Don’t Make Your First Dance, Your Last Dance
You performed a great first dance.
There was shock, tears, even heart palpatations… and that was just in the lobby while you were warming up. So what do you do now that your big day is behind you?
1. Bragging Rights
Dancing together is a skill that not many couples can say they share together. Taking lessons after your wedding dance makes you “That Dancing Couple” instead of “That Couple Who Danced that One time.”
2. “May I Have This… Spontaneous Moment?”
What if you could dance, anytime, anyplace without hesitation? With the confidence you learned from your first dance, your future dancing will be perfect for turning you from a one-time performer, to spontaneous dancers. Have the urge to Tango at the hardware store, or Salsa on a cruise ship? While everyone else is falling into their “marriage routine”, you two can focus on the skills that allow you to become spontaneous dancers.
3. Solve Problems
Sometimes a simple disagreement can cause couples to lose sight of what is most important. Dancing has a way of pressing the refresh button. Think of how flimsy an apology can sound, but imagine if it started with a romantic, spontaneous (see #2), Rumba to start. Learning to dance is an extremely effective problem solving tool, and it keeps you closer to the highest priority: your connection to each other.
Let’s, um… face it? Life, work, and starting a family will make it harder and harder to spend face to face time with each other now that you’re married. A regularly scheduled dance lesson is the solution. Even if you didn’t learn a thing (impossible), you’d still have a regular appointment to make eye contact, connect, flirt, and learn something together – no matter how crazy your life has become.
5. The Best Wedding Gift
If your wedding pictures are a glimpse into how happy you are, then what did your first dance say? What if that was just a preview of exciting dance-related things to come? What if you asked your spouse to become your dance partner? There aren’t many brides that will want to exchange that gift for something else.
6. Our Dance Night
These days, it seems like every night is TV night. The Poker Nights, Bowling Leagues, and Bridge parties seem like some distant generation you’ve only heard about on… TV. You can change it. Dance Night. Set at least a night or two up where you’re doing something fun, social, and physical together. Grab dinner, take a lesson or two, and go back for dessert.
7. Get Dressed Up
Being married doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, go out, get dressed up, and socialize. Have outfits in your closet that you are saving for a special occasion? As a part of the Arthur Murray community your social calendar will fill up, and that let’s you get glammed up. Do you have a disco shirt that you just can’t part with? Fret not, Arthur Murray offers plenty of costume events as well.
8. Insurance Policy
Unfortuately, many people wait until disaster strikes to buy insurance. Think of your lessons as marriage insurance. It may sound silly, but there are many couples that come to take lessons only when their marriage has experienced a disaster. Sometimes the damage is too severe. Starting your dance lessons when things are going well can do something even the best car insurance can’t do: Prevent problems from happening.
Learning to dance isn’t a cure-all, but it’s close. Great marriages are built on trust, communication, and teamwork. The same can be said for learning to lead, follow, and move as a unit on the dance floor.
Whether it is your date night, marriage insurance, or strenghtening an already strong bond between you two, one thing is for sure – it is not by accident. At Arthur Murray, the positive results of your dance lessons are as much a part of the goal setting process as the moves and turns you learn.
After a 72 hour marathon fever, dozens of diaper changes, and frequent use of teething crackers as a snack item – you need to do something that feels adult, and human.
These days, alcohol, using profanity, or watching an R-rated movie can provide a temporary resurfacing to the adult world. To truly feel like a man and a woman together, you need to do something that allows you some time to yourselves that connects you together.
[Sleep is not an option. Let’s face it – every parent knows that won’t happen for another 18 years.]
You need an escape plan.
The Dance Lesson Escape Plan for Busy Parents
STEP 1: Enlist The Help
One Babysitter, Multiple activities
Do whatever you can to avoid hiring a babysitter for a single 45 minute dance lesson. The goal for your escape plan is to make the most of your time away. Find a great babysitter (we recommend Care.com), and have an agenda that includes at least two dance activities, and drinks or dinner afterwards. The guilt may get the best of you, but you can do this. Stick to the plan.
Idea: Many of our parent-students will stack their lessons together. Let’s be honest, it takes at least 30 minutes to depressurize out of kid mode, so – if you can – try two lessons together. Going further – combine your private appointments with a group class and practice party and you’ve got a date night for the ages.
STEP 2: Feel No Guilt. Don’t Look Back
All You Need is Perspective
Look at your non-dancing friends who have kids. How many of them can say that they went salsa, tango, or swing dancing? While you’re driving to your lesson, they’ll be pressed up against their windows mouthing the words “help”.
Idea: Once your dance date night is firmly established, you can reach out and lend help to the distress calls of your other friends with children via the Arthur Murray guest referral program. They may offer you a large bounty of home cooked food or a bucket of slightly used crayons.
STEP 3: Temporary Change Of Identity
Cover Your Tracks With These Dance Aliases
There are certain dances that instantly change your normal parental identity. Need something South American? Try dances like the Tango or Samba. Eastern European? Perhaps we can recommend a Waltz. Need something with more flair? The Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Zouk are popular options with loads of pre-children steamy nightclub sex appeal.
Idea: Many dancing parents have their most exciting vacations scheduled 18 years from now. Until then, use your dance lessons as a “Staycation”.
STEP 4: Expect The Unexpected
No Babysitter, No Problem
In a perfect world, you’d have Mary Poppins on retainer and your date night and parenting schedule would be “practically perfect in every way.” In reality, you’ve got to duck and dodge your way through life’s little scheduling jabs and have options.
So you’ve got no babysitter. No biggie.
Plenty of students utilizie plenty of options to make sure their regular dose of humanity-via-dancing stays uninterrupted.
- Split-Shift: The leader goes into the lesson to work on sending great signals. Mom stays home with the kids. After an hour, you switch places. The last one back brings wine and ice cream to celebrate.
- Ballroom-Bjorn: There’s something about an infant sleeping that makes your dance frame unbelieveable. Load your child into the hands-free baby carrier of your choice, take a dance hold, and watch how smooth and steady your dancing becomes. Celebrations, however, must be kept to a whisper.
- Solo Assignment: If the split shift doesn’t work, a special assignment works wonders and keeps your progress uninterruped. This is great for adding some extra fun-surprises into your repetoire that can make your next visit together even more exciting.
- Family Affair: Depending on the ages, and sugar intake, of your kids – you are always welcome to bring them with you to the studio. It’s amazing how a coloring book, snack, or iPad can do.
STEP 5: Multiple Escape Routes
You Have A Unique Set Of Skills, Seize Every Opportunity To Use Them
Parents will occasionally get a lifeline to interact with their adult counterparts. Things like wedding receptions, office parties, and reunions are great examples of these. Knowing how to dance gives you a built in reason for attending. The number of evite.com “Maybes” to “Definitely Going” goes up immediately the moment you have some dance skills in your pocket.
Idea: Load up on slow, medium, and fast tempo dances to maximize your time on the dance floor.
We have parent-students that start their dancing at many different stages in their parenting life. The last thing we would want is for you to wait until the nest is empty to connect with your spouse. Trying this out while your kids are still in the house can add a skill that your whole family can enjoy… your happiness.
Hello, Dance Lovers!
We found a neat article about the many benefits of dancing. Read on, this might change your life!
THE BENEFITS OF DANCING by Barbara Craddock, a professional dancer since the age of fifteen and more than fourty years of performance and teaching experience.
1. Forever Young. Dancing is tremendously beneficial in keeping us young. It retards the aging process immensely. It benefits our heart, cardiovascular system, and increases our lung capacity. Fact: The muscle exertion and breathing rates of dancers performing in one dance competition is equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers and an Olympic -level 800-meter runner.
2. Strong Bones, Lubricated Joints. Dance aids in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, which is a major concern for woman, especially during post-menopause because of the significant drop in estrogen that occurs at this stage. A decrease in our estrogen levels is what stops calcium from being absorbed into our bones. Dance also keeps joints lubricated, which helps prevent arthritis.
3. Calorie Blaster. Dance exercises our bodies to allow for increased circulation. It helps us burn those calories away, while improving our stamina. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. For example, swing and mambo burn more calories than a slow waltz. Check out approximately how many calories you burn while dancing to your own tune in the table below:
|DANCE STYLE||CALORIES BURNED /HR|
|Ballroom, Latin, Salsa||264||330||396||462||528|
4. Better Blood. New research has discovered that it is necessary to measure both good and bad cholesterol levels when determining our health. Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises our HDL (good cholesterol), and lowers our LDL (bad cholesterol). Dancing is also great for diabetics because it aids in blood sugar control.
5. Mental Mastery. Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, routines and dance patterns making it a great mental exercise for our brains. The big benefit is that increasing mental exercise keeps your mind young, quick, alert, and open.
6. It’s All About Balance. Balancing yourself in one position may be easy, but balancing in the numerous types of position involved in dancing is much more difficult. Dancers have mastered the ability to balance themselves in a number of positions. This strengthens our stabilizer muscles, while protecting our core and keeping us less prone to injury in our daily lives. Dancing also aids in co-ordination and helps strengthen our reflexes. It is a great way to keep our Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System in tip-top shape by improving the connection of our bodies to our mind.
7. Socially Satisfying. Dancing is recreational and entertaining. It creates a social life for us, while affording us the opportunity to make new friends. Friends help us grow, make us laugh and support us as we learn.
8. Culturally Diverse. Dancing has no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor. Cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our mind and sharing our spirit!
9. Groomed to Perfection. Dancing is not only fun and romantic, but it helps promote good grooming because everybody wants to look his or her best while they dance. Good grooming keeps us healthy by keeping us high on hygiene.
10. A Happy Self. Dance elevates our mood by raising our endorphin levels. This is what allows us to heal stress and depression – two of our immune system’s biggest enemies! It helps us establish our self-confidence and self-discipline. It improves the harmony between our mind and body, giving us a sense of well-being.
Hi all it’s Michael back again with another month in review. February was so good I am dubbing it FABRUARY because it truly was fabulous. This month was full of great themed super fun parties. So let’s go back, and break it all down.
February 3rd was our “I New York” party to celebrate where Mr. Murray started it all. The 100 year celebration is at our heels so we decided to bring NY to the studio. The staff dressed up as different neighborhoods of the great city. I gave Cat the nickname Miss. Meow since she was representing the artsy vibe ofSoho. Lucia and Sergei where ourPark Ave. prince and princess, and the lovely Brielle represent Broadway. I was representing good oldHarlem. We chose song about the city and scattered bright red apples around the room. We fulfilled our big city dreams with a great night of dancing.
February 10th was the Friday before Valentines so we decided to throw a Valentines Prom. What a magical evening. We asked students to bring in photos from their own proms and then we all tried to guess who was who. It was really cool seeing people in their high school years. We also decided to create memories of our own and take some prom photos at the event. I got one with every lady there. What can I say I love a prom … and a photo op.
The excitement of the upcoming Oscars was beginning to grip the world. So we decided to join in with an Oscar themed party and danced the night away to music in the movies. I am a big BIG movie fan so this party was one of my favorites. I hustled to Weird Science, Waltzed to The Rainbow Connection, Tangoed to Pink Panther, and I swung … swinged … swanged … I did swing to Little Shop of Horrors just to name a few. We even made popcorn for munching, I loved it. We all glided around the room like cinematic stars.
This brings me to our last Friday of the month and the one that truly made February Fabruary. The 24th was our Spotlight Challenge, and the biggest busiest party of the month. Friends and family came down to support the students. It’s always nice meeting the people in our student’s lives. We also made it a Pot Luck … big mistake. I swear I gained 20 pounds; there was so much great food. How am I gonna keep this girlish figure eating Sushi, and samosas, cheesecake and brownies. I’m not gonna lie I likes to eat and that night I got my fill. It was a lot of student’s first spotlight and they were pretty nervous, but by the second act you could see their confidence grow. I was like a proud parent watching their child stand up and take their first foxtrot steps. I can’t wait for the next and students are excited to do it again as well. It is amazing what a spotlight can do for a student’s confidence in their dancing.
Well that was our February and I loved it. March is here and so far it is just as exciting. We are having Daniel Heroux in for coaching’s and the parties are going to have color themes. I can’t wait to tell you all about. So until then take care and I’ll see you on the dance floor.
And now for Michael’s month in review for January 2012!
It is quite a tale folks. It was a trip through time for the month of January. As well as a coaching with a Russian beauty that has danced with the stars. The time travel began with our first Friday party of the month. We all sock hopped our way back to the 50s. We took a look at the Lindy Hop as a group. Everyone was bouncing and kicking, cardio must have been big that decade. Then Farrah and I demonstrated a choreographed Lindy with some tricks and lifts. We also took a look at the only still existing live Buddy Holly performance of ‘Peggy Sue’ on the Arthur Murray Dance Party. After that party I had the weirdest craving to watch “Back to the Future”, and hit the old malt shop for a root beer float.
Then on Tuesday the 10th we had an exciting celebrity guest coach; Miss Anna Trebunskaya, from Dancing with the Stars. She was great, cheerful, and direct. This Russian princess didn’t let anything slide. Full of great tips and advice, her coaching’s where inspiring and fun. It is always such a great opportunity to work with veterans in the art of ballroom dance.
Friday the 13th didn’t turn out to be unlucky at all. It turned out to be one of our busiest parties, with the beats of the 60s fueling the groovy vibe. In this era dancing on your own became the big craze with dances like the twist, monkey, watusi, and the mash potato (I like mine with gravy). So we took a look at theses boppin’ moves with an energetic group dance lead by yours truly. I had the students movin’ and shakin’ to Chubby Checkers classic “Lets Twist Again”. This is the era that I wish I had the chance to rock out in. Peace, love, and go-go baby.
The next Friday brought on a disco heat wave, and we all hustled the night away. I was feeling the Saturday night fever in my white sequin suite (super stylin’). The whole staff dressed up, Sergei in a sharp gold lemma jump suit. Those boogie oogie shoes didn’t stop all night long. We taught the foxy ladies and macho men some new moves in an exciting hustle group class. We kicked the hustling up a notch with a bumpin’ line dance that Brielle worked out. Overall Studio 54 had nothing on us.
Our finale Friday party was the radical 80s. The music was full of synthesized fun. This era has some of my favorite tunes. It gave the party a great energy. Everyone enjoyed dancing to those classic dance hits. For a group line dance we rocked out to ‘Thriller’. It was like “13 going on 30” but more fun. M.J. would have been proud. The staff went all out with their looks. My favorite was Miss. Cat in her punk diva look with killer spike heels, meow.
So overall our trip through time was a huge success. I feel we left our mark on each era, and had a lot of fun doing it. Traveling through time can take a lot out of you, but don’t worry we are ready to take on February at full force. There are a lot of great things happening in February that I can’t wait to tell you all about. We are having a Prom, starting on a student formation, and a spotlight challenge.
That is it for January, what a great kick off to the year. 2012 look out this is Arthur Murray’s year. For 100 years old we sure can shake it, cheers to that!