Friday, August 15, 2014

The Importance of Good Technique





When it comes to dance, no truer words were spoken than what was said by British poet and dramatist, John Dryden in the 1600’s, “Dancing is the poetry of the foot.” Whether dancing in front of an audience or dancing down a street on a sunny afternoon, the feet write and display the graceful beauty of dancing. They are, after all, the most fundamental aspect and building blocks for any dancer.

In the world of dance, the requirement for good technique and precision means correct use of the legs and feet, the footwork. Similar to building a home, careful attention is taken when constructing the foundation. No one would say to a builder, “Forget about the foundation; just focus on making the walls and architecture look pretty!” You don’t have to be a builder to know that a home with a poor foundation will not stand when it is subjected to even the smallest amount of stress. Paying close attention to the footwork in dance is also the fundamental foundation to good technique.

Incorrect use of the feet while dancing can lead to a ripple effect of issues that, in return, impact the rest of the body’s movement: lack of transition into the next move, change of rhythm, inability to keep up in speed, unable to keep up with a partner, loss of rhythm in hip and torso action and the list goes on. The cure for all of those issues is correct use of the feet and legs along with accuracy when performing the footwork. Everything a dancer does, rising, leaping, slowness, quickness, swaying, and action, are all connected with and credited to the feet.

When we stop for a moment and realize what the feet are capable of and how intelligently they work with the legs, it is amazing how often they are ignored. Many doctors recommend the best way to keep your body feeling young is to stay active. Dancers have to move in 10 different directions at once and be able to switch quickly, building great coordination along with weight bearing, increasing bone density and strengthening joints. Footwork also has a positive effect on the rest of the body like improving cardiovascular fitness, increasing circulation, and decreasing blood pressure.

 If you are looking to get started in ballroom dancing lessons for the benefits in footwork or health, our dance studios are required to maintain the highest standards of excellence through our National Dance Board and Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios curriculum certification.


 Mr. Fred Astaire, considered to be the greatest multitalented dancer of all time, wanted to establish a chain of studios under his name to make sure that his techniques would be preserved and passed onto the public. Our chain of studios all over North America offer an array of ballroom dancing lessons for beginners and professionals alike. For more information on Fred Astaire Dance Studios, visit www.fredastaire.com

Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Last weekend was the annual Fred Astaire Dance Studios World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fred Astaire Studio Locations from around the world all traveled to The Mirage Hotel and Casino to compete in several categories. 

Here is a list of our 2014 FAWC champions: 


Category: Closed Bronze/Silver Smooth
Dance Champions: Matthias Kruschel and Christine Schlegl
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Norwalk


Category: Showdance
Dance Champions: Aaron and Iryna DeSoto
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Chicago North

Category: Closed Bronze/ Silver Rhythm
Dance Champions: Dennis Sy and Mae Lozada
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: NY Midtown

Category: American Rising Star Smooth
Dance Champions: Adrian and Hannah Dydynski
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Chicago West Loop

Category: American Closed Mixed Novice
Dance Champions: Ty Gibson and Nikki Azcona
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Montville

Category: American Rising Star Rhythm
Dance Champions: Aaron and Iryna DeSoto
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Chicago North

Category: Open Cabaret
Dance Champions: Brandon barker and Chelsea Cherie
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Canal Winchester

Category: American Open Smooth
Dance Champions: Misha and Galina Zharinov
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Miami Beach

Category: Open International Latin
Dance Champions: Hayk Balasanyan and Emilia Poghasyan
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Montville


Category: American Open Rhythm
Dance Champions: Vard Margaryan and Sofya Fil
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Hartsdale

Category: Open International Ballroom
Dance Champions: Dmitry and Christina Durante
Fred Astaire Dance Studio: Madison



Congrats to all our champions and a special thank you to all the Fred Astaire Dance Studios who came to Vegas to compete! 


Here are a few more pictures from the competition: 
















Wednesday, July 09, 2014

This Month's Obesession: The EasyGo Dispenser Protein Powder Dispenser



As dancers you must take your post-exercise nutrition seriously in order to provide your muscles with the raw materials and nutrients they need. Any nutritionist will tell you that post-workout eating is the most important aspect of fitness nutrition. Within 45 minutes of any workout, you need to have protein to supply your body with amino acids and help promote muscle building and recovery.

If your daily activities rarely allow time for a home cooked meal, you can still make sure you get your protein fix with the EasyGoDispenser. The EasyGo Dispenser is a protein powder dispenser that was designed for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. It will carry a full day’s worth of protein powder and the measuring unit dispenses precise amounts of powder and fits into any shaker cup or water bottle. The base storage unit keeps your powder fresh and the EasyGo Dispenser is small enough to fit into any bag and bring with you no matter where you go.

The EasyGo Dispenser was developed by three Army soldiers. While deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, they realized that there was no easy way to make an instant protein shake – a common source of nutrition for soldiers. So in order to make it easier to get a proper meal replacement via protein powder, they came up with the idea for the EasyGo Dispenser. 

With the EasyGo Dispenser you will recieve the perfect amount of protein to help rebuild and recharge your body after your workout or dance practice. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This Month's Obsession: Laura Mercier Face Primer


As your dance students and pros transition from practice to performances, you’re feeling prideful and so are they. You’ve taught them the dance skills they need to stand out on the dance floor, and now it’s time to show them how to make their makeup pop too! Introduce your performers to this month’s favorite beauty pick - the new Laura Mercier Face Primer in Radiance

Primer is the secret weapon for achieving flawless skin and making your makeup last. It preps the skin for makeup, fills in pores and fine lines, and creates a smooth base that makeup can adhere to.  With this beauty must-have, your performers can say good-bye to their makeup slipping and sliding as they sweat their way through their dance routine.

Laura Mercier created the beauty industry’s first ever makeup primer and just recently reinvented her popular primer and made the newest version which adds luminosity and radiance to skin. This lightweight, creamy vitamin-rich gel not only makes your skin glow, but also acts as a buffer to outside elements and holds your foundation in place for hours. 

Not sure how to apply primer? Here are step by step instructions:

Step 1: Apply primer onto your face the same way you would apply your moisturizer. Be sure to apply all areas as evenly as possible, but it’s okay to use a little extra in places where your makeup tends to wear off quickly, such as in the T-zone area.

Step 2: Apply your foundation and concealer as you normally would. Notice that the colors of your makeup look so much better!

Note: There are also primers designed for eyelids which make your eye shadow last all day and night and help you get the most out of even the cheapest eye shadows.


Use this secret weapon to help your students achieve the ultimate makeup look before the next event or special occasion. Now people won’t just recognize Fred Astaire dancers for their suave moves, but for their flawless, long-lasting makeup as well!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Are the "Healthy" Foods You're Eating REALLY Healthy?


Reduced-fat peanut butter: Reduced-fat peanut butter has nearly as many calories as the full fat version plus added sugars, more sodium and partially hydrogenated oils which are the unhealthy fats that raise cholesterol. So basically, when you’re making this substitution you’re really trading heart-healthy fats for empty carbs and sugars. One tablespoon of reduced-fat peanut butter is 95 calories, has 6g of fat and 110mg of sodium. Instead, opt for an all-natural peanut butter like Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter which has no salt and is 105 calories and 8g of fat.

Granola: Granola is loaded with carbs and high in calories. It usually also contains high amounts of added sugars and oil. Instead, choose a whole grain cereal which tends to be a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Flavored oatmeal: Flavored instant oatmeal can be high in sugar and sodium causing you to eat empty calories that provide no nutritional benefits. Swap flavored oatmeal for whole rolled or steel cut oats which don’t contain added salt or sugars and contain the same amount of fiver and protein. Add some fresh fruit or honey for extra flavor.

Bars: Many energy, fiber and protein bars are just glorified candy bars. Save yourself some sugar and calories and substitute these for an apple or a spoon of peanut butter instead. You’ll get your protein fix without bursting out of your skinny jeans. 

If you need a quick meal replacement while on-the-go you can make your own protein shake. However, be very cautious about protein shakes that you can buy at smoothie stores or gyms. Instead, carry your own supply of protein powder in a powder dispenser like EasyGo Dispenser so you can quickly make a shake no matter where you are. The EasyGo Dispenser allows you to carry a days’ worth of protein powder and easily dispenses into any water bottle or shaker cup so you can make a mess-free shake for a snack or meal replacement.

Multigrain bread: Whole wheat bread has more essential nutrients and dietary fiber than multigrain bread. Unless your multigrain bread is made with whole grains you might as well be eating white bread!  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tips to Perfect Your Dance Technique


No matter what level of experience your dancing is, there is always room for improvement. Professional dancers spend their entire careers perfecting their technique and so should you. After all, technique is what separates the best dancers from average dancers. Always remember that perfecting the skills you already know is just as important as learning new moves.  

Here are a few tips to help you dance your way into better and more professional moves:

  • Perfect your posture: Dance is all about body language and movements. Posture is extremely vital for a dancer’s success as well as the delivery of each dance’s story.
  • Watch other dancers for inspiration: Watching old dance movies or professional competitions can be extremely helpful. Pay attention to their technique, posture and body alignment and make a mental note to incorporate these into your own dance style.
  • Find a great instructor: Having the right dance teacher to correct your mistakes and help teach you new steps can really help perfect your skills.
  • Exercise: Make your moves look more effortless by building muscle. Make your jumps look stronger, your turns more balanced and your moves more graceful, all by exercising your whole body.
  • Eat right: As a dancer, your body needs to be healthy from the inside-out. A healthy, well-balanced diet can help you feel more energized.
  • Don’t just dance it, feel it: Dancing is all about telling a story with your body. Facial expressions are extremely important in portraying what you want to say without using actual words. Don’t just focus on the steps – put your feelings into it. If it’s a happy, upbeat song make big sharp movements and smile. If it’s a sad or emotional dance, make sure your facial expressions represent that.
  • Practice makes perfect: Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong! Practice, practice, practice!
  • Stretch: A great dancer makes difficult moves look effortless. Stretching daily will make your body more flexible and help make your moves look more graceful.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Dancing with the Stars Celebrates Cinco de Mayo




Monday may not be everyone's favorite weekday, but thanks to Dancing with the Stars, it's a definite contender for favorite weeknight!  Where else can you see a handful of your favorite celebrities from past and present learn ballroom and Latin dances from some of the world's best dance talent, including some of our very own Fred Astaire Dance School talent?

This week's program kicked off with a special Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring Mark Ballas, son of former FADS board member Corky Ballas and the "Queen of Latin" Shirley Ballas, showcasing not only his dancing skills but also his musical chops.  Donned in an old-school red blazer, Converse high-tops and bow tie, Mark performed his first single “Get My Name” [available for download on iTunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/get-my-name-single/id871897350 ] live while the DWTS pros and troupe performed a contemporary Cha-Cha.  Mark stepped in to Cha-Cha during the instrumental section, reminding us that he's a double threat.  Singing, dancing...the perfect Monday night!