Performance groups, opportunities and Practice Etiquette FAQs

What is the benefit of joining  Performance group or a Dance team?

Joining a performance team has many benefits. One of them is helping people to take their dancing ability to the next level. Performance groups are usually for people who have been dancing for at least a year socially. By learning a specific dance routine to perform in front of audience, it pushes you to polish your dance skills, overcome stage fear, learn the art of performance/entertainment, and teaches stress/anxiety tolerance… Performers are given the opportunity to dance on the stages at dance functions, city festivals, and huge city International dance events. In joining a team you become part of the closer dance family. People that are united by common joy, interests and goals form amazing bonds of partnership, deep friendship and trust.

 Can anyone join the team? Who do I talk to to join  a team?

Talk to the directors, being dance professionals. Anyone can join the team…as long as you are ready to be coach-able, want to dance  and willing to work on your progress.

What are the coach’s expectations of new team members?

Every team director might have slightly different expectations. At DandoDance, we cultivate feeling of friendship, family bonding, and fun as some of the main attributes. When you are joining the team there will be  a period of addjustment. Since you are joining a family, not only your dance skills will be evaluated but also your people skills. How well you blend in with the dance family. We encourage deep respect to each other, friendliness and a healthy attitude in our team members.  Even though we encourage deep friendship, it is a still sport performance group where we work hard on achieving great results. Moodiness and disrespect to other members is not tolerated.

Practice Etiquette and Guidelines!

Dress code for performance:

You are going to be in close contact with partner make sure: your clothes are clean, you have fresh breath, and are showered. If you sweat heavily, bring a face cloth or small towel. Please don’t wipe your sweat with hands because your will be touching people…it can take away from the experience of others. Dress code items for performances : Can be bought at : The Masque #5, 9250 McLeod Tr.S.



1.men’s dance shoes( black standard heel- about $150-200) and mostly will last for 3 yaers. depends on how often you use them

2.Ladies Latin Shoes 3″heel( dark toffee color) about $150-$200 Capezeo, Rey Rose, Internationals. If you have medical considerations for your heel height, discuss it with us so we can arrive at other options.

3. Toffee colored dance fishnets _$35-$50

4. Costume details will be provided upon learning the routine: about $100-150/per costume

5. Men’s dance pants-$200 will last about 5-6 years of performing on the team( will have to order them from Montreal)


a. Be kind , gentle and considerate of your teammates

b. Do not correct your partner: on lead/follow or other techniques during the class. Leave corrections to the teacher… teachers have experience to know what needs to be addressed first.

You are here to learn as others are, in a respectful and fun environment. ( If you have concerns, please talk to your teachers privately) c. During individual practices , make sure that you have other people’s permission to give them suggestion. d. Be coach-able! There is always room for improvement. Arrive with the mindset “What can I change to make it better?”

Private vs Group lessons FAQs

What is the difference between private lesson and group class?

A private lesson is personalized instruction to a person or a couple. The person/couple may themselves decide what dances they want to learn. Depends on your goal orientation level. You may ask the instructor to either: create a small routine for you, or teach you sequences of patterns in specific dances that are of interest to you.

A group class is when you are learning dance along with many other individuals. The size of classes depends on the each group class individually. The number of people may vary in a class anywhere from 8- 100 people. The structure of the class is designed to guide the group as whole to dance while teacher uses different tools by observing the social dynamic in the class.

How do I chose whether to start with privates or groups?

It all depends on your comfort level…Some people prefer to start with privates because they want to feel confident stepping on the social dance floor and having a few tricks up their sleeve.

Some people like to start with groups because they want to meet new people or find new friends by interest. It is  a fun way to get introduced to a new community, have fun and learn some moves at the same time.

What is the fastest way to learn to dance well?

There are few ways you can describe “dancing well”…Also depends on why you want to dance or your goal? Do you want to become proficient in social dancing,  do you want to perform on stage or dance competitively?

1. Social dancing:  the best is to combine private lessons with group classes. This way you will be able to learn to dance faster because of individual attention/help of the instructor at privates plus being able to practice those skills with different partners in social group class setting…which will help you to improve your lead/follow. Group classes provide a fun atmosphere and many partners to dance with…however, you will not be able to feel what a correct lead or follow is…in our observation and experience it takes longer to advance in group classes because of lack of individual attention from the instructor. Their goal is to make sure that the group as whole is having fun and is entertained.

2. Performance groups: Performance groups  are usually for people who have been dancing for at least a year socially …it is designed  for people take their dancing ability to the next level. By learning a specific dance routine for performing in front of an audience, you can be pushed to learn new skills, overcome stage fear, learn the art of performance/entertainment, maintain stress tolerance…perform  and entertain no mater what!  Performers  are given opportunities to dance on the stages of different studios, city festivals, and International events.

3. Competition: only private coaching can get you to a competitive level.  There are numerous dance competitions and events in the city…the major ones are: Calgary International Salsa Congress(  featuring competition and  showcases in Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha  and other sotial Latin Dances), Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix ( Ballroom American and International styles),Wild Rose Ballroom ( competition in American and Internatioanl styles ) Winter Classic (International and American Styles Ballroom), Calgary Dance Stampede ( featuring competition and showcases in country dances).

To get to higher level it is a lot of commitment, dedication, hard work. But if you are up for it…there is no height, weight, age restriction. Competition is the fastest way to get you to the highest levels of your ability. Cost wise it is a financial commitment …you will be looking anywhere from 2-4 hrs or more  a week + plus costumes  and competition fees, registration fees per category you dance in…but if you want it fast and money is not an object then is the way to do it.

What do I wear to private/group  dance class?

Whatever you feel comfortable in…just make sure that clothes are clean and you have no body odor…since you will be dancing with other people very closely. Lots of people are very sensitive to smells. We always suggest that you shower and brush your teeth before you go to class …no heavy perfume due to common allergies. People seek to be polite and may not tell you if it is is bothering them…they will avoid dancing with you as a solution. We don’t want that to happened!

What do I wear to make good impression to a social dance?

Clean cloths, clean body, fresh breath… (see What do I wear to private/group class? ) Also depends on how close you are to the partner in the dance…some  social dances are hip close …so guys please wear briefs or cycling style shorts.

How do I find a dance school for me? I prefer to study with specialist in certain style?

Please go to our blog. We will post information on reputable dance schools in Calgary that specialize particular genres/styles of Dance.

Information coming soon.

How many levels are there in dancing?

There are many different levels. It depends on the style you chose… also they are not equivalent to one another…for example an advanced  social style dancer could be going a far as a Bronze and Silver Level of knowledge of patterns in International Style…it does not guarantee that execution levels are equal though.

Social Style   Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Competitive style :

a. International Style: New Comer, Pre Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Pre-Championship, Championship

b. American Style: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Gold Bar, Gold Star

How fast I will be able to advance? How do I know when to go to next level?

Always ask your teacher!!!  It all depends on your commitment level,  hrs you dedicate to practice, ability to be coached, and letting go your habits to adapt to a new style of thinking. There are so many different factors to consider…you could be mentally ready to move on… but your level of athleticism or flexibility is not there yet…or your body can handle a higher level of training but your mental state holds you back. A poor attitude will sabotage your progression.

Getting to the next level takes dedication, persistence ,commitment and open mindedness.

Read about the levels of dance…think about what style of dancing you would prefer and what level of commitment you are able to practically achieve..where do you see yourself in a year…then Ask your teacher how to get there…remember…our goal is to help you with your goal.

I don’t have rhythm is it possible to develop?

We believe that it is possible to create a rhythmic awareness with freedom of movement.

By targeting different parts of the body such as: shoulders, ribcage, front, side and back obliques (abs), hips and thighs we can tone, stretch, increase your range of motion and create a bodily awareness that helps dancers to freely express themselves.  We also work on arm and hand styling for ladies and gentleman that will help you become more controlled with your hands and create beautifully finished lines for either social dancing or performance.

How long does it take to feel expressive rhythmically?

It takes hours to develop the  precision, flexibility and bodily awareness to know which muscle we have to use to execute a specific movement. Without training those muscles, and without training your mind to recognize these muscles, we cannot produce the movements with speed and satisfactory results.

All people can be rhythmic, some people have never attempted to learn this skill. The stiffness can be trained out of your movements. You must desire it, put your mind and effort into it and work hard. For those who grew up in a culture of dance, you may still need to train for range of motion, and control.

One lesson is never enough to create muscular awareness. It takes repetition.

Where do I find music to practice? Suggested  playlist.

I Tunes carries ballroom CDs…they will do for practice…

Look for artists and albums:

Argentine Tango: Gotan Project… Lunatico..or Osvaldo Pugliese for traditional Tango

Ballroom: Ballroom stars vol.1 …or …Ballroom Elegance

 Ballroom Latin: Super Latin vol.1 …or Latin Jam 4: Sizzling

Salsa: Oscar De Lion.  La Sanora Caruseles, Selia Cruz, Tito Puente

Bachata: Prince Royce

Fun Party Dance Class and Professional Shows

What is the benefit of having a dance class at my event?

A fun Party Dance Class is a great way to add entertainment to your event and unite people on the dance floor. Whether it is a corporate event, a private birthday party, or a wedding, this class will bring people together, make them laugh and provide an opportunity to make new friends. Whether you have many people at your event who have not met each other yet, or a tight friendship circle, a  fun dance class will raise the excitement level, bring entertainment and a sense of cameradery to your event.  It will make people smile, shimmy, dance and definitely talk about and remember your party!!!

Why are there so many options to choose from?

Different events have different entertainment budgets. We created many options so that you have a good idea about how we may fit in to your event’s vision. We work to make it special and suitable for your needs.

Where does the cost of the professional show dance come from?

To prepare a professional show, it takes about 20-40hrs hours of choreographing, music cutting, concept developing, costume designing, costume making and more that 100-500 hours of practice and training  to make the dances look polished, and tricks look effortless.  Professional costumes can cost from $2000-$5ooo. On the day of the show it takes 2-3 hrs of applying body/face make up, and hair to make the whole presentation elegant and professional.

Wedding and getting ready for magic dance

How many lessons it will take us to learn a dance for my wedding?

To learn a simple choreographed wedding dance, it takes from 5-10 lessons. It depends on your dance experience and speed of your learning process. Remember, learning to dance has to do with your body and muscular awareness. We have observed that people who have done lots of fitness training , or marshal arts tend to learn faster… Usually it takes 4-6 lessons to memorize the choreo and another 2-5 to bring it to muscle memory.

How soon should we start?

The sooner you start the less stressed out you’ll be.  There are so many details to consider when you are planning a wedding.   Always be ready for some things to go wrong last minute where you will need to put all your attention into fixing that detail.  The last thing you want is to worry about is your wedding dance at that point. The earlier you start the easier and more fun you will have at practices.  Practicing things last minute brings tension. We want  you to have fun, enjoy yourself  and be excited about your wedding and your wedding dance. Please do yourself a service and start early( several months in advance)

How to chose music for our wedding dance?

Choosing the song for a wedding might be an undertaking. If you dont have “your song” that is ok, there are so many guidelines you can follow.  What is your preferred genre of music? Do you see your dance have classy elegance of traditional dance choices like Waltz and Foxtrot to old Hollywood Classics by Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Michael Buble, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and more.

Or do you prefer curent pop songs by Nora Jones, Ed Shearan, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Amy Whitehouse and more or you prefer rock’nroll music, or rock ballads.   The cool things that nowadays you decide what you like and anything goes. You dont need to stick to limited genre choices. In fact more and we see the trend that  people go with what they like even though it is not a main stream.

Most important is to choose a song that speaks too you both and may be tells your story.   You really must love the song because through out the learning routine and personal practice you will hear it at least 30 and more times.  Then ask your dance professional what genre you  can do to it.  The trend in creating pop song now that they have multiple rhythm sections that blend few genras together sometimes to almost unrecognisable new rhythm blends,   that alows you to do few genres to the same song. We do multiple genres and often other dance proffessionlas ask us what genre they can do to some songs. Sometimes we even choose to put couple of genres in one routine for ease of learning.

We can’t chose our music!  Any Suggestions/ List to choose from

These songs are only a sudgestion for you that might help you to find your personal choice”

 Most popular chices in Traditional Songs (you can always look up those artists and find more songs by them that might speak to you:

1. Etta James “At Last”

2. Michael Buble ” You are my Everything”,

3. Michael Buble “You’ll never find”

4.Vanessa Williams “Save the best for last”

5.Elvis Presley “Can’t help fallen in love with you”

6.Lion King “Can you feel the love tonight”

7. The weekend “Call out my name”


 Most Popular Choices Current Pop Songs:

1. Ed Shearan “Thinking out loud”

2. Alicia Keys “Fallen”

3. John Legend ” All of me”

4. Jason Mraz ” I won’t give up”

5. Nickelback ” Never going to be alone”

6. Keith Urban “making memories of us”

7. Norah Johnes “Come away with me”

8. Life House ” You and me”

9. Nat King Cole “Unforgetable”

10. Seal “Kiss from a Rose”

11. Shania Twain From this moment”

12. Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat “Lucky”

13.Colbie Caillat “Try”

14. Israel Kamakwiwo’Ole “Somewhere over the rainbow”

15. Christina Perri “A thousand years”

16. Josh Groban “You raise me up”

Styles vs Genres FAQs

How many styles are there? How do I choose  right one for me?

There are many styles out there. It is easy to get confused. There is social style, and competitive  style.. there are many dance genres ( Like Ballroom and Country)  and there are substyles of many dances (like Salsa on 1 or salsa on 2)…We haven’t found yet a clear structural classification that describes and subdivides it all. We’ll try simplify it as best we can. We will present the knowledge as we present it to our students based on over 20 year experience in the industry,

by musical genres:

1. Ballroom and Latin dances : American style ( Smooth and Rhythm) and International ( Standard and Latin)

2. Latin club or Social Latin( includes  Salsa  and it’s many styles, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia and all other Latin dances  emerged from traditional  folkloric music of Latin-american countries ),

3.Argentine Tango(  Argentine Tango  traditional and Nuevo style, Milonga, Vals …) we had to put Argentine Tango in  into it’s own category. Even though it was born in one of Latin-American countries it has it’s own historical routs( quite different from all other Latin Club or Social Latin dances) and  over the years has developed it’s many multiple genre subdivisions..

4. Country dances: Two Step, Triple Two Step( or Double Shuffle), Country Cha Cha,  Country East coast swing, Country West Coast swing, Night club slow, Country Polka, Country Waltz, Country

5. Swing  that inspired many dance styles: West coast swing, east Coast coast, Shag, Balboa, Lindy Hop ad many more…we have heard that there are more that 35 styles of swing dances.

6.Disco music: Hustle.. it is  a fun dance that has …

Read more  about these categories below…as we talk about each of the category in more detail.

Ballroom Dancing:  which style is better Internatioanal or American style?

It all depends on your preference. This is the info that might help you to decide.

American style: Smooth (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz) Rhythm( Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, Bolero(slower Rumba) and Mambo was developed by the major U.S. studio chains, Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire, and by the independent U.S. studios characterized by great number of patterns in open partnership position, side by side partner work, beautiful lines, underarm turns  and it explores  more entertainment  and showmanship aspect of the dance. Something that you would associate with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers( evolved by 40-50years).

International style was developed by the British, particularly through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and the International Dance Teachers’ Association (IDTA).  International Style Ballroom: Latin (Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive) and Standart (Slow Waltz, Foxtrot,Tango, Quick Step, Viennese Waltz)… trains high level of precision, athleticism and impeccable execution…This  style is very popular around the world…so much that now it started influencing the technique of American Style Rhythm due to lots of Eastern European Dancers that are trained in International Style Latin coming to North America learning syllabus of American Style and competing and becoming finalist due high precision and execution techniques. While most of the world uses Int’l style exclusively, both styles are popular in North America.

Professional International ballroom competitions use International style dancing (including the US), while ballroom performances in North America use American ballroom style dancing. The popular television series, Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, use American styles for their ballroom dancing for showmanship qualities with lots of dancers and coaches  that are International-Style trained for their technique  and precision.

In Canada, Ballroom competitions are trying to include both styles to accommodate the interest in either..usually American style during the day and International Championship level in the evening.

These styles are mixing nowadays …while Rhythm American style dancers are adopting the technique of International Latin due to impact and influence of high level of technique…the International Standart Dancers open up to American style Smooth showmanship level in their Showcase performances only with its the bigger variety of patterns and open partnership work mixing it up with the high level of execution of International style.

 What is Social Latin or Latin Club?

Salsa is one of the most popular genres of social dancing around the world…Due to its popularity it has developed it’s own personal styles like  New York Style ( also known as Salsa on 2 with huge influence of Mambo) This style is one of the most popular styles around the world known for it’s great styling for ladies and men and intricate footwork with many syncopations. It is one of the most graceful styles of salsa, especially for ladies with its beautiful hand and arm styling, great leg action and many ribcage and hip isolations. Los Angeles Style (also known as salsa on 1) known for its great spins, fast footwork and lots of acrobatics, cool patterns and accessibility for beginner learners , Colombian Style ( or Cali style with it’s extremely fast footwork that requres lots of stamina from dancers, great acrobatics and incredible musicality), Cuban “Casino” style ( Miami-style Casino and Rueda de Casino) known as salsa in a wheel. Couples are standing in a circle, caller calls the names of patterns, dancers  are dancing moves, and switch all at the same time.  It is  a great way to practice moves with as many repetitions as you want to polish the moves, since the focus is on synchronicity and being on time while switching partners. Salsa has grown so big that there are competitions around the world at local and international levels…  Latin Dance world Cup, or World Salsa Summit.

Calgary has it’s own International Salsa Congress  www.calgarysalsacongress.com … an amazing 3 day event with showcases and workshops taught and performed by International  Salsa and Bachata Stars and champions  as well as local dancers  and performers, It also presents competition for local dancers in group flight and show case devitions, as well as world championships qualifier.

Merengue, Bachata( old Style Dominican Style) bachata is taking the world by  storm with its soft, lyrical and love filled music and sensual close body contact movements and patterns. Cha Cha Cha,  which is absolutely different from American style or international style Cha Cha Cha… It is more free in it’s expression, there is no limit to patterns. As a dancer, you can create your own patterns, with your own flavor and stylistic preference. All Latin American countries have their own predominant styles) Cumbia is a very popular form of social dancing within the latin american population…it is slower than salsa…could be danced solo as well as in partnership.  New wave  in social latin is Kizomba ( hip action and isolations  with mix of Argentine Tango moves) and Zouk (both Kizomba  and Zouk evolved  from Brazil with African influence of Samba)

Argentine Tango  which stands out on it’s own. Even though it was created in Argentina, and has it’s roots in African music as well..the influence of European style quintets and quartets with  a combination of classical instruments like base, cello, piano and accordion( or bandanion) it has a different flavor to it and has drawn different demographics of people. Argentine Tango, world, and other social Latin club dances don’t blend in, they stand on their own evolving separately from each other.  Over the years Argentine Tango  developed many different sub-styles as  Traditional Style ( original style of orchestra), Nuevo ( with addition of electrical instruments in it to tradition, cello, violin, piano and accordion) this style known for its strong rhythm section based on electrical instruments that mostly repeat through out the entire song.. we found that it is easier to teach beginners in North America to a Nuevo style music…since the rhythm section is  so pronounced..then introducing to people traditional pieces where the melody line represented sometimes by only one instrument and go on exploration for a while without a support of any rhythm instruments. Also it is very beautiful in its expression…we fount that it is very difficult for people to hear and learn the musicality of this dance. Milonga is faster style of Argentine Tango with more emphasis on fast rhythm… the steps are faster and smaller..to achieve traveling in time with music.

3. Country and Western Dance

encompasses many dance forms or styles, which are typically danced to country-western music, and  are stylistically associated with American country and/or western traditions. Many of these dances were “tried and true” dance steps that had been “put aside” for many years, and became popular under the name(s) “country-western”, “cowboy”, or “country”

Western couple dancing is a form of social dance. Many different dances are done to country-western music. These dances include: Two step, Waltz, Triple Two step( also known as Double Shuffle)Cowboy or Traveling Cha Cha Cha, Polka, Ten Step(also known as Ten Step Polka), Schottische , and other Western promenade Dances,East Coast swing,West Coast swing, and Night Club Two step( also known s Night Club Slow). The Two Step and various Western promenade or pattern couples dances are unique to country western dancing.

Western group dances include the following:

  • Line dance
  • Square dance
    • Traditional square dance
    • Modern western square dance

Because of cowboy boots, country western dance is more likely to feature a flat-footed glide with some heel and toe touches rather than a lot of “toe type” dancing.In addition to a quiet upper body, there is very little hip movement.

Cowboy, or “country” waltz consists of gliding steps that are consistent with wearing cowboy boots, rather than “on the balls of the feet” quick steps of the classic version. Neither foot is lifted completely from the ground. Steps should be a light footed glide rather than a flat footed shuffle.

There are many versions of each dance. They may go by different names depending on the area of the U.S., and even in the particular dance hall. There may be no one “correct” way to a particular dance.

5. Swing Dances

“Swing dance” is most commonly known as a group of dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920s-1950s, although the earliest of these dances predate “swing era” music. The best known of these dances is the Lindy hop, a popular partner dance that originated in Harlem in 1927 and is still danced today. While the majority of swing dances began in African American communities as vernacular African American dances, some swing era dances, such as the Foxtrot and the Balboa, developed in white communities.

Early forms of swing in 1930-40s are Lindy Hop danced to many different styles of music with blues or jazz rhythm (with the exception of jazz waltzes), as well as non-traditional styles of music such as hip hop. Lindy-Hop is characterized by tricks and high-flying arieal movements.  Balboa primarily danced in close embrace to fast jazz (usually anything from 180 to 320 BPM beats per minute), though many like to Balboa to slower (170-190 BPM) tempi.  West Coast Swing is a 6-count dance that occasionally includes 8-count patterns. It is a slotted dance, meaning the partners dance in “slots,” designed for couples to have space in an otherwise crowded dance floor. Preffered tempos tend to be more moderate than the faster-paced Jitterbug or Lindy-Hop styles. Collegiate Shag Collegiate Shag was accompanied by music that emphasized a 2-beat rhythm and was danced in the varieties of single, double, and triple shag. The variety of names describe the amount of slow (step, hop) steps executed before being followed by a single quick, quick rhythm. The most common form recognized as Collegiate Shag is double-shag rhythm. St. Lois Shag done in the “Sang That Rhyme” Charleston position. The steps are: two step, rock step, kick forward, step down, kick forward (other leg), stag, step, stomp (repeat). The “stag” is bringing the leg up with the knee bent. As a variation, when repeating, one can do two forward kicks (or “switch, switch”, referring to switching feet) in place of the rock step. Jitterbug is often associated with one form of swing dance, but is not in fact a general term for all swing dances and is more appropriately used to describe a swing dancer rather than a specific swing dance (i.e. a jitterbug can dance Lindy Hop, Shag, or any other swing dance).

Later forms the 40s -50s and later  Lindy Hop  Traditional Lindy Hop in its purest form is found in many US locations and in Sweden. Swedish Lindy Hoppers preserve much of the old-style technique which was passed on to them by Frankie Manning, through various visits in the 1980s and 1990s. Lindy Charleston is essentially the 1930s and ’40s Partnered Charleston woven in and out of Lindy Hop moves. Lindy Charleston involves a number of positions, including side-by-side, hand-to-hand, and tandem Charleston.  Eastern Swing is an evolution of Fox Trot.

    East Coast Swing is a simpler 6-count variation of Lindy Hop, that evolved with swing-band music of the 1940s and the work of the Arthur Murray dance studios in the 1940s. It is also known as Six-count Swing, Triple-Step Swing, or Single-Time Swing. East Coast Swing has very simple structure and footwork along with basic moves and styling. It is popular for its simple nature and is often danced to slow, medium, or fast tempo jazz, blues, or rock and roll. Occasionally, Rockabilly, aka Rock-a-billy, is mistaken for East Coast Swing, but Rockabilly is more closely related to Western Swing.

West Coast Swing was developed in the 1940s, as a stylistic variation on Lindy Hop. It is a slotted and danced to a wide variety of music including: blues, rock and roll, country western, smooth and cool jazz. It is popular throughout the US and Canada but was uncommon in Europe and much of Asia until the 21st Century. West-coast-swing communities are growing in Australia, Brazil, France, India, New Zealand, Ukraine , Romania, the UK, and elsewhere.Western Swing has long been the name for jazz-influenced western music of the 1940s and, by extension, two-step, line dancing or swing dance done to such music. Contemporary 21st century Country Swing or dancing or “Country Western Swing Dancing” (C/W Swing) has a distinct culture, with classes and instructional videos on YouTube and DVD teaching dips, lifts, aerials and flips. It adds variations from other country dances, swing styles, salsa and more. As the name suggests, it is most often danced to country and western music.  Boogie-woogie It is danced to rock music of various kinds, blues or boogie woogie music but usually not to jazz. As the dance has developed, it has also taken to 8-count variations and swing outs similar to Lindy Hop, while keeping the original boogie-woogie footwork. Carolina ShagIt is most often associated with beach music, which refers to songs that are rhythm-and-blues-based and, according to Bo Bryan, a noted shag historian and resident of Beaufort County, is a term that was coined at Carolina beach, North Carolina. Imperial swing is a cross between East Coast and West Coast Swing as it is done in slot and in the round. As people traveled around, they added parts of west coast, bop and Carolina shag to complement the dance and make it distinctive. People can tell the difference between St. Louis dancers and dancers from other parts of the country.

Jive is a dance of International Style Ballroom dancing. It initially was based on Eastern swing taken to England by American Troops in World War II and evolved before becoming the now standardized form of today. There are many you tube videos on international style jive.  Skip Jive is a British variant of the Jive, popular in the 1950s and 1960s, danced to trad jazz.   Modern Jive(also known as LeRoc and Ceroc) developed in the 1980s, reputedly from a French form of Jive. Modern Jive is not technically of the Jive family. There are debates about whether it is a form of swing dancing due to lack of syncopations, rhythmic footwork variations, a static partner dynamic, and lack of swinging music, amongst the swing community at large, but they do consider themselves a style of swing.

Rock and Roll- Developing in the 1950s in response to rock and roll music, is very popular in Australia and danced socially as well as competitively and in performances.  Acrobatic Rock’n'roll associated with Russian gymnasts who took up the dance, though it is popular throughout Europe today. It is a performance dance and sport rather than a social dance, though there are people who remove the acrobatic stunts to dance it on a social level. Washington hand dancing originated around Washington, DC in the mid-1950s, DC’s own adaption of Lindy Hop once the music changed and a new generation of dancers started innovating to Soul Music and R&B.  Push and Whip are Texas forms of swing dance developed in the 1940s and 1950s. They are slotted swing dances, danced to a wide variety of music including blues, pop, jazz, and rock and roll. Similar to West Coast Swing, they emphasize the closed position, double resistance/rock step, and lead-follow.  Modern swing brings a modern update to traditional Lindy Hop from the 1940s and 1950s. Among its influential figures are dancers Yuval Hod and Nathalie Gomez (world champions in several occasions), who are known for incorporating Salsa and ballroom moves into Lindy Hop, using a variety of modern clean “swing outs” and wearing modern outfits in competitions. Mo-cathy or  silly swing is a developing type of swing dance in which the hands are just shown to the partner and without touching the dance moves on, there are elements of craziness in it expressed by facial expressions and it is tried to mix silliness in rhythmic manner while dancing.

6. Disco music: Hustle

The Hustle is a catchall name for some disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. It was also made in 1972. Today it mostly refers to the unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs to disco music.It has some features in common with swing. Its basic steps are somewhat similar to the Discosfox, which emerged at about the same time and is more familiar in various European countries. In the 1970s there was also a line dance called the Hustle—which is regaining popularity as people throw 1970s theme parties or schools have 1970s dance performances. Modern partner hustle is sometimes referred to as New York Hustle. People still do this today.

How do I choose  right style of dancing for me?

We think it all depends on your music preference and final goal…What is your goal when you start learning a dance?…is it to be part of a new community and find new friends or life partner? Or is it to become an expert and dance on professional/the highest amateur level in one particular style? Over years of teaching partnership dancing, we have come to the conclusion that our interest as people changes through the years…though some people choose to stick with one particular style  and explore all ins and outs of it…the majority of dancers explore many styles  throughout the years, and that makes them more adaptable and versatile.  It is all up to you….Hopefully we were able to guide you to ask yourself the right questions to figure things out for yourself.

What styles of partnership dances  are danced in Calgary?

1. Ballroom and Latin: International and American style( for style description see above).  Competitions and big events : Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix

2.Social Latin or Latin Club : Salsa LA style( on 1), Salsa  New York style (on 2),  Cuban Salsa, Casino Rueda, Bachata, Merengue, Bachatatango. Major events: Calgary International Salsa Congress( www.calgarysalsacongress.com)

3. Argentine Tango Gala

4.Country and Western. Major event “Dance Stampede”

5. East Coast swing, West coast swing , Lindy Hop, Jive International Style

5. Hustle

Etiquette on social dance floor FAQs

How to make a good impression? What do I wear to private/group  dance class/ or social dance event?

To make  a good impression first things we need to address is Hygiene.  Make sure that clothes are clean and you have no body odour. If you sweat profusely bring a towel with you. no heavy perfume since lots of people are allergic to fragrances.
Do I need a partner to learn partnership dancing?

You don’t need to have  a partner to start learning how to dance. In group classes there will be partner switching. If you decide to start with private lessons you will be dancing with  the male or female instructor. Our primary goal is to make sure that you are having fun while learning to dance and your confidence level is consistently growing. As instructors of partnership dancing , and being part of dance community in Calgary for over 20years,  it is our responsibility to introduce you to the community so that you are able to meet new people.

How to overcome shyness and ask someone to dance?

It doesn’t matter what level of dancing you are in…everyone else was wearing your shoes at some point. If you have this problem it means that you just recently started dancing or haven’t danced in a while. The  best suggestion we can give you is to be upfront, and be humble. Ask someone to dance because you either like the way they dance or just would like to learn how to dance. Introduce yourself and be respectful. The more often you ask other people to dance, the more often they will ask you in return…Remember people are just as shy as you are…

Simple lines could be : “I really like your dancing…could you dance with me please… i have just started recently” , “Would you like to dance…I’ve been dancing for  awhile but I’m still learning”, ” This is my first time…would you please dance  with me?”

What  Attitude will serve me the  most?

Smile, and introduce yourself to people. Work to overcome shyness.

There is  a great saying :’ “People will not remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Be welcoming and kind to people and they will always be kind and welcoming to you in response.


When is a good time to say No to a dance invitation? How to do it politely?

  • when you are extremely tired and need a little break. Be honest about it and remember the person who asked you to dance..so you  may find them later and ask them to dance in return.  you can ask that person right away if they will save  you  a dance next time you see them.
  • If a person is asking you to dance many times in a row and you feel like your personal space is being invaded with  no consideration of your wants. In this case be polite…(that person might not even be aware that they make you  feel uncomfortable) In this case finish the song, thank them for a dance  and say that you have  here many other friends you promised dances tonight.  If a person is making remarks of sexual character and you feel you are being harassed..again be polite but firm..say that you need to use washroom to get away…find friends or dance instructor,  explain situation and ask them to help you to get away from them or keep an eye on that person. Ask your friends to walk you to  your car when you are ready to leave.  Usually we don’t have situations like that happening..but once in  a while it happens when a new person has not yet learned the etiquette in the dance community.
  • when you are asked to dance a dance you have never learned before and you feel  uncomfortably to try it. In this case, thank the person for asking you to dance and be upfront that you don’t know this dance. You can ask them to try a different style later on.

When you become part of a dance community you become part of dance family, treat your family members with respect and gentleness. We all get together to have a great time on the dance floor and each member’s personal mood, attitude and behavior contributes to whole community. Lets have fun!

Competition and getting ready for it FAQs
Kids classes FAQs

Information coming soon on kids classes.

How young can my child start dancing and what genre?

How do I get my child in performance group?

How young my child can start competing and what are the benefits?

Read more in Competition and getting ready for it.

Dance Costumes/Footwear/ Make Up/Practice wear FAQs

Where do I get  simple dance costume that does’t cost a lot of money?

Where do I get professionally made costume? What will be the price?

 What kind of outfit is great for practice for a lady or man?

 Where do I get Dance shoes? Why do I need them?

Dance shoes  are designed to enhance dance skills. They hug your foot precisely so that you are aware where your feet are. They have leather( tango) or swede  (ballroom/latin shoes) flexible bottom that allows you spin faster, feel the floor as well as point your toes.

There are different type of shoes for partnership dancing obviously:

a. ladies and mans footwearb. LatinStandard or Tango
c. flat dance shoe wear: jazz runners, ballos, anyting that imitates a dance sneaker.

Steve Van : sells Ray Rose (403) 540 2158 contact by phone


Tango/Salsa shoes( hibrid:))

1.Shine dance wear ( rhinestoned,they have i think 2 kinds of tango/salsa shoes)comfy for salsa and tango
Latin shoes: heel varies from 2″- 3,5″ ( ask to show different heel length …compare), shoes with  thin straps (look better) but tend to have toes outside.  Have one thicker strap and couple small ones for embellishment. I prefer satin finish to leather.. Satin tend to mold to skin faster than leather and they look dressier on the foot.  The colors work with most of the close is dark Toffee or black, light tan color gets dirty fast.

Good brands

1. Ray Rose
2. Internationals
3. Shine dance wear

Man shoes Standard Heel (don’t buy  latin/cuban heel)
These will allow you to be able to dance all genres/ performance
1. Capezeo
2. Ray Rose
3. Internationals

 Mans  Latin/cuban heel( for ballroom competitors only)

1. Ray Rose
2. Internationals


Frequently Asked Questions:

There are many different areas you may have questions in. We tried to

categorize them so that you may find necessary information quickly…

Please read through the category options to find your applicable question.

Hope that helps!