How to Rekindle the Fire… with Dance!

Couple with lights

The holidays are over and that means one thing – it’s almost Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air! Regardless of how long you and your significant other have been together, this time of year often brings out all the feels. However, if your relationship has hit a snag, it can be challenging to reignite the spark that brought the two of you together. No matter if you are in the beginning of a new relationship, or have been married for years, and whether you are in a honeymoon phase or if the fire has started to dwindle, Ballroom dancing can bring you and your significant other closer than ever.

Physical Activity

Dancing, especially fast dances like Cha Cha and Swing, are going to get your heart rate up. Increased heart rate releases endorphins, and endorphins make people happy. This happiness while dancing will allow any tension that may be present – either from a long day at work, a recent argument with your partner, or anything else that may be bothering you – start to melt away. The exercise you both get during a lesson helps you leave the studio feeling better physically and mentally than when you got there!

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Date Night

Going dancing gives you some time away from work, kids, and all the other stresses of life. It’s a chance to have date nights again! Even if you aren’t the best dancers, it gives you that time together to just be present with each other and have fun learning something new. While you are dancing together, you will be able to touch each other and look in each other’s eyes. This will ultimately spark a connection that may or may not have been missing for some time. Reconnecting with each other will bring back the romance! The physical connection in ballroom is how we communicate with each other while we dance, and while we learn how to communicate physically, our verbal communication also improves. This allows your relationship to grow simply by being more open with your partner.

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Challenges

Challenges are often looked at as negative. In this case, they’re good! When you and your partner overcome a challenge together, such as conquering a frustrating move or learning a new dance, it strengthens your bond. You accomplished something together, because to successfully dance ballroom, both partners need to perform their part. You did something together and can celebrate together, too! The other side of challenges is the frustration that comes with it. This is still a benefit in the long run because it often leads to vulnerability. We need to show our weaknesses to our partners, as difficult as that can sometimes be, to continue to build and strengthen your bond. You can help each other through the challenges and then be there to celebrate the victories!

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How do we get started?

We are currently offering a Valentine’s Day Special! This includes 4 private lessons, 1 semi-private group class and 1 practice party for only $95. It’s the perfect gift for a couple of fun date nights to spice up your relationship this spring. Contact one of our three convenient locations for full details and to purchase one today!

The Ultimate Classic Survival Guide

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The New Year means new opportunity; opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone, opportunity to challenge yourself, and opportunity grow into the person and dancer you long to be. So, if you haven’t participated in Classic before, this February, you have the opportunity to!

But, what IS Classic?

Classic is a semi-annual all-day dance event, organized by Indiana’s Premiere Ballroom Dance Studio. Classic is designed to be an opportunity for students and teachers to share their dancing progress with invited family, friends, and one another. While Classic is a competition style event, you and your spouse, dance partner, or instructor will be sharing the floor and dancing alongside other Five Star students. They’ll be dancing the same dance as you and competing against you. As nerve wrecking as that might sound, you’re mostly competing against yourself and the medalist standard you’re entered in.

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There are TONS of benefits that Classic provides to both you and your dancing!

One benefit is the feeling of community from other Five Star students and instructors. It is always fantastic to be around other people that do what you do. It helps to see where you can go with hard work and dedication, and also helps you to remember where you came from and all the progress you’ve made! Being around people who seem more experienced than you can be intimidating, but it’s only going to help you grow and push you to become a better dancer. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to other students who share the love of dance and to get tips that’ll help your dancing and help you reach your goals faster.

If you’ve never done Classic, or any competition, you may be surprised to find out how FUN it is! Even though there is a judge, you’ll be out on the floor with other people who love to dance doing just that… Dancing! No routine, no pressure. Just fun! The judging aspect sounds intimidating, but remember, you’ll be competing against yourself and just getting out there is a victory! If you’ve competed before, getting a higher score than last time, or competing in a higher category is a success too! It’s not all about winning, and personal improvement is the true victory anyway.

Pushing yourself to try something new will also help you in your private lessons. It will give you more confidence and help you realize that you can do so many things you didn’t think you could! During preparation for Classic, your instructor may also push you in the studio to try a new dance you’ve been afraid of. (You might even end up falling in love with it after giving it a shot.) The extra preparation could even help you finally master that move that you just can’t seem to nail.

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But I’ve Never Done This Before!

Don’t Worry! We’re here to help you through that part!

The Classic deadline is January 24th, and signing up as soon as possible will not only give you time to prepare, but also help you avoid late fees. Just see your instructor and tell them you’re ready to sign up for Classic. They’ll be able to personally recommend a certain number of entries and what dances to sign up for, but if you have a new dance you want to try, this might be the time and place to start learning! Classic is held at the Ritz Charles in Carmel and the doors open at 10am. You’ll want to get there early (especially if it’s your first time dancing at Classic) because dance floor is open for you to practice and warm-up. You can plan to be here all day after that, so make sure to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for a fun-filled day! Professional dance performances occur during our dinner portion, so it’s a time you won’t want to miss!

Not Sure What to Wear?

No one should feel pressured to spend a lot of money on outfits or dresses. We just want you comfortable in each outfit you wear that day. Some women may be wearing fancy ballroom gowns, and some men may be wearing flashy Latin shirts, but it’s because they really want to!

For Ladies, Smooth dresses are typically long to highlight the grace and poise you’ll demonstrate moving around the floor. Rhythm dances are typically danced in shorter dresses. You can think short and sexy! This is your time to shine!

For Gentlemen, you’ll want to stick with black dress pants, and a white or black shirt with a black vest for Smooth. Preferably, you’ll wear a neck or bow tie. (We don’t recommend jackets, as they tend to bunch up when you take your dance position.) For Rhythm, keep it simple! Just remove the vest and tie and you’re ready to go! However, feel free to wear a flashy Latin shirt if that’s your style!

* Remember to pack dance shoes, a change of outfit, a hairbrush and hairstyling tools, makeup, safety pins, extra socks and ties, and money for the cash bar if you feel like relaxing with a drink after your heats are done! *

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You’re Going To Do Great!

Setting a goal and achieving it is one of the best parts of Classic! Mentality is one of the main keys to success. Know that you are more than capable to achieve your goals and you’re already half-way there by setting them! So, what’s stopping you? Most of the time it’s fear, but what are you afraid of? Your muscles know what you’ve taught them, so don’t overthink things, and your Five Star family is ALWAYS here to cheer you on and support you. Your friends will be there, and be just as nervous as you are. So, take a deep breath, push that fear away, and know that a little courage goes a long way.

Get to Classic February 9th and achieve your goals this year!

New Year’s Resolutions

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The holiday season is often a time of reflection. Where was I a year ago, compared to where I am now? Did I hit the goals I set for the year? What do I want to accomplish in the coming year, and where do I start? Over 40% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, but only an average of 8% actually achieve them. What is it about New Year’s resolutions that make them so challenging to keep and conquer? Let’s explore a few ways to make these goals we set for ourselves – often in hopes of self-improvement – a bit more realistic to reach.

Keep it simple!

Too often, we feel like we can achieve so much because a year is a long time! However, when we create a big or complicated goal for ourselves, we become discouraged when we don’t see results right away. By keeping our resolutions simple, we are giving ourselves the chance to fully accomplish them and even surpass them! Don’t go overboard. Pick one or two things that you would like to accomplish and keep it simple. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight. Figure out a healthy and attainable amount to lose, instead of saying “I want to lose 100 pounds and go to the gym 5 times a week,” when that probably isn’t very realistic. A great, simple resolution would be coming to one more group class a week, or having one extra lesson a month to improve your dancing, memory, and have fun!

Keep it specific!

A common thing to say when making New Year’s resolutions is a vague statement of what you want. Back to the above example, “I want to lose weight” is not likely to get you very far. Instead, determine what a realistic amount to lose is for you, and come up with a plan that you will be able to stick to. Compare these goals – “I want to lose weight,” and “I want to lose twenty-five pounds over the next year, which is just half a pound a week, by cutting down my calories and starting with a light workout three times a week.” (Hint hint – three group classes a week would be perfect!) The second statement is much more attainable! Again, one more group class, or one extra lesson, are both measurable and attainable.

Keep a support system!

Find a few people close to you that will help push you to stick to your new lifestyle! Share your goals with these people so they can motivate you to get your workout in, give some healthy new recipes, and maybe even try something new with you to help you hit your goals! (Hint hint – bring friends to come dance with you!) Your fellow dancers as well as your staff are a great place to start for support!

So whatever resolution you decide to make this year, remember to keep them simple, specific, and have a support system and then you will be on your way to successfully reaching your goals!

How Do I Practice Between Lessons?

It happens to everyone: We arrive at our lesson ready to go, get a lot done, and then as
soon as we walk out the door our brain resets. It’s as if we never took a lesson. OR, everything
sticks, but when you go to dance outside of the studio, you draw a blank. THIS IS COMPLETELY
NORMAL and expected to happen. ESPECIALLY in your first few lessons. “But wait!” you say,
“I’ve been taking lessons forever and I STILL can’t remember anything!” Again, this is normal.
Don’t panic. There is a simple solution: Practice.

My Instructor Told Me Not to Practice

Your instructor is 100% right. If they’ve recently introduced you to a brand-new figure, don’t try
to practice that figure in the wild yet. What usually happens when we try to remember
something new, especially with as many details as the instructor may have given us? We
remember incorrectly, or we completely forget key points that made the figure work. This
results in improper practice, which builds bad habits. Then your instructor needs to spend a
lesson (or more) re-teaching that figure and correcting some bad habits before moving on. This
wastes time and lessons, and no one wants that! Instead: Utilize your Groups and Practice
Parties. Especially in a group class designed for your level, there is a chance that the instructor
is going to go over that specific figure in an amalgamation. If they aren’t planning to use that
figure in the amalgamation that evening, you can still ASK for help with the elements of the
figure (for instance, if you’re having trouble with Face-to-Face Back-to-Back in Waltz, the
instructor may be going over twinkles and how to properly lead your partner into open
positions). Your regular instructor is then able to use the amalgamation and information you
were given in group to help your grow in your dancing. Not only that, you’ve just received a
lesson on a dance you may have been having trouble in, leading to earlier check out (and saving
lessons).

You Said Practice Parties, Too. Parties are Scary.

Practice Parties can definitely be scary, especially if you’re brand new and don’t know anyone yet. One
Thing to remember: Everyone there has been where you are. Even instructors once had to
have their first lesson, and they would be lying if they said they weren’t nervous/apprehensive
their first time dancing around other people. While you may be saying “I don’t want people to
watch me dance yet,” Practice Parties are the SAFEST place to do so. Not only is it in an
environment where you’re already pretty comfortable, but the people there will NEVER judge
you. Your instructors are there to help you through dances you may not know, as well as dances
you already know but can’t quite remember. This is the time where you can say “Hey, I need to
go through this Foxtrot because the Curved Running Steps are driving me BONKERS,” or “I
remembered the McBooty McBooty, but I can’t remember the last part!” (It’s the
McHeeeeeeeeey). Your instructor will happily guide you through those figures and talk you
through them as well.

Using the Studio

A HUGE resource available to all of our students is use of the studio while not taking a lesson.
As long as an instructor is present, you are able to use the floor the practice your
amalgamations and routines for any reason. Showcase coming? Medal test? The cruise is in five
days? Take the time to get on the floor! If the floor is crowded, it will simulate dancing in the
“real world” and help you with your floorcraft. The music is usually controlled by the instructors
on lessons, but that can also help you to adapt to the music played in clubs, at weddings, and
other outside social events.

And Finally: Events

Showcase and Classic are not just for those performing. Two other things happen at these
events that you can take advantage of: Team Match and General Dancing. Consider Team
Match and the rounds of general dancing as your place to practice with the highest number of
people on the floor and the least risk. Once again, instructors are at these events to help you
and make sure you’re having fun while executing figures properly. Never be afraid to ask
someone to dance just to try something new!

Now that you know how to practice… Let’s Get You Dancing!

How to Choose the Right Ballroom Shoe

The perfect pair of shoes can make a world of difference in how you dance. For ballroom dancing, there are three main types of shoes to choose from. These include: Rhythm/Latin, Standard/Smooth, and practice shoes. While we all want to choose the shoe with sparkles, shine, and pizazz, there are many elements that we should consider before making that purchase. Before considering style, we need to determine the proper function, size, height, and more.

Heel Height

Heel size can range from ½ an inch to 4 inches (though we’ve seen higher). If you are new to dancing, choosing a heel that gives you the most comfort should be priority. If you are not used to wearing heels, picking a lower and wider heel is a good place to start. The wider heel will allow you to have more balance, helping you feel comfortable as you begin your dance journey. Women aren’t the only ones who have to choose heel height though; men’s ballroom shoes can also have a heel! During our Rhythm and Latin dances, men will typically wear a Cuban heel, which is usually around 1.5 to 2 inches tall. Why is this necessary? Your heel in Rhythm/Latin shoes will not only help you create the forward poise necessary for proper connection, but they will also help your foot hit the floor sooner, resulting in improved body motion. The higher the heel, the more you’ll be able to move (as strange as it sounds). Once again: Don’t start in 4-inch heels! Go for what you feel confident in and then upgrade from there.

“Well that’s nice, but what about Smooth/Standard shoes?” Great question. Your Smooth and Standard shoes will typically have a wider heel, a full shank, and a closed toe. You can also find these shoes in 4 inches, but typically we suggest a lower heel for comfort for both you and your partner. Gentlemen will find their shoes also have a wider base, providing more stability. These will typically look like dress shoes you would wear to a wedding.

Closed vs. Open Toe

Typically, Latin dances such as Rumba, Salsa, Cha Cha, etc. will have shoes designed with an open toe for the ladies. These dances require the pointing of your toe to create proper Cuban motion (and, of course, the sensuality and flirtation of those dances), so the open toe will aid in the ability to do so. Closed toe shoes are typically designed for your Smooth dances. The closed toes and lower heel provide more support on gliding across the floor and as heel steps are an important part of smooth dancing, the lower heel will make it easier to propel forward.

Shoe Sole

When purchasing your shoe, you want to make sure that the sole has a suede bottom. The suede provides a good balance of traction and slip. Suede sole shoes will need to be brushed with a wired shoe brush. Much like a suede couch, the shoes will pick up various dust, dirt, and debris as you dance. To clean the shoes, the wire brush is raked roughly across the bottom the shoes. Don’t try to be nice to your shoes when cleaning them!

Price

The price for dance shoes can range from $25- $300+. Investing in a good pair of shoes will mean a longer dance life for the footwear. There are many deals you can find from online retailers, but this inhibits trying on the shoe. The best method when dealing with online retailers is to check the measuring chart they provide and to make sure they are returnable. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to travel to your local dance boutique and get sized, plus try on a few pairs! The price there will usually be comparable to the online retailers.

Maintenance

Some ballroom heels may need heel protectors to protect the floor, the shoe, and give dancers more traction. Protectors will prolong the life of the shoe and prevent the nail that is attached to the shoe from being exposed. Once your heel becomes rounded from taking big beautiful heel leads, it can be dangerous to dance more in those shoes. Again, brushing the shoe will help maintain the roughness of the suede. The suede on the heel may fall off but this is a normal thing and you can just reattach it with superglue. You also want to avoid moisture to maintain the shoe. It is best to only wear your dance shoes inside, preferably while you are dancing. Having two pairs of shoes is the best way to maintain the lifespan, so that one pair can dry out completely before wearing them again.

Sizing

The MOST IMPORTANT thing about your shoes is that they are properly sized! Gentlemen: you want your shoes to fit like a sock. This is to ensure that you feel the floor properly and can do the proper footwork (especially in your Rhythm dances). If they are too big, the fabric of the shoe will prevent you from executing great footwork (and can even cause you to trip over your own feet). Ladies: the same applies in your Smooth shoes. In your Rhythm shoes (the open toes), you actually want to make sure that your toes hang over the edge a little bit. This is because when you point your toe, your foot gets “smaller.” Your shoe, of course, remains the same size. If we see shoe when we point our feet, the shoe is too big.

And Finally: A Note on Style

When you’re ready to find the sparkly, pretty pair of your dreams, keep a few practical things in mind. Are you buying for a specific outfit or costume? Or are you planning to wear these shoes all the time? If they’re for a performance, you may consider matching the shoes to your outfit. Typically, ladies will choose skin-toned shoes for practice and competition. Because the fabric of the shoe matches your skin, your leg-line appears extended. When looking at sparkles: get a few extra rhinestones to replace the ones that may fall off during practice, performance and competition. Leaders typically choose black shoes to match their black pants that are typically worn, but other colors are available as well. Some sites even offer full customization of the style of your shoe!

Still have questions about shoes? Ask your instructor for more tips!

You’re Getting Married, Now What?!

Weddings are the most exciting (and sometimes the most stressful) times of our lives. Just thinking about the planning, catering, decorations, and invitations… oh my!
Oftentimes, wedding couples put off or forget about their first dance; but this is an amazing moment between you and your significant other that should not be forgotten! AtFive Star Dance Studios, we specialize in creating the dance your dreams are made of. So, if you are considering having a memorable dance with that special someone then contact us right away to schedule your complimentary consultation.

How does it work?

Before your first lesson, we will ask if you have a song or style that you would like to use for your big day. This will help your instructor get to know you, your style, and what you want to get out of your dancing. These questions will help your instructor get to know you, your style and what you want to get out of your dancing. Five Star Dance Studios can help provide you with everything you need for your special day, from basic steps and patterns, to full choreography.

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What else can we do?

Not only do we specialize in your first dance; we also specialize in father/daughter dances, mother/son dances, and we can give you some moves to show off at your reception! We can even make a choreographed dance for your entire wedding party!

Pricing & Scheduling

After your complimentary consultation, we will personalize a wedding package that fits your time, budget, and dancing needs. On your first lesson, you can expect to dance at least a few patterns to see how it flows, and to make sure we’re the right fit for you.

Weddings are one of our favorite specialties and we would love to be apart of your big day!!

What To Expect During Your First Dance Lesson

You found Five Star Dance Studios… it sparked an interest… you inquired with us and now you are scheduled for your first lesson!!

Now what?!
Scheduling the lesson was no big deal, but now it is the day of and you’re probably nervous, excited, or unsure. You may even be thinking about canceling the lesson or rescheduling. Everyone is nervous when it is time for their first lesson! It’s a new environment, new people, and you have to move in front of a stranger!

You made it! What happens next?!
Walking through the front door is the first step to a successful lesson at Five Star Dance Studios. It’s your first accomplishment! When you come into the studio, you will be greeted enthusiastically by one of our amazing front office associates. They will make you feel comfortable right away. Your instructor will come out to officially meet you in person! We absolutely love new students! You will also notice that we have your name on our welcome board! You will be asked to fill out an information form. If you know what dances you would like to do, you can circle those options, but we are prepared to teach you without any prior knowledge of dance at all. We have instructors who specialize in teaching for even the most beginner students. We will take the opportunity to get to know you, how you want to use your dancing, and how we can accommodate your dancing needs!

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Dance Time
After registering, it’s time to dance! Your instructor will give you a quick tour of the studio to make you feel at home. We start with our basic elements of dance (these will get you comfortable with very simple movements that we use throughout all dances.) Then, we introduce you to some basic patterns of your first dance. We will show you 1-2 patterns and then play some music, so you can hear and feel the dance. We repeat this, and show you some basic patterns of other dances that we feel will interest you.

The lesson is finished
The first lesson will go by so fast, you will feel silly for stressing out about it! After the first lesson, your instructor will review what you did, and then recommend a foundation program for you. These programs are designed based on your time, your budget, and what you would like to get out of your dancing. We make it our goal to accommodate to your wants and needs. We make magic happen!

Benefits of Joining Western Dance Classes in Indianapolis

Well-toned body is the dream of everyone and what if you get the same by doing so much fun and enjoyment. What if I say that you can get in shape without hitting the gym or without sacrificing your cravings and your favourite food items? Confused?? It’s Okay!! I am there to help you out. Joining western dance lessons is one of the effective and fun-filled ways to become well-toned and physically fit. We all take this resolution of getting in shape on every New Year but those tough and boring workout schedules lead us down. Don’t worry as this time we have come up with exciting and fun-frolic dance classes.

Dance is always considered as a recreational activity and thus gives us lots of pleasure and enjoyment. Burn calories and look hot and sexy by joining Five Star Dance Studios. Salsa lessons or any dance class not only give you confidence but also make your physically fit and mentally healthy. By learning these lessons, you can easily hit the dance floor and rock the party in style. No matter where you decide to dance, you can really enjoy yourself and get your body to work.

What’s amazing and beneficial about western dancing is that it allows your body parts to shake that never been used before. Frankly, how often you shake your booty 5 to 7 minutes straight to the music? I guess, never. This activity alone can pump up your heart. Add some Latin music to the same and see how fast your body moves.So, these dance classes allow you to shake your body so that it can burn fat and get you in shape in a fun-filled way. Moreover, learning salsa with your partner is cherry on the top. You can get in shape while spending some quality time with your beloved. Isn’t it amazing and overwhelming? So, what are you waiting for?? Join Latin Dance Lessons in Five Star Dance Studios right away and burn your calories in a modern way.

Frankly speaking, burning fat with these dance classes is an ideal option for people age between 35 and 45 as they don’t have enough time and energy for those intense workouts. With the help of these Zumba classes or Ballroom dance lessons in Indianapolis, they can shed lots of pounds in an effective way.

Well not everyone likes that Latin music or Salsa dance class and thus for them, we have another options to choose like swing dance style. This is very popular and requires high energy and passion of dancing. It is surprising to know that with swing dance style, you can bring almost 350 calories per hour which is a good amount for reducing body fat. Beyond health aspects, such dance classes help you to enhance your social circle as well. Burn your fat and get in shape while socializing and having fun. So, this time, your New Year resolution will surely get fulfilled as I am sure that you will now definitely join any of these classes and become physically fit and fine.