The Wedding Dance Specialists The Wedding Dance Specialists
<July 2005 Newsletter>

" 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 "

July 2005 Newsletter

Dance Tip: The Formal Frame
Wedding Planning Tip: Customizing An Aisle Runner

Dance Tip: The Formal Frame

GROOMS: The formal (closed hold) ballroom dances require the gentlemen to provide the majority of the  lead from their right arm. The Leader’s right hand is placed on the Follower’s shoulder blade with a flat palm and straight wrist (above bra strap) with the tips of your fingers near her spine. Bend your right elbow and raise it to your diaphragm level in front of the rib cage. Keep the Follower at a comfortable and consistent distance from you by rolling your shoulder down into the socket and tensing up the elbow to avoid any slack. Maintain the arm position in front of your chest like an arm cast to ensure the Follower stays in front of you.

BRIDES: The Follower helps maintain the consistent distance between herself and her partner in part by keeping her arm in contact with the Leader’s arm and creating tension on his right hand through resistance with her upper back muscles and forward weight distribution. Try to avoid squeezing his left hand as this is distracting to the follower, exhausting for you and ultimately ineffective. The Follower’s left arm and elbow should wrap lightly around the outside of the Leader’s right arm and elbow. The Follower’s hand should be across from her chin and never blocking her face.

Wedding Planning Tip: Customize Your Aisle Runner

Deborah Joy, Newlywed and Founder of TWDS has the following suggestions for customizing your aisle runner:
To save money you can make your own aisle runner by purchasing fabric from a material store like JoanneFabrics. Check into discount specials they may be offering (if you sign up for their newsletter or open up a credit line with them) or any sales they may be running on clearance items. Besides saving money, you have the unique opportunity of being able to match the color of your dress, bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, etc…One long running stitch on either side is all you need, but if you don’t want to sew, double-sided tape or decorative pinking shears easily finish off the edges.The Bride is the Queen on her wedding day! So why not feel like a Queen and walk down a red carpet! I didn't know where to find one so my wedding consultant “wizard,” Sara Franco of Romantic Betrothal rented a plush red carpet runner for my wedding. It was surprisingly inexpensive. It protected my train and shoes from damage AND made me feel regal!

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 below 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. Present this coupon to recieve a FREE HOME APPRAISAL (value $350) plus 2 FREE private ballroom dance lessons when you use his services for purchasing your home. (TOTAL VALUE: $500! ) Click on the banner to go to

The Wedding Dance Specialists New Studio Grand Opening Sale!
Save 10% on any wedding package during our New Studio Grand Opening Celebration Sale !! Our new Jessup/Columbia studio is opening on July 18. We are taking reservations now! The sale is for anyone taking lessons at the Jessup location only and you must present this coupon or mention this sale.

Newlywed Wedding Dance Video Contest!
WIN a $25 gift certificate to Mango Mike's Caribbean Restaurant if your wedding dance video is selected to be aired on our website. To qualify you must be a former TWDS client. Email us an mpeg file to or snail mail a dvd with both names, your wedding date, contact information and mailing address. To snail mail contact us for details.The winner will be chosen by August 31, 2005.

Featured Dance Syle: Argentine Tango
Deborah Joy performs at the Argentine Festival
When the Argentine Tango crowd refers to "Tango", they are not referring to theStandard American style we discussed in our June Issue. Nor are they referring to the International and Fantasia offshoots. Instead, they are referring to the social dance style used in "Milongas" (Argentine Tango dance parties) around the world. There are three basic types of social Tango -- Milonga, Valtz and Tango. Each of these three has its own distinctive features and music. Milonga, the original, is danced very close, to very fast music and has a lot of staccato foot changes and taps. You dance on every beat of the music. Valtz is danced to Viennese Waltz music, hence the name. It is more flowy and is danced more frequently on the first beat of a measure or the "1" of "1-2-3". Tango is the most sensual of the three, danced to slower, moodier music. It is therefore more precise. Controlled smooth movements allow for the intricate footwork so often associated with this dance. What makes this dance truly unique is that the gentleman can set up situations for the woman to "play" or do embellishments. Whether one dances in the "close embrace" or in the more formal ballroom hold is decided by each couple. Often at Milongas each style are played in sets of three or four and a couple will tend to dance the set together.

Argentine Tango Songs Examples:
Mi Buenos Aires Querido - Carlos Gardel
Libertango - Astor Piazolla
A Media Luz - Edgardo Donato

Dinner Dancing Date Night Restaurant Review

Mango Mike's
4111 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA

(5 minute drive from our Alexandria Studio)

I have dined here about 10 times and have consistently enjoyed my experience. But don't just take my word for it. This delicious find is also recommended by Washingtonian's Cheap Eats 2000 Issue. If you like Caribbean food like hot-from-the-fryer hush puppies, spicy steamed shrimp, jerk chicken, and catfish, jamaican patties, amazing pina coladas and house beers courtesy of the on-premises brewing operation then this is the place for you!Go on a Tuesday for lobsters. On Wednesdays, the raw bar expands to include oysters--and a steel band, too. The inside of the restaurant is fun and festive while the outside deck is great for relaxing and quiet dining. Hours: Dinner, Mon - Sat, open until 11pm Thurs - Sat, Sunday brunch 10am - 2pm.

Dance and Romance Date Night Ideas

How about escaping from the wedding planning stress and enjoying a date night together? Or maybe catch up with friends and plan a double date? How about some good old fashioned American fun like Swing? Whatever your inclination the DC metro area has it all! Have you ever experienced the excitement and anticipation of a ballroom dance competition featuring all level of dance skill and all categories of dance styles? Below are the details you will need to arrange a secret rendesvous for the two of you!

Dance Event:
Virginia State Ballroom Championships
Date: July 14 - 17, 2005
Address: Hyatt Regency - Reston Va. Town Center
Times: Friday, 8pm - midnight , Saturday, 8pm - midnight, Sunday: 3-6pm (high level amateurs, rising stars & professionals)

Dance Event:
Dinner/Dancing Cruise on the Potomac River
Details: While dining on your choice of 8 different entrees enjoy the sounds of a live Jazz pianist, followed by dancing under the stars as you float past the national monuments of our nation's Capital.
Tickets: Limited seating. Reservations MUST be received by Sunday, July 31, 2005.
Price: $120 per person, which includes transportation to the pier

Dance Movie Review: RIZE (playing in theatres now!)

This movie is emotionally provocative, heartening and had me twitching in my seat trying to contain my own desire to start dancing in the movie theatre! How do you rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of ghetto and gang life? Through the spirit of dance of course!- Deborah Joy, TWDS

David LaChapelle is best known as a photographer. Rize, a documentary like no other, reveals a born filmmaker. His subject is krumping, a hip-hop dance phenom so kinetic you'll swear that the frames of the film have been speeded up (they haven't). He explains how krumping had its roots in a clown act devised by Tommy Johnson in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, the year of the Rodney King riots. He reveals how it developed into a gyrating dance that became an expression of sex, anger, need, competition and cultural identity. He shows krumping as untamed life. There's no way to take your eyes off it. - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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!

A spin gone out of control! Not very dignified for the wedding album!

Wedding Etiquette:The Bridal Shower (Reprinted in part from Emily Post)

A bridal shower is a festive yet intimate occasion in honor of the upcoming marriage that heightens the excitement of anticipating the big day. The guests "shower" the guest of honor(s) with gifts-- the bride alone or more recently the bride and groom together. The gifts are relatively inexpensive unless guests pool their resources for a very large and expensive gift. Ideally, a shower should be hosted at least two months before the wedding. It can be in the form of a brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktail party or buffet dinner (on a very small scale.) The bridesmaids and immediate family are not required or expected to host a shower nor are they expected to bring gifts but they certainly may. Generally friends of the engaged couple or friends of their parents, non-family members of the wedding party or colleagues host the shower. Anyone who is invited to the shower should be invited to the wedding (with the exception of co-workers) and avoid inviting the same guests to multiple showers. For encore brides, avoid inviting the same people who attended a shower for your first wedding. The invitation should not include gift registry information (which can be available by contacting the hostess)If the shower has a special theme make sure to mention it on the invitation. Below are a few ideas for themed bridal showers and the corresponding suggested gifts.:

Kitchen: glasse, knives, linens, utensils, kitchen closet organizers, matching tupperware set
Spa: massage certificates, aromatherapy oils, candles, robes
Honeymoon: travel clock, sewing kit, first-aid kit, travel guide, travel toiletry kit, luggage
Leisure Time: movie tickets, board games, videos & CDs, cocktail glasses & fancy napkins, gift certifcate for dance lessons
Gourmet Cook: gourmet foods & wines, utensils, cookbooks, decorate gift baskets, small gourmet appliances, gift certificate for cooking class, magazine subscription to a cooking magazine
The Great Outdoors: badminton net, flower seeds, garden tools & decorative pots, picnic basket, Japanese lanterns, croquet set, subscription to a gardening or outdoor sporting magazine
Happy Holidays: decorations for every holiday of the year
Favorite and Secret Recipes: recipe scrap books or box, measuring cups and utensils, special tools or appliances for unique recipes, pots and pans, potluck recipe sampling
Labor of Love: Gift certificate pledging to commit your time to paint, wallpaper, garden, pet-sit, or donate your talents in any way