I’m seeing more and more line dancers dip their toes in to test the waters of couples dancing.  It’s so exciting!  None of them has had a foot bitten off, so things are going well.  Kudos go out to the veteran dancers who encourage new dancers, especially the men of Cadillac Ranch, who are especially gracious with female line dancers who are trying to figure this out.  Line dancing and couples dancing are TOTALLY different – take a look at these two videos entitled “Helpful Hints – For Women/Men Only”.  Good stuff in there, if I do say so myself!

A great way to start couples dancing is with pattern dances, which are basically line dances danced with a partner.  These dances usually follow the perimeter of the room (depending on the dance), and repeat the pattern over and over throughout the song.  Pattern dances take the fear out of the gentlemen, as they don’t have to think of what moves to lead the woman through.  The moves are set and both partners know what they are doing.  They also introduce the “feel” of dancing in frame with someone else within the security of knowing the footwork.  Pattern dances are the perfect middle ground between lines and freestyle couples dances, like Two Step or Double Two.

Guess what?  Gary and I are kiciking off a four week session of pattern dances in Warrenville (3S240 Warren Ave, Warrenville, IL 60555) starting tonight at 7:30.  We’ll be teaching Barnyard Mixer, Shadow, El Paso Stroll, Schottische, Stationary Cha Cha, & Cha Cha Del Rio.  Please join us, even if you don’t have a partner – we always have singles and will hook you up – but any more hookups after class will be strictly up to you! 🙂

Click here for a map to class.

We have a few other training “cons” coming up – Boot Camp February 10 at Cadillac Ranch (www.cadranch.com/dancelessons.php), Dance Camp February 22 – 24 in Elmhurst (www.swingncountry.net/DCC), and the Ft. Wayne Dance For All February 28 – March 3 (www.ftwaynedanceforall.com).  So many choices; enjoy!!!

See you on the dance floor,

Janet Kruse

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  1. Janet — W O W !

    Very impresed with this ‘talk to men’ and you willingness to do say it. It gives a whole ‘nother level to you as a dance instructor.

    One thing I can add, if I may. I’m just getting serious about 2-stepping and have had to deal with the proper lead issue and of course had some mis-steps. Yes, it’s kinda wild on a real dance floor even with a few classes behind. But I’ve found that a combination of class rote (like Julie n Don’s) and joining the crowd with a ‘good’ partner have moved me along. I said a “good partner” because an inexperienced one may not know a lead if ya told her. And some don’t have what I call ‘dance sense.’ Yes, ha ha. Then in that case one feels completely inept and withdrawls. Happened to me until I found out up from down. Now I have a few follows that I’m able to communicate with and trust for essential feedback, but don’t become obsessed with asking — don’t want to spoil others fun night out. Think you know what I mean.

    Until that next dance — peter

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