What We Teach


    • Waltz (Slow)
      • The Waltz is a partner dance with a box-step basic using slow tempo music in ¾ timing. We consider this a near perfect dance for beginners as they will step on each beat of music, learn fundamentals as well as partnering and closed dance hold. A couple of examples of nice tempo Waltz music are “Moon River,” “Open Arms” and “Take it to the Limit.”
    • Fox Trot
      • The Fox Trot is a partner dance with a traveling basic using slow tempos and 4/4 timing. We find this dance to be a wonderful and versatile social dance well suited to new dancers who desire good fundamentals. Some nice Fox Trot songs we prefer are “Under My Skin,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head,” and “Josephine.”
    • Rumba
      • The Rumba is a partner dance with a box-step or a side basic using slow tempo “latin-style” music. This dance is a fun, relaxing and relatively easy introduction to the dances of the Caribbean. If you are traveling to the south seas, going on a cruise or dancing slow music with your partner this style is a very good one to know. Some fun Rumba songs we use for teaching are “Spanish Eyes.” “Sway,” and “Margaritaville.”
    • Hustle
      • There are two versions of the partner Hustle that we focus on, the four-count and the three-count. New dancers will focus on the 4-count version, adding the syncopated 3-count version as skill levels improve. We use this dance style to introduce two-hand hold and rock steps. The music we use for hustle is club style with a real pronounced 4/4 beat throughout. Some examples of Hustle songs are “Stayin Alive,” “Billy Jean,” “Ray of Light,” and “Fly Robin Fly.”
    • Jitterbug (1950’s)
      • We like to think of the term Jitterbug as a nickname for any swing dancer. To that end its fun to know that swing dancing is different from region to region and from person to person. The style we use was popular in the 1950s, fits really well to quicker tempo music and is made up of rock steps, underarm turns and forward and back movements. Some fun Jitterbug songs we like are “Rockin Robin,” “In the Mood,” and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
    • Cha Cha
      • The Cha Cha is another dance from derived from “Latin music.” We find it to be very versatile as it can be danced to many musical styles. Dancers learn rock steps, fast footwork and the famous “cha-cha-cha” steps. This dance form works well to a traditional song such as “Cuban Pete,” it can be danced to a disco sound like “Lady Marmalade” or even a fun novelty song like “Ghostbusters.” (note: we teach 1-2-cha-cha-cha at the beginning and move in to the 2-3-cha-cha-cha timing later in a dancer’s program)
    • Slow Dance
      • Instead of simply rocking back and forth we like our dancers to have a purposeful pattern to use for really slow songs. The form we teach is a combination of the one-step timing and uses side steps and rock steps. Dancers go deeper in to partner connectivity in Slow Dance and enjoy dancing to songs such as “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Slow Dancin” and “Amazed.”
    • Country Two Step (Rhythm)
      • This style, also known to us as the Bemidji shuffle, is fairly popular across the US as a simple and sideward moving dance step. The Basic moves primarily sideward and/or diagonal and is danced to a variety of tempos and a variety of songs in 4/4 time signature, among which “country music” is often the most popular. Anybody who lives in our region must be able to do the Two Step and some of our favorite teaching songs are “Move it on Over,” “Fishing in the Dark,” and “Redneck Woman.”
    • Tango
      • A dance named for a musical style, Tango comes to us from South America and has a reputation being a dramatic and exotic form. And while you can dance the Tango step to any “two” time signature, it will feel best danced to the music it was created from. We teach an American style Tango basic, which has similarities to American Fox Trot in that both dance forms have a walking forward basic. Some Tango songs we like to use in our lessons are “La Cumparsita,” “Speak Softly Love” and “Hernando’s Hideaway.”
    • Salsa
      • A dance named for a musical style, Salsa is a cousin to the Mambo and the Cha Cha and we will always teach Cha Cha before Salsa, as the fundamentals of the former will be required for the latter. There are multiple styles of Salsa, much like there are multiple styles of Swing, and we will almost always focus on the forward and back basic for beginning dancers. We use traditional Salsa songs like “Que Lio” and “Yamulemau,” for teaching, but we will often mix in some non-traditional songs such as “The Remedy” and “Miss Independent” just because the beat is so easy to find.
    • Merengue
      • This could very well be the best dance style to begin with, as the basic is simple stepping in place to the music, however, places to dance Merengue are going to be less prevalent in smaller communities likes ours so it is a bit of a novelty dance. It is tons of fun so we often teach it on the fly at our dance parties. Our favorite Merengue song is “Hot Hot Hot.”
    • Lindy Hop
      • Often referred to as the Grand Daddy of all swing styles, it is often the most attention-grabbing dance on the floor. There is no smile in the world like the smile of a Lindy Hopper. The dance has evolved a great deal since its origins in the 1920s, regarding tempos and suggested patterns, but we find it the most fun as an impromptu form. To that end we teach a slow to medium tempo set of fundamental elements and patterns then encourage our dancers to invent steps as the music speaks to them. It takes at least a year to be a good Lindy Hopper and many people will make it their only dance. We like to use some songs from the swing and big band era for teaching, such as “Jersey Bounce” and “Shiny Stockings.” But we will also introduce fun rhythm and blues tunes like “Sweet Home Chicago” or boogies tunes like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and sometimes some rock and roll songs such as “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”
    • Night Club Two Step
      • This dance form is typically danced to music with a “two” time signature. It is sometimes considered a slow dance or a country-dance or a night club dance but will feel best when danced to songs with that “one and two feel.” There are two primary ways to teach NCTS, and while it will be musically driven, we will typically use the “rock-step-side” version. Our favorite songs, across the three genres, are “Lady in Red,” “Reunited,” and “I Hope You Dance.”
    • East Coast Swing
      • ECS is a swing style created by and for the Ballroom Dance world. It will use a series of sideward traveling triple steps and rock steps and will introduce dancers to “swing or sway” hips. Faster songs with a solid bounce are great for ECS and some of our favorites are “Burning Love,” “Build Me Up Buttercup,” and “Help Me Rhonda.”
    • Bacchata
      • This form is a slow dance style often found at Salsa clubs. This dance style is made up of sideward or forward and back movements with a fun hip lift. Opportunities to dance Bacchata are going to be less prevalent in smaller communities likes ours so it is a bit of a novelty dance but it is a useful style to know if you ever want to enjoy the salsa scene. Some fun Bacchata songs include “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Bailando.”
    • West Coast Swing
      • This style of dancing to swing music is among the most musically versatile. WCS patterns can be danced to big band music, country music and club style music. It differs from other forms of swing in that the lady does not rock step and the music will be slower and more sensuous than the driving rhythms of other styles of swing. We enjoy teaching to all the genres including these examples “Werewolves of London,” “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” and “The Wanderer.”
    • Charleston (1920’s)
      • Thee greatest dance craze in world history, the 1920’s Charleston is danced to a specific type of music, always with a “two” time signature and typically with a syncopated feel. We love this style and it is great fun to break out this dance when the song is right. We enjoy tunes like “Yes Sir That’s My Baby,” “Ain’t She Sweet,” and “Charleston.”
    • Samba
      • Known as the Brazilian Polka the Samba is full of energy. It is most efficiently danced to music with a “two” timing and will always have an energetic bounce. Music with a “samba feel” is all over the place and anybody who wants to be a good social dancer should know this style. Some popular songs that carry this rhythm are “Love is in the Air,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “La Isla Bonita.”
    • Bolero
      • The Bolero is a dance based on Spanish musical forms and combines elements of Waltz, Tango and Rumba. It is a rhythmic form also known as a slow dance. We typically experience this dance form at strictly ballroom events and the elements that are included will be instrumental to becoming a competitive dancer. Listen for these songs to dance Bolero, “Eternal Flame,” “Beautiful Maria of my Soul,” and “The Look of Love.”


    • Polka
      • This is a dance form from Bohemia based on a specific musical style and they pretty much go hand in hand. Polka is done in “two” timing and the dance may include turning, traveling, hops and knee lifts. It is can be a highly energetic dance that races around the floor or it can be done conservatively with little to no traveling. Our favorite polka songs include “Beer Barrel Polka,” Pennsylvania Polka” and “Shall We Dance.”
    • Viennese Waltz
      • The Viennese Waltz is the most glamorous and advanced of all the Waltz forms. Danced to three quarter time music at 50 – 60 measures per minute (200-240 beats per minute) this form takes a great deal of polish, precision and perfection, and requires solid fundamentals. Listen for beautiful and classic tunes for Viennese Waltz such as “Blue Danube,” “The Merry Widow Waltz,” “Chim Chim Cherree,” and “My Favorite Things.”
    • Mambo
      • Mambo is a ballroom dance that is a predecessor to Salsa and the Cha Cha. We will always teach Cha Cha before Mambo, as the fundamentals of the former will be required for the latter. We teach beginning dancers the forward and back basic along with the side break basic. We use traditional songs like “La Bamba” and “Mambo No. 5,” and “Mambo Italiano” for teaching, but we will often mix in the song “Tequila” for its easy to find steady beat.
    • Country Two Step (Streamline and Triple)
      • This is an elegant and challenging form of country dancing that moves around the floor with great speed and dexterity. The basic step is made up of alternating ‘slow and quick’ forward moving walks (backward for the follower). We will seldom, if ever, teach this style without a good foundation in Fox Trot and Rhythm Two Step. Some songs we prefer to use for this dance form are “Always Running Behind,” “Honky Tonk Blues” and “Let’s Go To Vegas.”
      • We also bundle in the Triple Two Step using the same fundamentals as the Streamline but danced to slower tempo music; and replacing the slow walking steps with Triple Steps. Fun songs for this style are “Some Beach,” “1000 Miles From Nowhere” and “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”
    • Waltz (Country)
      • Some may know this as the ‘old-timey’ waltz, but we consider it a bit of a hybrid between the Viennese Waltz (faster tempo) and the Slow American Waltz (some patterns). Since the music is a bit faster than the Slow Waltz the box step is replaced with a form of the ‘Hesitation Waltz,’ moving forward and backward with out time for sideward movements. Mid range waltz songs are the most fun for this style and include “Wild and Blue,” “Waltz Across Texas” and “The Tennessee Waltz.”
    • Schottische
      • This is a dance of European origin popular in the Midwest and communities that also enjoy dancing the Polka and ‘old time’ Waltzes. The Schottische is made up of running steps and step hops and can be done in partners or in groups of three or four. Songs that you might see people dancing the Schottische to are “Bubbles in the Wine,” “Old Time Schottische” and “Military Schottische.”
    • Carolina Shag
      • A regional form of slow swing dancing the Carolina Shag has been popular in the south for decades. It is made up of smooth turns and primarily features the skills of the Leader. Great songs to dance Carolina Shag to include “Shaggin on the Boulevard,” “Sixty Minute Man” and “My Girl.”
    • Bossa Nova
      • Literally translated as ‘new beat’ this Brazilian form of Jazz from the 1960s became a dance craze of its own. Executed specifically to Bossa Nova music this dance form is a direct descendant of the Samba but emphasizes a different timing. Appropriate songs for Bossa Nova include “The Girls From Ipanema,” “Desafinado” and “Baubles Bangles and Beads.”
    • Country Swing
      • This predecessor to Hustle is danced to 4/4 music. It features forward and backward rock steps and turns from all forms of swing dancing. The ‘Country Swing basic step’ is often danced in between elaborate arm spins and partner turns. Quick tempo country music including “Chicken Fried,” “Six Days on the Road” and “Louisiana Saturday Night” will be great fun.
    • Heel Shag
      • This is an obscure dance form from the 1930s based on one pattern that utilizes turns and spins from all forms of Swing Dancing. Unique in that both partners dance the same foot throughout it features kick ball changes, pivot turns and multiple hand positions. One of the more interesting features of this dance form is that it can be executed to almost ANY kind of music, (except Waltz).
    • Blues (We know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • A slow dance often included in the various Swing Dancing scenes, Blues Dancing is characterized by sideward movements and a great deal of music interpretation. “Cry Me A River,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Let’s Misbehave” are among the most popular songs.
    • Double Shag (We know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • Originally a fast tempo regional form of swing dancing popular in the south, the Double Shag (often referred to as Collegiate Shag) has become a popular scene all around the world. It is a fast and lively form of dance and it has a real bouncy personality. Good songs for the Double Shag include “Goody Goody,” “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue See” and “Jeepers Creepers.”
    • Balboa (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • A fast tempo swing style done in one spot Balboa with its orgins in California. Gypsy Jazz is a good style for Balboa but the following songs could also be included “Jumpin at the Woodside,” Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Flyin Home.
    • Argentine Tango (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • This is a form of Tango that has similarities to other forms of Tango (American and International) but is a community all by itself. Often Argentine Tango dancers immerse in the culture to the point of this being the only dance they do. There is no single basic to Argentine Tango and the Leader has the option of changing the rhythm. It is a romantic and intricate form. The music is unique to the dance and to discover it one must refer to Carlos Di Sarli.
    • Peabody (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • This is a variation of the Castle Walk developed at the end of the ragtime era, created by a police captain named Peabody so he could move around his partner to the quick rhythms of the day. “Chicago (that toddling town)” and “Twelve Street Rag,” are among the most popular songs.
    • Jive (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • An International Ballroom Dance form of Swing, originated in England similar to East Coast Swing, with the main difference being the elevated ‘pumping’ knees.
    • Quick Step (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • An International Ballroom Dance form originating in England similar to the Peabody. It could be compared to a fast version of the Fox Trot
    • Paso Doble (we know a bit of the basics and the info here is for reference only)
      • An International Ballroom Dance form that symbolizes a bullfight, with the Leader as the bullfighter and the Follower as the cape.



    • Cupid Shuffle
      • If we chose one group dance to teach it would be this one. It is a wonderful starting point as it uses side steps, kicks, touch steps and walking. This style is very popular at all dance parties especially weddings. The dance is specific to the song “Cupid Shuffle.”
    • Ruby Baby
      • This was one of our first line dances and still makes a nice beginner sequence, using touch steps, grapevines and turns. Altering the formation so that every other line is facing the one behind or in front of it can add a fun variation to Ruby Baby. We use a variety of tempos for this dance but our all time favorite song is “I Play Chicken With a Train.”
    • YMCA
      • Most people know how to do the arm motions to this disco era song, and we add some fun hand movements, traveling steps and jumps to make this repeating choreography even more fun. And, after seeing the “Village People” in concert, we always take care to correct the capital “M.”
    • Electric Slide
      • This is probably the most famous line dance ever and is made up of grapevines, backward walks and back and forth steps. A variety of songs from many genres can be used for this dance including “Funky Electric Slide,” “I Will Survive,” and just about any moderate tempo Country Music song.
    • Saturday Night Fever
      • You could see a choreographed version of this fun dance form in the movie starring John Travolta, but be careful as the movie version is a bit different than the one we teach. The standard version for dance parties has turning grapevines, kick ball changes and of course the famous “points.” We typically use the Bee Gees song “Night Fever,” but often other disco songs can be substituted.
    • Cha Cha Slide
      • This dance is based on the song by DJ Casper and is alternately known as the Casper Slide. It is a called dance and includes a variety of patterns including a version of the cha cha cha basic, slide steps, grapevines, jumps, hops, reverses and the ever confusing “Charlie Brown.” There are at least three versions of the song and we always teach to Casper Slide part 2.
    • Honky Tonk Stomp
      • A fun beginning level Line Dance that introduces twists, grapevines, turning grapevines, and heel and toe touch steps. Any 4/4 time signature song can work and we enjoy dancing this one to a variety of tempos in order to get comfortable dancing to many tempos.
    • Boot Scootin’ Boogie
      • A classic and famous line dance that can be danced to that specific song or adapted to any 4/4 time signature song. This one uses standard line dance elements but also adds kicks and touches and swivels. Naturally this one will fit well to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks and Dunn.
    • Bus Stop
      • A line dance made famous during the early disco era and made up of touch steps, walking steps and cross steps. “Staying Alive” is a fun song to dance the Bus Stop to, but nearly any 4/4 song with a steady rhythm will do. Often this dance was done to the Van McCoy song “Do The Hustle” and called ‘the Hustle,’ but it should not be confused with the partner dance, as the dance was actually the Bus Stop.
    • Mustang Sally
      • This dance done in a group, or lines, is a fun form that we like to use as a foundation for teaching swing. It contains triple steps, rock steps, walking forward and backward and turns. It is fun to use the much-covered song, but can fit to many songs with a 4/4 time signature.
    • Pink Bus Rumba
      • An original practice routine choreographed by Suzy and Hondo created for a wonderful group of young ladies on a field trip to our studio. The Pink Bus is made up of Rumba patterns that can be danced solo OR with a partner, including a box, a side basic and a walk around turn. Nearly any slow tempo “Latin” song with a 32-bar arrangement will work well, however, we usually use “Quando Quando Quando.”


    • Roller Coaster
      • A line dance made famous during the disco era and is the foundation for another dance called The Electric Slide. This version is a bit simpler and takes a few less beats. Musically any 4/4 song with a medium tempo will work fine, using something from the 1970s is even more fun.
    • Ski Bumpus
      • This line dance, typically executed to country music, introduces an interesting twist to a standard line dance format in that facing lines move back and forth through each other. We try to find contemporary country music, with a 4/4 timing, and a moderate tempo for Ski Bumpus.
    • Slappin’ Leather
      • A country line dance classic featuring pigeon toes, heel touches, heel hooks, boot slaps and ¼ turns. A song suggestion for Slappin’ Leather would be “Fishin in the Dark,” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
    • Tush Push
      • A country line dance classic featuring heel and toe touches, claps, hip pops, grooves and cha cha basics with pivot turns.   Many songs are good for the Tush Push and a few of them include “The Fireman,” “Ain’t Goin Down Till the Sun Comes Up” and “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”
    • Waltz Across Texas
      • A unique line dance in the fact that this one is danced to ¾ time music, making it a fun Waltz routine. It consists of waltz turning grapevines, turning twinkles and forward and backward walks. Nearly any slow waltz will do but we prefer “I See It Now,” by Tracy Lawrence.
    • Watermelon Crawl
      • A high-energy line dance performed to the song “Watermelon Crawl” by Tracy Byrd. This choreography includes hip bumps, toe heels, and charlestons.
    • Oh Carolina
      • A Suzy and Hondo original made up of fun moves we learned while in Jamaica. The routine includes touch steps, jazz squares, some body rolls, slides and jumps. We use the song “Oh Carolina,” but “Jammin” also works really well, as would almost any reggae song.
    • The Wobble
      • Another group dance in a long line of group dances that employs the cha cha cha basic. This one also has characteristics of the “weekend at Burnie’s” dance move and is typically danced to the song “The Wobble” by rapper V.I.C.
    • Say Hey Salsa
      • An original Suzy and Hondo choreography designed specifically for the song “Say Hey, (I Love You),” by Michael Franti        & Spearhead. This sequence was created for new dancers to get comfortable with Salsa fundamentals. This repeating routine contains forward and back basics, side basics, progressive basics, break steps and a quick turn ending with a cumbia.
    • Hukilau
      • A beautiful group dance of Hawaiian origin with a story line about a fishing party told through hand motions. While many versions of the song can be found, we like to use the Alfred Apaka version for our classes.
    • Swamp Thing
      • An intermediate to advanced level line dance with fast moving grapevines, turns and syncopations. The song “Swamp Thing” is a banjo infused techno style and the dance is best suited to this song, performed by The Grid.




    • Glow Worm Mixer
      • This is nearly the perfect ice-breaker using walking steps, two hand partner turns and escort position, plus, mixing partners. We choose a variety of songs that students recognize to dance this, but the old time “Glow Worm” is always enjoyable.
    • Alunelul
      • A Romanian folk dance with quick side steps, cross steps and stomps. The original song has a very infectious beat and this dance a standard in almost all of our classes.
    • Lambeth Walk
      • From England during the 1930s amidst World War II this was based on the Cockney Walk from the show ‘Me and My Girl,’ an enjoyable mixer using stylized walks, step rock steps and elbow turns. Many versions of the song are available, and we use the Duke Ellington version.
    • Cotton Eye Joe
      • This American folk dance standard can be performed in lines and in groups, but we typically teach it as a couple or solo form. It includes cross kicks, backward steps with a ‘polka timing’ and travels quickly around the room. As for a song we use the version of “Cotton Eye Joe” by The Rednex – More recent versions have salty language, however, we are careful to choose a version that is appropriate for all ages.
    • Jitterbug Mixer
      • A Suzy and Hondo original choreography/mixer using elements of the 1950’s Jitterbug; including Link, Pass By, Under Arm Turn, Free Spins and more. This can be danced using Single, Double or Triple time 6-count Jitterbug and among our favorite songs is “Rock Around The Clock” and “Hound Dog.” The choreography uses eight 6-count patterns and therefore fits best to a twelve bar blues formatted song.
    • Bossa Nova Mixer
      • This is a group activity in a circle formation danced with a partner, using a Two Hand Hold, walking steps, Charleston steps and under arm turns to. We teach this dance as a mixer and use the song “Blame it on the Bossa Nova,” but any slow to medium tempo popular song will work fine.
    • Cshebogar
      • A multicultural folk dance from Hungary that features side steps and stomps while characterizing a moth as it flies around a flame. Musically we use the traditional song “Cshebogar.”
    • Congress Mixer
      • A Brigham Young choreography featuring step swings, forward walks and slide steps. Musically we choose a contemporary 4/4 song, and a tempo of 90-120 beats per minute will work best for this fun icebreaker.
    • Ibo
      • An African folk dance with intermediate level steps, which are completely different for the men and the women. Steps include stomps, turns, two steps, breaks and dips. Musically there are versions available with and without the dance cues.
    • Nixie Polka
      • A Swedish folk dance that uses heel touches, bleaking steps and waltz steps. We use the original song Nixie Polka which has a combination of 2/4 and 4/4 time signatures.


    • Sixteen Steps
      • A country style line dance that moves around the room in a counter-clock wise manner. It includes heel kicks, stomps, pivot turns and polka/shuffle steps that travel forward. Our favorite song for this dance is “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson.
    • Tea For Two Mixer
      • A Brigham Young choreography featuring triple steps, do-si-dos and grapevines with slide steps. There are many version of Tea for Two and most of them will work fine
    • Tennessee Wig Walk
      • An American novelty dance with a country flair; using cross touches, behind steps, grapevines and brush steps. We use the traditional song “Tennessee Wig Walk” by Bonnie Lou.
    • Carrousel
      • A multicultural dance from Sweden made up of an inside circle and an outside circle. This one is great fun for kids as the outside circle tries to keep up with the inside circle as they execute a tempo changing circle. The song is traditional and is called “Carrousel.”
    • Jump Jim Joe
      • American folk dance performed as a singing game with movement. There are jumps, slides and stomps. We use the traditional song “Jump Jim Joe” and teach the words as we teach the dance.
    • Zigeunerpolka
      • From Germany, the Zigeunerpolka is a group mixer and contains Polka steps, ‘bows’ to your partner, sashays, and claps. The main feature is the sideward movement while facing and clapping hands with prospective partners. The song is traditional and is used specifically for this folk dance.
    • Salsa De Cuerdo
      • This is a Salsa/Mambo choreography we learned from Buddy Schwimmer and works well to the song “Papa Loves Mambo” by Perry Como. This fun and lively routine has basic steps, cross body leads, underarm turns, body rolls and stomps. It can be danced using Salsa or Mambo timing and is most fun as a mixer.
    • Purple People Eater
      • Always popular around Halloween, this intermediate level group dance includes grand rights and lefts, quick turns, side steps and walking steps. We use the song “Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley and use the underarm turns to make it a mixer.
    • Paul Jones Mixer
      • An American folk dance that is also considered a ‘called dance.’ Dancers join hands in the circle, execute grand right and lefts and partner changes. The Paul Jones Mixer can take on different forms wherein the figures and patterns can be changed. It is typically considered a beginner dance and musically most any medium tempo song with a ‘two’ timing. Late 19th early 20th centuries dance from using a whistle for partner changes or, as it is know of in Minnesota, a ‘Snow Ball.’



    • Grand March
      • This is a really fun way to start a group class, especially if you plan to meet with them on a regular basis for some time. Ladies and Gentlemen form respective lines and form zippers, cast offs, criss crosses, overs and unders, grand right and lefts and many more called patterns. Any march with a real steady beat will work fine, but our favorites are those by John Philip Sousa.
    • Virginia Reel
      • The Virginia Reel is a group activity danced in two lines facing. This is a very lively dance form using elbow swings and sashays and is considered a classic American folk dance. We teach this to all ages and use the song “Turkey in the Straw.”
    • Bunny Hop
      • This novelty dance is done in a chain with hands on shoulders or waist. We teach this to all ages, there are a multitude of fun variations and it is a smash at wedding dances and kids parties.
    • Conga Line
      • A fun party performed done in a chain containing walking steps and hip ‘bumps.’ Conga music is characterized by a 4/4 time signature, and one fun example is “Boogie Woogie Conga” by the Will Bradley.
    • Dirlada
      • A multicultural folk dance from Greece in a single line holding shoulders. It contains 16 steps made up of rocks, grapevines, leans and the song is traditional “Dirlada.”
    • Gustav’s Skol
      • A Swedish folk dance, in groups of eight, with couples facing. This enjoyable ice-breaker has walks, turns, arches and spins. The song is traditional titled “Gusav’s Skol.” Translated it is a King’s toast.
    • Hora
      • The Hora is danced in a connected row moving sideward, includes kicks, drops, and grapevines and is fun at wedding dances or kids parties. We typically use the song “Hava Nagela.”
    • I See You
      • A wonderful kids game in groups of four, where two face each other and the other two hide behind them peaking around at each other. This one is a fun way to bring our your dancer’s personalities. Elbow swings are also a big part of the dance and the traditional song is “I See You.”
    • Korobushka
      • A Russian Folk Dance with Hungarian break steps, balances and three steps, Korobushka translates to little basket or peddlers pack. The song is traditional “Korobushka.”


    • Little Man In a Fix
      • A multicultural Folk Dance from Denmark containing elbow swings, a winding and unwinding basket and waltz steps. The song is traditional “Little Man in a Fix.”
    • Mexican Hat Dance
      • A lively Mexican Folk Dance with claps, bleaking steps and turns. This is typically done in couples but formations can change, the song we use for teaching is “La Raspa.”
    • Troika
      • A Russian Folk Dance in groups of three, it includes Running Steps, Arches and circling turns. The dance is reminiscent of a team of horses and the song is the traditional “Troika.”
    • The Stroll
      • This is a group activity in two lines facing. Couples shine in the middle as the main lines move side to side. Our favorite song to use is “The Stroll,” but many other song styles are equally good. Chuck Willis originally performed this dance to the song “C C. Rider”, and the Diamonds recorded the song “The Stroll” to capitalize on the dance craze.
    • Watusi
      • A fad dance from 1960s in two facing lines. Dancers execute a syncopated ‘chassee’ as a basic and arm motions are called out at random, replicating everyday activities. We use the song “Wah-Watusi” by the Orlons, and you can use the song “The Watusi” by the Vibrations which actually has called moves in the lyrics.
    • Hully Gully
      • A fad dance from the early 1960s in two facing lines. Dancers move side to side and forward and back mixing the line performing silly movements called out at random. We like to use the song “Hully Gully” by the Olympics.
    • Tinikling
      • This dance is from the Philipines and is performed by stepping, jumping and moving in and out between two long sticks controlled by two kneeling assistants. The song is the traditional “Tinikling.”
    • D’Hammerschmiedsgesellen
      • We enjoy teaching this German Folk Dance during the Autumn, specifically during Octoberfest. It contains platls, hand slaps and elbow swings. The song is traditional “D’Hammerschmiedsgesellen.”
    • The Limbo
      • This is a group activity typically meant for the younger folks who are very limber. Dancers wind their way around the room and navigate under a pole while doing a back bend: one option has the pole being lowered each time dancers go under eliminating those who can’t make it. There are a number of songs that you can play for the Limbo, including “Limbo Some More,” “Do the Limbo Rock,” and “The Limbo.”



    The Downtown Philosophy – Social Dancing and Ballroom Dancing

    • Ballroom dancing simply means people dancing together in a big room
    • Social dancing simply means people dancing together in a big room

     

    The SAME THING only DIFFERENT!

    • There are, however, some very distinct differences.

    There are two main forms of dancing…dancing for performance and dancing for pleasure.

    • PERFORMANCE – this is “Dancing With The Stars,” dancing for the judges or dancing where people are actively watching in an audience format. The dancing here takes on a level of precision and polish that can take days, weeks, months and even years to perfect.
    • PLEASURE – this is dancing for fun and joy … weddings, dinner parties, nightclubs, etc. The dancing here is specifically meant to be quick and easy and one can begin enjoying this activity right away.

    Over the years we have come to the realization that the general public does not always recognize the difference. Often people are afraid to sign up for lessons because they expect to be doing the same thing they see on TV, stage or in the movies. Very few things ARE real in TV or the movies. It’s valuable to know, however, that a true BALLROOM dance studio will likely introduce elements of performance dancing as soon as possible – as their ultimate goal is to get as many of their students competing as possible. And that’s ok, it “turns the lights on!” And competition and showcase dancing offer valuable and exciting skills – to those who want them.

    And this is where things get a bit confusing, because some true BALLROOM dancers choose not to compete. They call themselves SOCIAL dancers, but they are still learning and practicing the same skills required to BE a true BALLROOM (competitive/showcase) dancer. And that’s just fine. When it becomes “not fine” is when the big theatrical movements are executed on a small floor designed for people who are not competitive/showcase dancers. This is precisely WHY we coined the terms “Downtown Dance Style©” and “Uptown Dance Style. ©

    • DOWNTOWN DANCE STYLE© – This is us! Suzy and Hondo School of Dance. This is the fundamentals of movement with a partner, this is Foot Positions, (where you step) Framing, (the Hold) Lead and Follow (the connection) and Musicality (recognizing songs to dance to). Our goal is to get you on the dance floor as soon as possible and start moving to the music for pleasure. We begin by teaching ALL of our dancers this style and many of them stay right there.
    • UPTOWN DANCE STYLE© – This can also be us, as we are adept at teaching dancers the art of competition and showcase dancing. We will not, however, introduce this style of dancing to anyone who does not desire it, and we will be sure that all of our dancers know the differences so our dance parties will be a joy for all. At the “Uptown” level dancers are introduced to Rise and Fall, Sway, Contra Body, Contra Body Position, Cuban Motion, Alignments, Strict Turns, Dance Personality, Arm Styling and the things that judges and critical audiences will be looking for.
    • Many of the “Uptown” elements will eventually become part of your dance repertoire if you want to learn more challenging patterns, and they do take more time, but in the end they will be worth it. We simply choose to focus on the social element of dancing form the most part – it is the most fun for the most people.
    • Finally a few words about FOOTWORK (how you step) – this is the element of dancing that becomes the bridge from Downtown to Uptown. It is not required, by any means to get you on the floor, but we will use it occasionally to help your dancing be more efficient.

     

     


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    (218) 766-4043

    1259 Tyler Avenue SE

    Bemidji, MN 56601 ‎

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