Friday, January 30, 2009

Wedding Dance Cultural Traditions

Weddings are steeped with traditions passed down from generation to generation or can represent the couple’s family background which they’d like to share with their friends and honor their heritage. This includes wedding dances which play a vital part of the wedding. Even in modern day weddings, couples include traditional dances to pay homage to their age old customs and traditions.

A large portion of guests are not familiar with most dance customs other cultures practice during the reception part of the wedding. Here’s an overview of a few cultures.

Jewish Wedding Dances - Hora
Usually danced to the song “Hava Nagila” or a compilation of energetic traditional music, the Hora is a popular dance form conducted practically at every Jewish wedding. The bride and groom, while each sitting on chairs, are lifted above the shoulders of the guests. The couple may wave a handkerchief to each other or hold the ends of a single handkerchief. A wide circle of guests is formed around the couple, dancing clockwise and counterclockwise.  

The foot movements include kicks and grape-vine like steps, which can be accompanied by bobbing and weaving as well. The circle of friends and family often alternate between a large loose circle and coming in close to the couple and out again.  

Greek Wedding Dances

There are four Greek dances you’ll most likely encounter at a Greek wedding.

Kalamatiano
A lively, 12 step open circle dance. This is usually the first dance to occur at celebrations, particularly in Greek communities outside Greece. If you feel intimidated at first sight of the dance, you have plenty to time to get comfortable with the steps since the bands often play 15 to 20 minute marathons of this music.

Tsamiko
Also an open circle dance, but by contrast is much slower. The circle follows a simple 12 step routine while the person leading the circle performs various tricks. Though this dance is not very fast paced, it is a touch experience for the leader, especially if it’s an older woman or gentleman.


Tsifteteli
Perfect for anybody uncomfortable with choreography of the previously two dances, this dance is the Greek version of belly dancing and involves just wiggling their hips.

Zembekiko
Performed at the end of the night, it is also known as the “Drunken man’s” dance because the swaggering, off-balance movement resembles the characteristics of a drunken man. It’s a freestyle dance which can be done solo or with a partner and you’ll likely see several participants kneeling and clapping around the dancers, then trading off with them once they’ve finished their dance.

Polish Wedding Dance
Pani Mloda
This is also known as the Bridal or Apron Dance. The bride will wrap a Polish wedding apron around her dress, signifying the end of her innocence and the beginning of her wifely and motherly duties. She then dance in a short spin from one guest to another. As each guest dances with the bride, the guests pin money to her apron or drop into one of the pockets. The last person to dance with her will be the groom. As the dance concludes, he will toss his wallet into an apron pocket and the bride and groom make their grand exit. This traditional is a fun and festive way to see the newlyweds off.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Partner Dancing Enhances Relationships


According to statistics, 40-50% of American marriages will end in divorce. So how can couples stay connected? How can they keep the honeymoon alive? Teach them to dance! 
People often ask dance instructors, "How do you get a couple to communicate and cooperate?" The answer lies in the beauty of the act of dancing itself. No words are allowed! 

In addition to couple’s talk therapy and pre-marital counseling from clergy, an activity such as partner dancing can bring peace and harmony and even romance to the most challenging couples and tackle problems before they start by helping couples work as a team through nonverbal communication training. The skills learned in partner dancing are powerful tools for enhancing patience, teamwork, trust, respect and cooperation - - all the same assets that contribute toward a happy marriage!

It’s important to recognize that in marriage sometimes the wife leads and sometimes the husband leads. The dance floor is more black and white. The man always leads and the woman always follows but the man is elected the President of the Dance. He is not the dictator and the woman has to learn to relinquish control and relax in order to look elegant and have fun. No words are necessary yet two souls are conversing.

Medical studies confirm ballroom dancing keeps the elderly fit, alert and happy. Our company, The Wedding Dance Specialists is one of the original trailblazers in getting couples started in this healthy habit when they are young. TWDS is the largest and most recommended of its kind in the nation. We have enhanced the relationships of thousands of couples with dance and romance. We look forward to hearing from you! Check out our website at www.theweddingdancespecialists.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Strathmore Afternoon Tea - The Perfect Interlude in the Hustle and Bustle of Life

Where: Strathmore Hall
When: Wednesday January 28
Time: 1:00 PM

Even lunch time is a great time for dance and romance for you and your fiance. Instead of brown bagging your lunch tomorrow, take your sweetie on a romantic lunch date to the Strathmore Hall. There, you can enjoy afternoon tea in the cozy atmosphere of the Shapiro Music Room while the soothing sounds of local musicians fill the room.  Don't forget to practice your dance moves to their elegant music! Along with the Strathmore Blend Tea specially made by Master Tea Blender John Harney, a light lunch of delectable tea savories will be served. For special event tickets and more information go to www.strathmore.org
If you are looking for other romantic date ideas consider learning to dance together with the most recommended wedding dance company in the nation! www.TheWeddingDanceSpecialists.com

Monday, January 26, 2009

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue


If you are looking for creative ways to satisfy the "something old" tradition, you might consider learning how to ballroom dance. Ballroom or partner dancing represents something “old” because it is an art form that originated centuries ago and a tradition that is enjoying a revival now. The dance styles originate from either tribal, folkloric or Victorian and played an important role in the social fabric of their respective cultures. Partner dancing is a classic way that couples can communicate without words. The couple taps into the eternal heartbeat of life and love through the pulse of the music and the rhythm of their connection. Face to face they see forever in each other’s eyes. That is why the “First Dance” is the pivotal moment that sets the tone for the rest of the reception. Dancing is like a secret. The couple has to yearn to learn of its age old mysteries in order to possess and harness its magical powers. The secret has been passed on through the centuries. It’s essence is whispered only into the ears of those who respect it’s wisdom of the ages. The audience is awed when in the presence of this mysterious tradition. It may be old but it is also timeless.

For dance lessons contact us at www.TheWeddingDanceSpecialists.com or 703.626.7016

Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Evening of Wine & Dance at the Embassy of France

Where: La Maison Fran├žaise 4101 Reservoir Road NW Washington DC 20007
When: Wednesday January 28, 2009
Time: 6:45 PM
Requested Attire: Business or cockatail

Are you and your fiance exhausted from wedding planning? Here is a romantic time out for both of you! The ICDC is pleased to present to you a special opportunity to learn how to dance the Viennese Waltz and cha cha at the Embassy of France. Beginners are welcome! You do not need a dance partner to sign up! Let them show you how to dance the Viennese Waltz, one of the most elegant and romantic ballroom dances followed by the cha cha, one of the most fun Latin dances. The dance lessons will be followed by time to practice what you have learned and meet other ICDC members who love to dance. For more information go to http://www.internationalclubdc.com

Learn the Viennese Waltz and other dance styles to prepare for this event by contacting us at www.TheWeddingDanceSpecialists.com or 703.626.7016

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Flamenco Dance...Starring You!


Where: Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University
When: Thursday, February 5 at 7pm & 9pm
Tickets: $20
Enjoy the taste of the best in Spanish wine and cheese and step up to Lisner's stage for an informative and entertaining session of flamenco dancing. The 7pm class is for anyone wishing to learn the basics taught by DC's own Sara Jerez-Marlow. The 9pm class, led by DC legend Ana Martinez, is best for students with any background in dance or interest in flamenco dance.

Get your tickets early for this sure to sell-out, limited capacity event!

For more information, go to http://lisner.org/

Friday, January 16, 2009

Keeping Warm with Romance

It’s a cold weekend for our area, the coldest it has been in years weather forecasters say. Avoid the bitter chill and use this opportunity to stay in and warm up with your sweetie. Here are a few ideas the two of you can do together with in the comfort and warmth of your own home.

For the Movie Buffs: Themed Movie Marathons
Decide on a theme for your marathon. There are many different kinds to come up with, and if you’re a movie aficionado, the possibilities can be endless. You could choose an actor and watch the films he has starred in that earned him Academy Award nominations. Create your own off-beat genre, for example, “action movies which feature some sort of public transportation.” Or to get you in the mood for your pending nuptials, look through our movie list for wedding and dance films!


Once you’ve gotten your movies lined up, put out a full night’s worth of snacks, fluff up your pillows, and find a warm blanket you and your sweetie can cuddle under. Dim the lights, press play and let the romance begin.

For the Foodie Couple:
Stir up some romance in the kitchen. Find a new recipe the both of you would like to try, and cook it together. You’ll enjoy yourselves working side by side as the aromas of herbs & spices fill the air. When your special meal has been prepared, make it a picnic in front of the fireplace instead of the usual dinner table. If you don’t have a fireplace, then light up all the candles you have. Turn on your favorite music and open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a “special occasion” to complete the romantic ambience. Remember to save room for dessert!

For the Outdoorsy Types:
Those prone to cabin fever will find a way out of their house despite the cold weather conditions. If you and your sweetheart don’t mind braving the cold, try a wintry stroll at a near by park. Go ice-skating at your local rink. Some ice rinks have open skating where they play dance music and a colorful disco ball shimmers overhead. Use the strong winds to fly a kite. After you work up a good outdoor exercise, chase the cold away with two mugs of hot chocolate and curling up next to your honey.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dance Around the World!

Two to Tango: An Evening in Buenos Aires - ArgentineTango Lessons and Latin dance party

Where: Meze Restaurant, Bar, & Lounge (Adams Morgan)2437 18th street NW Washington DC
When: Wednesday, January 14
Time: 7:45 PM Check-in

8:00 PM Argentine tango dance lesson starts. No dance partner is needed, as we will rotate partners during the lesson.

9:00 PM Dance party continues with dancing to mostly tango music with some salsa, merengue, and other Latin music for variety.

Attire: Business or cocktail

You are welcome to come by yourself. No dance partner is needed, as we will rotate partners during the lesson. Learn to dance the Argentine Tango as it is danced in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After the class, enjoy a dance performance and dance the night away to tangoand Latin music.

To purchase tickets, go to
www.InternationalClubDC.com/



Kennedy Center Black-Tie Inaugural Gala reception and Mariinsky Ballet Performance of Don Quixote

Where: Kennedy Center
When: Friday, January 16
Time: 7:00 PM, the ballet performance starts. Followed by the Black-Tie Gala Reception at the South Opera Tier Lounge where you’ll enjoy a variety of delectable desserts, the company of your ICDC friends, and a live jazz ensemble.
Attire: Cocktail attire requested. Black-tie optional.

We cordially request the pleasure of your company for a very special inaugural gala reception at the Kennedy Center with a performance of Don Quixote by the Mariinsky Ballet. After the ballet performance, join us for a red carpet black-tie Gala reception at the South Opera Tier Lounge. Feast on delectable desserts with wine and drinks served at the open bar while enjoying the the company of your ICDC friends. A live jazz ensemble will also keep you company as you enjoy music and dancing under the opulent glow of the chandeliers

To purchase tickets, go to
www.InternationalClubDC.com/



Black-Tie Inaugural Gala at the Embassy of Indonesia: A celebration of Indonesian culture, music, dance and cuisine

Where: Embassy of Indonesia
When: Saturday, January 17
Time: 6:30PM – 11:00 PM
Attire: Business or cocktail requested. Black-tie optional

International Club of DC, with the cooperation of the Embassy of Indonesia,cordially requests the pleasure of your company for a very special black-tieinaugural gala at the Embassy of Indonesia. The 44th President of the UnitedStates discovered Indonesia when he was a child and attended school inIndonesia from 1967 - 1971. It is now your turn to discover the richcultural heritage of Indonesia! The Live Gamelan Music and Traditional Indonesia Dance Presentation is a very rare treat as we have made arrangements to present a special concert and performance of traditional costumed Indonesian singers and dancers. The evening includes a traditional Indonesian Dinner Buffet with a selection of Regional Wine.

Please note that capacity for this very special and unique celebration is limited and isexpected to be sold out. Please make your reservations soon. After dinner, dance the night away to the sounds of a Jazz Ensemble. We are certain to sell out this event soon!

To purchase tickets, go to
www.InternationalClubDC.com/

Monday, January 5, 2009

Russian New Year's Ball 2009



DC's fabulous New Year's Celebration! Don't Miss this wonderful event to benefit The Prince Obolensky Home for Special Children, Kaluga Province, Russia.

When: Friday January 9, 2009
Time: 7:30 PM.
Champagne Toast at midnight
Where: The Grand Ballroom at the Mayflower Hotel
Attire: White or Black tie, or Russian costumes

Entertainment by Special Guests~ The Washington Balalaika Society and Washington Ballet and Sydney's Orchestra and the Russian Dance Troupe.

Featuring~ Debutantes-Cotillion Dance.

Individual Tickets- $195 All inclusive (Cocktails, Dinner, Cultural
Program, Dessert and Dancing) $ 50 for the young at heart - DANCING
ONLY, Cash Bar

TICKETS AVAILABLE by CALLING 202-249-2619 or e-mail
srs.obolensky@rcn.com

All contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Alexis D.

See you there!