First Dance Do's and Don'ts

Ok, so you're getting married and you've exhausted all your funds now your short on time and need to work out a First Dance for the big day.

Why is it so many couples spend so much energy, time and yes, money on the perfect venue, the right dress, the decorations, catering, DJ, photographer, flowers, etc. but forget about the first dance as husband and wife?  Now all of the guests have to endure what normally is a 4 to 5 minute song watching the "happy couple" do the eighth grade shuffle.  Most people are looking for the bar before the song even ends.

Learning to dance for your wedding should not just consist of the first dance but as hosts of your own party, the bride and groom are the ones to get the party started.  They are the ones to set the tone for the reception. 

Here at Dancemasters Ballroom in Colonial Heights we've got you covered!  One of my specialties are in teaching wedding couples and preparing them for the big day.  We've come up with a very economical way to prepare for your first dance to make your wedding one your family and friends will talk about for years to come.

When you join us for our exclusive, one of a kind "First Dance Workshop", we'll show you how to make an entrance, command the dance floor, help you navigate your reception and get you moving quickly to the music.  Also, how to get the party started, not forgetting about the parents and of course, how to make a "Big Finish" at your reception.  Our workshop will be packed with information to help you plan your own dance, add to the excitement of the day and make you feel more confident and comfortable on the big day.  We want you to have a "blast" at your wedding, so we've designed a workshop for couples wanting to stand out on their wedding day.  This workshop will be offered every third Saturday starting August 20th from 3-5pm.

Normally, wedding couples have to invest in private lessons that can be costly (up to $150 per hour) because of the specialized instruction required.  Now, Dancemasters Ballroom is offering this 2 hour monthly workshop and is packed with everything the bride and groom needs to "wow 'em" on the big day.  You'll learn how to make an entrance, basic dances to fit to your song, the "big finish" to include the dip, how to chose just the right song and most importantly creating a dance that you can be proud of for the rest of your lives.

You'll need to pre-register by calling our studio in Colonial Heights (804) 898-3555 for these classes or we also have the workshop available for purchase on the website for your convenience.  Space is limited for our August.  Don't delay, call today!

Why people dance

Teaching dancing for nearly 35 years has afforded me the opportunities to get to know thousands of people on an up close and personal level.  When people come to a dance studio my first question is, "why are you here"?  Most times I get the standard answer which is, "to learn to dance" of course.  But we all know that most times people are looking for something more.

I began to dance not because I wanted to learn to dance but because of an ad I saw in the paper that said, "dance instructor wanted, no experience necessary".  It sounded interesting, something that I thought would be fun.  And of course being jobless at the time without a college education an opportunity that might be the right thing for me.  Turns out, it was my destiny. 

So why do people dance or want to learn?  Some people just want to have FUN of course, but it was always some other reason why people were drawn to take dance lessons.  Maybe a traumatic experience prompted them or an upcoming special event like a wedding or a reunion.  Maybe they were recently divorced, widowed, separated or single looking to meet someone new or gain a new circle of friends.  Maybe they lead boring lives and are stuck in a job which does not offer any excitement.  Maybe they are looking to get healthy start an easy fitness regime that does not require signing up for a lifelong gym membership.  Maybe they are in a high stress career and need a break from the pressures of their job.  Maybe they've devoted their lives to their families and are now faced with an empty nest and need a hobby.  Maybe it was a lifelong dream to dance like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers or compete and know the thrill of meeting a challenge.  Maybe couples looking for a great "date night".  There are so many reasons for learning to dance.  I've taught and experienced all of the people mentioned.

As a dance teacher, I'm merely a springboard for my students the dancing is the vessel to get you to your goals.  Its the job of your instructor to guide you and personalize your lessons to meet the needs and desires of my students. 

When seeking out a studio, check credentials.  Its important that your instructor have your best interest in mind.  My students don't mind traveling because when they get here they know that I'm waiting to give them the best experience of their lives.  If you're local right here in Colonial Heights or any of the surrounding areas like Hopewell, Prince George County, Dinwiddie, Richmond, Waverly, Chester, Petersburg, Chesterfield, Williamsburg, we're only minutes away from what could be your destiny. 

See you on the dance floor!

The truth about learning to dance

I hear, on a daily basis, "you make it look so easy".  Well, I can tell you that it was not easy for me.  Many times I wanted to give up or quit and even had my own family members ask why I still dance?  Get a real job they said, dancing will never pay the bills.  Well, I realize that I will never get rich teaching dancing.  Believe me, after 34 years teaching people dance, it was never my intention to get rich.  My wealth is seeing how happy everyone is when they master a dance move, learn a new technique, increase confidence and social acceptance and above all find the courage to expand other areas of their lives or try something they never thought ever possible. 

Let's be frank, some people hate their jobs or situation, seem to be stuck in a rut or just can't find the strength needed to make any changes to make life easier.  Dancing has done it for me and I see it every day when teaching people to dance.  Whether you learn to Salsa dance, Waltz or even Swing, dancing has the power to change people. 

Teaching people to dance is extremely rewarding and is very personal because I get to know just about every aspect of a person.  Personalities are vast and I find it challenging to find the right way to reach each one of my students.  I carry their problems and struggles with me always.  I've laughed and even cried with my students.  Which makes my job even more important.  Whether its a couple here only for a few short hours working on a "first dance" or someone who is looking to improve their health, meet people, or just want to have some more fun, or even seeking a hobby, the benefits of ballroom dancing are vast. 

My journey has brought me here to Colonial Heights and a cute little studio that was neglected for way too long.  I find it so rewarding and relaxing to come to work every day to this wonderful world away from the hustle and bustle of the life so many leave to come see me and share a laugh and a dance lesson.  It does my heart good and my soul proud to see students travel from all areas of Virginia.  Not only local but as far away as Virginia Beach and Norfolk.  We have friends travel from Richmond, Chesterfield, Prince George County and beyond just to come dance and take a lesson. 

Please know that we here at Dancemasters Ballroom Dance Studio want you to feel welcome when you visit.  Even if you're brand new we welcome everyone from near and far with open arms.  Ballroom dancing is a religion to some and once you enter into our ballroom whether its Foxtrot, Swing or even Salsa, Disco or Country Western, we want your experience to last you a lifetime.   That's why its so important to do some research before choosing an instructor.  Are they licensed or certified?  Can the studio accommodate your schedule and have they help you set goals for your individual needs?  Do they make learning to dance easy and fun?  Are you seeing results quickly and does your instructor have a lesson plan?  Are they on time and seem to have your best interest in mind?  Before spending upwards of $125 per hour for instruction, don't you think its wise to "check out" credentials of the person or studio you're about to invest in?

Learning to dance starts with the basics of course.  Its going to take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to feel confident and comfortable.  Of course, the more time you invest in the beginning the better the retention rate and the faster you'll progress.  You can't expect to progress if you don't practice.  Learning to dance is a skill that lasts a lifetime as long as you practice and use it often.  The basics are the most important of all.  Done correctly, whichever dance you do, will make learning all other step patterns easy.  When a student is not taught properly or allowed to develop bad habits will carry these habits throughout and will make it that much more difficult to correct later.

We could all benefit from learning to dance and I believe the everyone should take ballroom dance lessons at some point in there life.  There are many ways to go about learning and everyone is different.  If group classes are your choice, you can't expect to get the same benefits as with taking private lessons.  Group classes don't offer personal attention and most times you don't spend enough time on one dance to perfect or master the dance.  You can expect to pick up a few new moves but won't master the nuances of leads or characteristics of the dance especially if the series is less than 8 hours of instruction.  

Sometimes, we learn to dance for someone else but quickly find that the benefits of dancing touch all of us one way or the other.  Believe me, if I can you can.  So, get up and get dancing!