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Testimonials

Maria has been a remarkable teacher, coach, and mentor in my dance journey. She is always prepared with feedback at the start of each lesson, having studied my competition videos or observed my social dancing in advance. One of the most valuable aspects of Maria’s coaching is her ability to identify the root cause of a problem and then provide the right tools to correct it. By sharing her experiences as a high-level performer, Maria has helped shape me into becoming a better social dancer and competent performer. For me, the passion and commitment she displays are invaluable to the progress I have made as a dancer.” – Vincent Mok, Pro-Am Graduate

When I arrive at a private lesson with Maria I know that she has already been preparing for it since the time I booked it. She will ask me in advance for a recent competition video, or will make a point to watch me at a social. She makes space for anything I want to work on, but she is also ready with feedback and ideas. For me, the most valuable part of these lessons is that Maria can somehow look at my dancing and find the one thing that I can change right now that will have the biggest impact on my dancing. I will show up confused by different challenges in my dancing, and Maria will be able to articulate those issues and then offer a solution that fixes multiple issues at once. Taking lessons with Maria has had a lasting impact on my movement and technique, and, as a bonus, on my competition results!” – Jessica Breault, Student

Maria is amazing at identifying the one thing I can do that will most help me improve my dancing. She breaks things down in ways that make big problems approachable, and her advice has helped me a ton. Maria has made an incalculably large difference in both my skill and enjoyment as a dancer. I definitely get more compliments from follows since working with her.” – David Geukers, Student & Mentee

Maria is my West Coast Swing dance coach of choice. I appreciate her professionalism, her frankness and honesty, her rigor, her concern for detail, her knowledge, and her listening skills. Rain or shine, she’s always smiling in our lessons. She also takes the time to answer all my questions, even outside of our private classes. Recently, I’ve had compliments about my progress and also questions from other dancers about whether I was taking private lessons because they could see and feel such an improvement in me. With Maria’s guidance and your own perseverance to work on what she asks of you, results are inevitable!” – Danielle Piché, Student

I can’t believe how welcome you make out of town dancers feel welcome. We never feel that in other cities we have gone to in the past, so you will always have our support!” – Survey respondent

I would just like you to know that all your efforts and dedication to dance is so appreciated and makes the journey of learning so much fun. Thank you, Maria.” – Survey respondent

Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the workshops with Maria Ford. I like her selection of leadable/followable patterns, her casual style and the way she scaffolds the learning.” – RG

I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the workshops with you and David on the weekend. We love your teaching style and your enthusiasm and just wish you lived closer so that we could learn from you more often.” – Shelly & Doug

quotation-marks_openI wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You for an exceptional year of dance instruction from you and your entire team. I feel extremely privileged to be able to learn from each and every member … Your capacity for teaching is exceptional. You have a complete way of breaking down the moves you want us to execute.” – Joanne B., Student

I just want to say thanks for putting on that Balance Master Class.  It was awesome, eye-opening and so clarifying.” – Master Class attendee

Thanks a lot. Great comments, seriously a great private lesson, that was money well spent.” – Virtual/Video Student

Last night’s Smoothstyle Master Class was truly great and very informative. As a Beginner WCSwinger  I felt very privileged to be training with such experienced dancers. I was equally impressed with Maria and David’s style of teaching. Interactive with the students and interested in how WE interpreted their information. I didn’t expect them to learn from us. I especially enjoyed the practice dance afterwards, giving us an opportunity to apply the techniques we had just learned. It’s clear WHY you have the reputation you have. Masterful!!” – Student

Since beginning teacher-training with Maria Ford, I have developed a more complete understanding of a wide variety of techniques needed to teach a wide range of students. Becoming more aware of my own technique, improving my own dancing, and interacting more effectively with my teaching partner are all results of the training. I continue to learn learn better and different ways to communicate learning material. I have also come to better understand what is needed to teach the ‘other’ role, and have become a better follower as well as leader. The overall experience is always pleasant, fun, and informative. Maria tailors the material to the instructors she is training, keeping their strengths and weaknesses in mind.” – Donnie Neron

You’re not the first people to tell me these things (about my dancing) but you’re the only ones who have been able to show me how to actually FIX them.” – Female student

Just a brief note to thank both of you for your excellent teaching. I feel that I have made very good progress (in only four classes) and have a much better feel and understanding of the WCS dance…. A key element is that there are TWO teachers and one of them acts as a coach when I am dancing with the other. There is an obvious efficient acceleration of my learning due to that fact and that it also provides several possible explanations (verbal and visual) of something I may not clearly understand and then usually all becomes clear.” – Carlos

Our wedding was amazing and our dance impressed a lot of our guests (the majority of comments were towards Vince, along the lines of: “Wow, I never knew you can dance so smoothly, Vince!”). – Lisa & Vince, wedding couple

We attended your Sept. workshop and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Well done and easy to follow…You two have great teaching style…we look forward to more!” – Al & Kathy

Our private lesson definitely helped focus me for my competition and it has given me a lot to think about for the competition [next month].. You and Maria are great teacher.” – Lionel

Thanks to both of you for an awesome Hustle workshop. Maria, thanks for showing the ladies that they can accentuate their bodies in a beautiful manner. What a confidence builder that is. Andre, thanks for injecting humour into the workshop.” – Kathy

On Sunday, I was dancing a Westie dance and the leader asked me if I had been taking many private lessons with you. I answered ‘yes!’ and asked him why he was asking, and he said it was because, ‘you feel like dancing with Maria’.  So there!  Awesome teachers!” – Julie, student

Just wanted to let you know that the hour lesson we had with you really paid off! I have never had such an amazing time at a party of any kind. We went to my Brother’s Son’s wedding last Saturday and were dancing from start to finish and were one of the last groups to leave! I can’t express enough how much this means to me and how glad I am that I took that first scary step in contacting you for a lesson. You are wonderful people and instructors and it may be the best $50.00 I have ever spent! I’ll be contacting you for more lessons next year and get into the full ‘swing’!!” – Jim

Thanks for your patience and guidance during lessons, the great ideas for dance steps, and your constant encouragement. Everyone loved your lesson on the wedding day. It was simple, fun, engaging and very entertaining.” – Chris & Michelle, wedding couple

I just wanted to send a short note to say thank you for all your help last night at the private lesson at your home. I really appreciate your keen eye for details, flowing arm movements and also crisp, defined movements. I will work on these tips and tricks that you suggested and hopefully I will relax when dancing.   Thanks again for your help, you are both very informative, perceptive and skilled at refining ones hidden skills and correcting ones weakness. You also give your students hope and a desire to get better that makes them want to practice the techniques you have given them.” – Dee

Thank you so much for teaching us the Hustle – it really made our first dance special, fun and  unforgettable for us and our guests.” – Paul & Sarah, wedding couple

Thank you for another great class, we are having so much fun, the class is becoming the highlight of our week. The instruction and format of the class is a perfect match for us. You are inspiring teachers! We have made a pact to get in more practice…we want to make you proud.” – L & L, students