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Thanks for helping us Celebrate a great year of La Tangueria at DanceSport!
Dancing the Argentine tango could have potential benefits for people at certain stages in the development of Parkinson's disease, according to findings in a new study that looked at changes in patients' motor abilities following a 12-week tango course, and is also the first study to assess the effect that tango has on non-motor symptoms.
58 years - what took me so long? I've always loved to watch dancers, whether on the stage or dancing on the dance floor or outdoors. Dancing is visually beautiful - great dancers and dance performances are sculpture in motion. My own experience dancing though were very limited until 2 years ago.
Until I stepped into the DanceSport studios on the 4th Floor at 22 W. 34th Street in February 2013, I was too self-conscious to garner the courage take the group classes I needed to get rid of the two left feet I had on the dance floor. Fortunately, my two good friends, Pete and Kit started taking classes at DS the month before, raved about the place, and encouraged me to finally take the plunge and join them in learning how to dance. Now 2 years into the journey, I think I finally have some basic skills in dancing Swing, Salsa, Hustle, Foxtrot, Waltz, Zouk, etc., and after waiting 2 years I'm finally learning Tango. So, as long as you can walk, it's never too late to learn how to dance!
I didn't know how much fun taking dance classes and hanging out with the people at DanceSport would be. DS has become an important of my life... both for learning and social life. I look forward to going there in the evenings. It's a great place with great people. With its teachers, students, studios, bar and parties, it's a school, dance club and social club all in one place.
Sitting with Paul Pellicoro, to interview him for this book on New York Tango, has been a unique and memorable experience. First of all, I have known Paul Pellicoro since my first years learning partner dancing with my husband. It was at Paul’s famous dance studio, Dancesport, where it all began. My husband and I had always danced, but my husband wanted us to learn the lead and follow of partner dancing, so I wouldn’t be dancing all around him in my own solo improvisations, as I tended to do in the free style of rock dancing, which I did from the day we met in June 1980. When disco came out in New York we didn’t have any place to dance, until we went away in the summer time. We had no introduction to Hustle, which could be a creative way of engaging with disco music. Then in 1997, I passed by a huge sign on the upper west side of Broadway, illustrating a man dancing with a woman whose head was practically on the ground. Only the lady’s legs could be seen. His leg was way up in a diagonal close to her head, and above the guy’s head. Despite the angles of their postures, the man and woman were joined by their hands, and assuming the woman came back up to a standing position, she and her male partner would have been joined by an embrace. I didn’t know that the couple in that dramatic pose was doing Argentine Tango. I wouldn’t know that Argentine Tango existed for some time, but I did know that the words on the sign about the invitation to study Latin and Ballroom dancing were an opportunity that my husband and I had been waiting for.
Choose from a wide array of options including Facials, multiple massage modalities, Nutrition counseling, Thai massage, Acupuncture, Reiki, and Reflexology. These services are provided in a large and comfortable private wellness room by a team of experienced professionals.
Rates are already competitive, and with this discount we hope to make these services even more accessible to our members. Ask about available services or browse our brochure at the front desk.
Here's to our health and vitality!
But we realize that sometimes a well-rounded picture of health can be aided by other modalities that complement the dancing experience. In order to make health-related services more accessible, we at DanceSport have sought out a complementary offering of holistic health services and will now be providing acupuncture, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, meditation classes, yoga, and exercise classes. We hope to offer our students a safe space to recognize not just their social needs, but also their wellness needs.
Services are now being offered. Ask the front desk for more information!
What you tell yourself really does affect how you feel – so at DanceSport we want to let you know that EVERYONE has rhythm. When you tell yourself you don’t, it usually means you are just a little bit afraid to dance.
If you walk, breath, and your heart beats – you have rhythm! Rhythm is woven into our lives in many ways. Without it, we would be dead!
Dancing represents happiness and celebration in life and is a form of adult recreation and play. When you tell yourself you have no rhythm and therefore cannot dance, you are expressing that you are somehow not worthy of this spontaneous, creative expression. But of course you are worthy of this opportunity to work with your body to have fun and play! You are just unfamiliar with the territory and hesitate to try it because of a fear of failure. In fact, this is what keeps some people off of the dance floor, because if they were to actually "fail," it may confirm that biggest fear. However, dancing is not about success or failure. It is about confronting your potential to embrace happiness through movement. In a way, as dance teachers, we are therapists, and DanceSport is like a center for personal change.
The take home message here is that you do, indeed, have rhythm. You just don't want to feel like a fish out of water. This is why so many people are attracted to Dancing With the Stars. The stars, too, are conquering their fears of celebration and expression. Even if, and especially if, you have already proven to be successful in other ways, embarking on learning a new skill like dance can be scary. But you can't fail unless you try, and there is no failure, so.... what are you waiting for? Take a deep breath, and come join us on the floor!
Some people enjoy breaking on the 3-4 beat and pausing on the 1, where the 2 is silent. In Son Montuno, it can be very enjoyable to dance on the 2-3-4 (quick, quick, slow) where the 1 is silent. Still, because the one beat can be the easiest to hear in salsa songs, many people find it simpler to break forward on the “one”.
Eddie Torres’s style, on 2, is a nice option for advanced dancers. But dancing on 2 does not necessarily work musically in every phrase. It depends on the song, the phrase, and the momentum of the figure being danced.
?or the general social dancing public, the main idea is to stay in phrase with the music. You can start the phrase on the downbeat (1 or 3) or the upbeat (2 or 4). These are your choices, but stick to your guns. Being sympathetic to clave, the foundational rhythm in salsa, is important for the musician as well as the dancer.
These are the simple rules for real Mambo/Salsa dancers. Nothing is wrong or bad. It also depends on the community and your peers that you choose to impress. It’s all relative!
DanceSport’s Friday evening tango class would be a great way to experience Argentine Tango, even if you are brand new. The class is from 8:30-9:30pm and you will feel very comfortable and have fun in our welcoming environment, even if you just come to watch the class from the café while having a drink. The class will segue into a tango dance party after 9:30pm, when the lights go down and people stay to hang out and dance until midnight.
If you are shy to try it your first time, you are welcome to come as a voyeur for as long as you like. Many people do. That’s what DanceSport is happy to provide – not only quality dance instruction, but also a creative and social recreational escape for adults.
Good wholesome fun can be tough to come by in NYC (drinking while dancing is optional). Argentine tango is very “age appropriate” for baby boomers. It is a nice alternative and addition to just eating out.
The café is set outside the ballroom so conversation is not drowned out by the Tango music. There is a glass wall separating the café from the ballroom, so just hanging out and talking, drinking and eating is acceptable and encouraged. The dancing atmosphere is a nice montage in the background and a change of pace from the typical dining room or club.
Aside from our Tango class and Tango practice party, we also have what is called “Tango Lounge” with an outside promoter. That night goes until 2:30am. It has a very similar atmosphere, but it goes later into the night and there are more serious tango addicts in attendance.
We hope this will put newbie tangeros at ease to come and join in the fun. We hope to see you soon at DanceSport!
Ladies, here are common woes of being the victim of an uncomfortable dance hold:
1. The gentleman's arm jerks your arm around as you are dancing.
2. The gentleman entangles his fingers in yours as he turns you and almost cracks your knuckles.
3. The gentleman shoves you around and under his arm as he turns you.
4. The gentleman's hand continues to creep lower and lower on your back/waistline or around your ribs.
Gentlemen, you have your own woes. Here are some common complaints:
1. The lady puts all of her weight on your arms so that, regardless of her frame or weight, she is putting fifty pounds of weight onto your shoulders so you are carrying her around.
2. The lady dances extremely far away from you so that it is difficult to navigate her around the floor.
3. The lady does not give you connection so that when you try to lead her, she does not follow the steps.
4. The lady has learned her part independently of you and chooses not to follow you – rather, she performs the stops as if she were dancing independently of you.
There are more potential complaints, but the first thing to recognize in many of these situations, is that some dancers are new to dancing with a partner. It is important to have dance etiquette and not insult your partner - so how can you work with some of these uncomfortable situations? You do have the right to request a person not put their hands on you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. But, if the issue is more related to inexperience on the part of your partner, first take a breath. Realize you were once a newbie too. It’s typically not the best idea to correct your dance partner on the floor and to leave that to the domain of the instructors. That said, here are tips on how to keep your own frame to help you (and your partner) have a better dancing experience.
You provide a strong frame that allows you to help lead the lady (no spaghetti arms!). Keep in mind this doesn’t mean you have to be excessively hard or stiff in your arms (you don’t want to dig nails into the lady’s back. You just want tone. Your left hand will be holding the lady’s right hand – point your fingers to the left. The lady will put her fingers over the area between your thumb and index finger. Then you lightly wrap your fingers around the top of her hand. When you turn her, there is a release of the fingers so as not to crack the lady’s knuckles. Your right hand provides the other half of the frame and is in contact with the lady’s shoulder blade. The right elbow is slightly lifted.
Maintain your own posture and weight – while you do rest your left arm on the gentleman’s right arm, you are still essentially supporting the weight of your arm. Your right arm will be bent and your hand will go into the gentleman’s left hand. Place your fingers over the area between the gentleman’s thumb and index finger and he will wrap his fingers over yours. Again, make sure you are holding your own weight with this arm, but also giving him some connection – keep some tone in your arms.
On improving the dance frame:
Private lessons are truly the way to go in terms of developing your dance frame and connection. While the technique of the dance hold can be explained in a group class, nothing compares to one-on-one instruction with a professional in this area. Most successful dancers and professionals were, at one time, molded individually by another professional and that is how connection is learned. It is best learned by being felt and practiced with an experienced teacher who can evaluate your connection. DanceSport professionals are uniquely qualified to provide this instruction, which can be instrumental in your social dance life. A good connection can help you to dance almost any step without actually “learning” it, by just having the ability to lead and follow. Call the front desk at 212-307-1111 to schedule a lesson for connection technique.
A simple phrase to remember: you give your partner respect, and you will get respect in return.
Often in a social dance setting, there is a mingling of dancers of all levels, from basic beginners to professionals. Imagine the scenario: a gentleman has mustered all of his courage to come to his first social dance class, and loves it so much that he sticks around for the practice party, despite having no inkling of what may be to come. He takes a risk and asks a lady to the dance floor. Once on the floor, the lady, who has been dancing for three years, continues to correct him, "This isn't how you turn me! No, that step goes like this." The gentleman's nerves are so heightened that after the dance, he leaves the floor, feels like a failure, and doesn't come back to dance for a year.
This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it can and often does happen. Often dancers feel a duty to correct others on the floor. While this may stem from the best intentions, the safest and most polite way to deal with a scenario like this is to refrain from correcting the other person, unless they specifically ask you for feedback. Ideally, we should leave the teaching for the domain of the instructors.
While there are exceptions to this rule, especially if a dance partner is acting inappropriate or making you uncomfortable, in general the dance floor is for just that: Dancing! Let's leave the corrections for the classroom.
Aside from externally expanding yourself, interacting in the dance world can help your internal self to blossom. No matter how shy you might be in real life, you can be free and open in the dance world. Many people transform when they walk onto the dance floor; it's a safe place to explore being a more outgoing and confident person.
People often feel they have permission to be more outgoing and expressive in the dance setting. I mean, let's face it, we do steps with funny names like "boto fogo," "tipple chasse," twinkles," "wings," "the chase," and we all love it because it's fun! As adults, it can often be difficult to let loose during the work day. We have, in many respects, lost the element of "play," but dancing can often reintroduce that aspect into our lives.
So why not put yourself out there? Introduce yourself to someone that you haven't seen or met before. Maybe you'll meet your new life-partner or best friend? Or your new boss? Or a new employee? Or a great new business partner? These things and more have all happened as results of introductions on the dance floor.
So what are you waiting for? Say hi to someone new at the next Practice Party. You never know what amazing opportunities may arise from that simple hello.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!
Practice is an essential part of the learning process.
Muscle memory can only happen when you've done a movement often enough that your brain no longer needs to be fully engaged in the process. Your body just seems to do it without thinking about it! This can only occur if you've done the movement enough times that your body is able to internalize it.
We all want to get on the floor and get lost in the music, and our partner. If we are constantly having to think about what we are doing when we dance, we miss out on conversation and enjoyment of the music. Practice allows our minds and bodies to "absorb" the movements, so that we can do them without consciously going through the motions. Once you've reached this point, your dancing can really get to the next level.
DanceSport provides practice opportunities throughout the week and most private and group class programs include the practice parties (a $140 value). The best time to practice is right after you've learned something, and then a few days after as well. So, if you are learning Salsa, for example, attending the evening practice session on Tuesday (after your classes) and then attending the Thursday or Saturday Session will increase your retention of the patterns and fast track your learning experience.
That's not to say that additional practice isn't helpful. In fact, just a few minutes of daily practice done at home can be instrumental in getting you from the cognitive level of learning, to realizing that the steps are really in you. Listening to music that you dance to is another way to train your ear for dance, which can help your mind and body pick up the steps and the rhythm.
Practice Parties are also a great way to interact with your fellow students. Learn more about the dance community and become a part of it while putting your new knowledge into practice!
Come out in style and partake in our exciting event. Watch a showcase filled with Dancing With the Stars worthy routines created by our instructors and staff. Each participant in the showcase will receive scores from accredited judges in the ballroom industry.
Dress in prom formal attire in any style you like - spoofy, serious, or fun - it's your call!
Each lady receives a corsage and each gentleman will receive a boutonniere to really bring back that prom feeling.
Our amazing event will feature decorations of balloon art and streamers in the most authentic high-school-esque style. Pose for a professional photograph in front of a back drop. Enjoy spiked punch without the fear of it being confiscated.
We will play games such as a special "amazing race" type dance contest for Prom King and Queen contestants. Prom King and Queen will be crowned following an in-house nomination and vote throughout the month of March.
Just come out and play. We'll have tons of general dancing and great music, not to mention a free dance lesson included. The cost of admission is reduced when you purchase your ticket in advance (for a savings of $15 per person).
Buy your ticket today and we'll see you at the Prom! (Limousine not included)
Special events at DanceSport are top notch. Multiple times per year we offer events that are exciting and fun. These range from our Holiday Gala with a live Salsa Band, to our specialty showcases and parties like Prom Night, Around the World, Kepekemapa Luau, and the Year End Showcase. These events are produced with quality as they are custom-decorated, well-organized, and would normally cost five to ten times as much in the non-dance world. We hope that our members take advantage of these events as these would rarely be available to the general public in other settings, especially at the level of quality that we strive to provide.
Events feature amazing decorations, special dance games, give-aways such as free corsages and boutonniere at Prom Night, silk leisat Kepekamapa, and food and drinks from around the world at the Around the World Showcase. Each is a unique experience and not other studio has anything that compares.
Please see our Special Events and Workshops Image Gallery for pictures of some of these amazing parties and events where you can see the high-quality decor for our Halloween, Valentines and Holiday galas. Each of these are quite costly to produce and we plan to make them even better this year, building on the parties we've done previously. You will get more than your money's worth at DanceSport. You will get an experience that is memorable for years to come.
We give you the red carpet experience at our events so you will party like a star. How many studios can you go to that have a professional photographer taking photos of their guests throughout the evening?
Come and enjoy and we will continue to raise the bar to give you the best party experience possible!
Paul Pellicoro's DanceSport offers a daily Lunch Time Salsa Party that some regulars refer to as their weight loss program. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, we need three to five weekly sessions of cardiovascular exercise for thirty to sixty minutes each to be considered moderately active. The Lunch Time Salsa Party meets Tuesday through Friday from 12-2pm which more than meets that goal! (Though, if you can't take a full two-hour lunch break, you can come and leave at your convenience.)
Besides health benefits, participants get a midday dose of Latin rhythms in a friendly social environment, all without breaking the bank. At $60 for unlimited lunch time classes per month, if you take advantage of each session, you get 32 hours of dancing, or just $3.75 per two-hour class and party. Drop in classes are also available.
Call DanceSport for more information: 212-307-1111
Dancing can give couples the chance to learn something new together - an opportunity rarely found in other settings. It can also foster a stronger relationship as ballroom dance emphasizes and equal give and take with the leader and follower partnership.
Additionally, dancing helps to develop a sense of one's own body - a phenomenon that can be awakening and refreshing, especially when experienced with the one you love. A good dose of body confidence never hurt anyone!
So make it a date, and we'll see you at DanceSport!
Choose from several blends of Intelligentsia coffee that have been taste-tested by our staff and members to assure the highest quality and flavor.
During our selection process, one of our dancer-tasters exclaimed, "I didn't even need to add milk or sugar. This coffee is amazing!" The cafe personnel have been trained in methods to prepare the perfect cup. Come in and try one, brewed before your very eyes! We also have fresh cupcakes, pastries, and an array of meal and snack offerings.