Why We’re Thankful for our Dance Instructors

As Thanksgiving approaches, we grow a little introspective. We think of what we have, what we appreciate, the many things for which we are grateful. Often, those are not so…

As Thanksgiving approaches, we grow a little introspective.

We think of what we have, what we appreciate, the many things for which we are grateful.

Often, those are not so much objects and possessions as the people in our lives.

Our families, our good friends, the good people in our lives.

At Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios, we owe so much to our dedicated dance instructors and are so grateful for their presence for so many reasons. We’re thinking of them as Thanksgiving approaches. Why?

Some students come to FADS hoping to learn a few dance steps reasonably well so that they can be more comfortable in social situations. What they find is that their passion and desire are kindled by instructors who see in them a chance for more. Through careful guidance and the sharing of their knowledge and experience, instructors ignite a small flame and then feed it. Many who come to FADS as casual dancers move up through the Fred Astaire Trophy System and become competitive dancers or even dance instructors. Inspiring others to excel is a mark of our fine teachers and we are grateful that they share that.
Encouragement and support. Training our muscles and our minds, learning dance steps and perfecting them – these activities are fun and engaging, but that doesn’t make them easy. Sometimes we struggle as we work toward becoming the best we can be on the dance floor, and who is there to offer kind words, a friendly pat on the back and a bright smile, but our instructors? They know what we want from our dance lessons and they know we may not get it as quickly as we would like. So they stay positive when we falter, they encourage and support dancers at every level and they keep us going on those rare occasions when we just feel like we’d rather be anywhere else. Sure enough, our enthusiasm returns and we’re back at it quickly, thanks to the positive outlook shared with us by our teachers.
Serving as mentors, friends, confidants. Often the relationship with one’s dance instructor gets just a bit deeper. Students find a friend, a mentor, someone who helps them remain strong and directed even in areas only peripherally related to dance. This is a great tribute not only to the instructors but the intensive training they receive from Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. We look at our instructors as complete people and our students as complete people and we want the relationships to be trusting and warm.
As you think about Thanksgiving and all there is in your life to be grateful for, keep your Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio instructors in mind. They teach, they coach, they encourage, they befriend, they support. That’s a lot to be thankful for. And know that they are thankful to have you, the hard-working, dedicated students, in their lives.

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Dance Lessons Can Replace These Unsexy Holiday Gifts

Gentlemen, we know you have good intentions, and that’s what really matters most. But don’t you want to see that special spark in her eyes when she opens your gift?…

Gentlemen, we know you have good intentions, and that’s what really matters most.

But don’t you want to see that special spark in her eyes when she opens your gift? That warm sense of self-satisfaction of you feel when you’ve absolutely nailed it?

When she jumps out of her seat, excitedly showing others your fabulous gift, and every guy in the room groans because they weren’t smart like you and instead bought any number of the below-mentioned items.

All while you bask in your brilliance as she gives you a big kiss and smiles flirtatiously.

Yet, you can easily fall into a trap of convenience. A trap where she opens the wrapping and stares at it for a half second before saying, “oh… it’s cute”.

Don’t be the ‘oh it’s cute’ guy.

Be the smart guy who gets kisses, flirtatious smiles, and a whole lot more for the foreseeable future.

Warning: There will be shameless plugs for ballroom dancing lessons throughout this article

The Number 1 Gift Category to Avoid:

Ugly – Undergarment – Bathroom Supplies

AVOID – Think of that fluffy pink bathrobe in the department store with the gift wrapping display and matching slippers. The store thinks it’s an excellent gift, but is it? Is it really? We place this in the decidedly Unsexy category. The ugly sweaters rack? Those’ll be on clearance in a week, same with the fluffy pink socks, and don’t even think about getting her a toothbrush or underwear. There are so many ways to go wrong there, and we absolutely do not recommend it.

INSTEAD – Dance Lessons. Because she gets the chance to wear clothes that aren’t ugly, in socks that she likes, having brushed her teeth with the toothbrush she already had. Not to mention the opportunity to act on those flirtatious smiles you got when she unwrapped her gift.

The Number 2 Gift Category to Avoid:

Smelly Stuff

AVOID – Lotions. Bath Gels. Soaps. Body Sprays. Perfume. Bath Salts. Candles.

Every nose likes different scents, and she might flat out hate the stuff that comes in that quick and easy pre-packaged gift basket from the mall kiosk. Heck, what if she wears it just to remind you of how bad a gift idea it was? Ew, unsexy.

INSTEAD – Learn to dance with her. We guarantee you’ll both be a little stinky when you start a regular dancing habit, but at least you’ll be holding on to each other, probably laughing hysterically as you figure out how not to step on the other person’s feet. Definitely landing us in the sexy category.

The Number 3 Gift Category to Avoid:

Holiday Themed Merchandise

AVOID – We’ve all seen the piles of snowman and decorated-tree embroidered hand towels. Or mugs with swirly red and green letters: “Happy Holidays!” She’ll feel tacky drinking from it ten months out of the year and eventually it will be pushed to the back of the cabinet and forgotten, or re-gifted.

Probably to you.

Same thing with Christmas tree ornaments and Christmas jewelry. You probably wouldn’t want a holiday-themed tie, would you? Not what you’d call a sexy gift choice. Neither are nick-knacks emblazoned with holly and brightly wrapped packages. Unsexy, to be sure.

INSTEAD – Just go dance. Instead of something that is only semi-decent to be used for a month out of the year, max, get her something she can love all year long. Something you can share, not only during the holiday season, but for the rest of your lives.

The Number 4 Gift Category to Avoid:

Well-Intentioned Supportive Gifts

AVOID – Never (and we mean ever) get her a gym membership, a subscription to a weight loss or dieting system, or a scale so she can “see her progress”. These gifts are very thoughtful, very kindly given, with honest and positive intentions, but they lead down a very dangerous path of potential perceived failure and disappointment.

INSTEAD – Learn to dance together. Exercising most often becomes a consistent habit that can bring results when it is fun and exciting. What better way for anyone to become healthier than to spend a few hours a week moving to good music? Plus, you get to do it as a couple, which is a much more supportive scenario overall. Totally sexy.

The Number 5 Gift Category to avoid

No Thought Gifts

AVOID – Don’t get her something that basically screams, “I picked the first things my hands touched!”. Taking the easy way out can come in many forms, and everyone has items that could be listed under this category which have personal significance to them. But for the most part, steer clear of things like calendars, hot pads, storage tins, door mats, car air-fresheners, or pre-packaged gift baskets. These are very unsexy gifts and will never make her glow with excitement and rush across the room into your waiting arms.

INSTEAD – Dance with her. There’s no escaping the message behind this gift. It says it all: “I thought of what you would want”, “I want to spend time with you”, “I value our relationship”, “I want to hold you in my arms”. Talk about getting her everything she wants all in one! You know you want to tell her all of these things, but just saying it can be awkward and other gits don’t communicate it like taking her out dancing.

Final Thought

Gentlemen, be brilliant with your gift choice this year, and get the two of you dancing lessons to share. It’ll be a way to have fun, enjoy each other’s company, laugh in one another’s arms, and make her fall in love with you all over again.

Be smart. Avoid unsexy gifts. Get dance lessons.

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How Dance Relieves Stress and Loneliness During the Holidays

Many of our students think of their Fred Astaire Dance Studio as a home away from home and a family. Here are people with common interests and a love of…

Many of our students think of their Fred Astaire Dance Studio as a home away from home and a family. Here are people with common interests and a love of dance who have found a wonderful outlet for their creativity and a sense of accomplishment as they grow more comfortable on the dance floor.

This is true throughout the year, but more so during the holidays. Fun as they can be, holidays may also be stressful for any number of reasons. And we want you to remember that dance is an excellent stress-buster and exercise, and you can rely on your Fred Astaire family to try to pick you up if you are down.

According to healthline.com, “the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.” So if you are suddenly experiencing this, you’re not alone.

Causes of distress or emotional upset at the holidays are many, healthline.com says, citing social isolation (we can help with that!), grieving lost loved ones, general holiday pressures (shopping comes to mind).

Remember that dance is a great outlet that allows you to focus strictly on the moment, on your own body and its rhythms. Remember that your Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a place to find support from instructors and friends while working your way beyond stress through dance.

We don’t promise any magic cures for depression. But we do offer diversion, camaraderie and the opportunity for you to do some good for yourself – physically, emotionally, socially.

Consider the holidays a great time – not that there’s ever a bad one – to take ballroom dance lessons at your Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio. Or give the gift of lessons. There’s a lot of happiness to be found – just look in the right places. Find your local studio.

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Tips for Choosing a Ballroom Dance Studio

For many, dancing is a way to enjoy life. It helps get rid of the stresses of everyday life for a few hours and provides entertainment. Dancing is also a…

For many, dancing is a way to enjoy life. It helps get rid of the stresses of everyday life for a few hours and provides entertainment. Dancing is also a healthy activity to do with a loved one or a friend. Whether you’re interested in attending dance lessons for fun or you’re considering competing, there are some key elements to consider before becoming a student at a dance studio.

Value: The price of dance lessons is a very important factor when choosing a dance studio. Make sure to ask exactly what you are paying for. Does the studio offer group lessons, private lessons, practice lessons, or wedding dance lessons? Most studios have a fixed number of classes that are included in your purchase, so be sure to find out how many classes you can take.

Dance Types Offered: Depending on the preference of the dance studio owner and its staff, most studios specialize in certain styles. If you are interested in learning a variety of dance styles, make sure the studio teaches more than one or two styles.

Dance Levels: Find out whether the studio offers different dance levels–beginner to expert. No one wants to feel discriminated against or uncomfortable while dancing. Also, make sure the dance studio caters to all types of people, regardless of age, size, etc.

Experienced/Qualified Instructors: Of course, it is important to have an experienced dance teacher who knows what he or she is doing. It is good to ask if the dance studio’s staff and/or dance director is certified. Ask how long they’ve taught dancing and how students respond to the way they teach. While some professional dancers are masters, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good teachers. It is important to find out whether the dance instructors are patient with their students and are able to explain and encourage growth in their classes.

Client Reviews/ Testimonials: When you visit the dance studio it is important to observe the studio’s setting, attitude and customer satisfaction. Does the studio have a welcoming and helpful atmosphere? Do they have longtime students who keep returning for the love of dance and the way that particular studio teaches? Most importantly, are the students having fun?

Fred Astaire proudly offers all partnership dances, from waltz, tango, cha-cha, and salsa, to swing and club dancing. Many of our teachers have Fine Arts degrees and all have passed exams given by the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance and/or the Fred Astaire Curriculum certification. For nearly 70 years, our dance studio has been encouraging the art of dance and welcoming our returning students for generations. To find your local studio, visit fredastairetexas.com.

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Three Ways Dance Lessons Are Better Than a Gym Membership

Here come the holidays. And here come the parties, the snacks, the beverages, the little overindulgences that make clothing a bit too tight for comfort. Hey, we like to look…

Here come the holidays.

And here come the parties, the snacks, the beverages, the little overindulgences that make clothing a bit too tight for comfort.

Hey, we like to look good in our smart outfits. Even a couple of pounds can cause distress. We know how easy it is to add a few and how hard it is to get them to vanish.

So what’s the answer? Every gym operator will tell you that New Year’s resolutions create a logjam at the sales desk. Usually those resolutions falter after a month or two. But we can offer you a better place to shape up, a more fun venue to burn those extra calories and an exciting way to surround yourself with people who share your interests.

Dance lessons. Dance lessons at a Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio. Better than a gym. Lots of ways. Let us count them (up to three):

  • Dance provides an excellent all-around workout … without pretending to be a workout. Workouts tend to be that thing we “must” do, while dance is an expression of joy and emotion that provides similar benefits. In 2016, Sciencedirect.com did a study and observed this: “The acute responses to classes of partnered Latin dance and non-partnered Latin-themed aerobic dance suggest that in physically inactive women participation is indeed efficacious in terms of community-based physical activity and psychosocial health promotion.” In English that means dance works as an exercise, while also building stronger social attachments. Which leads us to …
  • A sense of family and community. You will often hear us refer to our Fred Astaire Dance Studio family – that’s how we feel about our students, our instructors and our community. We’re linked. Dancing is social, interactive and certainly lends itself well to partner activities. The gym? Eh, not so much. Everyone has headphones on, everyone is staring at a screen (TV, iPad, phone) and everyone is performing a rote activity seemingly out of necessity rather than desire. Is that what you want? You’d rather have 30 minutes on a treadmill than 30 minutes doing salsa in our studio with people who are actually paying attention to (gasp) another person and not an electronic device?
    Gyms are crowded exactly when you want to be there. Before work. After work. Lunch time. We squeeze in our workouts when we can and we are squeezed in by others as we do. Ever been walking on a treadmill when the next Olympic marathoner begins a 20-mile run at an incline? It’s discouraging. Tired of signing up at the gym and waiting for a stepper or a bike? You don’t wait at FADS.
  • It’s go, go, go. You dance. With a partner, without a partner, it’s all good. Once you walk through the door, your feet get busy and energy surges through your body. You can schedule private ballroom dance lessons or take a group dance class in so many different styles of dance –salsa, Latin, waltz, cha-cha – and not be a faceless entity laboring in anonymity toward this goal of “fitness.” You can dance at our many practice parties, enjoy new partners, build your dance repertoire and your physical conditioning in a supportive atmosphere. And, again, there’s no waiting.
  • Working out is boring. Face it, it’s good for you, but it’s boring. It’s so by-the-numbers, so rote. Lift, run, stretch. Hence the headphones, the music, the TV, and the isolation. Well, if you like music … you’re going to love FADS. Here’s a little secret – without music, there’s no dancing. So you get to enjoy a variety of sounds, whether it’s a Latin beat or something in ¾ time, that stirs you and makes you want to move. You dance, you burn calories, you get more fit and you have the opportunity to dance with others. That’s a part of mental fitness – healthy engagement with your peers, your associates, your FADS family. We also encourage you to stretch after dancing, because we rely so much on personal attention. Has that happened lately at your gym? No? We knew that.
    Fitness encompasses a broad spectrum. It’s physical, it’s emotional and it’s intellectual. Motivation is critical. When you join a Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio, you embrace physical fitness and social engagement while improving your skills in ballroom dance. Three out of three ain’t bad.

There’s nothing wrong with your local gym. But everything is right at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios, where you condition body, mind and spirit.

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How to Dance Like Noone is Watching

Author and teacher William W. Purkey gave a new and exciting voice to the philosophy that we at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios have lived by for 60 years: “You’ve…

Author and teacher William W. Purkey gave a new and exciting voice to the philosophy that we at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios have lived by for 60 years:

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

Those lyrics appeared in a hit song from 2006 and they still resonate. It’s fairly simple. Take risks, be bold, show confidence, enjoy each day.

But, more specifically, how do you dance like there’s nobody watching? How do you develop that passion without worrying how you may look to others?

We have some suggestions.

  1. Take dance classes at your local Fred Astaire Dance Studio. In the warm and comfortable atmosphere our studios provide, everyone can feel as if they are magic on the dance floor. We provide a nurturing and learning atmosphere where your dance instructors and fellow students are all willing to help you move past any initial qualms.
  2.  When your dance instructor offers comments, take them positively. Your dance teacher isn’t criticizing what you are doing, simply offering tips and pointers on how you can improve. You will soon see improvement, which you will happily build upon.
  3. Learn from your mistakes. That’s the way we improve. The trick is not to let self-doubt creep in or to let feelings of awkwardness overcome you. Dancing involves building muscle memory and (there’s that word again) confidence. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Consider each one an opportunity to get better.
  4. Take a video of yourself dancing. You can review it as often as you like, then compare it later with video you’ve taken as you’ve put in the time to make yourself a smoother, more confident performer.
  5. Keep smiling. You enjoy dancing. You’re growing more and more comfortable with the dances you do. Your dance partner will certainly appreciate that feeling of sharing in your happiness and you will bask in that shared glow.

For the finest in adult dance classes and the best in ballroom dancing lessons – whether you prefer salsa dance lessons or a waltz – the right choice is Fred Astaire Dance Studios! We’ll help you reach your dance goals and you’ll look and feel better as you work to achieve them. You’ll be more confident, more self-assured and more motivated when you work with one of our instructors, dance with friends old and new and redefine your body with some fast-paced steps.

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