May 21, 2009

Move to the Groove

So you think you can dance like Courtney Galiano? Here’s your chance to prove it to the Knicks City Dancers at Madison Square Garden’s open auditions on *Sunday*, *June 28th at 10AM*.

They want YOU to join them on the court and share the excitement of what it feels like to ROCK THE GARDEN! Find your dancing shoes and click here for more info and guidelines:

And the Winner is.....

ABC's Dancing With The Stars announces a new 2009 winner : Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson.

After eleven weeks of hard work, dedication, criticism and praise Shawn and her partner Mark Ballas reigns the dance floor beating actor Gilles Marini and his partner Cheryl Burke by a mere 1%.

This season has been the most competitive and intense in the series so far!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr : (

May 12, 2009

Carrie Ann Inaba's Favorite Dance Photos

LIFE asks Dancing With The Stars' judge Carrie Ann Inaba to pick her favorite dance photos.

May 11, 2009

Hey Magalenha

One of my favorite songs for a fast paced Samba, is "Magalenha" (by Sergio Mendez) and then of course the many re-mixes. If you have never heard the song, it's featured in the movie "Dance with me" with Venessa Williams and Chayanne give an astounding performance.

I have spent so much time on Youtube and other media for dances and performances by various pro dancers, groups and other individuals as they try to conquer this song so I thought I would add a few clips that I have found so far which I believe are worthy of comments.

Please feel free to add or link to any other dance variations/choreographies for Magalenha.

May 5, 2009

Frostie the Dancing Bird

Here is a video of Frostie the dancing bird. Just a little something for everyone to enjoy.

If you can't fly least just dance away.....

May 4, 2009

A Dance Partner at Last !

Whether you are new to ballroom dancing (or any other genre of dancing that consists of dancing with a partner) or a seasoned dancer who is looking for a new partner, here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your "other half" to compliment you on the dance floor. While some traits of a prospective partner maybe visible from the start, others may take a while (or at least a few trials) for realization.
Sibling, friend or stranger, as a dance couple, you need to not only act the part but also look the part as keeping your audience entertained stretches way beyond perfect steps and choreography. When dancing, you are telling a story, expressing yourself, not with words but with every part of your body and inner being.


This is the first and one of the most important traits to look for in a dance partner.

As a female dancer, one must have confidence in herself to be led on the dance floor. Dancing is one of the few instances a lady requires the ability to guess which step the man is going to take before he actually takes it. It is the female's duty to step with confidence and follow the partner with in each progressive step and in some cases like twists, turns, spins and lifts, be able to have enough faith to know that he would direct you properly and adequately and not let you down.

As a male dancer, confidence comes in the sense of being able to lead the lady on the dance floor, to convey to her (only with your body movement) what she needs to do. It is the male that decides what happens on the dance floor, where on the floor it happens and which figures and steps to dance, so having a confident male partner who has the capability to make on the spot dance decisions and maneuver the lady around other couples on the dance floor, is detrimental.

If you are a gentleman who had confidence to ask a lady to the dance floor for the first time, then you possess the pre-requisite to be a great dancer!

Physical Attraction

Just as with regular couples, physical attraction is important with dance couples to build and maintain chemistry on the dance floor. Whether your a man or a woman, having an attractive partner will put some "fizz" in to your dancing. As a ballroom dancer, if there is no connection with your partner on the dance floor, you are as good as if you were to dance alone and the spectators would be the first to conclude that you are a "mismatch".


Compatibility goes in par with the second tip and I am using the term in a much broader sense that includes (but not limited to) physical compatibility (height, weight, built), age and interests. It is much easier to dance with and relate to a partner who is of the same age and share common interests as you. Physical compatibility is important to couples who dance standard/smooth and latin/rhythm styles to maintain form and posture, for easy leading/following and to look smooth on the dance floor. It is also important to make sure that the partner you choose has the same interest and goals for dancing as you in order to avoid any miscommunication and misinterpretation of intentions later on.

Comfortable to dance with

In a great dance performance, there is no holding back. When you dance, one must be able to express and feel free to "let go", disconnect from the every day life and connect with a different realm. To achieve this, you need a partner whom you will be comfortable dancing in close proximity with and a partner who will make you want to shed away every bit of shyness and hesitation you may have.

You may not be able to address the issue of "comfort level" when dancing with a brand new partner initially, but with time, you may either be able to make a judgment on how "close" you can be without creating any awkward situations and moments or you will be able to get past whatever the discomfort you felt at the very beginning. Every thing new takes time getting used/adjusted to, so don't give up without at least a try.


This is especially applicable to individuals whose prospective partners are above/below your standard and knowledge of dancing. One must ensure that the partner has enough patience to teach you and/or practice with you (without the fighting and the disagreements) until both of you are have caught up to the same level and have mastered the techniques of each step and variation. No one is perfect and no one can get it right every time, therefore having a supportive partner with steady perseverance and diligence can make your dancing experience that much more pleasant and enjoyable.

Dedication & Commitment

To some, dancing is second in nature to walking, while others find it quite challenging to listen to and feel the music and to dance in sync to a beat, let alone a beat and a partner at the same time. In my years of dancing with many different partners (from beginners who have never taken a dance step in their life to people who feel the music in their body and have the spring in their feet) I have come to realize that no matter what your level and knowledge of dancing is, just like with every new venture in life, a little bit of dedication and hard work will make you look like you have been dancing for years. Dancing is a very competitive and challenging sport and comes with a lot of practice, sweat, falls, bruises and aching feet. But if you can find a partner who is as dedicated as you are to becoming a good dancer, you will most definitely be able to see past the pain and enjoy every moment you are on the dance floor.

Creativity and Imagination

Just like any other form of art and expression, dancing requires a great deal of imagination and creativity. Performing a few basic routines and steps that you and your partner have learned in class is one thing, but choreography that keeps an audience and yourself (as the dancer) entertained and interested is a challenge. This is especially felt by beginners whose dancing is limited to a very few basic steps. In such instances, dancing can get quite boring and monotonous but if you had a creative partner who can build upon the basic steps and routines and come up with a new variation or two, I guarantee you will want to stay on the dance floor for the next dance.

Passion for Dancing

This, in my "book of dancing" is the most important aspect to look for in a dance partner. Some people dance for exercise/fitness purposes, to some it's a place to make new friends from the opposite sex while to a very handful, dancing is a hobby and a passion. It does not matter what age, color and knowledge your prospective partner has, how attractive he/she is, what physical capabilities and compatibilities your partner possess to dance or how good they may be at keeping to rhythm, the utmost important trait to look for in a dance partner should be his/her passion for dancing. Because without the passion, there is no desire to express, to let go and to let your body, feet, arms and facial expressions tell a story.

Choose a partner who can bring out the best in you, someone who can constantly motivate you to be better than you are, someone who gives you confidence to take the next step. Don't let your (bad) choice of a partner prevent or limit you from dancing to the best of your ability.

April 14, 2009

How to get a man on the dance floor

To most men, dancing is a flimsy form of art, not very manly and definitely not the first choice of "extra curricular activity" or "hobby" to take on. In my 3+ years of dancing, I have come across more guys who looked down upon dancing and had very biased opinions of "men on the dance floor" than those who considered dancing as much a sport as any other.

Men, in general, prefer to be involved in sports such as football and wrestling and forms of entertainment such as drinking and smoking and function with a pre-determined notion that dancing should be left for the opposite sex to concur. Only the few men who are willing to shed that misconception and try their limits on the dance floor are fortunate enough to realize how much skill, talent and discipline it takes to be a great dancer.

Even though I speak of "men" as a mix of all age groups and social statuses, I believe that it is more difficult to get a younger guy to join a dance class and on the dance floor than a more matured man. I say this with much conviction since most of the dance classes and social dances I have attended (In the USA and Asia), consist mostly of older men and women (especially older men). This could be different in each country, state and city and also very dependent on the style of dancing (ex. Standard dances vs Latin etc.) but I don't think I am too much off tangent to assume this as a general observation.

For all the women who are trying hard to get their male friends/partners/significant others on the dance floor, here are a few more tricks you can try.

1. First and foremost, tell your partner that it doesn't matter what he can or cannot do, how many tricks he has up his sleeve and how many achievements he has in his life, if he cannot dance then he is not "complete". Tell him that being able to take a lady to the dance floor with confidence is one of the basic elements of "manhood" and being "manly" :)

2. My dance teacher always used to say "in a world where the battle of the sexes are becoming more obvious, dancing is the only time the men get to lead and the women are compelled to follow". Try this line next time on your partner, maybe his boosted ego and a chance to "lead" will get him off the couch and the TV and onto the dance floor.

3. Suggest a few easy dance videos / instructional videos for your partner to watch. Youtube is also a great source to get your hands on a variety of basic video clips for free. This will not only put him at ease and build confidence but also will be a great tool and guide to determine what kind of dancing will be most suitable to both your styles and purpose.

4. Dance at home with your partner if he is too shy to dance in a class on his first attempt. Make him try some dance moves at home when no one is watching! Guys would be surprised to find out the extent of their capabilities.

5. Encourage your male partner to try dancing (in a beginners group class or even at home and different types of dancing) as a form of exercise and recreation if he is not willing to put time and effort into serious dancing at first. Once they get the hang of it and learn to be less self-conscious you might be able to convince him to take some lessons with you and maybe even take dancing to the next level.

In summary:

To all the men who are averse to dancing should first come to the realization that looking graceful and elegant on the dance floor comes with a lot of practice, effort and discipline and that the dance floor is a space where you can take control, be in charge and show your audience everything your made of. It's a space, time and opportunity for all men to be more manly. Not less.

To all the women who are eager to get their men on the dance floor, try the above and be patient. The men will eventually come around.

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