When you hear the phrase “studio showcase,” some of us know what that means and some of us don’t. Herein lies the question, what is a studio showcase? It can be a different experience from studio to studio. Each individual ballroom studio does their own version; things that you might see are solo routines by students and their teachers, professional performances by teachers in that studio or by out-of-town guests, mini competition, general/open dancing, and lots of rhinestones, eyelashes, and glamorous costumes! Every studio will use some or all of these components to create a worthwhile experience for their students and the general public.
So our first question is, why would you want to attend your local ballroom studio’s showcase? Events like these are loads of fun, glamorous and glitzy, and highly entertaining. The students who choose to dance in the showcase have worked for months on perfecting their routines and are proud to show them off. This is a great opportunity for you to see the performance style of each of the ballroom dances versus the social style. That being said, there should be plenty of social dancing at the event so that attendees aren’t sitting in their chairs the whole time!
Next question: as a student of a ballroom studio, why should I choose to dance in the showcase? Regardless of your reasons for taking dance lessons (e.g., learning for an upcoming wedding, being a better dancer on the social front, dance competition, or even just as something new to do), a showcase is an opportunity for everyone to improve their dancing. Having a routine in the showcase allows you to set a goal to work towards. Let’s say you want to be really good at two-step. Dancing a two-step routine will give you an accelerated rate of learning for that dance. But the biggest reason that you should choose to participate is that it’s fun, fun, FUN! And, you’ll feel a great sense of camaraderie with the other students in the showcase as well.
CSP Dance Studios had their first showcase this past Sunday, May 12th, and I have to say, it was AMAZING. I’ve been in the dance industry and participating as a professional in showcases upwards of 12 years now, and this is the best studio event I have been a part of thus far! All the students that participated did a fantastic job and worked really hard! The best thing about the students is that they cheered each other on and it felt like a real team effort. There were students who were new to dancing as well as veterans of these types of events. The overwhelming response that I heard from everyone is that they can’t wait until the next one, and they will definitely be a part of it! I think feedback from your students is extremely important, and my two favorite comments were, “We had a real breakthrough in our dancing” (from a first-timer), and, “I’ve been doing these events for many years and this is the best one I’ve been in” (from a veteran).
Patti’s Recipe for a Great Showcase
1 – Dedicated team of professionals, each with their own role
We made sure that there was someone in charge of the front desk, someone different in charge of the music, someone MCing, and someone backstage. With everyone having a specific role, all the details were taken care of. And after all, it’s the details that matter!
2 – Leave it to the experts
We hired the appropriate professionals for videography, programs and tickets, and catering and venue. When you pay the experts, you will get the desired result.
3 – Organization
From start to finish, even dress rehearsal, everything was planned and outlined to the second. This made for a smooth flow in our program, with guests at the end of the night saying, “Wow, that went by so fast, I wish there was more!” (Our event was three hours long!)
4 – Presale of tickets
We had 150 people attend our studio showcase. I believe that we had such a large number because we promoted and presold tickets far in advance; only 9 were sold at the door. We also offered VIP seating; these were seats that were closest to the floor, which gave people an opportunity to purchase a great view ahead of time before they sold out.
5 – The best students in the world
Without amazing students, nothing we do is possible, and every student that we have at CSP is, in our eyes, the best on earth! They love and support us and each other, and are truly raving fans of the studio, and that’s why we’re truly raving fans of them! In our mission statement, we say we always strive to have our students’ best interests at heart, and when you approach everything you do with that mindset, your students will be nothing but the best.
If you have ever entertained the notion of participating in your local studio showcase, or perhaps have never heard of a showcase and now your interest has been piqued, simply ask your teacher. When our students show an interest in any of the events at our studio, it’s music to our ears. Even if you’re just asking about the details, I guarantee your teacher will be ecstatic and overjoyed at your inquiry!
Being a ballroom dance teacher is a fun, rewarding career. What most people don’t know is, how did we get there? How did we become ballroom teachers? What does the road look like from average Joe to top ballroom professional?
One of the comments that I hear from time to time from new students is, “So Patti, what’s your real job?” They all seem to be shocked and surprised when I tell them that being a dance teacher is my full-time career and not a hobby. What many people don’t understand is that this is a serious profession, like being a personal trainer, or any other job that requires serious education, credentials, skill, and knowledge. Also, ballroom dance has a governing body known as the National Dance Council of America. This is an organization that sets the standard and quality of dancing and instruction within our industry, and any instructor worth their salt will follow the guidelines of the NDCA for dancing and teaching. Which brings me to those people calling themselves “professional dance teachers,” like the one below:
Yeesh, that was painful. I imagine those readers who know what Bolero should look like are probably shaking their heads and wondering what they just watched. Thankfully, this is pretty far on the end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, there are people who have been dancing for many years, and because they are good to great dancers, they believe themselves qualified to teach. A true professional has been trained not only to dance well, but also to teach well. These skills are measured through certification exams. The NDCA recognizes 9 syllabi that an instructor may be certified in. Those syllabi are:
- Arthur Murray International (AMI)
- Dance Teachers Club of Boston (DTCB)
- Dance Vision International Dancers Assoc. (DVIDA)
- Fred Astaire Dance of North America (FADS)
- National Dance Teachers Assoc. (NADTA)
- North American Dance Teachers Assoc., Inc. (NADTA)
- Pan American Teachers of Dancing (PAN AM)
- U.S. Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (USISTD)
- U.S. Terpsichore Assoc., Inc. (USTA)
You may ask yourself, “Well, if someone knows how to dance, why would they need to be certified in order to teach someone?” There are many reasons for this. It’s not enough to just be able to dance! In order to teach someone how to dance, qualified, certified instructors have to know ALL aspects of the dance and human movement. For example, the box step. The box is a simple pattern that is used in several dances, the foot positions being forward-side-together, back-side-together, and counting 1-2-3 or slow-quick-quick. But is this really all I need to know to teach someone how to properly dance a box? A professional teacher will need to know aspects of these movements like dance position, amount of turn, alignment, CBM, sway, rise and fall, and footwork! Not only will your teacher need to understand these intricacies, but also understand the technique and movement of each dance; the character of each dance; and how we portray it through our bodies. So you could say dance is as much science as it is art!
The next thing your qualified instructor is well-trained in is the art of instructing. (Go figure!) This is also measured by their certification exams. When we take exams, we have teaching questions such as how we would structure a group class, what to teach and when, and how to teach certain techniques like Cuban motion and rise and fall. It’s one thing to know how to do these; it is another thing entirely to know how to teach them!
I want to let people know that there are many levels of certification, and one of the qualities of a great dance instructor is that they are always continuing their own education. The first level of certification is known as Junior Associate, and the last level is known as Full Gold, with many levels in between. Should your instructor be Full Gold certified for you to consider them a good teacher, or to spend your time taking instruction from them? Absolutely not. Some of the best teachers I know only have their Junior Associate certification. This exam gives an instructor the best foundation possible to be a great dance teacher. This doesn’t mean, however, that a teacher should stop at Junior Associate! Like I said before, the best teachers are always continuing their education and striving to achieve higher levels.
When you are searching for a dance teacher, you should ask them what certifications they hold, and even what certifications they are striving to achieve. Those of us that are qualified, certified instructors are very proud of the work we put in to earn our certifications and are happy to share that information with you. In case you’re still wondering, “Do I REALLY need a certified teacher?” Watch that video again, and you’ll have your answer.
If somebody told you, “I’m taking ballroom dance lessons,” what would you imagine that person to look like? What would their everyday life be like? What occupation would they pursue? Would they be single, married, young, old? When you watch shows like Dancing with the Stars on TV, you see celebrities learning how to dance, but is this an accurate portrayal of the kind of people that take dance lessons in real life? The truth is, the title “ballroom dancer” can apply to anyone and everyone. Let’s break down some of the common misconceptions that accompany the phrase.
Dance lessons are for children – Many of us remember being age 3-5 and putting on the tutu and pink tights to go to dance class. Guys too if you had a mean sister! What most adults don’t realize is that learning to dance does not have to happen when we are age 3-5 and does not require those pink tights or a tutu. The reality is more adults are learning how to dance despite their experience (or lack thereof). Learning to dance as an adult has many benefits for your heart and your mind and is a great social outlet, a way to meet other people. It also can help you become more connected with your spouse.
Dance lessons are for people who already know how to dance – Almost every student that takes dance lessons walked through the front door of the studio having never danced before. The comment I hear most from people who I invite to one of my classes is, “But I don’t know how to dance.” To which I reply, “That’s the point!” The reality is, qualified dance instructors specialize in teaching beginners. My favorite kind of student is someone who has never danced before but wants to make it a part of their life. I love to show someone in fifteen minutes that they can indeed do something that they never thought they could before; it’s the highlight of my day! Often I will hear first-time students say to me, “You must get so bored teaching the basics over and over again.” Honestly, it’s very exciting to teach the basic step to a non-dancer and see them move to the music and have fun. That moment of discovery really makes it worthwhile.
Dancing is for skinny, fit people – The American Heart Association recognizes ballroom dance as the number one exercise for heart health. And since heart disease is the leading cause of death of men and women (1), I guess everyone should be dancing! If you walked into the average studio you would see students of all shapes and sizes. The bottom line is , if you can walk, you can dance, and you don’t need to be skinny to walk. However, after six months of dancing, you’ll probably be one of these “skinny, fit people,” which is not a bad side effect!
Dancing is only for coordinated people – I can tell you from personal experience that when I’m on the dance floor, people say “Wow, you’re so graceful!” Then the song ends, I walk off the dance floor, and into a wall. One of the many benefits of learning to dance is that you will increase your coordination skills. I can’t guarantee that you’ll stop walking into walls or tripping over your own feet, but I can guarantee it won’t happen on the floor!
Dance lessons are for couples – Often I will hear a prospective student say to me “I’d love to come to class, but I don’t have a partner!” And then I say, “that’s what your teacher is for!” When taking private lessons, your instructor serves as your partner. Group classes, on the other hand, are a different situation altogether. Most group classes that you’d attend will have an odd number of men and women; this is NORMAL. A great instructor (like the ones at CSP!) will be able to organize the class in such a way that you are engaged the whole time, and are able to dance with many other students. One of the most common complaints I hear from students that have experienced classes from other studios is, “I stood around the whole time, I didn’t have a partner so I didn’t get to dance.” I also hear “There weren’t enough men, and they made me learn the man’s part” or “There weren’t enough women and I didn’t get to dance at all!” This should NEVER happen at a group class! That being said, learning to do your part by yourself without a partner standing in front of you is very good for your dancing and makes it a lot easier when you DO dance with someone! When I have a class of odd numbers, I use a technique called “flying solo,” where if you don’t currently have a partner, you’re still dancing your part with the rest of the class and will have a partner in the next rotation. It’s important that at no time during a group class you are standing off to the side or not participating with the class.
So if you’ve ever thought, “I want to be a ballroom dancer, but…,” remember that the only definition that applies to the term “ballroom dancer” is someone who wants to dance.
On Sunday May 12th, join all of your fellow students and your teachers at the Airport Sheraton for CSP Dance Studios’ Very First Showcase! Enjoy an incredible evenings with hors d’oeuvre, a cash bar, plenty of social dancing, and performances by students and their teachers, as well as special numbers by the Albuquerque Ballroom Company!
Date: Sunday, May 12th
Time: 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Place: Airport Sheraton (Look below for more details)
To get your tickets, you can give us a call at 505-883-9521 or come by the studio at 5505 Osuna Rd. Suite J. VIP Tickets get you either a seat in the front row, or a table close to the dance floor. When you get your VIP Tickets you can request either of these options, just let us know which one you’d like. Tickets are selling fast, so get yours now before its too late!
Tickets: $20 / person
VIP Seating: $25 / person
Tickets at the Door: $30 / person
This year the Showcase is going to be at the luxurious Albuquerque Airport Sheraton. For directions to the Airport Sheraton Website: http://www.sheratonalbuquerqueairport.com/
Address: 2910 Yale Boulevard SE
Hotel Phone Number: 505-843-7000
What is a Showcase?
A Showcase is an event that encompasses student performances, professional performances, general dancing, and spotlights the glamour and glitz of ballroom dancing.
For the past few months, students have worked very hard to show the general public, friends and family, and their fellow students their passion and dedication to the sport of ballroom dancing. And now they are excited and proud to have you be a part of this special event!
At Gonstead Chiopractic we believe everyone deserves to feel great and we know that pain isn’t something you should have to live with.
Dancing is all about motion, and chiropractic is all about making sure the body’s motion is balanced. Less motion in one area like the hips or mid back means extra motion in other areas like the neck or low back — this extra movement is unbalanced and can lead to chronic pain. We use chiropractic adjustments to get the spine moving again and physical therapy to support that new balanced movement.
Chiropractic works great for dancers because we not only treat the pain, we balance your motion!
We offer Private Lessons for kids under 18 at a discounted rate. During Private Lessons, students can work on any style of dance they’d like. For our Youth Program, students can enroll in Packages of 5 or 10 Classes at a time.
5 Session Package – $45 per session, $225 total
10 Session Package – $40 per session, $400 total
The lessons can be scheduled mornings, afternoons, and evenings everyday except for Fridays and Sundays. Sessions never expire and can be scheduled as often as students would like.