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" We turned our dance lessons into a dinner and dancing date! It became a welcomed weekly escape from our hectic wedding planning." Cindy Rich, Newlywed and Assistant Editor of Washingtonian Magazine "

February 2008 Newsletter



Dance Tip: Preventing the Ouch Factor

The secret to pain-free dancing is in the technique. Techniques such as: “tracking”, “forward intention” and “resistance”. To avoid stepping on your partner's feet or being stepped on yourself, employ all three techniques simultaneously. Tracking is a term that describes the two parallel planes that your feet walk along during dance. Proper tracking requires that you take comfortable size strides and walk directly toward each other as if nobody were in front of you. Keep your thighs close and your ankles brushing with each stride. Forward intention involves the chest preceding your movement while your weight leans forward toward your toes. Maintain a forward tilt even when walking backward to absorb your partners energy efficiently to lengthen your stride, straighten your leg. The Leader's forward intention warns the Follower to move her feet away before he steps. Leaders and Followers use resistance or opposing tensions to maintain a consistent and safe distance between them as they travel in unison together.


Planning Tip: Save Money on Alcohol and Food (reprinted in part from Bridal Bargains)

Liquor prices too much for you to swallow? Full-service catering charges too high to stomach? Consider two alternatives that offer great deals: wholesale clubs and gourmet supermarkets.

1. Wholesale clubs like Sam's, Costco and BJ's offer 15-30% discounts on their fully stocked liquor departments compared to regular liquor stores. Some gourmet supermarkets offer full-service catering plus cake and flowers at 10 - 20% below retail. This one stop shop approach is very convenient if you are planning a small reception in your home or at a hall which doesn't provide in-house catering.

2. Request an itemized breakdown of the quote which should include separate entries for servers, bartender, equipment rentals, linens, etc...Make sure the liquor and food charges are the same as for any other event and not artificially inflated for "weddings." All things being equal, the food and liquor charges should be based on estimated consumption and number of guests and should be the same as any other special event. Carefully budget food and liquor amounts. One way caterers might artificically inflate rates is to direct servers to clear half-full glasses before guests can finish them thus prompting the guest to go back to the bar repeatedly.

3. Make sure to request a takeaway box of the reception food and wedding cake as you won't have much time to eat it since you will be occupied with all of your guests. It would be a shame to spend all that money on food and not have a chance to enjoy it. Plus you will be STARVING after the reception regardless.

4. Many caterers use frozen foods. If you are going to be charged the same for frozen food versus made from scratch food, consider renegotiating or finding another caterer who doesn't use shortcuts and places a high priority on the quality of the food.

For more information and tips check out Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen by Nicole Aloni.


Featured Dance Style: Salsa/Mambo

Perez Prado is thought to have introduced the Mambo at La Tropicana nightclub in Havana in 1943. Mambo Mania hit when Prado recorded the song, "Mambo Jambo". The dance appeared in the United States in New York's Park Plaza Ballroom, a favorite hangout of dance enthusiasts from Harlem. The Mambo gained in popularity and in the 1950s was taught in dance studios, resorts, and nightclubs in New York and Miami. In more recent times Mambo has also evolved into Salsa. Salsa is a street version of Mambo. Musically the main difference is that Mambo music holds on the one beat and Salsa music hits on one beat. The steps are pretty much the same. Mambo tends to be sharper in the footwork more time is spent in closed hold and the man breaks on 2. Salsa tends to be sexier, characteristically it has little kick like embellishments, more time is spent in a two handed or apart position and the man breaks on 1. Whether you call it Mambo or Salsa, the small steps are taken ball of foot first with the knees flexible to allow for the hip action known as cuban motion. Mambo is the forefather of Cha Cha. It also shares many patterns in common with the other Latin dances Rumba and Bolero. Mambo/Salsa is fun and flirty and socially is a great dance to learn if you like Latin music.


Date Night Idea ;)

There are so many opportunities and venues to enjoy your dancing skills! The D.C. metro area danceworld is your oyster! Whether you're in the mood to just soak in the atmosphere, meet up with friends, practice your new moves or escape wedding planning stess and enjoy a romantic date night, it's time to hit the town!

Event: Viennese Ball: A Night in Vienna
Details: A grand celebration of Viennese Music, Food, Wine, and Dancing. Experience the splendor and spirit of Vienna and elegance of the waltz. Singles and couples welcome. Private viewing of the museum’s permanent art collection, experience the elegant atmosphere of a European Ball, as well as meet international professionals and members of the diplomatic community.
Cost: $89
Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 7:00 PM
Tickets: https://tickets.internationalclubdc.com/PurchaseEventTicket.aspx?EventID=7B853AE6-2A6A-42AE-A1A3-56ED312D879B
Contact us for Viennesse Waltz lessons!!

Event: USO Swing Dance Gala
Cost: $60
Date: Saturday, March 01, 2008 at 8:00 PM
Details:A celebration of music and dance! Put on your best cocktail attire or military dress uniforms and experience an elegant evening of dinner and dancing to a live orchestra, along with a special tribute to the United States Armed Forces. Featuring an exclusive review of the United States Air Force Color Guard, swing dance lesson (tailored for beginners), live Swing band playing the greatest classic anmodernswing hits, a special live dance presentation in honor of America and our Armed Forces, late night DJ for Retro and Top 40 Dancing. Sumptuous buffet dinner.
Location: Ft. McNair Officer's Club Officer's Club, Ft. Mcnair 4th and P Street, SW, Building 6, Washington DC 20319
Tickets: https://tickets.internationalclubdc.com/PurchaseEventTicket.aspx?EventID=6EF3C6E0-CDD8-4123-AD43-8E86AB3E2142
Contact us for Swing Lessons!


Vendor Special Offers $$

Brian Block - RE/MAX Allegiance

Now that you are about to merge your life with your fiance, you may be looking to sell or purchase real estate. Click the banner to leisurely view Northern Virginia Area homes from the comfort of your home. Brian Block is a Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Attorney plus a newlywed, Co-Founder of The Wedding Dance Specialists and Assistant Instructor for Wedding Dance Practice Sessions.
Free Homebuyers' Seminar
Location: Bank of America, 7619 Little River Turnpike, Suite 1000, Annandale, VA 22003
Details: Learn everything you want to know and get your questions answered about the real estate market, the home buying process and mortgages! Free lunch provided.

Present this coupon to recieve a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350) plus 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use Brian Block's services to buy and/or sell your home.

Valentine's Day SALE at all of our locations! SAVE 10% !!
Give the gift of dance and romance while saving money on any private lessons at any of our locations! Gift certificates available. Sale expires Friday, Feb 15, 2008. You have one year to complete the lessons from the date of purchase.


Nesting Newlyweds: How Long Has That House Been on the Market? - Brian BlockRealtor/Attorney

Homes on the market for over a year may offer a good buyer's opportunity. Topping the heap as one of the most popular questions for homebuyers everywhere -- "How Long Has That House Been on the Market?" has numerous implications: Upon hearing that a home has been on the market for a lengthy period of time, most people make one or more of the following assumptions:

  • There's something wrong with the house.
  • The price is too high.
  • The sellers are willing to negotiate.
  • The sellers don't really want to move.
  • There's something else we don't know (about the home, neighborhood, sellers)

Movie Review - The Dancer

It is an intimate behind the scenes look into the Royal Swedish Ballet and its school. The documentary reveals the daily routines of the dancers in training, both female and male. Mostly, we follow the daily routine of Katja Bjoerner, a young lady who is one of Sweden's hopes for a prima ballerina. There are many classroom scenes with group and private instruction at the professional level, both barre and center, as well as stage rehearsals.Starring: Erland Josephson, Katja Bjorner and directed by Donya Feuer.





Dance Bloopers!
These are NOT our students!
We promise you will never look like this! We GUARANTEE that you will look and feel more elegant after ONE lesson with us than if you just try to "wing it". There are no "accidents" in dancing. Every mistake can be corrected or prevented using a specific technique. Dancing is a science made to look like an art!


Holding each others' hips is not conducive to moving. All the can do is sway in place.
Also, the bride looks completely uninterested in her dance partner.

 


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