Couples Country dance lessons AZ

Tips for A Successful Night of Social Dancing

Couples Country dance lessons ArizonaIn social dancing, the BIGGEST secret to success is to make your partner(s) happy. Dancing is an exciting and special relationship between you, your partner and the music. But there are other factors involved, especially in social dancing, like being mindful of the other dancers around you.  Once you are able to successfully navigate the dance floor, your popularity as an awesome social dancer will greatly increase! Here are a few, VERY important tips to remember when leading your lovely lady out on a social dance floor:

1. Create a comfortable lead: A follower doesn’t appreciate having her arm cranked or jolted out of her socket in order to make her turns. Pushing and pulling to bring her where you want (as well as other forceful leads) are not appreciated. Here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona we teach how to create an inviting space for the follower that is both comfortable and communicative. We teach you how to execute moves well on the dance floor and help you to become confident so, when you go dancing, you will be able to WOW your partner.

Ladies, when you ask or accept to follow someone in a dance, you are agreeing to let THEM lead. This doesn’t mean that you have to do everything perfectly. Sometimes you don’t understand how the move is being led, but a good leader can turn any misunderstandings into a new move. Don’t worry about being perfect, as long as you do what your partner is asking, you will both have a good time. Back-leading can be disrespectful and is very disturbing to your partner because you are rejecting their contribution to the partnership. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t embellish a move or add your personality into the dance. The instructors at Dance FX Studios help both parties understand what it means to lead and follow. We give constructive feedback and tips that make following (and leading) easier.

2 .Protect your partner: This goes for BOTH leader and follower, however, it is more important from the leader’s perspective. There are two important aspects: anticipation and observation. By anticipating movement of other dancers (and onlookers), you are able to match your movements to the space that is on the floor (and can even create some extra space). The most important piece is not to run your partner into other couples. Not only is this jarring for you and your partner, but also for the other couple. Observation allows you to know where other couples are and, if another couple executes a move that puts your partner into danger of collision, think quickly to either absorb the blow in a spot that doesn’t create a large injury or keeps your partner safe. In the partnership, each person is the eyes in the back of their partner’s head – you keep an eye out and if someone is approaching the blind spot of your partner, keep them safe! As a follower, a small pressure on the leader’s shoulder or hand can warn them of a possible collision and give them a heads up.

3. Entertain your partner: Both of you are out to have a good time, MAKE it one! From Salsa dancing here in Phoenix to hitting the Country bars, dancing is a great way to shake off your week, get some great exercise and let loose. Dance at an appropriate level that makes it enjoyable for both parties. Evaluate your partner’s capabilities and make sure to keep the dancing comfortable while adding in some fun moves as well.  At Dance FX Studios, we teach you how to make cool combinations of moves, blend movements together to make the dance smooth, and how to keep time with music, which is also a big part of keeping the dance fun! It is also important to maintain a good sense of humor if something goes wrong – NOBODY is perfect! 🙂 Own up to mistakes if necessary, but don’t dwell on it. Lightheartedness and playfulness goes a long way. Make sure to SMILE at your partner and focus on what makes them comfortable and happy.

4. Appreciate your partner: By combining all of the above, your partner should feel like you are there to dance with THEM (even if it is only for one or two songs). The most popular dancers are those who make it clear to their partner that their company is appreciated and enjoyed! Most people would rather not dance with someone who acts disinterested or bored, no matter how amazing their dancing is.

Overall, the most important take-away is: dancing is a partnership – you are happiest when your partner is also happy. Come learn how to become confident in your dancing skills at Dance FX Studios. Our New Student Offer for beginner dancers is a great place to start your journey as a dancer!

Salsa dancing Phoenix

Chill Out This Summer in Phoenix

Salsa dancing PhoenixIt is reaching the big temperatures here in Phoenix, Arizona and it is miserable to simply walk outside. Even if you are headed to the swimming pool, the chances of you staying outside for more than a quick dip are slim. So Dance FX Studios wants to ask you why? Why go outside when you can be Country dancing with us in the cool air conditioning! 🙂 Yes, we keep it nice and cool in our East valley dance studio so that you can beat the heat this summer and dance your way into the cool fall months ahead. Don’t stay stagnant this steamy summer, join us for some fun OUT of the sun with private dance lessons at Dance FX Studios!

So what can you learn in the next few months?? Plenty!!! Because we customize all of our dance programs, you will get to discover fun and exciting new dance styles that YOU want to learn, from Salsa dancing to Country Two Step to Argentine Tango, that you can enjoy for years to come. “Where to begin?”, you may be wondering. Well, here’s our recommendation on a few dances that will keep you cool this summer…

Salsa dancing: You have got to learn to Salsa dance if you live here in the southwest! Salsa dancing is fun, flirty and filled with playful moves that will keep you wanting more and more. Of course, you must also explore other sassy dances like the Bachata and Merengue if you plan to head out to the Latin clubs around Phoenix. Latin dancing is a wonderful stress reliever and an awesome way to meet new people as the style lends itself to pushing outside of your comfort zone. What a fun way to build your confidence and uncover a new skill all at the same time!

Country Two Step dancing: Regardless of where you live, Country dancing is heating up the nation! Get in with those who know how to Country dance and have a blast right alongside everyone else in the Country bars around Arizona. Two Step dancing is not only easy, it’s electrifying! Get spun around the dance floor, or do the spinning, and see how great it is to know how to Country dance. Now don’t be intimidated about all that you see in the Country bars around town, you can make your Country Two Step dancing flashy and fun in no time! Start with beginner Two Step dance lessons and let us help you with the rest!

Swing dancing: Any time is the perfect time to know how to Swing dance! Swing dancing is for all ages and stages of life, and is not specific to a certain genre of music, making it versatile in more ways that one! Get your Swing dance on this summer with Swing dance lessons for couples or singles. Swing dancing is a great means of escape, relaxation and joy as you discover this dance with or without a partner.

We at Dance FX Studios in the Phoenix East Valley hope that you come visit us this summer to beat the heat and explore a new hobby. Social dancing is amazing on so many levels and we’d love to share in our passion for dance with you. Contact us to begin your journey into social dancing at 480-968-6177. We can’t wait to see you on the dance floor!

group salsa classes

Why Free Group Dance Classes Don’t Work

group salsa classes in ArizonaHave you ever heard the expression “You get what you pay for.”? Well, that saying rings true for many things, even learning to social ballroom dance! You’d think that with all of the free group dance classes in the Country bars and Latin clubs that there would be tons of great dancers out there, but the fact is that most social dancers haven’t a clue what they’re doing. “But they’re having so much fun! Isn’t that all that matters?”. Truly, no. That is not all that matters (although fun is real important). What matters most when social dancing at bars, in nightclubs or even at your best friend’s wedding is that those around you are safe and comfortable and that you can actually apply what you know to a real world situation. How do you learn those skills? With private dance lessons, of course!

Consider social ballroom dancing, like Country Two Step, Salsa, Swing and other partner dances, to be the same as learning a new language…the language of dance! How can one possibly learn enough detail to become a clear communicator on the dance floor in a group class with 20 to 30 other people? Even more, how can one become a proficient dancer when they are just learning patterns and not how to really lead or follow? These are just two questions that we will delve into to reveal that private dance lessons are a better investment if you are sincerely looking to learn how to dance with confidence.

Here’s the scoop on why free group dance classes don’t work:

 1. The attention to detail is missing: In group Swing or Salsa dance classes, you will get an overview of a few cool moves or “tricks” that you can take out social dancing. But what if you are not sure how to lead or follow them? What if you don’t have a proper dance frame or even know that your footwork is secondary to the connection you have in your upper bodies? What you are left with is just a bunch of sloppily executed moves with no structure or foundation with which to rely on. How unfortunate! After just a few private dance lessons, you could actually know how to lead or follow those moves so much better, just by understanding your roles and responsibilities on the dance floor as a leader and follower. With these tools, you are sure to have more confidence to take with you on any social dance floor.

 2. Group Classes are not customized for how you learn best. The one major disadvantage of group dance classes is that you are learning with the masses. Some of you will pick up the material slower than others, simply because you are not being taught in a way that makes sense to you. For example, some students learn best when seeing the move over and over again, while others learn best when their dance instructor explains the moves in more detail with pictures or examples that are relatable to them. With customized instruction from a knowledgeable instructor, you can bet that you will be taught in a way that makes sense. That’s our job. In a group setting, it’s just not possible to personalize the learning experience, leaving some out in the cold to fend for themselves, so to speak. This tends to be quite demotivating and leaves room for you and your partner to give up on a hobby that can truly enhance your lives.

 3. Group Classes are pattern-based. Social partner dancing is all about adhering to a specific rhythm, rather than memorizing patterns. If you didn’t know that, it’s OK. It probably just means that you haven’t taken private dance lessons yet! It’s not too late to enjoy the real benefits of knowing how to dance by not just memorizing routines that you can watch on youtube, but by getting quality instruction that will keep you on the dance floor all night long!

It’s your turn to make the investment in yourself, or in you and your partner with private dance lessons. There’s no reason to fumble around on that dance floor when you can be floating with ease and comfort through any social dance, from the Argentine Tango to the Country Two Step. If you live in Phoenix, Arizona, come have some fun with us at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, AZ. We are right off the 101 highway so that we can accommodate residents valley-wide. Your days of enjoying social dancing are just around the corner!

Arizona dance lessons

How To WOW Your Woman This Valentine’s Day

Arizona dance lessons for couplesAlright guys, you have less than two weeks to find that perfect gift for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. So you know that you’re NOT getting flowers and a stuffed bear this time around, but how creative and exciting do you really want to get? Well…if your answer is “I’d love to wow my woman this Valentine’s Day”, then we have the perfect present for you!

What most of us ladies, myself included, really want, regardless of the time of the year, is quality time with our guy. We long for the experiences that we can remember of being together and doing something fun, adventurous and romantic with you!

This Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14th, 2015, we have the greatest gift ever for you to really make an impression: Couple’s Dance Lessons! That’s right. Think of private dance lessons as the gift that keeps on giving. Once you start with beginner’s dance lessons, you can take her to date nights that include dinner and dancing at your favorite Country bar or Latin club. That is soooo much cooler than watching a movie or playing pool.

Since Country music is extremely popular these days, you’ll be the best boyfriend in the world if you brought your lady in for a Country Two Step or Country Swing dance lesson. Country dancing is here to stay, and if you live in Arizona like we do, it’s literally part of our culture, so you know you’ll be able to use your moves for years to come.

The same goes for your Latin dances. Learn to Salsa and Bachata with your lady, or even to do the hot, hot, hot Argentine Tango and watch what those dances do for your love life. She’ll be so impressed that you even entertained the idea of learning to dance, that you’re sure to score major points.

At the end of the day, what’s truly amazing about Country dancing, Swing dancing, Salsa dancing, and the like, is that you get to hold your special someone tight and truly be intimate with each other on a whole new level as you learn a new hobby that promotes teamwork and togetherness. For new couples, dance lessons will offer a skill that will keep the romance alive as you learn more about each other daily. For couples that may be empty nesters, or even ones that have kids at home, social partner dancing is the perfect retreat, away from it all, to re-connect and remind each other of why you fell in love in the first place.

Make this Valentine’s Day unique by taking the opportunity to share in a new interest that you can both be excited about. Couple’s dance lessons are fun and a wonderful way to escape it all, so come join in the fun. The bottom line…couple’s that dance together, stay together. 🙂

Arizona Country Two Step dance

Reap The Benefits of Country and Latin Dance Lessons

Arizona Country Two Step dance classesLately we’ve shared how the numerous benefits of learning to dance in this year ahead can make 2015 your best one yet. From improving your love life to increasing your social circle, knowing how to Country, Swing or Latin dance is a game-changer on many levels, from social to physical to even emotional.

In the last blog, we shared how social dancing can relieve stress and help to strengthen connections with others. Before that, we posted on how knowing how to Country Two Step or Salsa dance builds confidence and can keep the often dreaded gym at bay by being physical on the dance floor instead. Today, we are going to explore even more perks of social dancing, beginning with how ballroom dancing is a wonderful preventative for dementia.

Yes, studies have shown that, in adults over 75 years of age, ballroom dancing has had the greatest effect on warding off Alzheimer’s and related diseases. Out-scoring reading, cycling and even doing crossword puzzles, dancing frequently was 76% more effective in mental health preventatives! Since learning and memorizing steps requires repetition, muscle memory and brain power, dancing has been shown to improve mental acuity, greatly decreasing risk of dementia.

Physically, upbeat dances like Swing dancing also help to release endorphins in your body, keeping your mind in great spirits and your body burning between 300 and 400 calories per hour. Now that’s a great two-for-one! Additionally, dancing is heart-healthy. In fact, facilities like the Flagstaff Medical Center offer ballroom dance lessons for rehabilitating the heart and other parts of the body like the knees in a safe manner.

Finally, for a longer-lasting and more fulfilling life, forming connections with others who have similar interests is essential. In a study by Jonathan Skinner from Queen’s University in Belfast, social dancing even created tolerance between those who normally had social tensions by bringing each other together and engaging with each other.

Today can be the day you begin your journey into social dancing! At Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona, we have an amazing New Student Offer, which will allow you to explore the basics of popular social dances like the Country Swing and Bachata. The benefits of social dancing are yours for the taking, so what are you waiting for? Come visit us and let the fun begin!

Salsa or Swing Dance Your Way To Happiness!

Have you ever thought of salsa dancing to put a smile on your face or two-stepping to tackle that bad day at the office? How about swinging away your relationship blues on the dance floor? The advantages of social dancing are endless! Whether you are single or you want to learn to dance as a couple, dancing can vastly improve the quality of your life and your relationships. Let us explore  just a few of the numerous way that tango or bachata dancing can brighten your day…

  • Many of the faster-paced social dances including swing, salsa, merengue and cha cha are great for those singles and couples who want to get fit without hitting the gym. Did you know that an average woman of average height can burn almost 300 calories by simply swing dancing for an hour? How great is that?! In addition to being a super-fun new hobby, you can shed extra weight simply by swing dancing!  If you are looking to tone up those muscles, try the Argentine tango. This beautiful and passionate dance will have you begging for more not simply because of the strength and endurance that you can gain by learning to tango, but because of of its sensuality, and diversity challenging aspects. (It is truly a dance like no other.) Other strength-building dances include the Country waltz (because of the “rise and fall” factor) as well as the West Coast swing (due to its earthy nature). Overall, social dancing is a workout in disguise. It is a fun and exciting way to get that body kickin’ into high gear all year ’round!
  • Dancing is an aphrodisiac. Re-kindle your relationship or create new sparks on the dance floor by getting that heart racing, those endorphins pumping and that body moving and grooving to your favorite tunes. Country two step your way into his or her heart with dance lessons for couples. Nothing is more fun and romantic, not to mention a great means of connecting with each other, more than dancing lessons for two. Social ballroom dancing gives you an opportunity to move together as one and work together as a team. Romance at its finest! For new couples, or singles who may be dancing together for the first time, salsa or swing dancing is a great way to assess how well you communicate as a leader and follower. This may reveal how well you fit together off the dance floor. For example, are you respecting each other’s roles on the dance floor? Do you let him be the leader that he needs to be? Are you taking control so that she can relax and enjoy her time on the dance floor? Partner dancing takes communication skills to the next level so that you can develop a true and deeper connection both off and on the dance floor.
  • Social dancing is healing for your spirit. How often do we hear, “Relax, unwind, let it go..”? The dance floor is a wonderful place to release all of your troubles and daily stresses. Shimmy away your fears and let loose as you begin to see your spirit soar. Get in the mood by checking out a Latin club and seeing how happy everyone looks when they’re out there salsa dancing. Or frequent a Country bar and watch how much fun it is for those guys and gals to get down with Country two step and swing.

You can begin your exciting journey of learning to dance right here at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona! We have an amazing introductory lesson for couples and singles that will show you how dancing can improve your life, with or without a dance partner. Dance FX Studios is near Tempe and Chandler, Arizona. We offer social dance lessons in all of the most popular dances that you will use in the real world including salsa, swing, Country two step and Argentine tango.

How to Guarantee She Will NEVER Dance With You Again

Are you a guy that takes dance lessons? If so, that’s wonderful! For a man, Salsa, Swing, Country or Tango dance lessons build confidence, help to relieve stress and are a great way to develop self-expression. Dance lessons also give you a chance to be romantic with your sweetheart. They even help balance, coordination and rhythm, of course. Whether you started learning to dance because you have come to the conclusion that every woman loves a guy that can dance or you are learning for yourself, a guy that can dance is a hot commodity in any social situation. That is, until he does one of the following 3 things below taking himself from “HOT!” to “NOT!”. Men, read the following information carefully. If you want to ensure that she will NEVER say yes to a second dance, try any of these things below and see what happens for yourself. Here we go….

1. Don’t shower: While a “manly man” is attractive from afar, close up, it’s just not that much fun to be pressed against someone smelly. Before heading out to any dance floor, make sure that your teeth and hair are brushed and that you are smelling clean. A little cologne never hurts, but please don’t overdo it.

2. Yank her around the dance floor: There is nothing more uncomfortable that being treated like a rag doll on the dance floor. Finesse is key while dancing with a lady. Yes, even in Country Western dancing, finesse makes us ladies feel like princesses instead of a wild horses that need to be tamed. You CAN show her a great time on the dance floor and still keep her arms in their sockets. As a dance instructor, I like to teach my leaders to protect their followers on the dance floor. I use the analogy of treating her like an egg that is delicate. This is not to say that she needs to be treated with kid gloves, but she should be cared for and looked after on the dance floor to give her a good time and allow her to feel swept off of her feet.

3. Show Off: Listen carefully guys…partner dancing is about your lady. Yes, you get to be in control, but it is for the purpose of taking care of her (see above), not making it a competition on the dance floor as to who everyone should watch. A common analogy that I often use in my dance lessons is that he is the frame and she is the picture. He needs, therefore, to be a support for her to be able to shine. Eyes should be on the lady because the guy is making her look so amazing.

While some of these “don’ts” are obvious, many leaders are unaware of how and what partner dancing is all about. Two people moving as one happens when we have a leader that can take care of his follower. Get these great tips and more in your private dance lessons at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona. We offer social dance lessons for beginners, couples or singles, who want to feel comfortable and confident on any social dance floor.Thinking about going Salsa dancing or hitting up a Country bar? Try dance lessons from us first and move with ease in no time!

Dance FX Studios is minutes away from Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert, Arizona in the East valley of Phoenix. Our introductory offer will give you a chance to see why we are the best fit for all of your social dancing needs.

History of Salsa Dancing

about salsa dancingSalsa dancing is one of the most popular social Latin dance styles world-wide!  People from all walks of life enjoy the energy, passion and party-like feel of the dance.  But where did this dance and its music come from? Let’s explore….

“Salsa” is a partner dance form that corresponds to Salsa music.  Musicologists and historians have very diverse opinions on how Salsa dancing came to life.  Most seem to believe it was born through many decades of dancers gradually accepting the name as many styles of music and dance steps became melded together. Others learned that “salsa” music began centuries ago in the islands of the Spanish Caribbean, in a context of slavery and colonialism.  Yet, no one will deny that Salsa dancing is connected to 20th century New York City and the growing, thriving Latino community there. As the Spanish American war of 1898 ended Spanish colonial rule, displaced Puerto Rican agricultural workers migrated from countryside to town, and from island to island.  The transplanted workers from Havana, San Juan, Santo Domingo and other areas brought all of their traditional sounds to New York City.

Because of this “mixture,” the word “Salsa” was eventually adopted.  Salsa is the same as the Spanish word for sauce – or in the case of dance music – flavor or style.  The very first time the word was heard on the radio was in a composition by Ignacio Piñeiro, dedicated to an old African man who sold butifarras (a sausage-like product) in Central Road in Matanzas.  The song is titled Échale salsita.  The major chorus goes “Salsaaaaa! échale salsita, échale salsita.”  During the early 1950’s, DJ “Bigote” Escalona announced tunes that were danceable with the introduction:  “The following rhythm contains Salsa.”

Styles of music travelling from Cuba and Puerto Rico fused their African, Cuban and other Latin-American rhythms together as they migrated into New York between the 1940s and the 1970s.  There is a debate as to which country originated Salsa – Cuba or Puerto Rico.  Since Salsa is one of the main dances in Puerto Rico and is known world-wide, many people give Puerto Rico the credit.  However, the dance steps currently being used to Salsa music come from Cuba.  Those steps, though, were influenced by many other Cuban dances such as Mambo, Cha’, Guaracha, Rumba, Yambu’ and others.  Thus, the debate continues.

With the combined elements of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, African and other music styles, Salsa music can typically be recognized by the complicated percussion rhythms and the faster tempos.  The sounds are vibrant and inviting and attract dancers of all levels straight to the dance floor.

Salsa dance is exciting, full of variety and appealing to almost any social dancer looking for fun and exhilaration.

YOU can learn how to Salsa at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona.  We offer both private classes and group lessons, teaching dancers the spicy flavor of this hot Latin dance.  Phoenix offers many Salsa venues so you’ll be able to take the skills we teach you into any real-world situation with confidence!