Do You Know a Newcomer? Greetings Dancers, In the interest of growing our dance community here in Boise and introducing ballroom dance to new partic

       
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Do You Know a Newcomer?

Greetings Dancers,
In the interest of growing our dance community here in Boise and introducing ballroom dance to new participants, Boise's USA Dance Chapter has some opportunities available for those who are brand new to ballroom. (Don't worry intermediate and beyond dancers...we've got lots in store for you, too!)

Come a little early for a pre-lesson primer

Beginner dancers can arrive at the January 31st dance after 6:30 pm to get a quick introduction to doing a basic box-step. This box step can be used in many ballroom dances we play during the evening (waltz, foxtrot, rumba and MORE) and keeps a beginner dancer moving and confident. No additional charge for the primer - it's covered in your admission for the evening.

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Weekend Workshops for Absolute Beginners

Saturday, January 31st, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Ron Blake of Learn Dance Faster will teach these lessons that will be directed toward students who have never ballroom danced before. No partner is required, but please bring friends.
10:00-10:50 Learn the basic Waltz
11:00-11:50 Learn the basic Foxtrot
12:00-12:50 Learn the Basic Tango
$10 per person per class or $20 for all 3 classes. More information on the Chapter website. Held at the Boise Square and Round Dance Hall.

Ongoing Weekly Beginner Dance Lessons

Starting February 8, Boise USA Dance will offer weekly beginner dance lessons on Sunday evenings at 5pm. The lessons are taught by volunteers from the Chapter's board or membership (not professional dance instructors) and are meant for individuals who are new to ballroom dancing. The location for February and March is Idaho Ballroom Dance Center, whose space has been generously provided. A different dance will be taught each month, and the lessons will progress from week to week. February's dance is waltz and will be taught by Mark Kimsey, Chapter president. The cost is $3 per person per night and only cash is accepted ($1 bills appreciated).

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Erin's Etiquette Corner

Welcome to our new newsletter feature on ballroom dance etiquette. Hopefully, it will entertain, spark dialogue among dancers, and help you navigate the social shark tank of the ballroom.

How to Take a Dance Class

Learning politely is as easy as ABC.
Arrive on time. If you're 5 minutes early, you're already late. Be sure to get to the lesson in plenty of time to get checked in, fill out a name-tag, change into your dance shoes, wash your hands and silence your phone. Ideally, you'll be well rested, dressed comfortably for dancing, and neither full nor hungry. You may want to allow 3 or 4 extra minutes to jog in place, do some gentle stretches, or otherwise prepare your body to move.

Be a good student, not only out of respect for your teacher and the other participants, but so you can get the most out of the class. But what does "be a good student" mean?

It (almost) goes without saying to remain silent when the teacher is talking. Be aware of those around you, both when moving and stationary. Are you blocking someone's view of the teacher? Whapping someone's face with your absent-minded arm-styling? Stop it.

Let's get ready to ROTATE! So, undoubtedly you've heard instructors wax poetic about how much better a dancer you'll become (and quicker) the more different people you dance with. Even if you don't believe the dance dogma, believe this: everyone deserves to dance with the best dancer in the room. Maybe today it's you, or maybe today you're the worst dancer in the room, but either way, be a good dancer and share. When you do rotate to the next partner, thank your previous partner and introduce yourself to the new one.

Ask questions, and be concise. If something's not working, ask the teacher or TA for help and clarification. Stupid questions are very rare - if you aren't sure, chances are someone else in class is too. However, multitudes of questions posed at the slightest mishap and hijacking the class with long anecdotes leading up to questions are not the best use of anyone's time. Everybody's learning, and things won't go perfectly right off the bat. Sometimes, if you suspect your partner is the reason something isn't working, it's best to wait a rotation to see if the problem continues to occur with your next partner.

Speaking of partners, treat yours with respect and kindness. Learning new things can be frustrating. Even if your partner is the one who messed up, never blurt out, "you're doing it wrong!" or any such critique. Relax, breathe, things will come together...if not with this partner, then the next one. A dance class is a place where The Golden Rule should be strictly adhered to.

When the level of the class doesn't match up with your (perceived) level of dance expertise, it can be easy to become a less-than-ideal participant. If you feel the pattern or technique the instructor is teaching is "too easy", resist the temptation to work ahead. Others in the class, including your partner, do not need to be distracted by your, "look how many more awesome moves I know" show. Likewise, don't teach your partner. Your partner came and PAID to learn from the teacher, so make sure you're not in competition with him or her. Only correct your partner if you are directly asked, and never answer when the teacher is speaking. But doing these easy moves is so BORING. No it's not. You aren't as good as you think you are. There is always something you can improve on within the framework of a basic pattern. How's your posture? your balance? hip action? frame? foot placement? connection? are you smiling? Now is your opportunity to focus on some of those aspects of your dancing that get overlooked when your concentration is on learning a challenging pattern. How you practice is ultimately how you do something in "real life". Should you be on the other end of the spectrum, and the class is way too advanced for you, don't worry. Try your best for at least 3 partner rotations or 10 minutes, whichever is longer. If at that point you feel you've made no improvements and you are holding back the rest of the class, stand out of the rotation until the teacher has moved on to a different pattern or technique, or until you have caught up. Continue to stand and practice on your own - you'll get it! Watch the teacher as well as other dancers.

Celebrate! Did a pattern work well? How about a high-5 for that partner? Be glad you learned something in class and be happy you got to spend an hour on the dance floor.

Celebrate your teacher by giving him or her a round of applause, and if you particularly appreciated something about the class or the teaching style, let them know; catch them during shoe-change and tell them what you liked, sign up for another class he or she is teaching, tell your friends why you liked the class, etc.

Celebrate your newly-gotten knowledge by doing 3 things.
1. Write it down. Jot a few key words that will help you with technique you learned and write down the names of the patterns in the order you danced them.
2. Practice something from class (with or without a partner) no more than 2 days after the class. You paid for that knowledge! Hang onto it.
3. Celebrate by going dancing and actually using the theoretical in practice. Here are some dances you can attend.

See you in class, dancers!

Upcoming USA Dance Events

Saturday, January 31st, USA Dance will have beginner workshops at the Square dance Hall. Ron Blake will teach these lessons that will be directed toward students who have never ballroom danced before. 10:00-10:50 Learn the basic Waltz 11:00-11:50 Learn the basic Foxtrot 12:00-12:50 Learn the Basic Tango $10 per person per class or $20 for all 3 classes.
Saturday, January 31st at 7pm, Jennifer Babione will teach a beginner Night Club 2-Step lesson, which will move to intermediate material by 7:40, then we'll have open social dancing from 8-11pm. There is no theme for tonight's dance. Admission is $5 if you are a USA Dance member or student with ID, or $10 if you are a visiting dancer. Held at the Boise Square and Round Dance Hall, 6534 W Diamond St., Boise, ID 83709.
Saturday, February 7th at 7pm, Lori Gonzales will teach a beginner Waltz lesson, which will move to intermediate material by 7:40, then we'll have open social dancing from 8-11pm. The theme for tonight's dance is "Diamonds and Denim". Admission is $5 if you are a USA Dance member or student with ID, or $10 if you are a visiting dancer. Held at the Boise Square and Round Dance Hall, 6534 W Diamond St., Boise, ID 83709.
Sunday, February 8 at 5:00pm, Mark Kimsey will teach a Waltz lesson for beginner dancers. Waltz will be taught for the whole month, and classes will build on from week to week. Cost is $3 per person per night and classes are held at the Idaho Ballroom Dance Center on E. Copperpoint Dr. (off Eagle Rd. south of Overland).

Other Upcoming Dance Opportunities in the area

Friday, January 23rd - Cathedral of the Rockies - Ballroom Dancing with lesson and live band
Saturday, January 24th - ID Country/Western Dance Assoc. - Country and Western dancing with lesson

Questions? Bring them on! (e-mail, Facebook, phone, @ a dance)

Erin Retelle
Boise USA Dance, Chapter #1014
PR/Outreach Committee Chairperson

erinr@cableone.net
208-585-7320

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