Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kizomba Comes to Arizona at Dance FX Studios in Mesa!

The world of dance is ever-evolving. Dance enthusiasts take elements of their favorite dances and combine them, bringing them to life with traditional music or contemporary compositions. Historically, immigrants and colonists have traveled the globe, bringing their cultures, including dance, everywhere they go! While the people intermingle and share their love of dance, they create new dances. Virtually every dance was born this way, but some have been around longer than others. When new dances emerge and grow in popularity, the dance community gets very excited! A new dance that is making its way to Arizona is Kizomba. The word “kizombada” means “party” in Kimbundu, which reflects the sensual fun and excitement that the dance evokes!

Kizomba comes from Angola, a South African country where traditional dances like Semba, Kabetula, Kasukuta, Maringa, and more were widely popular when Kizomba came to be. The majority of these dances are danced at Carnaval (a cultural festival), which has spread the popularity of these dances internationally. Kizomba is especially popular in Portuguese-speaking countries like Cape Verde, Mozambique, Brazil, and more! Yet, its popularity is also growing rapidly in the Western world and nowadays Kizomba can be found also in Portugal , the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain, the US, and some Eastern European countries, among others. Here in the states, it is hot in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities.

This dance is very unique, and is characterized by a slower, romantic, very sensual rhythm. Kizomba music is more modern, with a sensual touch and African rhythm. Angola is a former Portuguese colony, making its official language Portuguese. Because of this, current Kizomba music is generally sung in Portuguese and allows for the romantic flow of partners on the dance floor. The style of dance in Kizomba is exciting and sexy, with influences of dances like Semba and Tango. It is known for having a slow, insistent, sensuous rhythm with frequent simultaneous hip rotations coordinated between dance partners. The style of Kizomba now emphasizes a very smooth way of dancing with influences of Tango steps, but there are differences in hip movement. If you love the sensuality and intimacy of Latin dances like Salsa and the Argentine Tango, you just might love Kizomba!

We in Arizona will be experiencing a lot more of this sexy dance thanks to events like Dance FX Studios’ Kizomba Social on Saturday,  July 19th, 2014! This event will be held at 1859 West Guadalupe Rd. #105 in Mesa, Arizona. Come join in the fun with a Kizomba group dance class and social dancing to follow in all of your favorite Latin dances. The class is just $10 and the social to follow is FREE with the purchase of the class. Otherwise, the social is just $5 a person.

You can really come prepared by taking a few private Latin dance lessons beforehand. Add some spice to your life with Latin dancing! Whether you have some experience and want to fine tune your skills or you are a beginner Latin dancer wanting to join in the fun, come try our Introductory Offer for Latin dancing lessons. You can see which dances you are interested in exploring and then hit the dance floor with one of our amazing instructors for some tips in Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cha Cha and more! During an Introductory lesson at Dance FX Studios, your instructor will help you begin your journey to becoming a Latin dance aficionado. Call us today at 480.968.6177 and join the Latin dance craze!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Steam Up Your Summer with Salsa Dancing in Arizona!

The Phoenix Valley is known for many things: the heat, the Southwestern culture, the desert landscape… One exciting thing we are known for is our great night life! Warm nights, lots of people, and a Latin infusion in the local culture make for some spicy, fun nights! If you are looking for a way to make your social life sizzle, learning to social dance is the perfect way to do so. With countless places in our area to enjoy the scene and dance the summer nights away, Latin dancing is a handy skill to have. You can dance Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Cha Cha, and more! Not only are these dances popular here, but you can also use these social dances around the world.

First and foremost, Salsa dancing is an extremely popular dance in the Valley. What makes Salsa dancing so cool is that it’s hot! Aside from the chance to connect in an intimate and seductive way with others on the dance floor, Salsa dancing opens you up to explore a new “sassy” you, allowing growing room for self-expression.  How many other activities can do that for you? Salsa dancing can help make you feel more confident about yourself and with your self-expression. The sensuality that comes from the energetic and even sexy movements that are associated with Salsa dancing will become apparent in your performance as well. It will bring out the warmth and passion in you, so once you get out on the dance floor, you’ll be amazed at how this really affects your dancing. What better way to liven up your social life than to boost your confidence and embrace your inner flirt?

Another great dance to know here is the Cha Cha. The Cha Cha is an energetic and sexy dance that shares a lot of similarities with Salsa and can be danced to a variety of different kinds of music. The Cha Cha prevails as a popular social dance due to its appealing mix of breezy movements and smoldering sensuality. It’s a flirtatious dance that encourages you and your partner to only have eyes for each other. What sets the Cha Cha apart from other dances is the Cuban hip motion. When you see or experience it, the Cha Cha is something that is quite alluring and sexy!

At Dance FX Studios in Mesa, AZ, close to Phoenix, Gilbert and Scottsdale, we can help you spruce up your social life and enjoy what Arizona has to offer after the sun sets. Private Latin dance lessons are the most effective way to turn inexperienced dancers into skillful and self-assured leaders and followers. The lessons will be focused on just you or just you and your partner, since each lesson is based on your learning capabilities and on the specific dances you choose to learn. The best way to start this process on the right foot is to schedule an Introductory Lesson. In this first lesson, you will discuss what you want to get out of learning to dance, where you want to go dancing, and what dances are most applicable to your interests. With this in mind, your instructor will get you on the floor and you will begin teaching you what it means to be a great social dancer! Private dance lessons are available Monday-Friday, from 12-8 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Email or call us and set up your first lesson, you will be so glad you did!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Discover the Argentine Tango in Arizona!

One of the most popular dances here in Arizona is Argentine Tango. This dance is elegant, passionate, and sexy! There are so many types of music that you can dance it to and allows for your self-expression and creativity to flow. Because it is such a special dance, it takes skill, strength, and a great connection with your partner to Tango like a pro. Not only is this dance interesting to watch, it also has an interesting story! Let’s talk about three fun facts about the great dance that is Argentine Tango.

1.    If you consider yourself the creative type, you will love the Argentine Tango! The steps and moves of Argentine Tango are not set like they are in other Latin dances like Salsa and Bachata. Instead, with Agrentine Tango, you improvise! You learn basic figures and movements and how to combine them, and use them to create an incredible expression of intimacy and passion with your partner. The leader has room for creativity and can easily navigate the dance floor and dance in time with the music. 

2. The Golden Age of Tango took place in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Many world recording companies began setting up offices in Buenos Aires, which resulted in countless recordings of tango orchestras and singers. Today in Buenos Aires or Río de la Plata, there are three forms of Argentine tango: Salón, Fantasía, and one for the stage. With the Argentine tango becoming so popular throughout the world, other forces have been shaping the dance. Outside Argentina, people from North America had their first exposure to Tango from the show and dance companies from Buenos Aires. At the end of the shows, many people from the audience requested classes on the tango. They were very excited by what they had seen and were anxious to get started learning to dance. Talk about an interesting history!

3.    Once you start taking Tango lessons and become comfortable, you can go out and dance! Tango dance gatherings are very fun. They are called milongas, which can actually mean two things. For one, it is a type of Tango that uses different beats and is often dones without pausing. But milongas also refer to a club or venue that hosts Argentine Tango dances. There are many places in Arizona, especially in Phoenix, that host Milongas for anyone interested in Argentine Tango, from beginners to experts. If you need to practice, a milonga is the place.

The Argentine Tango is truly a unique dance that is set apart from other social dances. Argentine Tango also allows for creativity and enhanced communication for you and your partner, as it is especially intimate and brings you both closer together. Dance FX Studios in Mesa, AZ actually specializes in Argentine Tango and recognizes how special it truly is, making it the best place in the Valley to take Tango lessons! We can teach you what you need to become a proficient Argentine Tango dancer and enjoy the Latin scene in our area. Schedule your Introductory Lesson today to discover just how much Argentine Tango can mean to you!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wellness During the Arizona Summer Months

There are lots of ways that the Arizona summer can start to bring people down. Feeling overwhelmed by heat and the energy that it takes to do anything, one of the first things to fall away is the energy that a social life requires. While staying inside and making a date with the air conditioner sounds like the best plan possible, cutting out meaningful social contact not only attributes to feelings of isolation, it can increase symptoms of depression and decrease production of naturally occurring hormones that lead to feelings of fulfillment and happiness. Wellness means taking care of your whole person, which can be difficult in a place that is constrictive to physical activities, so identifying local places to make sure you can stay connected is important in terms of preparation. 

Ballroom dancing, like Salsa dancing or learning to Swing dance, is a great social activity that allows you to express yourself and connect with other people at the same time, both an integral part of whole person wellness. I’m not talking about dancing in the shower, or mimicking Derek’s choreography from last night’s "Dancing With The Stars" episode, though both are very fun options, but actual social dancing

Never heard of social dancing before? Well let me introduce you to Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona. We teach, and believe in, the power of dancing as real people. We help thousands of couples and singles every year learn to re-connect to themselves and each other through social dance. Social dancing often looks like going out to a Country bar and watching people spin across the floor or visiting a Mexican restaurant that doubles as a bar and dance floor at night. These types of locations are abundant in Arizona and events typically take place after dark, meaning you can pocket that sunscreen cash and enjoy an air conditioned activity outside of the UV torture of our lovely home state!

The great part about dance is that it is also about learning to connect with who you are and how you want to see yourself. Dance allows your the creative freedom as a leader to be the person on the dance floor that you want to project into the rest of your life. The funny thing about it is that once you have found that confidence and happiness here, there is no way you will want to scale the dance version of yourself down in any aspect of life. As a trained follower, there is bliss in being able to get onto the dance floor and literally think about nothing. So often in life we are trying to control what we can that we forget to allow ourselves space to be in control of nothing. While this may sound like a hard concept to master, Dance FX Studios is here to help. We understand the importance of both confidence and relaxation in a person's life and as a part on their path to total wellness. We believe that dance can benefit everyone in this way and play into making your life a more complete whole just by allowing you the opportunity to be completely in touch with your own mind, body and spirit. Our 50 minute private dance lessons are a great way to accomplish this piece of wellness 3 or 4 times a week, while giving you the social interaction and physical activity that you need to stay cool and collected in a summer with the Arizona heat and a hobby to use for a lifetime.

Wellness is about learning who you are, connecting with that person and maintaining happiness throughout life. If you are struggling with some summertime sadness or looking for a place to express yourself without judgement, conditions or time limits, then swing by our studio. We’d love to show you around, introduce you to our fabulous instructors and help you start your journey into your summer of fun and a life of joy and wellness. Once we can show you how comfortable you really can be in your dancing shoes, it will be easy to start hitting up the town as a couple revived or a solo renewed in themselves looking for fun, friends and memories either way.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stay Busy This Summer with Dance Lessons in Arizona!

Alright Arizonans, summer 2014 is here! For us here in the desert, that means scorching heat and lots of pool time. The heat can sometimes cause us to want to stay indoors and be less active. This is never a good thing, especially during bikini season! We at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, AZ have concocted a brief list of a few easy things you can do to slim up this summer, including exploring the excitement of social dancing, of course!

Replace all liquid calories with water. Liquid calories are one of the biggest sources of excess weight gain. A single soda has around 150 calories and over a day’s worth of sugar! Replace all drinks like sugary soda and juice and drinks high in caffeine with water or seltzer and you can lose a few pounds a month from this action alone! Adequate hydration is vital here in AZ - dehydration can occur quickly and unknowingly if you are downing sugary or dehydrating beverages. Stay hydrated, stay slim!

Eat out no more than once per week. The average restaurant meal has over 1,100 calories, and that doesn’t include drinks, appetizers and dessert! When you take into account all those things, you’re looking at around 2,000 calories for a single night eating out. You can cook healthy, delicious meals at home with ideas from websites or your favorite cookbook.

Eat breakfast every day. You have heard it time and again – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast is not only crucial for brain fuel and energy levels, it actually kickstarts your metabolism in the morning. The key here is to stick with healthy foods like oatmeal and fresh fruit, while steering clear of foods like donuts, bagels, and pastries.

Stop thinking in terms of “dieting.” Diets don’t work – healthy lifestyle changes do! A temporary change in your eating habits will help you lose weight for now, but you will gain it back as soon as you revert to your old ways. Making positive changes like eating less sugary foods, eating out less, and eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains will help tremendously. Don’t starve yourself! Fill up on healthy foods like these to stay satisfied and keep your metabolism going.

Dance! Discover cool dances like the Country Two Step, Salsa and Swing to fill up your summer months. Master any of these dances and you'll have a hobby that will keep you active, fit, happy and more connected to others all year long. 

Many people simply don't know the numerous benefits of knowing how to social ballroom dance. From the physical, to the emotional and mental-like warding off dementia, dancing is a way to beat the heat and stay cool year-round.

It is so easy to get bored with your usual workout routine and find excuses to skip the gym session or fitness class, but dance lessons are a fun way to get fit and trim. In an hour-long dance lesson, you are actually receiving a full body workout that you don’t even realize you are getting! You can burn upwards of 400 calories per lesson with us at Dance FX Studios!

Stay healthy and toned this summer with our tips. Consider adding social dancing to your list of Summer activities and enjoy a skill that you can use forever.  Call us today to book your Introductory Lesson and let the summer fun begin! In addition to private dance lessons, we also offer group Latin, Swing and Country dance classes that are sure to get you moving and excited about staying fit!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Discover Salsa Dancing in Arizona!

The history and depth of Latin American art forms are spectacular! Music and dance are an important part of Latin American culture, and an important part of the arts in countries like Puerto Rico, Colombia, Cuba, and more! Salsa music and Salsa dancing has been an influential aspect of Latin America – it is now enjoyed internationally! Let’s explore where the Salsa originated and how it made its way to clubs and studios around the world.

Salsa dancing is a form of partner dance that is enjoyed to Salsa music.  How Salsa dancing came to life is a subject of debate for many musicologists and historians.  Most seem to believe it came to be through many decades of dancers gradually accepting the name as many styles of music and dance steps became melded together. Another theory is that Salsa music began centuries ago in the islands of the Spanish Caribbean, in a context of slavery and colonialism.   

Though they may disagree on its birthplace, they do agree that Salsa dancing is connected to the growing, thriving Latino community that was present in New York City in the late 20th century. After the Spanish American war came to an end in 1898, Puerto Rican agricultural workers migrated from rural to urban areas, and from island to island. The transplanted workers from Havana, San Juan, Santo Domingo and other areas brought all of their traditional sounds to New York City.

The word “salsa” means sauce in Spanish, analogous to “flavor” or “style” when describing dance or music. Styles of music travelling from Cuba and Puerto Rico fused their various cultural rhythms together as they migrated into New York between the 1940s and the 1970s. With the combined elements of Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, African, and other music styles, Salsa music can typically be recognized by the complicated percussion rhythms and the faster tempos.  The sounds are vibrant and inviting and attract dancers of all levels straight to the dance floor. There is a debate as to which country is the home of Salsa – Cuba or Puerto Rico.  Since Salsa is one of the main dances in Puerto Rico and is known world-wide, many people give Puerto Rico the credit.  However, the dance steps currently being used to Salsa music come from Cuba.  Those steps, though, were influenced by many other Cuban dances such as Mambo, Cha Cha, Guaracha, Rumba, and others.  Thus, the debate continues.

Salsa dance is exciting, full of variety, and appealing to almost any social dancer looking for fun and exhilaration! Get your fix of Latin dances like the Salsa at Dance FX Studios in Mesa, Arizona. As a social ballroom dance studio here in Arizona, we will give you a taste of the Latin culture on the dance floor. We offer Salsa group classes and private Salsa lessons for you to choose from. Our Introductory Offer is a blast and a great way for you to come check us out at next to nothing cost-wise. Come explore Salsa dancing with us and get awesome dance tips and techniques that will ignite the Latin flare in you! Call us at 480.968.6177 today; you will be glad you did.