Studio by the Sound
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What's Coming Up07June
Bourbon Street Party!
Join us for a historic New Orleans and Bourbon Street event and our last party in the Niantic Studio for festival!09JuneRead More
Boulder Ridge Event!
Sponsor only party in the great outdoors! Come enjoy the rock wall, in the pool, and many other fun activites!
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The Waltz is the oldest of the ballroom dances, dating from the middle of the Eighteenth Century. The German "Lander", a folk dance, is supposed to be the forerunner of the Waltz. During this time period a dance developed which was called the "Walzer", a word owing its origin to the Latin word Volvere, which indicates a rotating motion. Napoleon's invading solders spread the waltz from Germany to Paris; then the dance glided across the channel to England and finally made its way to the United States.
When the Waltz was first introduced into the ballrooms of the world in the early years of the Nineteenth Century, it was met with outraged indignation, for it was the first dance where the couple danced in a modified Closed Position - with the man's hand around the waist of the lady.
It is generally believed that a Vaudeville star by the name of Harry Fox began what today we call the Foxtrot. In the summer of 1914 Harry and his company of "American Beauties" put on a dancing act in the New York Theater. As part of his act, he was doing trotting steps to ragtime music, and people referred to this dance as "Fox's Trot".
The Foxtrot is no longer a fox trot at all, but rather a smooth, elegant dance.When the British dance masters imported this American smooth ballroom dance to England, they smoothed away the trotting, hops and kicks to a much smoother version which has endured over the years. A variation of the Foxtrot is the Quickstep and even dances such as Lindy (Swing) and Hustle are derived to some extent from the Foxtrot
The Foxtrot is the most significant development in all of Ballroom Dancing.
The Tango is a mixture of dances peculiar to Haiti, Cuba and Argentina. Both the music and the dance were intense and erotic. It originates from Buenos Aires (Argentina) where it was first danced in the ghetto. It was then known under the name of "Baile con corte" (dance with a rest). During the Spanish American War, a popular dance called the "Habanera del Cafe" appeared which was the prototype of the Tango. The "dandies" of Buenos Aires changed the dance in two ways. First they changed the so-called "Polka rhythm" to the "Habanere rhythm" and secondly they called it "Tango".
In 1907 the dance was introduced in France; by 1912 it crossed the channel to England. The dance was so popular in France and England that Tango teas became the rage. It was danced in the United States first by the Castles who elevated it to a dance accepted in any ballroom, by purifying it of its coarse associations and turning it into a thing of beauty. The Broadway show, Tango Argentino, helped to rekindle enthusiasm for this exciting, sensual dance.
The Jitterbug (initially called the "Hop") first became popular in the 1920's. The name Lindy was appended to the "Hop" in 1927 at the Savoy Ballroom (New York), supposedly in commemoration of Charles Lindburgh's famous flight across the Atlantic.
In the mid 1930's, as the swing music of Count Basie, Jimmie Lunceford and Lionel Hampton embraced the nation, the Lindy Hop became the rage of the young generation. The term "Swing" became associated with the Lindy as Big Band Swing came into popularity.
In the modern era of standardized American Style Ballroom Dance, there are basically two swing dances. They are the West Coast Swing (W.C. Swing) and the East Coast Swing (E.C. Swing). The W.C. Swing has evolved into a Country Western dance, danced in a slot to typically slow, sultry music (20 to 30 mpm). E.C. Swing has incorporated the rest of the swing type dance rhythms (Jitterbug, Lindy, Shag, etc). It is danced with Single, Double, Triple, and Lindy rhythms. This allows E.C. Swing to be danced to just about any speed of music. The International Style dance "Jive" is a variation of the Triple Rhythm E.C. Swing danced in the 40 to 45 mpm speed range.
The dance known in the United States as the Rumba is a composite of several dances popular in Cuba, including the guaracha, the Cuban bolero, the Cuban son, and the rural rumba. All have similar rhythms that can be traced to religious and ceremonial dances of Africa. These rhythms were remembered by the earliest black people transported unwillingly to Cuba and subjected to forced labor by the Spanish colonists. The same pulsating dance rhythms may still be found in parts of Africa, but the dances have been altered by contact with other cultures and races. The rural rumba is a pantomimic dance originating in the rural areas. It depicts the movements of various barnyard animals in an amusing manner, and is basically an exhibition, rather than a participation dance. Both the Cuban son and the Cuban bolero are moderate tempo dances in traditional ballroom form. The guaracha is distinguished by its fast, cheerful tempo.
As early as the second world war, the Rumba was modified to a slower and more refined version for the Cuban middle class, this was called the "son". The American Rumba is a modified version of this dance which first came to this country in 1913. Ten years later band leader Emil Coleman imported Rumba musicians and dancers to New York but no interest developed. Real interest in Latin music began about 1929 as a result of increased American tourism to Latin America. In 1935 George Raft appeared with Carole Lombard in a movie called "Rumba" in which he played a suave dancer who wins the lady through dancing. Rumba's unique styling and unusual musical rhythms immediately captured the fancy of ballroom dance enthusiasts, and it has retained its popularity to the present time.
The Cuban style is characterized by forward and backward steps. The American version is done in a box pattern with "Cuban motion" as it's chief characteristic. "Cuban motion" is a discreet, expressive hip motion achieved by bending and straightening the legs and carefully timed weight changes. American Rumba is one of the most popular ballroom dances today.
In the Islands of the West Indies, there are certain plants that produce seedpods known as cha-cha. These are used to make a small rattle also known as cha-cha. In Haiti the typical voodoo band consists of three drums, a bell, and a cha-cha. The cha-cha is used by the leader as a guide instrument or "metronome" to set the time in secular dancing as well as in religious music and singing. Thus the dance Cha Cha had its roots in the religious ritual dances of the West Indies.
Cha Cha is derived from two other dances, it is a derivative of the Mambo (Mambo is the name of a voodoo priestess) through its Latin music and it is also a stepchild of Swing (Lindy, as it is danced with a triple step and a break).
In 1953 the Cuban orchestra "America" started playing the time-honored "Danzon" with a new syncopated beat. This sounded like a slow Mambo, and Cuban dancers used a slight triple hip undulation on the slow count. Gradually this was changed to a triple step on the slow count and the Cha Cha was born. The Cha Cha was introduced to the United States in 1954, and by 1959 Americans were "gaga over Cha Cha", with dance studios reporting it to be their most popular dance. It is such an "on the beat" dance that you can't help inject your own feelings into it. Cha Cha is still the most popular of the Latin dances in the United States today
It has also been suggested that the name Cha Cha is derived from the vocal imitation of the sound of the feet in the chasse, which included in many of the steps. This would account for it being called the "Cha Cha Cha" by some people whereas others call it the "Cha Cha". It is danced "Cha Cha" with the accent on the "1" beat. The tempo is fast, sassy and staccato
Like most Latin dances, it is done with the feet remaining close to the floor (toe steps). The dancers hips are relaxed to allow free movement in the pelvic area as a result of the bending and straightening of the knees. The upper body shifts over the supporting foot as the steps are taken (foot moves, body follows). This hip action is called Latin or Cuban motion.
It is very important to understand the musical timing of Cha Cha to dance it correctly. If you don't, it will always have a "frantic feeling" and fast Cha Cha's will be very difficult to dance. Cha Cha music is usually played in 4/4 time generally at a speed of 28 to 31 mpm (measures per minute). Musically it is counted: 1, 2, 3, 4, & or an easy way to remember it is: 1,2,3, Cha, Cha (a Cha is 1/2 beat)Hustle
Hustle is a fast, smooth, slotted dance noted for its elaborate spins and turns, especially for the lady. In Hustle, the lady spins almost constantly, while her partner catches her and redirects her movement. It is a rhythmically challenging dance, with an unusual timing pattern. Hustle is a club style dance that can be adapted to crowded nightclub dance floors.
Hustle was created in the 1970’s disco era and was made popular by John Travolta in the film “Saturday night Fever.” The music and the dance featured in the film soon caused a craze to sweep around the nation like wildfire and although the leisure suits and gold chains have faded away the dance is still going strong.
The Hustle combines turns, spins and wraps and dips for a signature fast slick look. Danced in night clubs to 70’s 80’s and top 40 dance music hustle is the fastest of all the dances. Advanced hustle dancers are known for crazy trick lifts and dips that give this dance a wow factor that looks current and up to date.
Hustle teaches turns and position changers whit an emphasis on fingertip lead & follow, and arm control. Hustle teaches syncopated timing to adjust to different music tempos.Hustle also develops balance and spotting which eliminate getting dizzy during turns
Hustle music is typified by a strong beat based on rhythm and blues or strong techno music or pop, as long as it moves quickly and sound fast you can probably dance hustle to you. Hustle can be danced to cha cha music, swing music, meringue music and even hip hop.
Arthur Murray himself first started teaching people to dance in 1912. Starting with a "learn to dance at home" mail order business, he then went on to found his first dance studio in 1923 on 43rd Street in New York City.
Since that time, Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios have grown and now have studios throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Brazil. Arthur Murray's dream of teaching the world to dance is being fulfilled. Standardized lessons are interchangeable from one Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studio to another. You are guaranteed that your lessons will be honored wherever there is an Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studio.
Arthur Murray found that the best way to get people grooving on the dance floor was to expose them to three different elements of dancing: private lessons, group classes, and practice sessions. After 100 years, this system provides rapid success, creating the most well-rounded dancers on the floor.
The Private Lesson: is one professional instructor focusing on an individual or couple. The instructor utilizes Arthur Murray’s INTERRELATED SYSTEM, which was his method of teaching similar moves in each dance to help one be able to dance to a variety of music without having to remember a multitude of patterns. Finer points of dancing like leading, following, timing, footwork, posture, and frame are expanded upon, giving you the tools to dance well. An instructor will also guide your progress, help you make informed decisions about the dances and styles to pursue, become your personal cheerleader, and coach you to success!
The Group Class: is a wonderful opportunity for you to solidify the information learned on your private lesson, while being introduced to new patterns or variations. By referring to the INTERRELATED SYSTEM, you will be further educated on your current patterns, focusing on dancing them individually and with different partners to help with balance, leading, following, and timing. They are also a great way to meet new people in a fun and active environment.
The Practice Session: is also called a “party” because it can be so much fun! This is where you get to see all you hard work come to fruition! The studio is set up to represent a party atmosphere with lights turned low, disco ball spinning, twinkle lights sparkling, light refreshments, and the best music to get you moving. The instructors attend all the parties to help you get the full benefits of applying your dancing in a social environment. Whether you need help placing a dance to a song, remembering your steps, or have never danced a certain style before, our instructors will be by your side to coach and cheer you on. This allows you to understand which dances goes to which music, reap the benefits of Arthur Murray’s INTERRELATED SYSTEM, and help you have a great time! It also helps you become more comfortable and confident in your own dance ability, dancing around or with other people, better preparing you for a wedding, cruise, or wherever you may encounter dancing.
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Arthur Murray Dance Studios287 Main Street, Niantic, CT 06357
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