RIT Tango Club

Get to know RIT Tango Club from Rochester. I was lucky to get some information from Amalia, as these guys are busy teaching and performing. Right now they have one of the youngest Argentine dance communities in NYS, possibly the US.

– Amalia, what’s is the history of RIT Tango Club?

The RIT Tango club was founded back in 2010, but attendance dropped to 0 by 2011 in spite of the founding members’ efforts to sustain membership and general interest. It was at this time that Curtis Burtner, a young but already experienced Argentine Tango dancer, enrolled at RIT and took the reins of the Tango Club. Membership was still almost non-existent until 2012 when the club started gaining consistent members. Although club membership stayed above 0, the club saw little growth from Fall of 2012 through Spring of 2016. It wasn’t until Fall of this year – 2016 – that the club grew exponentially through the dedication of several key members who took up tango the previous year.

– What about the coaches and how many members there are?

As a club, we focus entirely on a single dance – the Argentine Tango. Curtis Burtner, who has been dancing the Argentine tango for 8 years, still teaches our weekly lesson even though he has already graduated. We also have a guest teacher, Alexandra Carcich who has also been dancing for 12 years. We bring in new, inexperienced dancers who are eager to learn Argentine tango. The size of the club tends to fluctuate week to week with about 14 dedicated members. The years of experience range from 3 months to 3 years.

– Where do you teach?

We teach free Argentine tango lessons every Wednesday and an intermediate course that collaborates with the University or Rochester on Fridays for free. We also host dances for the community and students and occasionally perform for various dance collaborations.


– And your future plans?

As a club our goal is to keep bringing more young dancers into the Rochester dance scene in order to expand the Argentine Tango community here in Rochester.

ND/SMC Ballroom Club

Today we interviewed Christina Lai, she’s the Vice-president of The Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club. So let us share with you another great post about the dance club of Norte Dame.

– Christina, how many members there’re in your club?

The Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club is proud to claim approximately 25-30 active members. We also get the occasional students and faculty members that drop by for a quick dance lesson here and there.
ndclubNd Ballroom Dance Club

– How was the club founded?

The Notre Dame/St. Mary’s College Ballroom Club was started by Loretta Spencer, a Canadian competitive professional approximately 25 years ago. Her husband was a professor at Notre Dame. Ramsey, our faculty advisor, helped her to demonstrate. After a time, she decided to quit teaching the class as she was busy raising small children. Two of our three current coaches and another of our past coaches took coaching lessons and taught alongside her.

– Can you name some achievements of the dance club?

As for accomplishments, the club does several performances each year. In previous semesters we have held “Call-out” performances at the beginning of each semester in order to invite students and faculty to join us. We have also been asked on several occasions to perform at various events such as in the half-time show at basketball games, and for local schools and nursing homes. More recently, in conjunction with the Notre Dame Swing Club, we held a flash-mob outside of South Dinning Hall on Oct. 28. Our annual charity performances include in Welsh Family’s (residence hall) Dance fest and The Project Fresh (P Fresh) Show. Fundraising

performances include our Notre Dame Day performance.

– How about dance competitions?

Outside of performances, the ND/SMC Ballroom Club competes at various collegiate-level dance competitions around the Mid-West. We regularly attend competitions at OSU, Valparaiso, and Badger Ballroom as well as any other competitions that fits into our schedule. Additionally, each Spring we host our own collegiate-level competition called the Irish DanceSport GalaThis is THE event for our club as it takes a lot of time and dedication from our Club Officers and the planning committee to make the competition happen and run smoothly.

– Who are your coaches?

We have three professional dance coaches: Mariusz (Mario) Skonieczny, Kathy Nate, and Barb Coon, Mario teaches the International Latin style dances. Kathy teaches American Ballroom, both smooth and rhythm. Barb teaches our social lesson which is primarily a beginner’s level lesson to learn the basic moves of dances mentioned above, as well as other more social dances including: West Coast Swing, Night Club Two-step, Salsa and Bachata.

– What are your future plans/goals?

Currently, we are focusing on building and expanding our club and increasing our presence around campus. We truly enjoy ballroom and latin dancing and would love for people to join us!

Latin Rhythm Dance Club

Today we’d like to introduce you LRDC – Latin Rhythm Dance Club of Rochester, NY.  Melissa Mendoza, the president of the club gave us an interview about LRDC.


Melissa, please tell me how was your club founded?


– Founded in 2011, Latin Rhythm Dance Club (LRDC) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is dedicated to immersing attendees in Latin dance and culture. We offer free dance lessons every week and welcome all students, staff, and faculty – beginners and advanced dancers.


Who teaches at LRDC?


– Our lessons are fully taught by students! We have yearly events and frequently invite guest instructors to teach lessons outside of our common lessons of salsa, bachata, and merengue. We also keep our members well-informed with local Rochester events and encourage them to attend other dance lessons and festivals. Currently, the club has about 120 active members.


Can you name some accomplishments and events you performed at?


– LRDC’s dance team, established in 2012, is comprised of passionate dancers in the RIT community. LRDC’s dance team performs at various events throughout the year and competes in regional dance competitions: won RIT’s Clubs Got Talent in Spring 2013, placed third at RIT’s Best Dance Crew in 2015, participated in RIT Unification in 2014 and 2016, performs at ImagineRIT every year, and performed at the Upstate New York Latin Dance Festival in 2015 and 2016.

Velocity dance team

Today i’d like to feature not a regular ballroom or latin dance club. It’s Velocity dance team that performs in urban dance styles. Here’s the interview with the president of the crew E’jaaz Lawal.


E’jaaz, can you tell me about your crew?


– Originally, Velocity was a coached dance team that used to do competitions regularly. In 2012, we made the transition to becoming a student-run club and are now in our 4th year of operating as such. Every year due to auditions and members graduating, our numbers fluctuate from semester to semester. As of this semester, we have 11 active members in our crew. In our short 4 years of being student-run we have been steadily improving and last year, through popular vote, won the best performing arts club of RIT. We also host an annual competition called RIT’s Best Dance Crew, or RBDC for short, that we have been steadily expanding every year to include teams of all different dance styles from all over NY to one stage. Being student-run, we have an eboard that is in control of the operations of the team as opposed to a coach. All choreography is made in-house and is a collection of all our works as a team. We have been gearing up for some performance requests we have in the Rochester area. At the same time, we have started planning for our annual show and working on bringing more expansion and diversity to our show.

CP Swing Club

Today we interviewed Holley Shugart  of CP Swing and DDB Secretary.  Get to know Cal Poly Swing Club.


What’s the story of the club?


officerscalpoly– The club was founded in 1998 and our sister club, Drop Dead Blues, was founded a few years after as a subset of Swing and then became an official club later. We have 10 officers serving on the Executive Council and their duties include planning and running events, putting on weekly lessons and social dancing, and other club related activities. The officers serve the CP Swing and Drop Dead Blues Clubs’ Executive Councils. The Council works with an advisor who is a professor on Cal Poly’s campus.
What type of dances do you teach?


13221584_1188215947855356_2298431917878699457_n– We have a lot of frequent returning dancers that come to lessons and social dancing every week. Our style of dance is Lindy Hop and we also teach Collegiate Shag, Balboa, and Charleston. Every Fall Quarter the CP Swing club puts on a 10 week lesson series to take people from beginner to intermediate dancers in Lindy Hop. It is a great opportunity to learn all of the dance styles we teach, and learn about the history of Lindy Hop and its music.
Who do you bring to coach and what events there are in the club?


10157390_846285265494118_6604177762708026679_n– We host 3 big events every year; The Fall Swing Workshop, The Winter Blues Workshop, and The San Luis Obispo Lindy Exchange in the spring. For the two workshops we bring in professional teachers to teach two days worth of lessons and there are social dances each night. The Lindy Exchange is our biggest event with 3 days of dancing, and group activities like Beach Day and Lindy Games. This Fall we are bringing in the great Ann Mony and Ryan Calloway to teach in our Fall Workshop.”

UCSC Ballroom Dance Club

We continue our topic of dance clubs all across America and today we interviewed Ray Burgess, Social Captain of UCSC Ballroom Dance Club. Ray shared some information about his dance club with us.


– Hi Ray, can you tell me a bit about history of your dance club?
Ray Burgess, Social Captain

The farthest back we can trace our club is to someone named Sean Ericson. He noticed that there was all the framework laid out for a ballroom club at our school, however it was inactive. He essentially revitalized it and started the club anew, and here we are today around 7 years later.


– How many members are in your club?

 We have roughly 25 members who actively participate in the club right now.



–  What dance styles do you do?
We cover the majority of styles you see in ballroom competitions: International Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, VWaltz, Tango as well as their American counterparts. We also compete in the international Latin events e.g. Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive, and Paso Doble. We don’t do any of the Rhythm dances but we do have most of the nightclubs such as West and East coast swing, Hustle, Salsa, Merengue, and we even throw in a little Blues Fusion w/ our lessons!

– Ray, what about the coaches? Who trains your club?
Our coaches so far are Tom Roher and Kaytlin Kuns. They teach us international Latin styles since they’re competing in novice right now and are the best couple still on our team. They’re former students but they’re in the area so they stick around with us. We currently lack standard coaches.
– Can you name some achievements of the club?
There aren’t many accomplishments we have as a team itself. However, on an individual basis we have couples placing first in multiple events ranging from Bronze to Open in collegiate competitions.
– What are the plans for the near future?
Our plans are to host a collegiate ballroom competition in Santa Cruz in the 2017-2018 school year! As well as continue expanding the team, we left off last school year with about 8 members and we’ve almost tripled in size since then – we’ll do our best to keep those numbers up.

Ballroom Dance Club at Indiana University

Today we’re starting a new line of our blog where we’ll be covering various dance clubs all across USA. One of them is Ballroom Dance Club at Indiana University. To get acquainted with them we interviewed Ann-Heckman Davis – the president of this dance club.


– Ann, what is the history of your club?

Ann Heckman-Davis President of IU Ballroom Dance Club

– Our club was started by a graduate student named Mel Rosare in 1984 when she attended IU as an MBA, in the graduating class of 1986. This makes it probable that 2016-2017 is our club’s 32nd year of operation, but it is possible that the club may have disbanded at some point and restarted (if records were kept, they have been lost, so it’s impossible for us to know for sure. Everyone who was involved with the club at that time is long gone by now.) According to Ms. Rosare, she modeled the club after BYU’s Ballroom Dance Club, which was one of the premier dance clubs in the country. Ms. Rosare had learned ballroom dancing and became an instructor during her undergraduate years at the University of Hawaii.


IU Ballroom Dance Club

How many current members there are in the club?

We have approximately 50 members (I say approximately because many do not attend practices or lessons for a long stretch of time but will later come back, so it’s difficult to pin down an exact number.) Our executive council is composed of eight veteran club members, led by myself as President and Sydney Arnold as Captain.  We are coached in American styles by Chris Spalding and Kelly Bartlett, owners of the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company, and in International styles by Gert Roslender of Aurelia Dance Studio in Indianapolis.


Can you tell me about your club’s accomplishments?


Our club competes in a variety of competitions across the Midwest in all four styles: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Latin, and International Standard. We have dancers of all skill levels ranging from Newcomer to Open. Our club prides itself on a strong sense of community and camaraderie while we compete at competitions, and we always give a strong showing. We placed 6th place overall at the Arnold Dancesport Classic both last year and the year before.


This school year, we introduced a new program called Ballroom Buddies that was meant to facilitate social interactions between veteran members and new members through ice breaker games such as “the human blob”. Thanks to this program and the concentrated recruitment efforts of all the veteran members, we have managed to double the size of our team and bring in a much larger Newcomer class than we have had in the past years I’ve been a part of this club!


Last year, we organized a large social we called the Disney Ball to raise money for a local charity. The Middle Way House is a local shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. It’s a great organization—a handful of members, including myself, have also volunteered there on our own time as well. Our club performed showcases to Disney music and raffled off private lessons with our members. In total, we raised about $900 for Middle Way House through this event!


Ann, what are the future plans for the dance club?

Although we have nearly doubled in size over the past year thanks to the recruitment efforts of veteran members, our club hopes to continue to growing in size. We also hope to continue organizing charity events such as the Disney Ball. Our most important goal is to improve at every competition, grow as dancers and as a team, and, of course, have fun dancing and being around one another!

How to Find a Dance Partner for Ballroom Dancing?

Ballroom dancingIf you are very keen on joining our Monterey dance classes, but don’t have a dance partner yet, you may be assured that we will do everything possible to find you a dance partner. We have many students just like you who are looking for a dance partner for ballroom dancing Monterey.

So, we can always arrange to have a dance partner for you. In the unlikely circumstance of us not being able to find you a dance partner on a particular day, you can always dance with the instructor. This way you will learn dancing faster.

What’s important is that you should enjoy your dance lessons, whether you are taking tango, swing or salsa classes in Monterey, Ca. There are other ways to find a dance partner as well, if you are looking for a dance partner to participate in a dance competition.

Here’s where you should NOT look for a dance partner. Don’t go looking for one on classifieds or online bulletin boards. A lot of people who list on online ballroom dance bulletin boards or classifieds are not really interested in finding a dance partner and are not serious about at all – they are just looking for opportunities for romance or someone to hook up with. The chances of finding a decent dance partner this way are minimal. Instead, follow the guidelines given next for finding a partner for your dance classes.

Contact your local USABDA or United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association. The USABDA lists all dance competitions to be held in your area and lists dance studios such as ours too. You can visit these competitions or studios, observe the group classes in your level and find someone who is close to your skills.  You can meet with them and interview them on the spot. You can always watch the group classes in our studio; observe our students from up close and decide if there is someone you want to partner with.

If you are a ballroom dancing professional who competes in major dance competitions and are looking for a dance partner, we suggest going to the various dance competitions in your area as a spectator and identifying someone of your level, who you can partner with. You can talk to the instructors in our Monterey dance studio and ask us to introduce you to a potential dance partner, who is just as talented as you are.  We would be happy enough to make the introductions for you, and offer great suggestions on who would make a perfect dance partner for you, keeping a long-term perspective in mind.

Another option is to participate in dance competitions yourself and make a great impression. Make no mistake; you will be approached by several talented dancers asking you to be their dance partner. There are a lot of people besides yourself who are looking for a talented dance partner. You will be helped in this by the competition judges who would be happy enough to make introductions.

The last point – when you introduce yourself to a potential dance partner, be very explicit about what you are looking for. Find out if they are as serious about ballroom dancing as you are and if they are willing to commit their time to hundreds of hours of dance practice with you. We hope the suggestions given here are useful to you. If you are unable to find a dance partner yet, do visit our dance studio, we will find someone great for you.

Challenge Yourself in Ballroom Dancing

Dance classes
Dance classes

How do you challenge yourself in ballroom dancing? Most of our students who spend some time learning ballroom dancing with us, ask us that question – what next after having picked up the basics. Now that you have spent time in taking lessons, or participating in classes. What should be the next item on your checklist?

Okay, here’s what we would like to know first. Do you see yourself as a competitive dancer or as a social dancer? How important is dance to you? What do you hope to achieve in ballroom dance and how far are you willing to go to get there? Are you willing to commit yourself to achieving excellence in ballroom dance? What you do next in your dance life depends on your answer to these questions.

If your goal is to become a good dancer socially, then, if you are a guy, you should challenge yourself to learn how to lead a lady in a way that seems absolutely effortless. If you are a woman, you should learn how to follow a man’s lead in the most elegant manner possible.

If you want to become a competitive dancer, you will need to commit yourself to hundreds of hours of dance practice and strive to improve yourself by participating in dance competitions. Regardless of what you want to achieve as a dancer, you will get all the support you need from our dance instructors – the best dance instructors in California.

So the question is how can you challenge yourself to be a better dancer? The simple answer to that is that you must work hard to find the right approach, one that is tailor-made for you. Taking your dance classes seriously is the first step. Not only will you improve your dancing skills and become a much better dancer, you will also become a more accomplished person.

So, to challenge yourself in dance, you must establish a sense of positive identification with ballroom dancing and get obsessed with your goal of becoming a much better dancer. You must learn how to evaluate yourself as a dancer; set the right goals and introspect about what dance means for you.

Becoming really great at dance requires more than just talent or hard work – it requires focus, determination and a commitment of your time. It begins with setting the right goals.

For this, you will need to decide how important it is to become a good ballroom dancer, and have a clear idea of how to get there. Once you have a good idea of your goals, assess yourself as a dancer. Talk to your instructors about this and find out where you are right now in terms of your current dancing ability. Then put a systematic plan in place with your instructors’ help to decide on the steps to be taken to achieve those goals.

How long does take to become a really great dancer? Well, each one has their own learning curve, depending on the learning style, natural talent and ability, and the amount of time spent learning the right skills. What seems easy and natural to some can be daunting to others.

But you can certainly become a much better dancer than you are today with the right application of hard work, discipline and focus. But more than anything, you will need to be serious about how you go about it.  You cannot afford to be lax when taking classes.

You cannot afford to get distracted, because that would stop you from achieving your goals as a ballroom dancer. And yes, you will need to pay attention to everything your instructors tell you. Your instructors have been through it all and know what it takes to be phenomenally good at ballroom dancing.

Benefit from their vast experience as teachers and practitioners of ballroom dance across North America and Europe, and do your absolute best in practice. Excellence in ballroom dance is within your grasp.

Dance lessons Monterey
* Free ballroom dance lesson is for residents of: Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Seaside. Salinas CA and new students only.

Fun or Hard work in Dancing?

Monterey dance
Monterey Dance classes

Is ballroom dancing fun or is it hard work? Or is it a bit of both? Ballroom dancing is a terrific way for people of all ages to stay fit and get in shape.  It is a wonderful social activity with lots of benefits for your mind, body and spirit.

Joining dance classes will do wonders for your health and fitness and improves your mental acuity. Taking swing, tango or salsa classes is a great way to socialize and make connections with new and interesting people, make new friends and does wonders for your self-esteem and self-confidence.

It gives you a more positive outlook over life and reduces stress and tension. Participating in dance classes makes you feel better about yourself and more enthusiastic about life in general. But is dancing all about fun or is it about hard work too? For example dance classes at our Monterey studio include both fun and hard work. That’s why they are so popular and a hit with people across Monterey County.

Why are hard work and dedication important to dance? If you want to succeed at anything, whether it is dance or something else, it takes determination, hard work and self-discipline. You should be prepared to give it all in your practice.

Whether it is life or ballroom dancing, you should be prepared to give it your all.  Nothing comes easy in life; you must make a real and concerted effort to get what you really want and desire. If you are willing to put in the hard yards, you will reap the rewards later.

So push yourself to the limit in your dance lessons. Get out of your comfort zone. Find out a place in you that you never knew existed. Put everything into your training. It is not easy to grow as a dancer if you are not willing to work hard for it.

Not everyone has a natural talent for ballroom dancing, but it is a skill that can be acquired from hard work, focus and determination. You will need to persevere and you must be disciplined. Blood, sweat and tears – be prepared to shed them all in your quest to achieve excellence in dance.

And yes, be humble about it. The greatest ballroom dancers are always humble about their abilities because they always know that there is someone who is better than them. They are ever willing to share great advice with those who are new to ballroom dancing and willing to learn.

But our dance classes are not just about hard work – they are a lot of fun too. Dancing is the perfect social activity, where you get to interact with new people and form a connection with so many. It enhances your life in more ways than you can think of right now.

Dancing adds excitement to your life. You will always be surrounded by cheerful and artistically minded people, who enjoy dancing just like you and like making friends too!

You will have so much fun at our ballroom dancing classes. We have a very friendly, low-pressure and encouraging environment in our dance studio, where you will find friendship and who knows, maybe even romance!

Finally, we suggest taking wedding dance lessons with your fiancé, as it’s the most romantic and fun thing you can do before your wedding.  We live in a very fast moving world and often we fail to take a moment for ourselves. Ballroom dancing offers an escape from your routine activities, a chance to de-stress, relax a little, make new friends and simply have a bit of fun!

First dance lessons Monterey Ca
* Free ballroom dance lesson is for residents of: Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Seaside. Salinas CA and new students only.

All about ballroom dancing and dance classes in Monterey, Carmel and Salinas, Ca