Saying No And More

A friend of mine had a very rough dance recently. They described the after-effect as whiplash and wanted to know how to avoid dancing with this person (Whiplash we’ll name them) ever again. I watched this dance take place and understand.

First, social dancing feels built on this expectation of “yes.” I will ask that person to dance and they will say “yes.” We’re not taught how to handle rejection in dance class because we’re given immediate access to all partners in the rotation. Yes is a given expectation.

no-bear Continue reading

The Case For Engagement

crosswalk-groupOriginally, this post was going to only be about social media, but that’s only one part of the interaction equation. Here at Swingin’ Denver, we like to engage our community¬†through social media, namely Facebook, and in person at events with host or co-host. It’s our way of creating stronger social ties that, in turn, keep others engaged in our community. Continue reading

Connecting The Elbow Pit

In every beginner lesson I teach, I ask that the leaders connect their right elbow pit on the followers near waist, their left. This is because I eventually realized the failing of stating “leaders, place your right hand on the right side of the followers’ waist”. Everyone is built so differently that this teacher catch-all was failing students. Connecting the leaders’ right elbow pit works better because they can have a relaxed upper arm that allows for better lat engagement and it allows the lower arm a better place to rotate from. If you haven’t discovered this yet, try it out!

Part 2 of this story: Someone who has heard me say this many times recently said they learned this neat leading tip at Rocky Mountain Girl Jam – to connect their elbow pit on the followers’ side.
homer_dohSometimes it takes that one person to say what you’ve been saying or trying to do in just the right way that it clicks. The missing Lego piece. Is it a failing on my part as a teacher or theirs as a listening student? No. These things happen.


Highlighting Students

I was thinking recently about why I bring students out to the center to demonstrate. Sometimes, like when I’m teaching an aerials workshop, it allows me to show how to spot and how a strong spotter can help carry an aerial through. Other times it allows me the chance to highlight an attribute I’ve been emphasizing and one couple is doing rather well. I can reinforce through a student and give them a chance to shine in the center. Continue reading

Helping You And Others Learn

As we get ready to kick off new May sessions, we wanted to bring up some important points about helping our new students learn and the best ways to give feedback!

– Firstly, it’s important to not jump ahead even when you already know the material. If we’re walking through the basics of a turn or new footwork, we want to make sure the new students are going at the same pace and not missing anything. Plus, you might pick up some new tidbits of information along the way! Continue reading