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To Dance is to Live and To Live is to Dance at Fred Astaire

Updated on July 28, 2017

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

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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.

Swing

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The Waltz

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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

Author's Personal Photo
Author's Personal Photo

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.

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 5 weeks ago

      Thank you, I was curious.

    • lori811 profile image
      Author

      Lori B 5 weeks ago

      Robert, I'm working from my cell phone and hope this reaches you. Suede soles have better stick and grip on the dance floor. Studio strongly recommends this.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 5 weeks ago

      I kind of figured that was the case. Another question; I get the 2" heel but what is the purpose of the shoes being suede?

    • lori811 profile image
      Author

      Lori B 5 weeks ago

      Hey Robert - Thank you so much for your feedback:) I've been with several dance studios and found that 99% of the time, it's the ladies who do love dance. The only ladies who are, in fact, a bit shy and hesitant about dance usually attend one social to lend moral support to their gal-pal.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 5 weeks ago

      Good article about dance. In you experience has the situation been reversed where the husband was willing and the woman reluctant? How do those situations usually work out?

    • lori811 profile image
      Author

      Lori B 5 weeks ago

      OMG! theraggededge - Thank you so very much for your feedback. Absolutely thrilled that you share this sport as well. I'm the ham who can't be cured so I prefer a large audience:) Seriously, what a heartbreaking story about that lady. God bless her and her love for dance. xo

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 5 weeks ago from Wales

      I love this! I dance when no-one's watching. I know a lady who lost her husband in a motorcycle accident a few years back. A few months after his death she said she was going to learn how to tango because it was something they'd talked about doing together. Well, it became her life. It saved her. She lives to tango. Great article xx

    • Mamerto profile image

      Mamerto I Relativo Jr 6 weeks ago from Cabuyao

      And thanks too Lori

    • lori811 profile image
      Author

      Lori B 6 weeks ago

      Hi CoffeeQueeen and thank you so much for commenting. I'll give you the same advice as Mamerto - If you love to watch others dance, then you, too, can do it but you need to want to. Go to one of the dance socials; bring a friend. To reiterate - remember Baby in Dirty Dancing?:)

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 6 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      I can't dance at all, I've got 2 left feet. But I do enjoy watching it. I wish I could dance though. It's a lot of fun.

    • lori811 profile image
      Author

      Lori B 6 weeks ago

      HI Manerto - You are not awkward. If you admire people who dance that means you have a desire to do so but the only one holding you back is "you". Dance instructors are also dance doctors; they walk you through the process and help you find the type of dance that fits your comfort zone.Remember Baby in Dirty Dancing? She couldn't dance but proved herself wrong. I suggest you begin with a studio social. Bring a friend for moral support if you like. Then do the group lesson. I know you will be fine. Again, thank you for commenting.

    • Mamerto profile image

      Mamerto I Relativo Jr 6 weeks ago from Cabuyao

      I'm no dancer, I'm as awkward as a penguin and that's why I admire people who could dance. nevertheless I always thought that in the near future, I will take a dance lesson.