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Salsa and Bachata Dancing, "Dear Edie..." Advice Column, Nightclubs, Events, Forum, Blogs, Articles

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  • Dancing at other studios/socials/clubs. It is your money so why not?

    Dancing at other studios/socials/clubs. It is your money so why not?

    I run into this a lot and still do not get it. So maybe this article that I wrote a while back can help you understand that you have the freedom to choose! It is your dollars being spent. ---------------------------------------- Here is the scenario. You decided you are going to take dance lessons. You chose a studio, Studio Chiki Chiki. A few months later you met other people that are also taking dance lessons BUT at a different studio, Studio Buga Buga. These people have invited you to take lessons with them at Studio Buga Buga and also attend their dance. What do you do? You are torn!! You feel that if you say yes, you are committing a sin! You are not "loyal" to the studio you are currently taking lessons from. You feel like a traitor. You feel that you might hurt your i...
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  • How I discovered La Vida Salsa

    How I discovered La Vida Salsa

    Sometimes, it only takes one person or event to illuminate the path we are walking on or to cast a shadow so that we can see the alternatives. For me, it was a few critical things in succession that led me to Salsa. And fortunately, the timing was right for me to see the path I was on and the alternatives. The path I was on was leading to a very dark unhappy place. I was depressed, over eating, drinking more than was appropriate and not feeling particularly good about myself and defiantly not attractive. The first glimmer of hope to my new found Vida Dulce was a woman at work. She was outgoing and feisty. We were in a meeting, discussing how to make the sale to keep customers. She brought up the fact that confidence is sexy, confidence is attractive. This, got the wheels in my head turning. But, Salsa was still a ways off. The next event was a pa...
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  • Having a syllabus is important

    Having a syllabus is important

    When I took my first dance lesson, the instructor was just pulling moves out of a hat. No structure, no organization. After two months of this we would repeat the basics because new people jumped in. He never accommodated for that. I went to another instructor that did much better but sitll didn't have a syllabus. Before I started teaching, I asked myself "What should I teach?, Where should I begin?" The answers came and I started to write down what would a beginner (absolute beginner) NEED. Not what I wanted to teach. What would that beginner need so the he/she would enjoy...
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  • Avoiding the Sleaze Factor in Close Partner Dancing

    Avoiding the Sleaze Factor in Close Partner Dancing

    Photo by Bob Mcgahan

    I asked about 75 students at a recent Partner Connection workshop, "How many of you have ever had a close, body-to-body dance and felt uncomfortable or yucky?" I then asked, "How many of you have ever had a close, body-to-body dance and felt comfortable?" The same people put up their hands. More and more, as a result of spending so much time on the subject, people (mostly girls) share with me their stories of Emotional Connection on the dance floor. By now I could fill a short book on "Emotional Connection Gone Bad". Quite often the word "sleazy" comes up an...
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  • Division in the dance community (any dance community)

    Division in the dance community (any dance community)

    I felt compelled to write this article because many ask me why so and so didn't show up or why was so and so not invite, etc.... It is hard when there is division in the dance community. It truly serves no purpose.

    Have you ever wondered why some dance communities have "divisions"? Have you ever wondered why instructors, promoters, dancers just don't unite and be one happy family? This is not an easy topic to pin point why some dance communities are divided. Big or small it doesn't matter. The dance commuities that are divided will have factors that are common to each other. It is not easy at all to over come some factors...
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  • It is your money....choose wisely

    It is your money....choose wisely

    In today's world... it appears as if there is an "instructor" at every corner. There are plenty who THINK they can teach. This is a disservice tot he dance community. SO... what to do? YOU as an aspiring student should/must do some research. Ask around....

    Below are just a few things to look for in an "instructor". This is not an all inclusive list. I am sure others could add some great qualities not listed here.


    ALSO... it is YOUR money that you are spending so please choose wisely!

    Qualities of a Good Salsa Dance Instructor So you have decided you are going t...
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  • How do you SPIN so fast?

    How do you SPIN so fast?


    Edie, How Do You Spin so Long, and So Fast?

    By Edie, The Salsa FREAK
    Ever since I learned how to spin - and FAST (I was 34 years old when I learned) people have ALWAYS come up to me and asked, ‘Geez Edie, how do you spin like that?’ Well, I’m here to tell you, I didn’t always spin like that. It took training, time, education, falls, twisted ankles, mental determination, and LOTS of practice. Like I tell all my students, when I spin, I think about the following things:
    1) Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude 2) Whipping my shoulders around as fast as possible. 3) Bending my knees. 4) Staying on both balls of my feet. 5) Maintaining a straight back (good posture) 6) Dragging my feet 7) Free arm in front of my stomach, palm facing down. 8) Keeping the arm the guy is holding firm like a rock and in an L-shape in front of my face. 9) Holding my own weight and not depending on the guy to hold me up. 10) "I WILL outlast this guy's spinning hand!!" M
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  • Are You Kissable?

    Are You Kissable?

    In order to be danceable you must be kissable.

    I have lost count of how many girls I have danced with who are sporting body odor and/or bad breath.

    We all have our moments of being unorganized but our dance partners appreciate it when we:
    • brush our teeth
    • use an appropriate dose of deodorant
    • wash our hands when visiting the bathroom
    • wear fresh clean clothes that don't have that not-quite dried smell
    Most dancers I know tend to leave at least one pair of dance shoes in their car all the time. Why not add to that a small bag containing toothbrush, toothpaste,...
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  • Salsa and Drag Queens

    Salsa and Drag Queens

    For most of my life, Oz was the magical land where Dorothy ended up after being rescued by a tornado from the drudgery that was her life in black and white Kansas. But on Bourbon Street, Oz is nothing of the sort. I landed in New Orleans earlier in the day with a group of eight of my non-dancing chapter-mates for the Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society Convention. Each of us has will present work that we’ve written and had accepted: academic essays, poetry, and in my case, short fiction. Each year in the convention is held in a different city; the three previous conventions I’ve attended have been in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. But this year the convention is in New Orleans, the week after Mardi Gras. Strands of shiny beads, in purple and green and g...
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  • Practice: No partner? No space? No problem!

    Practice: No partner? No space? No problem!

    When I was just starting to learn Latin dance I received compliments from some of my dance partners who commented, 'You must have been practicing a lot this past week!' It was a great feeling to receive that kind of positive feedback and to look over at my teacher and receive his 'You're doing well' grin. I'm going to let you in on a little secret of mine: I didn't do all that much practice. Well, not that much physical practice. My then girlfriend and I would typically have an impromptu five-minute practice in the kitchen most evenings but the real practice happened in bed... In ...
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