Ballroom Conversations

Who will win Dancing with the Stars, Season 15?

Dance Forums - Tue, 08/14/2012 - 2:05am
The cast of Season 15 of Dancing with the Stars was announced. Reply with the celebrity/professional team that you think will win?

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson
Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Pamela Anderson and Tristan MacManus
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas

Rubén Blades & Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra in LA

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:19pm
I'm sorry if this is not the right place for this post...I looked around and didn't see a meetup or event thread. Let me know if I should move!

I live in LA, and I worked on the upcoming Rubén Blades & Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra concert @ Hollywood Bowl. Are any other salsa fans going to be there? Thought it might be fun to meet up (or at least know some of my fellow peeps are in the house!). Hope to see some of you dancing the night away under the stars...?

software to rip or copy instructional DVD

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 4:12pm
I am not very computer savvy. Thus, I do have a question about ripping or copying an instructional DVD to my hard drive. I have some instructional DVD's ie., Dance Vision. I note that on the DVD it states words to the effect that it cannot be used for commercial purposes. It does not state that it cannot be ripped or copied to my hard-drive for my personal use. Therefore, I assume that I can copy or rip the DVD to my hard-drive for personal use. I do not like having to put the Dance Vision instructional DVD into my computer each time I would like to use it. I was wondering if some persons would happen to know of some software-preferably free, that would allow me to download some of the patterns on that DVD to my hard-drive, or would I have to download the entire DVD to my hard-drive? I do not need to download the entire DVD-just some of the patterns.

Yellow Smooth Dress for Sale

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 8:44am
Made by Designs to Shine. Simple but elegant and classic design. Shiny lightweight skirt with slit over left leg. Stoned bodice with open back. Stoned flower on the lower right back is a really nice detail (will post a picture of this later). Fits approximately size 0-6. Asking $2000. PM me for more info or to arrange a try on. I can also bring it to USDC.
Attached Images yellowsmooth1.JPG (15.2 KB) yellowsmooth2.jpg (57.4 KB) yellowsmooth3.jpg (56.4 KB)

My Fotos

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 5:12am
I cannot open the picture section any more. Any reason?

Hair Pick Question

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:53am
I am trying to find some reasonably priced hair picks with Swarovski crystals. Any suggestions on where I can purchase these would be greatly appreciated.

Hustle & Merengue

Dance Forums - Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:47am
I was wondering if there is a DVD and or website that shows advanced steps for Hustle and Merengue. Thanks in advance. :)

RIP Brad Glover

Dance Forums - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 11:04pm
Brad Glover passed suddenly yesterday. He danced Theater Arts with his partner, Samantha Wood, from World Champion Productions in Tennessee.

This past weekend Brad and Samantha won the Theatrical Rising Star division at the Florida State Championships, run by Larry and Diane Dean, in Sarasota.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and studio family.

"My Parents' Extreme Tango Makeover"

Dance Forums - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 2:35pm

studio 360 reports:

"When Yowei Shaw was in college, her parents' relationship started to change. Maybe it was empty nest syndrome, maybe it was a midlife crisis — she's not quite sure. But after taking dance lessons on board a cruise ship, her parents turned their lives upside down for the tango.
They went from a couple who stayed home watching the History Channel to dancers going out five nights a week, perfecting their technique. They even renovated their house to make room for a dance floor.
A few months ago, they made the trip to Buenos Aires, the tango’s birthplace and epicenter. They were dying to study under the dance stars whose videos they'd watched religiously on YouTube. But their daughter observed that if tango solved some problems, it created others."

HELP!: lyrical/jazz/ballet teaching shoes for dancesport practice...

Dance Forums - Sun, 08/12/2012 - 9:50am
As an impoverished student literally all of my dance budget goes towards lessons. My practice shoes at the moment are ex-competition shoes (still supportive but the satin is scuffed and dull).
Sometimes during long practice sessions my latin shoes in particular become absolutely excruciating and my podiatrist tells me I need to minimise wearing 3" heels as much as possible due to recurring metatarsal problems (how many times have we all heard that one...). Shelling out upwards of around $100 for a pair of ballroom practice shoes isn't really a possibility for me but equally dancing barefoot/in socks (as I sometimes have to do) isn't ideal either.
Looking around I see some lyrical/jazz hybrid shoes and ballet teaching shoes have a flexible leather sole with a small 1" block heel for a fraction of the price of proper ballroom practice shoes. Does anyone have any experience with practicing in these types of shoes? Of course they're not a substitute for proper practice shoes and I wouldn't be wearing them all the time but I just need an alternative for when my real shoes become too painful during long practices. Any advice? I'd mostly be wearing them during latin so not many heel leads...Would love to hear from some of you!

Boston Ballroom Conference and Competition 2012

Dance Forums - Sat, 08/11/2012 - 9:04am
I have taken a hiatus from the forum (and from dance) but am happy to be back.

Lucky me that this competition will be in my backyard next month! Who else is planning to attend? I will be there spectating all weekend and it sounds like there will be some competitive presence (pro and amateur) from Europe this year. I don't always get a chance to see international competitors so I'm thrilled.

For Admins

Dance Forums - Sat, 08/11/2012 - 1:04am
I was just informed that, there is now a time limit on edits ??..dont understand why this is necessary .:confused:

What is the most effective way to practice if you had all day?

Dance Forums - Fri, 08/10/2012 - 11:28pm
I have a question for pro's or those who take dancing seriously. I wanted to know the most effective way to practice. Lets say you had a whole day... what would you do? Would you do intervals? How long would each interval of training be? How many styles would you practice a day? How long would you spend on each one? Etc..

The reason I ask is because i need help scheduling my dancing as I have alot of time. Im realizing thou that some meathods are more effective then others.

Here's something that I would do.

I would start with stretching. Then go into some drills for 30 minutes. I would progressively go from slow technical solo practice earlier in the day, and at the end of the day do straight run-throughs of each song with my partner. I would accomplish this by doing something close to the following.

30 min - stretch.
30 min - drills

-30 min - solo work on 1 technique
-30 min - work on another technique
-30 min. combine both techniques into steps

-(repeat same thing with another style)

-go through all steps or movements in choreography in 1 style. ( not focusing on technique but something else like timing )
-switch style do same thing
-switch style do same thing

-do same thing with partner to music

-do same thing with partner to music, changing directions, switching up steps, and maybe speeding up tempo

etc.....something like that.

My goal is to yield the fastest growth in dance possible. Right now I have alot of time to practice on my own, so its important for me to be structured and focused or I don't feel like I accomplish anything. I tend to dance half assed if I dont have a plan. Also my mind will tend to focus on everything at once and ill look like **** and improve in nothing...

Can anyone help me with this? Im curious to see what you guys and gals do. :) thank you

Galaxy Dance Festival and American Style Congress - Sept. 13-16, 2012

Dance Forums - Fri, 08/10/2012 - 7:47pm
Dancers, Competitors, and Lovers of Ballroom Dance . . .

With only 5 weeks left, Sam Sodano, John DePalma, Marianne Nicole, and Linda Dean extend a very special invitation to each of you to attend this year's Galaxy Dance Festival. We have an exciting event of dancing planned for everyone this year, so be sure to mark September 13th - 16th, 2012 as your weekend to Learn, Dance, Compete.

This year's Galaxy Dance Festival and American Style Congress promises to be A World Class Event!

* A premier dance competition for Pro/Am, Amateurs and Professionals.
* 3 Days of Multi-level Competition, Glamour, and Excitement!
* Elegant evenings with Dinner, Professional Competition and Performances, and After Hours Party!
* Hosting: Best of the Best Challenge & World Pro/Am Dancesport qualifying events.
* Venue at the Arizona Biltmore hotel, the "Jewel of the Desert", a destination of inspiration.
* A world class panel of adjudicators and outstanding officials.
* American Style Smooth & Rhythm Congress on Sept. 16, 2012 featuring lectures by 6 former United States Champions.

This year's purpose centers on YOU! We hope to make your time at the Galaxy Dance Festival one of your best competitive experiences ever!


Linda, John, Marianne, and Sam

NOTE: Entry Forms Deadline is Aug. 12, 2012, so please submit as soon as possible!!!

Web Site:

Milonguero style

Dance Forums - Fri, 08/10/2012 - 3:52pm
I came across an old magazine with an interview of Susana Miller in 2003.

What is the milonguero style?
It's a style danced in Buenos Aires from many years ago that was very popular during the 1940s and 50s. It was developed when many cabarets and confiterias opened as dancing places in downtown, replacing bigger ones such as neighborhood clubs. That space reason generated a more closed embrace tango.

Which are the main features of this style?
It's a tango that starts from the hug, we call it "a hug that walks." Its choreography and rhythm have their own features. Circulation is also special, since couples move both on their axis and in concert with the other couples following a circular route.

How much time is necessary to be ready to go dancing?
That depends on the ability and dedication of each person. Some learn faster but all can end dancing well. On average, you can be an intermediate in three months, and an advanced for life. I mean, there's no ceiling.

What is necessary to dance tango?
Sensitivity. The human being is very sensitive. The person who is well connected to the world is also connected with music. Some people are afraid of that connection and even unconsciously are afraid of music. it's interesting and funny that idea of "fear of music."

Aren't some people unqualified for dancing?
Many people arrived saying, I can't dance, and today they are great dancers. Most of the people can because most of us have a body and we like music, which are enough conditions tolearn. Disqualification only exists in the head. And when the head rules, the body obeys. The teacher must show the pupil that he can.

Who were your teachers?
Many people, but mainly Pocho Pizarro, Gustavo Naveira and Pepito Avellaneda. But those who influenced me more were the milongueros. I learned a lot with them.

What's your vision of tango teaching abroad?
Some communities progressed, usually thanks to a milonguero teacher. People get interested in this style because of the feeling, the rhythm and the relationship between the couple and the floor. I think teachers and organizers should have a more cooperative effort for the benefit of their communties.

And how are the milongas abroad?
Some milongas understand that tango is a party, where one takes part and isn't just a spectator. Others replaced the party with an event because they couldn't organize a party.

Feel of a lead vs variety. Sensitive follows vs those who need more.

Dance Forums - Fri, 08/10/2012 - 2:15am
I'm a newer leader wondering some things on a base "how dance works" level.

Instructor A: She is very sensitive. She can tell me what feels good and what doesn't. While everyone to some extent can do that she is good. If I want to iron out a pattern to make it feel just delightful. I talk to her. She cant always tell you why, she isn't real technical like I am, but shes a great feeler. I hope that makes sense.

Instructor B: Another instructor at my studio is much more experienced but isn't as keen on things feeling just so. I can lead a pattern, even lead it poorly, it it will still "work". She's much more intuitive, more technical.

I can take a working pattern that I dance with partners all the time and dance it with Instructor A (the feeling one) and it wont work. She'll tear it all up to make it feel just so. That's good. I LIKE that. BUT. I want to progress as a dancer. Do I want to iron all the patterns out with her? Just because a pattern works X ways with her doesn't mean it will be the same with everyone else. Does what I lead feel THAT bad? It works, follows still smile and dance with me. (obviously I know you cant really answer that on the internet)

I can dance with Instructor B and pull out some things I'm working on and she will tell me if it feels BAD, but not to the same level as instructor A. The pattern still works. She has much more loose tolerance for "error" in the pattern, so to speak.

Then there are ladies who require more "force" that what I like to give and I cant dance well with at all.

What is the balance between a patterns feel between partners, getting to newer more advanced material, social dancing and fun?

Does any of this make sense? I'm still trying to make sense of it myself.

Southwestern Invitational as amateur couple

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:20pm
Has anyone been to the southwestern invitational in Dallas as an amateur couple? Did you compete against other amateurs or were you on the floor with the pro/ams?

My girlfriend and I would like to enter but from what we've heard, it's mostly pro/am. We are in Austin, TX and there don't seem to be very many ballroom competitions geared towards amateur couples around these parts. Hearing your experiences would be very helpful.


Advice to help a blind dancer?

Dance Forums - Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:18am
I am currently rehearsing to take part in a group dance routine for the Paralympic Opening Ceremony in London on 29th August!

The choreography is fairly easy as most of the cast are either amateur or non-dancers previously. I guess you would class it as contemporary style (so non-partner).

The choreography is set up so we are all in lines, and the lines sometimes have to pass back and forth between each other. I am trying to help a blind guy who is next to me in line - he has learned the steps really well, but is struggling to get the hang of how far to move when we move forwards and back, and just generally losing his orientation as we progress through the routine.

Has anyone else got experience of working with blind people and got any tips to help?


Group lesson etiquette question

Dance Forums - Wed, 08/08/2012 - 11:29pm
I was just writing to see if anybody has any particular insights into a sticky situation group lesson situation.
Recently, I was asked by one of my coaches if I would like to take a "ballroom variations" group class- they were very short of follows in the class. I agreed, because group lessons are always a nice change of pace from privates, especially during the summer when I'm away from my regular competitive partner. (Also because I was super flattered that the coach asked me;-))

The problem with the group class is that it is geared at the very beginning newcomers- I'll be dancing gold/novice this year, and teaching this level for my team next year.

The conundrum is that I don't wan't to be "that person" who shows off by practicing things I am currently working on in my dancing (swing/sway/foot action/body action the list goes on forever) in front of the newbies and appear "rude". However, I also paid for this group class and would like to get as much out of it as possible.

Should I take advantage of the practice time to work on intermediate/advanced technique on basic steps or take the technique down a notch in order to avoid being really obnoxious?

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