WHAT IS DANCING?
Dancing is a universal language. Two or more people can connect and communicate with nothing more than the movement of their bodies and their desire to move to the rhythm of the music. Music gives us a chance to communicate with people without even having to speak, to express ourselves without a single word.
Dancing isn't so much about the steps - it is more about understanding the natural movement of your body on the rhythm of the music (through connection with your partner and the dance floor), as well as the possibilities and limitations of one’s mind and emotions. It is a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, emotional expression & feeling, as well as intellectual & psychological stimulation.
MUSIC | RHYTHM | BODY | SOUL | ACTION | SPACE | ENERGY
"The truest expressions of a people are in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.”
–Agnes de Mille
What is Partner Dancing?
Partner dances are dances whose basic choreography involves coordinated dancing of two partners, as opposed to individuals dancing alone or individually in a non-coordinated manner, and as opposed to groups of people dancing simultaneously in a coordinated manner.
Partner dancing is dancing performed by a pair of dancers, typically a male and a female, in which the pair strives to achieve a harmony of coordinated movements so that the audience remains unaware of the underlying mechanics and dynamics. It relies on the application of dance partnering techniques that facilitate coordinated movements by a pair of dancers. In particular, it usually involves one dancer providing guidance, support, or both, for the other dancer. Dance partnering technique appears in various forms in many types of dance and is an essential part of all partner dances.
Who should be dancing (and take up lessons)?
- Absolutely Everybody (age 3+) – for hundreds of reasons! – but if you are a bit more curious, please read on.
- Single Person
- Couple – the BEST activity a couple can do together (the principles employed why dancing and relationships work, are the same!)
- Men, Guys, Boys (dancing was created for men, by men (the pre- and post- “war dances” & “hunt dances” – at some point, women just could not bear to be left out from all the fun anymore! ;-)). There are lots of ladies out there who want to dance and who love to dance; you’ll make your partner happy; you are respected and admired by both other men as well as practically all women.
- Pre-school & School Children
- Tertiary Students – various possibilities & events
- Pensioners – keep mobile, flexible, strong, agile, fit and the mind sound!
- Disabled Persons (Wheelchair, Blind)
- Any candidate for…
- the Matric Farewell Dance (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
- a Talent Competition (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
- a Debutante Ball event (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
- a 21st Birthday Party & their guests (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
- Any prospective…
- Wedding Couple, their guests & entourage (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
- and active Dance Teacher
- needing rehab & improvement of movement (suffer from headaches, sore muscles, nervous system issues, muscular & skeletal deformities…)
- needing more self-confidence – on and off the dance floor
- working in public and with the public
- who is stressed-out at home or at work
- who just want to be able to “dance like the Stars”
- looking to pursue dance as a professional career
- Anyone who wants/needs …
- to stay young for longer
- more fun and excitement in their lives
- to get fit, mobile, flexible, stronger
- to lose weight and/or get in shape
- to have better muscle tone, control & coordination
- to live a more balanced, healthy lifestyle
- to feel great about themselves
- to become more confident, extrovert and outgoing
- to improve the quality of their social life
- to learn this basic, essential, rewarding and fun life skill (and reap the benefits for the rest of your life)
- to get actively involved in a sport activity
- to gain a toned, dancer's body
- to do show dancing
- to make dancing their serious hobby
- to study dance, music & movement
- to increase their current understanding and ability of social, competitive & show dancing – all competence levels from beginner to advanced
- to open your own dance studio and require a world-wide recognised dance system and syllabus
- Movement Assistance
Staff Members of Private & Corporate Companies – team building (build your team's morale & cohesiveness) & team items at various events (for a successful and memorable dance experience)
Why should you dance
(what are the benefits of dancing)?
One of the great benefits of learning to dance is that your dancing will last a lifetime. It is always yours to treasure, continue with and enjoy.
The benefits of dancing are easy to comprehend – fun, exercise, acquired knowledge and meeting people are natural outcomes of dancing. Some students have been referred by their physicians or medical specialists to take up dancing, or recommended by others to continue dancing due to the benefits they have experienced.
Dancing enhances your life in many ways. While developing your dancing skills and becoming a better dancer, you will also gain many other benefits. See documents in "Interesting Facts & Media Coverage" section below.
Unleash your feet, because music and dance make the heart beat.
Where can you dance?
Your local dance studio might be a natural first choice (including classes, social events, competitions, etc.), but if you look around in your area (Google is your friend) - you might find a good spot or two.
Surely, at any given stage of your life, you have come across a situation where you COULD dance, SHOULD HAVE danced, WISH YOU COULD dance, or, at the least, SAW SOMEONE ELSE dance.
To list places where you can go to dance, or where you can dance, or getting asked to, or having to ask someone else (and the list continues), will be an impossible task. An opportunity often mysteriously appears without you least expecting it. Always seize it!
The bottom line is, if you can dance, the right floor will show itself - whether it be in a kitchen, or in a grand ballroom; on a sandy beach somewhere romantic with the sun setting or in a reality TV studio; at a year-end function, or on a street in Buenos Aires... Surely, you can imagine a few (hundred) more places...
DANCE STYLES & THE DANCES
Learn how to dance 'local style' at your favourite dance venue!
Add a new and dynamic side to your social life by learning how to dance the Two Step and Sokkie in no time! Having some knowledge of Social “Ballroom” dances and understanding the basics of SA Folk dances will "sort you out" on any social dance floor in South Africa! Social dancing with your partner (or even a complete stranger!) is very romantic, fun and easy to learn
Learn to dance the most popular ‘Ballroom’ partner dances like the Boogie, Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha–Cha and Rumba effortlessly – on any social dance floor!
Having some knowledge of SA Folk dances and understanding the basics of Social “Ballroom” dances will "sort you out" on any social dance floor in South Africa! Social dancing with your partner (or even a complete stranger!) is very romantic, fun and easy to learn.
We specialize in all the competitive Ballroom dances from around the world! (International as well as American styles)
Latin-American & Rhythm
●Cha-cha-cha (or Cha(-)cha)
●East Coast Swing
Standard Ballroom & Smooth
Learn how to dance the sensual Tango and experience its mysteries with a partner!
Tango comes from the heart and is not found in the steps. One is never too young or too old to learn how to dance it. Almost everyone who has ever seen the Tango being danced, has been captivated my its magic.
The Tango is intense and sensual. It is like a game of life played by two people, embracing one another, using their bodies and souls to communicate and interact with one another, stirring and sharing emotions and feelings that are inspired by Tango music. Dancing it, produces a state of mind where you are mysteriously satisfied – feeling more creative, expressive and confident.
As one master of the Tango once wisely said, ‘Tango is not difficult, but it is not easy either’. It does take some time to understand the underlying principles of the dance, but you will certainly be able to experience the feeling.
●Tango - Salon & Orillero (authentic styles - mostly open-embrace)
●Tango – Nuevo (including a fusion of other dance style elements into Tango)
●Tango – Fantasia (principles of show and stage Tango)
●Tango – Escenario (stage Tango)
Learn to dance the most popular, sexy and sensual Latin Club dances in no time!
●Salsa (Cuban style) [Cuba]
●Bachata (Caribbean style) [Dominican Rep.]
●Kizomba (fusion of styles) [Angola & Cape Verde]
●Merengue (Caribbean style) [Dominican Rep.]
●Reggaetón [Puerto Rico & Cuba]
A line dance is a choreographed dance with a repeated sequence of steps in which a group of people dance in one or more lines or rows, all facing either each other or in the same direction, and executing the steps at the same time.
Ladies Solo Latin (Suelta Latina) [Leander]
Love “Latin” dancing, but don’t have a partner (or just want to hang out with the girls)? Then these classes are for you!
Our ‘Suelta Latina’ program was designed for maximum results in the shortest time. You will learn basic dance moves from styles such as Salsa, Bachata, Rumba, Samba, Dirty Dancing, Merengue, and Cha-cha-cha while improving your fitness, styling and technique. Attend one or two classes per week – always fun, with pulsating music, sensual body movement, great spirit and lots of calories lost!
Clothing that doesn’t restrict movement, for example: T-shirt and sweatpants or a loose top and leggings.
Indoor shoes or smooth-soled sneakers are mandatory! Dancing sandals (with high heels) are not recommended for beginners.
Fusion Line Dancing [Leander]
Any style of choreographed dancing adapted to be danced as a single person in a group, on a specific musical track.
The new way of line dancing!
Any style of dance that we specialize in, e.g.
●Customized dances on request
The “spectrum” of Swing Dancing runs from one end with Shag, a “male-spotlighted” dance which involves “mirrored,” intricate, foot patterns done to “Beach” music, to the other end with West Coast Swing, a “female spotlighted” dance which involves the entire body in the expression of subtle nuances as well as strong “hits” in the music which can be anything from Contemporary, C&W, R&B, Blues, Beach, Soul, Jazz, Club, and Funk. All the other Swing Dances fall somewhere in-between these two ends of the spectrum. We specialize in…
●Lindy Hop (novelty)
●Charleston 20’s & 30’s styles
●East Coast Swing
●West Coast Swing
A modern style of Country Western dancing with dips, lifts, and high-flying aerials! This relatively easy, high-energy dance features basic moves common to most types of swing dancing, as well as unique moves perfectly suited for the style and tempo of modern country music.
“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Our achievements on the Dance Floor
Based in sound fundamentals of dance and movement, as well as styling, technique and performance obtained through decades of instruction in social, competitive and show dancing (both received and given), we have achieved great success with MANY students (past and present) right from our very first official "Social South African Dance Championships" in 2011 (and surely since before that (2008 – 2010) when the owner of Dance Scenario was a mutual partner in a competitive Pretoria-based Ballroom Dance Studio for over 3 years).
Top honors in exams, top podium placements at competitions in social, competitive & show dancing, and producing many regional and national champions (and runners-up) in various age groups (especially for single ladies dancers, competing in the “ProAm” sections), have given Dance Scenario a reputation of producing quality dancers and top performers across various genres of dance.
Dance Scenario in the Media
Dance Scenario featured on the South African, Afrikaans TV journal program "Kwêla", on the "Kyknet-DStv" channel in April 2019 when they covered the "Ball for All" event held at The Rockwood Theatre in Pretoria.
The Ball was the initiative of a wheelchair bound boy who wished for all his friends to be together, to be happy and having a great time. One of the competitors, Tania van Twisk, who is also bound to a wheelchair due to a tragic vehicle accident earlier in her life, came to have lessons with Leander at Dance Scenario's Groenkloof Studio where she received training for two months in order to prepare for participation in this glamourous event (being partnered with Leander, with great success and wonderful memories).
Kwêla not only covered Tania's life story, but also her participation in the gala dance event - from having lessons at the studio, to the final dance.
Age, Age Groups, Restrictions & Guidelines
Although dancing is for everyone and for all age groups, the dance style itself often determines minimum and maximum ages for its participants as a general (but not absolute) rule. If the dancer really wants to participate in any specific dance, regardless of their age, they certainly can do so.
From a dance studio’s perspective, there is no age limit for taking private lessons, but sometimes (in the case of “tiny tots” (a term used to refer to dancers under the age of 8) & “jelly tots” (under the age of 5)), the lack of understanding of their own bodies and/or lack of muscle control and coordination, will cause the dancer to either defer their starting time for that specific dance style, or to perhaps try another style in the meanwhile up to where they are ready to start their (or more often so, their parent’s) choice of style.
From a practical point as well as relational and social reasons and preferences, different group classes of the same style could be scheduled for different age groups – roughly as follows (sometimes, groups may be combined):
- 3 – 5 - Pre-school
- 6 – 8 - Primary School 1
- 9 – 13 - Primary School 2
- 14 – 18 - Secondary School
- 18 – 23 - Tertiary Student groups
- 19 – 64 - Adults
- 65+ - Pensioners/Seniors
Sometimes, a younger, more talented/skilled dancer may join a higher age group (e.g., a juvenile may wish to join a youth group - providing they can keep up); sometimes an older, more talented/skilled dancer may join a younger age group (e.g., a senior may wish to join an adult class – providing they can keep up).
When it comes to dance competitions, each organization has its own set of age gradings, that are loosely separated as follows (age groups may be combined):
- Tiny Tots – U/8 (both partners)
- Juvenile 1 – U/10 (both partners)
- Juvenile 2 – U/12 (both partners)
- Junior 1 – U/14 (one may be under)
- Junior 2 – U/16 (one may be under)
- Youth – U/19 or U/21 (one may be under)
- Adult – U/35 (one may be under)
- Senior 1 / Adult 2 – U/45 (both partners)
- Senior 2 / Masters 1 – U/55 (both partners)
- Senior 3 / Masters 2 – 55+ (both partners)
All these are general guidelines – some are more strictly enforced than others (depending on the organization).
Dance Levels & Elements of Dance at Each Level
Within each dance, each level of dance – Beginner/Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum/Masters/Advanced/Open – has defined elements and restrictions that are designed to create a proper progression through increasingly complex concepts of dancing.
The following list only touches on a few applicable ideas/elements to be understood by the dance student at each level.
Music, The Beat, Tempo, Musicality, Phrasing & Rhythm
For any dancer to be able to dance to their maximum potential, exploring possibilities, limits and nuances, and having mastered alternative movements and matters of control, partnership, musicality and dynamics, could take a long time to achieve, but is certainly extremely rewarding and in the grasp of anyone – providing they invest the time, energy and resources, and especially, have the desire to achieve that level.
An advanced dancer can easily be discerned from all other dancers in the way that they project themselves on the dance floor – with confidence, flair, charm and grace to mention but a few – that they have acquired over a long period of time through consistent training and practice, and often a healthy measure of experimenting and pushing the limits.
Some traits advanced dancers will utilize and portray on the floor that gives them that magical, captivating and coveted aura/persona/appearance, include the following:
- They are supremely confident and connected within themselves, and also in all aspects of their dance – their partner, the music, the floor, as well as the audience (if present and required).
- They understand the principles of movement and the underlying mechanics and dynamics thereof extremely well and can apply any or all of these with ease and without hesitation.
- They understand and respect the rules, but certainly know how to bend and break them when an opportunity presents itself.
- They have transcended the boundaries of logic and physics, and exist and move in a plane and dimension that makes all other things seem trivial.