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Archive for Tips for Dancers

Mar
18

What style of dance is best for wedding first dance?

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The song and dance style you choose for your wedding first dance should always reflect what you both want and feel. Sometimes you have to try and experiment to find out what you want or you may already know. Here are 4 dance styles you may want to consider which go beyond the ‘high school’ ‘hugging’ dance:

1. Simple ‘slow dance’ – Using almost any ballad, this option is the most popular. There are easy steps and tricks you can use to look great but are relatively easy to learn, ie you don’t need months of dance lessons. The content you use should reflect your personalities as individuals and as a couple, as well as the general feel of the song you choose. You can incorporate turns, switches, dips and even lifts in this style of dance. I suggest the Wedding Dance Workshop and / or a few private lessons to get you comfortable and looking fabulous.

2. Ballroom Dance – learn to do a traditional waltz, foxtrot or rumba, or any dance for that matter! This will require more time and I suggest 10 lessons minimum if you have never danced before. Start early and don’t leave it to the last minute! This option can be a lot of fun. When else can you learn to dance and then have the opportunity to show off your new moves? You can always mix in some ballroom steps into an easier slow dance.

3. Comedy – Get your guests going with a comedy routine.If you feel this is for you, you can put some of it together yourselves or ask an instructor to choreograph the routine for you. If you are doing one of those song medley routines that seems to be a recent trend, experiment first with what you are able to do and then edit the music. I generally don’t recommend anyone dancing for more than 5 mins to fully choreographed routine. It may not seem like a long time but it is when you are dancing!

4. Combination of any of the above 3 – You can incorporate a mix of traditional ballroom steps into an easier slow dance which can be beautiful and lots of fun. This way there isn’t pressure to do a waltz for the entire song for example. Of course you can always switch from a serious elegant song to a comedy routine too.

Whatever you choose, always remember to be true to yourselves and have fun!

-Popi, Dance Instructor and Choreographer, DanceClassToronto.com

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Feb
23

“I can’t dance, I have two left feet”

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“The problem is, I have two left feet, I can’t dance”.

If you are one of those people who can’t even count the number of times they have uttered these words, try telling yourself another story and see what happens.

The biggest block to people who think they have two left feet is their mind. Our minds are very powerful over our bodies and when our minds tell us we can’t do something, our bodies listen. The good news is that the opposite is true. Simply changing your mind, can unleash the dancer inside you and ignite your inherent ability to dance and move to music.

Simply by changing the story your mind tells your body, will change your ability to dance. Instead of saying, “I have two left feet” or that “I can’t dance”, try saying something more positive like “I can dance”. If this is too much of a stretch, how about something like, “Maybe I can’t dance very well, but who cares, I enjoy it and will do it anyway”.

I actually gave this to a wedding couple as a homework assignment. The groom kept telling me he couldn’t dance. I asked him to stop himself every time he said this to himself. The results were incredible. In a short amount of time, he was of course able to dance with his bride beautifully on their wedding day. He was no Fred Astaire but he danced and he dance pretty well.

Plus, what does it really mean to be a good dancer?

I like this quote by renowned dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, “Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”

Be careful what your mind says because your body is listening. If you love to move to music, don’t let false illusory thoughts stop you from the experiencing the joy of dance. Step into the dancer you already are!

-Popi, Zumba and Dance Instructor

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Jul
30

Shawn Achor’s easy 5 steps to be more happy and successful (Exercise is of course one of them!)

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I recently watched an episode of ‘Super Soul Sunday’ on Oprah’s network OWN and thought the interview with Shawn Achor to be very enlightening.

He basically stated many things many of us intuitively already know but he backs it up with studies.  He has done research on the connection between happiness and success. A professor at Harvard, he taught the post popular class at Harvard on positive psychology.

He says, as the ancient Greeks said, “Happiness is the joy you feel striving for your potential”.  Happiness is not about pleasure. Pleasure comes and goes. Nothing wrong with pleasure, but it is a fleeting thing. This is why I like to use the word JOY more than happiness. In my view, JOY is food for the soul – it lasts forever and touches us on our deepest level.

Here are five things he says can make you happier:

  1. Write down three things you’re grateful for every morning.
  2. Journal for five minutes a day about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours. Write down every detail you can.
  3. Meditation
  4. Random act of kindness over the course of the day, for example, write a 1-2 sentence email to someone thanking them.
  5. Exercise. We know this! What I found interesting is that he states when you exercise, you create a pattern in your brain, and a belief that your behavior matters. He said that they have found through their research that the belief that your behavior matters – optimism — is one of the key predictors of success.

Forget trying to be successful in order to be happy. It is the other way around, he says. When you are happy, you are more successful.

May we all continue to strive for true happiness!

Popi

 

Categories : Other, Tips for Dancers
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