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Custom, Filtered Earplugs

December 10, 2014

– posted by Maria Only recently, I learned that I can get special earplugs that protect my eardrums without distorting the sound of music and without blocking out conversation! Audiologist, Richard Kent of Nepean Hearing recently came to one of Smoothstyle’s dance events and created custom-molded earplugs for guests right on the spot, and for…

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The 10% Rule

November 4, 2014

I had a conversation today with a new leader who is taking up Salsa completely of his own volition. Without his girlfriend pushing him (she’s not even going to lessons with him), and it was his idea to do it in the first place. He’s committed, he’s young, he’s clean and cute. He’s the kind…

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Are You Over Training?

September 21, 2014

Would it surprise you to hear a dance teacher say that you might be over training? As in, working too hard? We see it a fair bit, particularly among competition-driven West Coast Swing students. What is Over Training? Wikipedia defines over training as “a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and…

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Is Misogyny Inherent in the Language of Partner Dance?

July 16, 2014

“Don’t think, just follow”. How many times  have I heard a dance instructor say that? How many times have I said it as an instructor? It’s time to recognize this language for what it is (misogyny), and to eliminate it from our vocabulary in partner dance. The vast majority of women are raised to feel…

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Group Classes vs. Private Lessons

May 12, 2014

I thought I’d give an instructor’s perspective on the difference between private lessons and group lessons. We certainly teach (and learn) differently depending on the situation, and it’s useful to understand the differences between these two learning environments from a teaching perspective. Please use the “Comments” area below to share your motivations for taking either…

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Learning the “Other” Role in Partner Dance

April 24, 2014

– posted by Maria Ford Some dances are “mirrored” dances. That is, an instructor can stand with followers in front of him/her and leaders behind him her, and everyone can learn the footwork together. The instructor demonstrates the leader’s footwork and the followers mirror it. For the same reason, students of these dances are often…

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Wedding Choreography: Is It Right For You?

April 14, 2014

– posted by Maria It’s that time again! We are getting many inquiries about our Wedding Dance Package, and are helping some couples (as well as some couples AND their wedding parties) create memorable first dances for their special days. For some couples and families, this can be a very fun and rewarding thing to…

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I Don’t Like Your Connection

March 15, 2014

As an instructor, the most common complaints I hear from Followers and from Leaders are related to connection: Leaders complain about followers who “tug” or “pull” on the connection, are difficult to move, or who grip/clamp down. Followers complain about leaders who “yank” on the connection, pull/push them through patterns, and “pull” them before they…

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Getting the Most from a Dance Workshop

September 4, 2013

This article is a response to a suggestion/request we received via Facebook. We’d love to hear other suggestions for how to get the most out of a dance workshop. These are our thoughts! Know your learning style Not everyone learns in the same way, and some instructors teach to some learning styles better than other….

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What to Pack for a Dance Event

August 18, 2013

This article is inspired by a suggestion/request that we received on our Facebook page. The topic suggestion was: “Travelling to a dance event: What to bring and what to leave at home. What you would never think to bring but will be happy to have once you’re at the event.” These are a few of our…

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