Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dance Style: Tango

Tango music originated from Argentine, Brazilian and Spanish influences. The earliest traces of the Tango date back to the latter half of the 19th century-to the Milonga, an Argentine folk dance with Moorish, Arabic and Spanish ancestry. Years later, the Argentine Gauchos (streetwise single men) danced a modified version of the Milonga, in the seedy bars and bordellos of Buenos Aires. The dance hold in Milonga is called "close embrace", where the couple are literally dancing chest to chest. This was considered far too risque for polite society.

The dance was later taken on by renowned ballroom dance performers, Verne and Irene Castle. They toned it down so that it could be danced in a socially acceptable manner. The International and American Tango danced in ballrooms today developed from this offshoot. The dance's unique style is expressed in quick double takes with the head and stalking panther-like movements complete with lunges and dips.

"Tangueros" (Tango dancers and singers) did not fair well under Peron period but performance Tango known as "Fantasia" developed in the mid 1950s and sustained interest in Tango in general around the world. As a performance based dance, Fantasia uses many acrobatic movements such as lifts, dips, twirls and ofcourse the characteristic hooking and kicking steps called "Ganchos" and "Boleos". Fantasia can be classified as its own variant, though experienced dancers can carefully execute Fantasis moves while dancing socially.

When the Argentine Tango crowd refers to "Tango", they totally ignore the American, International and Fantasia offshoots. Instead, they are referring to the social dance style used in "Milongas" (Argentine Tango dance parties) around the world. There are three basic types of social Tango -- Milonga, Valtz and Tango. Each of these three has its own distinctive features and music. Milonga, the original, is danced very close, to very fast music and has a lot of staccato foot changes and taps. You dance on every beat of the music. Valtz is danced to Viennese Waltz music, hence the name. It is more flowy and is danced more frequently on the first beat of a measure or the "1" of "1-2-3". Tango is the most sensual of the three, danced to slower, moodier music. It is therefore more precise. Controlled smooth movements allow for the intricate footwork so often associated with this dance. What makes this dance truly unique is that the gentleman can set up situations for the woman to "play" or do embellishments. Whether one dances in the "close embrace" or in the more formal ballroom hold is decided by each couple. Often at Milongas each style are played in sets of three or four and a couple will tend to dance the set together.

Tango has a flavor quite unlike any other dance. The basic rhythm is an 8 count Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick-Slow. The music itself leads to excess. It is a dance that is ironically both showy, yet very intimate. Tango has also been immortalized in such films as "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"(Rudolf Valentino), "Scent of a Woman" (Al Pacino), "True Lies" (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and "Assassination Tango" (Robert Duvall).


"La Cumparsita/Tango Please"(Medley) Strictly Ballroom soundtrack
"Por Una Cabeza" by Tango Project
"Habanera" from Carmen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dance Tip: Audience Orientation

Wouldn’t it look a bit awkward if you attended a show where the performers bowed to the set backdrop instead of the audience? To ensure that you are facing the audience at the end of your dance, give yourself some prep time. Figure out the total amount of time it takes do your grand finale and head to the center of the room 20 seconds before that. Listen for the distinctive audio cue that indicates that the song is ending. From that point allow yourself 15 seconds to dance toward the center of the room, another 10 seconds to position yourself to face the majority of the audience and 5 seconds to actually hold the dip. You would need more time if you are doing a more lengthy grand finale like multiple twirls, unwraps, lassos, double handed spins, etc… During your final pose, you can choose to look directly at each other, look slightly above your guests heads or the groom can look admiringly at the bride will she gazes off in the distance.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dance Style: Samba

The Samba originates from Brazil. It was and is danced during the street festivals and celebrations such as Carnival in Rio.. The music has an joyful contagious rhythm which makes even non dancers want to get up and dance. It was first introduced in the U.S. in a Broadway play called "Street Carnival" in the late twenties. The festive style and mood of the dance kept it alive and popular to this day and the rhythm pervades popular music. The South America Samba is slower and more fluid than its American counterpart, which is danced to a faster tempo. Both styles have the basic "Samba Bounce". The beautiful music of the Gypsy Kings epitomizes the addictive Samba style but many modern singers have Samba rhythms.


"Copacabana" by Barry Manilow
"Stop" by Mark Anthony
"La Isla Bonita" by Madonna
"The Girl from Ipanima" by Sammy Davis Jr.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dance Tip: Dancing in the Wedding Gown

The Bride should check to see if she can step backwards in her dress without stepping on the hem. If it pools at your feet, your new husband and your guests may step on it while dancing with you or hugging you. During your dress fitting, take a couple of large steps in every direction and raise your arms over your head. Make sure the dress fits so that you have some freedom of movement. If your dress is too long and has a crinoline, discuss the option of trimming the crinoline with your seamstress. Bring your wedding shoes or a pair with the same heel height during the fitting. We suggest that the gown's hem is not all the way to the floor, especially in the front. Trains can and should be bustled during the reception. This will be the best party of your life and you want to be able to move around, dance and hug people with wild abandon! .A few lessons before the wedding, a dress rehearsal with petticoat, shoes and veil is a good idea. This helps to eliminate surprises and possible distractions on the big day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dance Tip: Dancing With The Bouquet

Despite the images in magazines of a wedding couple dancing together with a bouquet in the bride's hand, don't do it! These models are not really dancing. They are staged poses. The first dance is a moment dedicated to showing the wedding couple moving together as one, a symbol and celebration of how the newly married will dance through the rest of their lives as a married couple. Holding a bouquet in your hand complicates things and may interfere or block the photographer from getting a good shot.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cinderella and Prince Charming go to the Ball!

This ball features the best ballroom dancers in the area with general dancing all night long and a fabulous featured performance. Plan on practicing your new dancing skills and navigating a dance floor in formal clothes. Great preparation for your wedding day!

Event: YULETIDE BALL CHAMPIONSHIPS When: Dec 31, to January 3, 2010. Where: The JW Marriott Hotel 14th and PA Ave.W DC 

Organizer: Ron Bennett 
Details: The New Year's Eve Gala (sit down dinner, general dancing, show)  and ballroom competitions throughout the weekend.
Contact:, 301-972-2416 


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Save Money on Your Engagement or Wedding Ring!

SAVE up to 25% on engagement or wedding rings! Mervis Diamond Importers is hosting a Holiday Trunk Show featuring fabulous designers and their collections. This exciting event is taking place at 4 area branches from Dec 4-6.  

The Wedding Dance Specialists are flattered to be one of the few wedding vendors invited and would love to meet you and answer questions! Join us in Chevy Chase on Sat. from 11-4. For details and to RSVP click below:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gift Certificates Available!

The holidays are just around the corner and so is the wedding! Are you looking for the perfect gift? Giving the gift of dance is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Since social dancing enriches lives and relationships it is a thoughtful and elegant gift to give to a newly engaged couple or their parents. Gift certificates are available for any of our a la carte lessons, Wedding Packages or Other Packages. Purchasing the gift certificate can be handled online or over the phone at (703) 626-7016. We will gladly snail mail or email the gift certificate to you or whomever you designate as the recipient.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dance Tip: Our Roles in Partnership

The Groom, The Leader

Gentlemen, you are in control on the dance floor! You are like the President, the pilot, the one with the power and responsibility to guide your partner through the dance. Your job is to initiate and anticipate everything and warn your partner of your intentions. When leading, it is better to be decisive than to be right. In other words, you are always technically right as long as you clearly tell your partner what you want her to do. You can dance offbeat, go the wrong direction or make up a new step and as long as your partner is adequately prepared, she can accommodate you and make you look good in front of the crowd. After all, your guests don’t know your intentions or your repertoire! If you are hesitant the woman will stumble. Leading and following evolved from the Victorian era. During this era, women were thought of as precious, yet fragile and likely to fall down at any time (corsets had many women fainting from lack of oxygen)

The Bride, The Follower

Ladies, your job is to smile and avoid getting stepped on. The more thinking and analyzing the follower does, the more difficulty she causes her Leader. Empower your Groom with the permission to lead. Often women will try to be helpful by “back-leading.” Back-leading is giving the leader hints or suggestions, moving him around the floor or setting his tempo. Any Leader will lead poorly when they are insecure or distracted by outside pressure or too much input and stimulation. Leaders are inclined to allow back leading because of their deep love and respect for their partner. It is the Follower’s job to be the “wind beneath the wings” of your leader and let him do his job. A Follower does herself and her Leader a disservice by back-leading as she compromise the unified look of the couple and her partner will not have fun. The end result of back-leading risks frustration and dampens enthusiasm for dancing together at future social events. If you are tempted to back-lead, try closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths as you dance. This will relax you and force you to rely more on the energy transmitted from your partner rather than visual crutches. Whenever discussing dance, it’s best to focus on the positive and couch criticism with constructive feedback. Or better yet, relax, let the dance teacher handle the mistakes and simply enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dance Style: Polka

The Polka was originally a Czech peasant dance, developed in Eastern Bohemia (now part of Czechoslovakia). Bohemian historians believe that the polka was invented by a peasant girl named Anna Slezak in 1834 one Sunday for her amusement. It was composed to a folk song "Uncle Nimra brought a white horse." Anna called the step "Madera" because of its quickness and liveliness. The dance was first introduced into the ballrooms of Prague in 1835. The music is played in 2/4 time (1 & 2) and sounds happy and playful. The name of the dance (pulka) is Czech for “half-step”, referring to the rapid shift from one foot to the other.

Polka is danced around the room in a series of small and fast chasses (side steps) with a distinctive hop, turning about 360 degrees every 4 beats. In 1840, Raab, a dancing teacher of Prague, danced the polka at the Odéon Theatre in Paris where it was a tremendous success. French dance instructors seized upon it and Polkamania ensued. Dance academies were swamped and in desperation recruited ballet girls from the Paris Opéra as dancing partners to help teach the polka. This naturally attracted many young men who were interested in things other than dancing. Consequently, manners and morals in the dance pavilions were suspect so many parents forbade their daughters from dancing with anyone but close friends of the family.

The polka was introduced in England in the mid 1800s. When it came to the USA it was taken up by the country western set and is still danced in Country Competitions today. The western style Polka is danced with less turning, with very little hopping and somewhat resembles the two-step in its execution with a lot of turns for the woman. After WW2, American/Polish immigrants adopted the more European variant as their “cultural” dance and it is not uncommon to see it danced by young and old at Polish weddings today. The Polka was standard fare on the Lawrence Welk Show. Most people will remember it as the dance Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner did swirling around the ballroom in "The King and I".


"The Beer Barrel Polka" by Lawerence Welk
"Shall We Dance?" from "The King and I" soundtrack
"Back In The Saddle Again" by Gene Autry

Monday, November 23, 2009

Choosing A Song for your First Dance Debut

Pick a song that is meaningful to both of you. Did you share a romantic moment to a special song? What love song was playing in the background on your first date? What song brings tears to your eyes or gives you butterflies? What song inspires thoughts of the one you love? The music you choose will determine the type of dance that is appropriate. If you are undecided, your instructor can demonstrate a variety of dance styles and provide a list and samples to listen to in class. Knowing which styles of dance you prefer can help you decide on the song. If you are unfamiliar with dance styles you may simply want to imagine the mood you want to feel and project as you are dancing. Do you want your dance to look simple and elegant? Classic and traditional? Peppy and cheerful? Sensual and romantic? Elaborate and Showy? Share your vision with your instructor.

Remember: It's your dance, have it your way! Never let anyone tell you not to dance to a specific song. You pay dance instructors to teach you how to dance. They can tell you if the song in question is easy or hard to dance to, that is part of our job. It's Your Wedding!

Need assistance choosing a song, visit the Song Suggestion List on our website

Friday, November 20, 2009

Date Night: Ballroom with a Twist

Where: Music Center at Strathmore
When: Friday November 20th & Saturday November 21st, 2009
Time: 8 PM

Dancing With the Stars champion Louis van Amstel comes this dazzling new stage production that features dancers from So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. With "American Idol" singers David Hernandez and Trenyce Cobbins and a cast of gifted dancers, this sizzling show never stops moving, from swing to samba, Broadway to b-boy, cha-cha, tango, paso doble, and more!

The show will also feature celebrity host Sabrina Bryan of The Cheetah Girls. Sabrina was the first celebrity on Dancing With the Stars to get earn a perfect score of 30 from the DWTS judges in 2007!

For Tickets and more information visit:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dance Tip: Posture

Being nervous and insecure tends to show in one's posture. When a couple is dancing in front of a crowd and clinging to each other with their heads down and shoulders rounded, onlookers are reminded of their high school prom. Wedding dresses and tuxedos always look their best when you stand up straight with your shoulders back, neck straight and chin held high. Therefore, whether you are walking down the aisle, exchanging vows during the ceremony, or dancing, maintain an erect posture and look each other in the eye. This not only looks better, but is one of the vital techniques for effective leading and following.

If you need help improving your posture while on the dance floor, let us help you! You'll see the difference even in one lesson! Contact us at (703) 626 - 7016.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dance Style: Merengue

The Merengue is one of the most popular latin dances and the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and also to some extent, of Haiti. There are two popular versions of the origin of the Merengue. The first story alleges the dance originated with slaves who were chained together and, of necessity, were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. The second says that a great war hero was wounded in the leg during one of the many revolutions in the Dominican Republic. He was welcomed home with a victory celebration and, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obligated to limp and drag one foot.

The Merengue is a spot dance, meaning it doesn't move aroundthe dance floor so it is ideally suited to small, crowded dance floors. Merengue is a fun dance with simple steps so it is easy to learn quickly and the "1-2" march-like rhythm makes it a favorite throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and South America. It is the perfect dance to learn for those planning a honeymoon in any of these regions of the world. The Merengue was introduced to the United States in the New Y ork area and like the other Latin dances is here to stay. You can merengue any night of the week in any Latino bar in the area.

Song Examples of Merengue:
"Suavamente" Elvis Crespo
"The Cup Of Life" Mark Anthony
"Lets Get It Started " Black Eyed Peas

Friday, November 6, 2009

Date Night: The National Society of Arts and Letters Second Annual Viennese Waltz Ball

Under the gracious patronage of His Excellency the Ambassador of Austria Christian Prosl.
Saturday November 21, 2009

The Cosmos Club

2121 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington DC

5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

White tie and decorations optional

Sit down dinner and dessert buffet/Open Wine Bar

Raffle for Frank Wright's "Ice on the Potomac" print!

Music of Con Brio! (Waltz, Polka, Bossa Nova, Tango, Samba, Foxtrot)

During the evening, take part in the Grande Marche done to the stirring Radetzky March and learn to dance The Fledermaus Quadrille as it is danced at the grand balls in Vienna, Austria.

$175 per person for dinner and ball; $115 per person for dessert and ball; full-time student discount available.

Contact: Martie Goebel 703 354-2044 or

Want to learn to dance for this event, contact us at (703) 626 - 7016.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dance Tip: The Dance Floor

‘Traveling’ dances such as Foxtrot, Tango and Waltz require a larger floor, whereas ‘spot’ dances like Rumba and Swing can be danced comfortably in a very small space. Arrange for the MC or DJ to announce that guests should remain along the perimeter to respect your dancing space, maximize everyone’s visibility and allow the photographer and videographer adequate angles for good footage. Below are some dance floor tips:

1. If the site has a wooden or marble floor, make sure to leave a minimum of 10x10 section for dancing. If the reception site is carpeted, usually a portable floor is available for rent.

2. Avoid encouraging guests to toss petals, rice, bird seed or confetti on the dance floor as they can make the floor slippery when dancing. If you want to include this for dramatic effect, orchestrate it as a grand finale gesture and then have the floor swept before further dancing occurs.

3. Make sure that the dance surface is swept and completely dry.

4. Ensure that you have adequate space to dance before approaching the floor for your first dance. Request that the DJ or band director announce, “Please gather along the edge of the dance floor for the couple’s first dance.” Another solution is to pre-arrange for the entire wedding party to subtly hint to your guests where to stand by positioning themselves along each side of the perimeter of the dance floor outlining where the guests should fill in the space. Since many people do not really dance, the assumption is that you don't need any room and the well wishing guests will sometimes crowd around you. Aside from feeling a bit claustraphobic, not enough dancing space can also compromise the quality of your video and photography footage.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dance Style: Mambo/Salsa

Perez Prado is thought to have introduced the Mambo at La Tropicana nightclub in Havana in 1943. Mambo Mania hit when Prado recorded the song, "Mambo Jambo". The dance appeared in the United States in New York's Park Plaza Ballroom, a favorite hangout of dance enthusiasts from Harlem. The Mambo gained in popularity and in the 1950s was taught in dance studios, resorts, and nightclubs in New York and Miami. In more recent times Mambo has also evolved into Salsa. Salsa is a street version of Mambo. Musically the main difference is that Mambo music holds on the one beat and Salsa music hits on one beat. The steps are pretty much the same. Mambo tends to be sharper in the footwork more time is spent in closed hold and the man breaks on 2. Salsa tends to be sexier, characteristically it has little kick like embellishments, more time is spent in a two handed or apart position and the man breaks on 1. Whether you call it Mambo or Salsa, the small steps are taken ball of foot first with the knees flexible to allow for the hip action known as cuban motion. Mambo is the forefather of Cha Cha. It also shares many patterns in common with the other Latin dances Rumba and Bolero. Mambo/Salsa is fun and flirty and socially is a great dance to learn if you like Latino music.

Contact The Wedding Dance Specialists at (703) 626 - 7016 to learn this fun and exciting dance style!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

First Dance Perfect for a Winter Wedding

Check out this video of a first dance we recently spotted on YouTube.  We think it's a fun idea for a winter or Christmas wedding.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Date Night: Circo Aereo- Espresso

When: November 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm
Where: Concert Hall
Gerge Mason University Center for the Arts
4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va 22030

“A sparkling tribute to the circus.” (Le Figaro) This enchanting “theater without words” from Finland is widely recognized throughout Europe as a pioneer of the New Circus, and makes its American debut this season. Smart, imaginative, and inventive, Circo Aereo mixes time-honored circus arts, such as juggling and aerial work, with innovative cabaret theater, masterful movement, and charming humor. The company’s latest and most famous work, Espresso, has mesmerized audiences and critics alike with its combination of traditional and contemporary circus arts with sidewalk performance. Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat called the work “a treasure chest filled with beautiful sights, meticulous efforts and inventive surprises.”

Pre-Performance Discussion at 3:15pm ; Guest Speaker (Nov 8, 2009)
$44, $36, $22. Student Tickets Available

If this imaginative show inspires you to dance, contact us for lessons!
(703)626 - 7016

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dance Style: The Fox Trot

Although often associated with the style of Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers, the Foxtrot was actually introduced into the mainstream by Harry Fox in 1913. Foxtrot is a "Ballroom" or Smooth dance, traveling around the line of dance (the perimeter of the room in a counterclockwise direction). Foxtrot is a lot like walking or strolling . Musically it is very easy to hear the Foxtrot rhythm. Foxtrot is an extremely useful dance socially and can be danced to a variety of jazzy musical styles. American Style Foxtrot has a fun "theatrical" quality because the couples can open up to allow for spinning the women. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly both used the long, smooth m ovements of Foxtrot to cover a lot of ground gracefully in their routines. The basic beginner rhythm of Foxtrot is Slow-Slow-Quick-Quick. Higher level is often danced Slow-Quick-Quick.


"A Wink and a Smile" by Harry Connick, Jr.
"L.O.V.E." by Nat King Cole
"Fly me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra
"You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" by Dean Martin
"Something's Gotta Give" by Sammy Davis Jr.
"World On A String" by Peggy Lee.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Honors Dance

You can assist your parent in selecting a song by providing him/her with our list of Honors Dance song suggestions. However, remember that your parent might already have a song in mind. Since it is their big moment at the wedding, you should let your parent have a say. He/She will move better to familiar music and be much less nervous about dancing in front of the crowd. Even one hour of preparation will make a huge impact on the way The Honors Dance looks and feels. These are special moments for Mom and Dad and they may be even more enjoyable with a little preparation.

If your parent lives out of town, a creative solution is to schedule a lesson for the week he/she is in town for the wedding. The hour spent together preparing for this dance will last a lifetime in your memory as a special moment shared between the two of you.The Honors Dance is traditionally reserved for the Mother/Son and Father/Daughter although other combinations and other relatives are also incorporated in some weddings and for certain circumstances where parents are deceased or not in attendance. Anyone who is honored by a spotlight dance will always feel more comfortable if they feel prepared.

Still haven't picked a special song for the Honors Dances? Here are some ideas!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dance Style: The Hustle

Most Disco dances have strong roots in Swing. The Hustle is believed to have originated in New York in 1970. It went through many incarnations in the seventies, with line dances for groups of people, solo movements that came and went, and partnership dances. These partnership dances included The Basic Hustle, Latin, Spanish, Tango Hustle and the most popular version -- Street Hustle, a three-count or Swing Hustle that originated in California by skaters in Venice and Malibu. John Travolta and "Saturday Night Fever" gave the dance its place in American pop culture. Hustle is danced to contemporary pop, Hip Hop, or "House" dance music over the last 20 years. Most people dance New York style or Swing Hustle. It is a fast and reactive dance with an emphasis on armstyling and numerous hand holding positions. The lady spins almost continuously, while her partner leads her back and forth in a "slotted" linear formation. The hustle is what kept kept partner dancing alive during the lean '70s and early '80s.

"Material Girl" by Madonna
"Last Dance" by Donna Summer
Be With You” Enrique Iglesias
"Ready For The Good Times” by Shakira
"White Wedding" by Billy Idol

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Forever Tango

Date: Oct. 28, 2009 - Nov. 1, 2009
Time: 2pm, 7pm & 8pm
Location: Bethesda Theater
7719 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301)657 - 7827

Created and directed by Louis Bravo, Forever Tango

features an all Argentine cast who trace, through music, dance, song and dramatic vignettes, the Tango's colorful history. The show contains 7 dance couples, who tango in their own unique styles, and an on-stage orchestra. Sensuous and sophisticated, the tango inhabits a world where everything can be said with the flick of a leg, the tug of a hand, the tap of a foot and the arch of an eyebrow. The show was nominated for 4 New York Drama Desk Awards in 1998 and continued on an international tour including engagements in Mexico, Korea, Japan and Germany.

Tickets are now available through the box office and Ticketmaster. To receive 10% off your ticket use promotion code BRAVO.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Date Night: The National Society of Arts and Letters Washington Chapter's Viennese Waltz Ball

Where: Cosmo Club

2121 Massachusetts Avenue NW,. 202-797-6442

Attire: White Tie and decorations optional

Saturday November 21, 2009

5pm Champagne,

5:30pm Dinner, Ball

Brio Orchestra

Viennese dessert buffet

Grande Marche

Fledermaus Quadrille

Lithograph prize drawing

$175 (dinner/dessert/dancing); $115 (dessert/dancing).

Catriona Tudor Erler.;

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dance Style: The Cha Cha

The Cha-cha is the newest of the "Latin" dances. It is a true American dance, developed in the dance studios in the early 50s as a mid-tempo variant between Rumba (slow) and Mambo (fast). It is believed to have started as a step in Mambo - a triple step to replace the slow one to accommodate slower musical rhythms. This developed into an entirely new dance. Slower modern music has often inspired the evolution of popular dances such as Single Swing into Triple Swing and Quickstep into Slow Foxtrot. Cha-cha music is slower than Mambo/ Salsa but not much. It it quite a common upbeat musical tempo. The dance is alive and well in ballrooms and studios today. It is flashy, sassy and full of itself. The Cha-cha styling is very similar to Rumba and Mambo. Like most Latin dances, your weight is forward and most of the movement occurs below the ribcage. The steps are small, taken with the ball of the foot first to better execute the hip action commonly known as "cuban motion". Cha-cha music is composed in 4/4 time. The rhythm is danced 2-3-4 & 1 ( "rock step cha cha cha".) Cha-cha is a flirty dance great for couples or just to catch someone's eye!


"Smooth" by Santana
"Oye como Va" by Santana
"My Maria" by Brooks and Dunn
"Super Freak" by Rick James
"Cuban Pete" by Tito Puente

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

6th Anniversary Gala and International Masquerade Ball at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Contact us for a crash course dance lesson to refresh your moves and learn to be more versatile!!

The International Club of DC cordially requests the pleasure of your company at our 6th Anniversary Gala and International Masquerade Ball at the Grand Ballroom of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Enjoy a grand celebration of international music, cuisine, wine, dancing, and desserts as you celebrate the 6th anniversary of ICDC and your support of our diverse events. Our gala last year sold out with over 350 ICDC members in attendance. Discounted tickets available for a limited time.

~Sumptuous Dinner Buffet
Dance to a classical orchestra
Dance to a Live Latin Band ~Enchanting Argentine Tango Dance Performance ~International Dance Music ~Extravagant Dessert Buffet
Silent Auction
Exquisite Marble dance floor ~Enjoy the company of diplomatic guests & friends
Wine with Open Bar and champagne during VIP reception

Saturday October 24, 2009 at 7:00 PM
Grand Ballroom, National Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC 20005-3920

Black Tie Requested - suits are also fine! Cocktail Attire Optional. (Period formal attire from the 1800s, 1900s and the renaissance era welcome!)

You are welcome to attend the ball without a date. We expect as many singles as couples. Come on your own or with friends for an unforgettable evening!

We have planned a magical evening and a memorable international celebration of music, wine, food, and dancing at the Grand Ballroom of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. We have assembled an unforgettable evening of elegance and sophistication including dancing to two live bands, a lavish dinner buffet, open bar, extravagant dessert buffet, enchanting dance performances, and so much more!

Read testimonials by previous attendees:

See photos from previous galas:

Discounted tickets available for a limited time.

Please reserve your tickets online:

For the first half of the evening enjoy dancing to the music of a classical orchestra performing Viennese waltzes and ballroom dance music for an unforgettable night of dancing. For the second half of the evening the Brazilian band Origem will perform salsa, merengue, Brazilian samba and other Latin sounds as we turn the music up a notch for a truly international dance experience. To add even more diversity, we will play a variety of international dance music during band breaks.

One of the most exquisite venues in DC, the museum's grand Renaissance Revival building and the elegant grand ballroom and Mezzanine provide the perfect setting to bring to life the timeless elegance of a formal ball. As you enter the museum, you will be greeted by a luxurious marble reception area, and a ballroom adorned by three beautiful crystal chandeliers and art from the museum's permanent collection. White marble staircases sweep upward to the spacious Mezzanine where you will feast on an international buffet of dinner and desserts. Watch the twirling silhouettes on the marble dance floor below move to the sounds of the world's most beloved music. Stroll down the sweeping marble stair cases of the museum and dance on an exquisite marble floor while meeting other diverse internationally-minded professionals in town.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Upcoming Balls - dance and romance while supporting a charity!

The Northwest Center's 23rd Annual Indian Summer Ball (Fundraiser)
October 17, 2009
The Organization of American States Building 
17th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC
9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Black Tie; Gourmet Buffet/Open Bar
The Jokers Wild Band (Swing, Latin, Ballroom)
Silent Auction
$90 or $165/couple 
Contact: Kristen Sullivan (301) 335-1206
See website for more info

CELEBRATING LIFE and INSPIRING HOPE since 1981, The Northwest Center seeks to promote the dignity of women and a respect for all human life by offering the loving support and comprehensive aid
necessary to enable all women to continue their pregnancies, deliver healthy babies, and adequately care for themselves and their children. Proceeds provide vital support for The Northwest Center. 
We have helped over 40,000 women and children in the Washington, DC area and are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity supported solely by the generous support of individuals, churches, foundations, and

Friday, October 2, 2009

Attend a local Ballroom Dance Competition!

DC Dancesport Inferno - DCDI
Intercollegiate and Adult Open Amateur Dancesport Festival
Host: Ballroom At Maryland 
Type: Other - Festival 
Network: Global 
Start Time: Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:00pm 
End Time: Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 9:00pm 
Location: Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union 
City/Town: College Park, MD 
Phone: 3013853148 
Tentative Schedule:

Friday, November 6, 2009
* Social Dance
* Competitor check-in

Saturday, November 7, 2009, Matinee Session
* American Rhythm Syllabus Events
* Team Matches
* International Standard Syllabus Events

Saturday, November 7, 2009, Evening Session
* Pre-Championship Events
* Championship Events

Sunday, November 8, 2009, Matinee Session
* American Smooth Syllabus Events
* International Latin Syllabus Events

For purchase tickets, please visit:
Discounted tickets for students with valid ID!!

For more information, please visit us at or email us at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Take Your Fiance to the Opera While You Dine!

Escape from wedding planning stress with this unique and elegant date night idea! 

Opera Night Sunday October 04.

Trattoria Sorrento  
4930 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
5pm to 9:30pm

October 04, 2009  

The first Sunday of the month is October 04, Opera Night, starring soprano Diane Abel, tenor Antonio Giuliano, and accompanist Kate Lewis.

They will be performing new and exciting songs and the Chefs of Trattoria Sorrento will prepare a seasonal menu that will leave everyone asking for seconds!!

Please be sure to make reservations as seating will be limited. 

Monday, September 7, 2009

Romantic Date Night Idea

Date: October 31, 2009
Time: 8:00 pm
Price: $44, $36, $22
Location: George Mason University Concert Hall 

 “The sheer beauty and potential of the human body magnified,” raves The Washington Post about this mesmerizing company. Since the early 1980’s, choreographer/director Moses Pendleton has transformed the dancers of MOMIX into sidewinders and Gila monsters, floated them weightlessly through extraterrestrial terrains, strapped them into snow skis and hurled them through the air like baseballs. Now, in one evening this company—renowned for works of delightful inventiveness and physical beauty—presents the Best of MOMIX, a collection of figments of the imagination of Moses Pendleton that are unpredictable, sometimes bizarre and often out of this world. 

If you like Cirque du Soleil, you will appreciate this modern dance troupe...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gala and Masquerade Ball

October 24, 2009
International Club of DC presents the 6th Anniversary Gala and Masquerade Ball
Grand Ballroom of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
1250 New York Avenue NW Washington DC 20005-3920
Black Tie Requested, Cocktail Attire Optional (Period formal attire from the 1800s, 1900s and the renaissance era welcome!)
Evening features dancing to 2 bands (classical and Latin), open bar, extravagant desserts, dinner (with gala and doner ticket) and dancing is the social event of the season for internationally minded professionals. 
This is also a great opportunity for a private viewing of the museum's permanent art collection, experience the elegant atmosphere of a formal Ball, as well as meet international professionals and members of the diplomatic community. 
$95 - $155

Dance and Romance

September 18, 2009
Doc Scantlinn and his Imperial Palms Orchestra
The Carlyle Club
411 John Carlyle Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 (Old Town Alexandria) 
8PM $25-General Admission 
$85-Dinner and General Admission

Upcoming Charity Gala

Practice your dance moves while getting a break from wedding planning and supporting a worthy cause -- all at the same time!

September 11, 2009

Unique Foundation, Inc presents
Dancing for The Cure Fundraiser with The Johnny Artis Band. 
High energy R&B, Classic Rock&Roll, Soul, and Swing! 
To benefit Breast Cancer Research! 
Silent Auction and Dance Show! 
8:30pm to 12:30am
J...W & Friends Restaurant
6531 Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22150
(703) 451-4556

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ballroom Dance Competition

Aug 26 -29, 2009 
Capital Dancesport Championships 
Organizers - John DePalma & Marianne Nicole 1-866-345-5154 
Held at the Alexandria Hilton at Mark Center, Alexandria, VA 

Pro/Am competition in all styles including Scholarship divisions and Dancesport Superbowl Championship divisions! Member of the "Best of the Best" compete for the Overall Title at the Grand Finale in Ohio.

SATURDAY EVENING Aug 29th features the Open Professional divisions including some of the top couples in the United States and a Professional Show, "All You Need is Love" by the Beatles, produced by Wendy Johnson. 

 Dance Congress at the Capital DanceSport Championships Lectures every afternoon during the Championships 
Don't miss this chance to learn from the Best of the Best 
Topics, Schedules, Instriuctors, pricing at: 

Connect to: for the Congress schedule details 
Space is limited, reserve tickets now by calling 1-866-345-5154

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Practice your Swing moves to live music!

Practice your Swing moves to live music!

411 John Carlyle Street

(Old Town) Alexandria, VA 22314
Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra
Big Band leader Doc Scantlin whirls, fifteen musicians swing back and forth with their instruments, The crowd cheers.

Everyone's dancing with smiles on their faces brought on by the infectious energy dapper Doc Scantlin exudes in his white tie, tails, spats and slicked down hair. He beckons you back in time to a Harlem nightclub with his "Bandanna Babies", dancing girls gyrating sensuously in the flirty chorus girl outfits. Or to some elegant, romantic ballroom with his soloist in her long evening gown caressing the microphone singing a sultry ballad. Or to the left bank, with Little Chou Chou the effervescent cabaret singer, singing and weaving among the tables as patrons blow bubbles or feel the magic of her wand.

Doc's whole ensemble offers a memorable evening of musical entertainment. From the 1920's speakeasy numbers such as "Puttin' On The Ritz" and the "Charleston" through the romantic, elegant 1930's of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and the wonderful swing era of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, etc... He has played hundreds of the biggest and best balls, special events, weddings, private parties, fund raisers and concerts, appearing throughout the U.S. and Europe.

General admission $25.00 Dinner + General Admission $85.00
$25 at door - NO GUARANTEED SEAT 

Friday, August 21st, 2009  

Showtime 8pm

Upcoming Ballroom Dance Competition

Aug 26 -29, 2009 
Capital Dancesport Championships 
Organizers - John DePalma & Marianne Nicole 1-866-345-5154 
Held at the Alexandria Hilton at Mark Center, Alexandria, VA 

Pro/Am competition in all styles including Scholarship divisions and Dancesport Superbowl Championship divisions! Member of the "Best of the Best" compete for the Overall Title at the Grand Finale in Ohio.

SATURDAY EVENING Aug 29th features the Open Professional divisions including some of the top couples in the United States and a Professional Show.

 Dance Congress at the Capital DanceSport Championships Lectures every afternoon during the Championships. Don't miss this chance to learn from the Best of the Best 
Topics, Schedules, Instriuctors, pricing at: 

Connect to: for the Congress schedule details 
Space is limited, reserve tickets now by calling 1-866-345-5154

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Tango Venue in the DC area!

The Dancing Club is a new and unique intimate Tango Venue that strives to bring you into a totally Tango atmosphere. Milongas are on: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays 9:30 to 11:30 pm. Classes: Beginnner Tango - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 7 - 8 pm, Beginner II - Thursday, 8:00 - 9:30 pm, Intermediate Tango - Tuesday, 8:00 - 9:-30 pm  

THE DANCING CLUB (Tango Milongas)
5050-D Nicholson Lane Rockville, Md 20852
call 240-47-TANGO

Championship Dance Campspresents Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff from Dancing With The Stars join other amazing instructors for Independence Day Ball dance camp July 1st - 5th, 2009 at the Hilton in Rockville, MD. Like all Championship Dance Camps events, Independence Day Ball dance camp features world class instructors, including US, UK and World Champions as well as Blackpool finalists and semi-finalists. For more information click here


The Unforgettable Season of Bridezillas

WE tv's hit original series returns for a sixth season with more meltdowns, confrontations and shocking revelations — and it will be absolutely unforgettable! Tune in to watch what can happen to a woman somewhere between "will you marry me" and "I do." Bridezillas premiered on June 7 and airs every Sunday at 9pm on

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Date Night at Wolf Trap

Stressed out by wedding planning! Why not plan your escape? Enjoy a romantic picnic at Wolf Trap while being dazzled by the physical prowess, raw masculinity and technical perfection of dance superstar Rasta Thomas and his stunningly talented Bad Boyz as they move to the rhtyhms of ballet, Broadway, tango and hip hop to deliver a highly imaginative and entertaining show. Tuesday, June 16 at 8:30pm. $38 seats, $10 lawn. tickets: 1.877.WOLFTRAP

Etiquette for the Internet Generation 

Date: Sunday, July 26,9am -12noon, 12:30 -3:30

Covering: Proper Introductions, Good conversation skills, Thank you Notes, Social Dancing, Dance Floor Etiquette

Price: $85

Ages: 1st – 5th grades and 6th-9th

Location: Star Lounge and Ballroom, 7203 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003


A portion of profits will be donated toward helping the Shriners Hospital for Children. 

Date Night in Maryland

Escape wedding planning stress and enjoy a date night at the Strathmore Theatre in Bethesda, MD on Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21, 2009 at 8pm. Mark your calendars! From Dancing With the Stars champion choreographer Louis van Amstel comes this dazzling new stage production called Ballroom with a Twist that features dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars and High School Musical. Stunning costumes, magnificent music and breathtaking performances. Order tickets online at : or call 301.581.5100

Date Night

Escape wedding planning stress and indulge in a date night! Enjoy a fabulous modern dance performance at George Mason University's Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 8pm. MOMIX will be performing. They are definitely the best modern dance troupe I have ever seen and I make it a point to see their new shows every year they are in town. I highly recommend it, you won't be dissappointed. They remind me a little of Cirque du Soleil. "The sheer beauty and potential of the human body magnified," raves The Washington Post about this mesmerizing dance company. Tickets: $44, $36, $22. Order online at or call 703.993.2787

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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
If you are looking for other romantic date ideas consider learning to dance together with the most recommended wedding dance company in the nation!