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.
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.
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!
How to find inspiration in ballroom dancing? There’s inspiration to be found everywhere – there are many who get inspired by great music alone and it helps them to perform better.
If you are like most of our students, you will probably watch shows like “Dancing with the Stars”, “So You Think You Can Dance” for inspiration. Many of the students in our small town Monterey also visit dance competitions and watch performances by major dancing stars to get inspired.
But it is the popularity of dance-based reality shows on TV such as “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” has led a lot of people of all age groups to join our tango classes and swing classes. While these dance shows are not the only reason for the renewed enthusiasm for ballroom dancing in Monterey, California as well as in the rest of America, the fact it, they are responsible for a large part of the inspiration.
Dance based reality shows have certainly created a lot of interest in ballroom dance across the country. Monterey dance school such as ours have been the direct beneficiaries of the popularity of these dance shows.
The numbers in our dance classes go up every month, and there is no doubt that at least a part of the reason for this new craze for ballroom dancing are the popular dance-based TV shows. A lot of people, especially young people, are inspired by watching the phenomenally talented performers on TV and want to join the fun.
It’s not just children who want to show that they can dance, a lot of parents are joining too. Of course, with dance being just a popular social activity, we get a number of single men and women joining as well. We have a plenty of young couples taking wedding dance lessons with us, and for them learning dance together is one of the most romantic things in the world.
Certainly, there is an increase in the number of people who want to pursue competitive dancing since the popularity of these shows. This has had an impact on the entire industry and at our dance studio, we just love having more people –young and old – join our ballroom dancing classes.
However, it is important to warn our prospective students that it takes a lot of time and effort before they can achieve the professional levels displayed by the incredibly talented dancers on TV. They should not expect to get instant results. They must learn the basics of dance first, such as adopting the right posture, for a start.
And it is important for our students to take care of themselves – this means eating well, avoiding junk food and exercising regularly. Dance itself is a great cardiovascular activity, and you will burn 300 calories in every session of ballroom dancing.
Another way to find inspiration is to watch the various Dancesport competitions on TV, no matter where they are held in the world. Pay attention to the international dance scene. There are a number of talented dancers in Latin America and Europe, where ballroom dance is even more popular than it is in the U.S.
So as you join tango classes or salsa classes, be prepared to give it everything. Enjoy your sessions and take inspiration from the best. Get exposed to new dance styles such as cha-cha, samba and rumba and more.
Find inspiration everyday interact with the other students during general dancing, learn from them and get inspired from them. Just have a great time and enjoy yourself!
It makes all the difference to your popularity as a dancer in a dance class if you know how to make proper dance turns. Spinning is what women like the most about ballroom dancing; they love nothing more than a turn at the right time or a back spot turn while locked in their partner’s embrace.
So how to practice turns in ballroom dancing? Most beginners in dance classes turn or spin repeatedly without really understanding the mechanics of the movement. While they do get it right at times, they will never really be able to master the turn till they get coached out of the bad habits.
That’s why our instructors emphasize on the basics during the dance classes. To start off with, students are asked to step onto one foot and remain in balance for as long as possible. If they can stay balanced on a single foot, turning on it becomes so much easier.
To understand this, think of a line drawn from the center of your head down to your feet, separating the left and right halves of your body. To turn successfully one side should turn quicker than the other.
Think of your body as a door, the axis on which you turn is the door hinge and the opposite side of the body is the part of the door that moves. This side should move faster than the part of the body that’s connected to the hinge.
You will understand this concept better during your dance lessons. In a ballroom dancing, you will be trained to start the turn by rotating your base – hips and below. So if you want to turn to the left, step with the left foot, start the turn with it first. Then, turn the foot slightly to the left and lead into the turn – now allow the whole body to rotate.
This may seem complicated here, but you will learn the movement fast by visually following the instructors as they demonstrate it to you during your dance sessions.
Try to stay on the ball of the foot as far as possible. So as your weight is centered on the foot that is planted on the floor, you will be able to turn without tipping over.
Here’s what you should do to practice turning during ballroom dancing. Step forward onto the ball with the left foot, and turn the foot outwards as you do. Turn only slightly to the left using your hip and leg muscles – in other words, a quarter turn.
Now, can you stop and stay balanced on the left foot? Try to perform this action, at least 6 or 7 times in a row till you get it right. Practice both right and left turns with the left foot and repeat as often as you can. Increase the amount of the turns gradually in both directions, and gradually improve your balance. You will soon be able to turn with ease and with style. And when you do, that will make you feel really great about yourself!
At our studio we emphasize on spinning and turning as that is integral to ballroom dancing. Practice spinning and turning during your latin classes such as Salsa, Samba, Jive or Rumba classes as these styles often contain a lot of dancing apart. You’ll be able to enrich your routine and technique being able to solely control the turns which is a very important part of dancing.
One of the most important things you will learn is the importance of posture while dancing. Most dancers find it challenging to master the stance required for ballroom dance and fail to get their arm positioning right when they first start learning ballroom dancing.
Dancers do understand why posture matters and do their best to use the right posture, but they don’t always get the right grounding. This is so because most people learn dance visually and try to copy the body positions used by other dancers or their instructors – but they don’t really understand what it truly means to have the right posture.
So what is posture, or frame as it is called in ballroom dance? Frame refers to the dancer’s body position – how she stands, how she holds her arms and how she connects with her partner. You will learn how to use the right frame in standart or latin.
Generally, the posture or frame is more important to traditional dance styles such as Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz, than to Latin American dance forms such as Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive. Having the right frame will decide how you get rated in dance competitions – you may do the most flawless performance, but if you get the body posture wrong, judges are bound to cut points. When your posture is lopsided or sloppy, you will not be able to move together with your partner and be off your center of balance.
In our ballroom dancing classes you will be trained to maintain the right posture. Your classes will begin with the instructor telling about the basics. The correct posture involves four points of connection – a man’s left hand to the woman’s right hand, his right hand to her left lat, her left forearm to his right elbow and her left hand to his right bicep.
For the right posture, there should be a long line that stretches between your elbows. Keep your shoulders back and down. Upright posture makes all the difference, perfect it with a simple exercise.
Stand with your back against a wall, press yourself against the wall, press your feet, buttocks, calves, shoulders and head against the wall. Remain in this position. That’s the perfect posture. The idea is to stretch your abs, so that it feels like an elastic band.
Next, work on the resistance. Resistance makes all the difference to ballroom dancing. Both partners should resist against each other and not be limp. It is only when you resist, there will be a connection between yourself and your partner. You will be taught this in all dance classes.
Add a bit of resistance to your posture. For this, the guy sets the tone by applying only the slightest of pressures in the connected palm. The girl follows his lead by pushing back with the same pressure. The female partner has to be very precise here and not over-resist as that would put both out of balance and she cannot be led. And if she under resists, she can’t be led either. So in all ballroom dancing, we emphasize the importance of maintaining the right balance.
For this to work, the male partner’s right leg should go between the female partner’s legs. Both partners should stay in position and stay intertwined during the dance. The middle of the woman’s body should line up with the right side of the male partner’s body. The trick to ballroom dancing, as you will learn to figure out how to dance while maintaining this connection. It is your posture that brings everything together and ensures a flawless dance performance.
Why is Monterey CA Such A Great Place to Learn Ballroom Dance?
Monterey is arguably the most beautiful coastal city in California, which is a favorite weekend getaway for all California natives. Monterey was actually the capital of California once, and this part of Monterey’s history has left behind several vintage historic buildings in the city’s downtown. Monterey is today popular because of its lovely coastline, famous aquarium and because it was the beautiful setting of so many of famous author John Steinbeck’s classical novels, such as Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat.
But there is more to Monterey. Monterey is also one of the best places in the country to learn ballroom dance. The folks here just love dancing to great music, and like it even better when they have exciting company.
There are several popular dance studios such as the Pacific Grove Dance Studio, that offer lessons in swing, tango and salsa among many other dance forms. The dance instructors are friendly, knowledgeable, highly experienced and helpful.
The ambience around Monterey is beautiful, serene, calm and peaceful. The people are extremely warm and friendly and the city is perfectly safe for women and children. And young men and women are renowned for their striking good looks. All of these factors make the area one of the best places in the United States to learn dance.
So what can you expect ?
Whether you’re looking to join dance classes here or in your hometown – you’ll find the very best dance instructors at the Pacific Grove Dance Studio, who are knowledgeable about all forms of ballroom dance, have excellent skills and are very experienced at putting students at ease and building much needed confidence in them.
What are the Benefits of learning ?
At our dance studio, we help to make you more confident about your dancing ability and capable of impressing one and all with new found dancing skills.
# Our dance instructors will focus on you and you alone, giving you the individualized attention that you seek.
# Our teachers – allow you to learn dancing at your own pace, without rushing you at any stage.
# At our dance classes you’re guaranteed to have a dance partner, who’ll help you learn how to lead and follow.
# At our dance classes we help build your confidence so that you’ll be able to dance well in groups as well.
So, if you’re looking to learn Swing, Salsa or Tango, there is no better time than this Friday, as on every Friday night, Pacific Grove Dance has general dancing for everyone where you may practice not just ballroom dance, but also Latin and Night Club styles.
At our dance scool, you will get dance lessons for all occasions – whether it’s for a couple’s first dance at your wedding, a Father – Daughter dance or a Mother – Son dance. There is something for everyone here, for all occasions.
And remember, there is the Monterey Swing fest to look forward to, which is held annually. Here you have the most amazing high-energy footwork, spins, slides and swings and much more, very much similar to the fun and happening Jitterbug and Lindy Hop dance eras of the 1930’s and 40’s. The Monterey Swing fest is full of classes, competitions, and several workshops in West Coast Swing.
So, whether you live in Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel or Salinas, CA get your first dance lesson scheduled by calling 831-393-4567. We promise you’ll have a great time at Pacific Grove, most of our students do, after all, we have the reputation of offering “the best ballroom dance lessons in Monterey, California!”
For most young people, their wedding day is the most important day of their lives. It’s a day of massive celebration, during which the whole world recognizes you and your spouse as a married couple for the very first time. The wedding day is also the day of the wedding dances – the couple’s first dance, the father-daughter dance, the mother-son dance.
The couple’s first dance is of course the most important and you wouldn’t want to mess this one up at any cost. The couple’s first dance is often seen as a sign of how compatible a newly married couple are, and it would be really embarrassing for you and your spouse if either one of you is out of step while doing it.
That’s why both you and your fiancé should register for dance classes at the earliest, to give yourself enough time to practice the first dance lessons.
First dance lessons offered in dance studios like ours in Monterey, Ca to prepare you for the big event and ensure there are no hiccups along the way. Whether you learn your first dance lessons the important thing is to practice regularly and show the right amount of commitment at all times.
The harder you practice, the easier and more fun will your first dance be on D-day, the time of your wedding. So enlist the help of a professional dance teacher.
And it need be just you and your future mate. You may want to invite your parents, siblings and friends as well to join dance classes along with the two of you. Make it a happy family occasion. Remember, family that dances together, stays together.
You think you have two left feet, and don’t think much about your partner’s dancing ability either – well, just go through the paces at your very first dance class and feel the difference. You would be astonished at just how good both you and your partner can be, as long as you have a trained dance teacher coaching you, helping you learn the basic dance moves, while gradually inserting a bit of complexity into your dance.
But there are a few things only you and your soon-to-be spouse should decide. Such as, which opening song would suit your first dance best? You certainly shouldn’t pick a song that you are not comfortable with or one that you clearly don’t like. And you shouldn’t pick a song merely because your fiancé loves it – it should be something loved by both, if that’s not the case, just chuck it. Discuss with your fiancé and try to find common ground.
Another thing to be kept in mind is that you shouldn’t look to impress the audience. You shouldn’t do the couple’s first dance to “wow” the audience, but just to show how graceful both you and your partner can be on your big day. Just keep it simple, don’t stretch yourself too much.
And putting too much pressure on your partner is never a great idea either, he or she might have second thoughts about the wedding if you become too demanding or expect perfection! Never add on to the pressure, your fiancé would anyway be under a lot of stress.
Weddings are a joyful occasion. The goal of the couple’s first dance is to demonstrate your togetherness as a couple and your compatibility, not to impress people with your footwork on the big day. Make your wedding memorable by booking your first dance lessons in our Monterey dance stuido.
Since the very beginning of the Western Civilization, there has always been the Father-Daughter dance at weddings. The Father- Daughter dance has always been the most emotional moment in a wedding.
But since the 1990’s, possibly because of the growing Feminist movement in the country, a strong need was felt to give mothers the same importance that we give to fathers – for, after all, mothers play as important a role in the lives of their children as fathers do.
So, over the last couple of decades, almost all weddings in the United States have a mother-son dance. Finally, the special bond between a mother and her son was being recognized.
The Mother-Son Dance usually follows the Father-Daughter Dance. Just as the Father-Daughter dance is an emotional event, the Mother-Son dance is equally filled with tears as there is nothing stronger than a Mother’s love for her Son. The Mother-Son dance demonstrates that a Mother’s love is always eternal, even though her Son is now all grown up, married and being taken care of by the new woman in his life, his wife.
Your mother would be nervous about the Mother-Son dance and has probably not danced for decades. She would probably worry more about getting her dance steps right than focusing on you and what the occasion truly represents, if she hasn’t prepared well enough for the moment.
That is why both you and your mother should take Monterey dance classes or dance lessons Salinas Ca at Pacific Grove Dance Studio. At Pacific Grove Dance Studio, we have the best dance instructors in on the hole Monterey Peninsula, and they will keep your mother’s health and age in perspective as they put her through the paces, slowly building up her confidence, so that she’ll be able to handle herself brilliantly on the biggest day of your life – your wedding.
We suggest that you should practice with your mother as well, so that she is completely comfortable. At your wedding, you will want your Mother to keep her complete focus on you and not worry about things like which direction her feet should be going.
Another important thing to do is to pick a song for the Mother-Son dance. We have a collection of 10 all time favorites for all Mother -Son dances in weddings in America over the past many years. You may choose from any of the song choices mentioned here.
A Song For Momma – Boyz II Men
I Am Your Child – Barry Manilow
My One True Friend – Bette Middler
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
Mama – Jerry Vallie (Italian)
Through The Years – Kenny Rogers
Can You Feel The Love – Elton John
Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
You Raise Me Up – Josh Grobin
Hero – Enrique Eglasias
You and your mother should start your preparation for the Mother -Son dance at least 3 months in advance of your wedding. Our dance instructors in Monterey, Ca need time to make your mother really comfortable and remove any anxiety she may have about embarrassing herself on her son’s big day by messing up the dance steps.
And remember to relax at the wedding, and to enjoy the occasion. If you’re nervous at the wedding, you’ll only make your mother tenser. If you’re relaxed, your mother will be relaxed too, will be able to do her steps perfectly and the dance will be a truly emotional event for both of you. We guarantee that there won’t be a single dry eye in the wedding hall.
It has been a common experience of dance instructors that men and women – regardless of the age they belong to or their individual fitness level – are a lot fitter, slimmer and happier, after just four weeks of regular dance classes.
Regular dance lessons under the supervision of the best dance instructors in Monterey, Ca does wonders for your weight loss and fitness. The weight loss is likely to be even more remarkable if you back up your dance practice with a healthy diet – low on carbohydrates, low on saturated fats and high on proteins.
Of course, you shouldn’t eat out often anymore, or order pizza delivery. No more cakes, pastries, ice cream or cookies. Have more red meat, salmon, tuna fish, eggs, fresh veggies, fruits and nuts. You can’t stick to your old, unhealthy eating habits any longer.
But how effective is ballroom dancing for weight loss? There is a popular dance reality show in Britain, “Strictly Come Dancing,” where celebrities who are not experienced at dance join the show and after several weeks of training, become expert dancers. They learn waltz, cha-cha-cha and salsa. What has been noticeable is how much slimmer they appear over the several weeks they spend on the show.
The BBC Breakfast Show presenter Susanna Reid, who participated on Strictly Come Dancing claimed to have lost half a stone in just six weeks of dance practice. Other celebrities such as Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh to actress Felicity Kendal have claimed massive weigh loss as well, after just a few weeks of regular dance practice. It’s just amazing how all contestants lose loads of weight and get fitter, purely because of dancing.
Dancing is a perfect workout, and when you’re put through your paces at Swing dance classes or Tango classes by the experienced dance instructors in Monterey, you will feel the difference too.
As Philip Harrison, a personal trainer for the fitness company Les Mills says, “Any exercise that pushes up your heart rate will help you stay trim. Dancing also releases feel-good endorphins so going to a class is a great way to boost your mood. We often forget that getting fit doesn’t have to be boring.”
“If you’re having a good time dancing to your favorite songs you won’t notice that you’re working out. It’s not a chore when you’re having fun.”
According to Philip, the reason ballroom dance is such an effective workout is because we don’t see it as exercise. To us, dancing is fun, not exercise, so we are likely to work out longer and put more effort, which burns fat faster.
As Philip says, “When you dance the movements you make are very varied and athletic. It tones the body while working on your cardio fitness. It’s exercise in disguise. You lose weight because you are constantly moving your whole body. No matter what form of dance you choose though, dancing will help keep you trim so have a go.”
So book your dance lessons at our Monterey dance studio today. But remember, it is important not to be nervous if you have never danced before. It’s not necessary to copy exactly what the dance instructor does 100% of the time.
You should dance because it feels good, because it really works your body, putting it through a whole range of movements, making the body more flexible, building your stamina and boosting your energy levels. You should dance because such an hour at a dance class is known to burn 400-600 calories, which means after a month of swing or salsa classes you may experience a weight loss 4 to 6 pounds, which is simply amazing.
Remember, dancing is for everyone, no matter how old you are, or what’s your current fitness status. It is never too late to learn dance. Dancing is good for the heart, mind, body and soul.
All about ballroom dancing and dance classes in Monterey, Carmel and Salinas, Ca