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To Dance is to Live and To Live is to Dance at Fred Astaire
The Benefits of Dance
Working out at the gym is fine for keeping fit but you can get the same workout with dancing. It isn’t just learning steps, dancing is the healthy addiction – great for self-confidence, cardio, relaxation, burning calories and just plain fun, socially. You bask in positive energy.
For the trained dancer, this is a “work-in-progress”. While Practice makes perfect, it takes months or years to perfect technique.
The Types of Dance
Ballroom: Fox Trot, Waltz
Smooth: The American Tango
Latin: Rumba, Cha-Cha, Meringue, Salsa, Mambo, Bolero
Swing: (also known as the Lindy Hop / Jitterbug)
Hustle: (also known as Disco)
Take your pick, there’s something for everyone.
The American Tango
I danced from the cradle. Growing up, I realized it was my passion and the only sport that made my heart sing.
Throughout my life I joined several dance studios and each one had its own flavor but was missing an ingredient. One day I came upon the famous, prestigious Fred Astaire Dance Studio and realized this was the real deal dancing and where I needed to be.
I learned technique and the nuance of dance, then showcased my rumba skills at the annual Astaire Event in Manhattan. It was amazing.
Given my enthusiasm and passion for dance, I was offered the position of studio coordinator which included scheduling dance lessons, public relations and hosting the bi-weekly Friday evening socials. I was in my glory.
How Dancing Brings Couples Together
One of the interesting aspects of working for a dance studio is watching how couples reconnect with their spouse through dance. Very seldom do couples voluntarily join a dance studio. Their security blanket is a Gift Certificate. The Gift Certificate usually consists of 3 private lessons, 1 group lesson and 1 complimentary social. Walks-in are accepted and welcomed; however, scheduled appointments are preferred.
For the sake of this article, I will call one actual couple, Jack and Jill. Jill was all smiles and eyes sparkling. She was excited about learning to dance. Jack – not so much. He was the petrified deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. He just wanted to get this done and go home.
Jack and Jill started with the group lesson, which took the pressure and spotlight off Jack. The group lesson went well until the dance instructor singled out Jack, asking him to assist with a step in the basic Fox Trot. He panicked but reluctantly accepted. Wow! That went really bad!
Jill wanted to return the following week to honor the balance of the gift certificate. Jack offered silence.
The following week was also a studio social. Jack and Jill arrived at the studio for their first private lesson. Clearly, Jill persuaded Jack to join her.
They met with the instructor who decided which dance was best for them. The first private lesson was a Rumba which went rather well. It turned out that Jack was more comfortable with Latin than Ballroom. No problem. The final 2 private lessons included the Cha-Cha and the Meringue. Jack was still feeling a bit awkward but was somewhat okay with it. Jill was a natural. She had an insatiable appetite for dancing.
The social followed the lesson. This gave Jack a chance to observe the studio in action. During the social, he hobbled through the Fox Trot with Jill but seemed more comfortable with the Rumba. He also met other students and got their feedback on dancing. Now he was re-thinking the concept and beginning to feel a bit better about dancing.
After their gift certificate was finished, Jack and Jill signed up for the Beginners Program.
Weeks later, it was no surprise to learn later that Jack was actually quoted to have said, “Hurry up, Jill, we don’t want to be late for our lesson”.
Who woulda thunk!
Even more amazing, Jill also purchased her first pair of dance shoes. The dance instructor helped her make the correct choice. Astaire recommends 2-inch heels with suede soles. A wire brush is also purchased since it is the best for cleaning. She was thrilled. She now stood out as a trained dancer.
Flesh Satin Theatrical Dance Shoe
To everyone’s surprise, the last 15 minutes of the social, the music turned free-style or, as the studio called it, “jammin’” – the instructors took the lead and the students followed. It was a first and it was fun.
If You Can Walk, You Can Dance
For those dance enthusiasts, this is old hat. For those who still need convincing and chose to remain spectators or prefer to stick with free-style, no problem. Perhaps one day you will choose to embrace a new challenge and become the well-rounded dancer who can do it all.
Dancing is not what I do, it is who I am.