Many people have asked me why I started my own dance school. Good question! (I ask myself that on the discouraging days.)
Although I’ve taken various styles of dance classes for decades, they were all community centre classes in basic styles: Ballroom, East Coast Swing, Tap, Belly Dancing, Jazz, Hawaiian, Line Dancing. Whatever was available at the right time and place. I did it for fun and exercise and to spend time with my Mom.
It wasn’t until I went to Cuba for the first time three years ago that I really got excited about learning salsa. When I got home, I started taking classes.
I loved the teachers and the classes, but some things bothered me right from the start and continued to bother me. First, I noticed that the students who were already known to the teachers were treated differently. Second, I noticed that the new dancers who needed a bit more time and attention didn’t receive it. Most of the attention was awarded to the better dancers. Third, I noticed that students arrived, changed shoes, took a lesson, changed shoes, and left. There didn’t seem to be any socializing outside of the actual class. I thought of dancing, particularly partner dancing, as a social activity.
Once I tried going to social dance events, I noticed that the people there tended to dance exclusively with people they already knew. That shuts out new dancers. I noticed that the only time dancers spent more than one song together was when one good dancer was with another good dancer. New dancers, if they were lucky enough to be asked to dance, experienced the unspoken one-song rule. Leaders rarely asked new dancers to dance. The whole experience felt like a high-school sock hop where only the popular kids danced and the rest stood and watched. The dance community felt stagnant.
I decided I wanted to create something different. Sam’s Dance is inclusive, welcoming, friendly. We make everyone feel like they belong there, whether they’re good dancers wanting to learn more movements, practiced dancers wanting to learn a new style, or dancers that are just starting from scratch. We spend time with all the students before and after classes and encourage them to spend time with each other. We invite them to bring their friends and family to experience the joy of dance. When we hold events, we make sure everyone who wants to dance gets the chance to dance, even if it means we have to introduce them to each other.
All this takes time and energy, but this is what makes us different. We’re interested in our dancers—who they are, what they do, how they found us, what they want to learn. We think this is the way to build a community of diverse people, initially brought together by a common interest or curiosity, but on a journey of discovering other commonalities. A community.
April Fools Brazilian Dance Party
Be DANCING FOOLS with us on Saturday, April 1st
Carousel Theatre, Granville Island
Social dancing for Forro & Samba
Buy tickets in advance OR just RSVP in advance (so we know you’re coming)and pay at the door—cash only
Full price = $10
Buy 1, Get 1 FREE • 2 Tickets for $10
If you want to buy just 1 ticket, SHARE our event on Facebook and pay ONLY $5
The Social Contract on the Dance Floor
Yes, women want equality. Nobody said that meant killing chivalry. Good old-fashioned manners go a long way in social situations, no matter what your age or philosophy.
There are a few unspoken rules that make social contact with strangers at dance events more comfortable. Nobody likes feeling rejected or judged.
On the dance floor, this is what that means.
Men: Assume that everyone is there to dance. Ask them!
Women: That means if you’re not there to dance, don’t sit on the edges of the dance floor looking like you want to dance!
Men: Don’t assume by glancing that you know which women are going to be fun dance partners. A good dance partner is not only about skill. It’s also about being relaxed and enjoying the experience. It’s about dancing with a partner who can laugh at her mistakes and make you feel good.
Women: Don’t assume the men who ask you to dance are bad dancers or creepy. The old “don’t judge a book by its cover” rule applies here.
Men: Don’t let fear of rejection stop you from asking for dances from people you think might say no. Who cares? Believe in you! If someone says no, it’s probably more about them than it is about you. Their loss. Head up, move on.
Women: Unless you have a damn good reason, don’t say no when someone asks you to dance. Good reasons are: you have an injury; you have danced with that man before and he hurt you; or your feet hurt too much to dance. If reason #1 or #3 apply, get away from the dance floor!
Both parties: Dance with people you don’t know. Dance with people at all levels. Be kind. Smile! This is supposed to be fun.
Join us to dance FORRO & SAMBA • You don’t have to wear fringes or feathers!
Saturday, FEBRUARY 25, 2017
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
$8 (+handling) in advance, $12 cash at the door
BUY TICKETS HERE:
or in cash at the school before the event (check our schedule of class times)
We are a dance school with a different concept. We are inclusive, welcoming, friendly, & we want to show you how dance can improve your life. Dancing is good for your brain & body, for the young & older, for singles & not, to share with friends & make new friends!
Location: Carousel Theatre, Granville Island
Doors open 7 pm
Mini-lesson in Forro at 7:30 pm sharp
Mini-lesson in Samba de Gafieira at 8:00 pm
Followed by DANCING!
We hope you will consider signing up for classes at this fun event!
Bring a partner–or not–it’s up to you. We’ll teach you how to dance your pants off!
Learn to dance with a partner or on your own–we’ll help you!
Dancing builds more new neural pathways than ANY other activity!