactive! There’s no rule that says we ladies need to sit back and wait to be asked for a dance. You’ve put in the time to learn to Country dance, and you see a few guys that seem to know what they’re doing, so why not ask one of them for a dance or two? Just by asking for a dance, you can take control of your night and meet some new friends in the process. It’s a win/win!

Now that you know the steps you can take to be more approachable for a dance, it’s time to take action! If you reside in Phoenix, Arizona, you can get the ball rolling with social Country dance lessons from us at Dance FX Studios. Our adult dance studio is located in the East Valley, just off the 101 highway, for your convenience. We can help you to look fantastic for that next time you and the girls get together at your favorite Country bar, so give us a call today!

 

Social dance lessons Arizona

Social Dancing Makes You Smarter

Social dance lessons near Chandler ArizonaWho knew that social dancing, like Country Swing dancing or Salsa dancing, can actually make you smarter? I sure didn’t until I did my research on the numerous benefits of social dancing over the last 20 years in my career as a professional social ballroom dance instructor.

It’s so easy to underestimate what is required to be a great social dancer. As dancers, we apparently just prance around at night, letting go of all of our worries without a care in the world, right? Well, the part about letting go of your cares is true when you are dancing, mostly because of the need to concentrate on what you are doing.  And the fun-factor? Well, that’s there too because social dancing is a blast, but getting back to how dancing makes you smarter, there’s a whole lot of split-second decision making in social dancing which contributes to a higher level of intelligence. It’s pretty cool to think that you can actually give your brain a work-out, making it sharper and more responsive, all by social ballroom dancing.

To quickly veer off track for a moment, it is important to clarify one thing. Many people ask, “What exactly is social ballroom dancing?”. That’s a great question! Ballroom dancing in general includes any dance that you do with a partner, from Latin dancing like Salsa and Bachata, to Swing dancing and Country Western dancing. If you’re physically connected to your dance partner, you’re “partner dancing” or “ballroom dancing”. The “social” aspect of it comes in to play when compared to competitive ballroom dancing, which is judged by professionals who have specific standards within each dance that a couple must abide by in order to be successful. Social ballroom dancing, on the other hand, is not meant to be judged. It is for the purpose of having fun with someone else at a Country bar or a Latin night club, as examples. Now that you know the difference, here’s more on social ballroom dancing, and how it makes you smarter…

As Jean Piaget, psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children as well as his theory of cognitive development once said, “Intelligence is what we use when we don’t already know what to do.” Unlike a tree that grows without thinking or an animal that makes its decisions based on instinct for the purpose of survival, we humans fortunately have the ability to think and reason. On the social dance floor, as I mentioned, quick decisions as a leader are required to keep you and your partner safe and having fun. Thinking about what move to do next means an you have to be in an in-the-moment frame of mind. That means that each time you go Country Two Step dancing, you are sharpening that noggin! How awesome is that?!

One would think that competitive ballroom dancing would do just the same, but with pre-planned choreography, the element of surprise and quick thinking is off the table. So, my conclusion is that if you want to “get smart”, learn to social dance! Done! 😉

There are many other added mental benefits to social dancing, from dramatically reducing stress to warding off dementia. In the New England Journal of Medicine report on aging and mental acuity, it was determined that dancing frequently offered the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical, including reading, doing crossword puzzles and bicycle riding. It was 76% more effective than all of these activities in keeping dementia at bay.  So if you love social ballroom dancing for the pure fun of it, you will also be gaining some pretty cool side effects of it as you age, making social dancing the best hobby ever!

Do you want to be a confident social dancer? Our talented team at Dance FX Studios in the Phoenix East valley can help you to shine on any dance floor.  Social dance lessons are great fun in addition to being healthy. Join us today and begin your exciting journey into social dancing.