Dance Motivation

First of all, let me start with wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day !!!

Result oriented or self-improving and trying to be the best that you can be in your dance journey ?!?

Dancers who feel good about themselves produce good dancing… it’s the simple truth behind the art of dance, regardless dancing ballroom, Latin, rhythm, American smooth, salsa or any other style of dance.

Trying to reach for that podium and desired placement doesn’t always go “hand in hand” with enjoyment in dancing. Dancers often get lost in chasing the final outcome and forget the main reason, they are in this in a first place – “the joy of dancing, the art that can’t be perfect, the passion that brought them there… the dance itself”.

Finding the right balance of  dancing goals, motivation on proper guidance by your teacher, will lead your journey to success and reasons to smile. In this article, I will try to give you 3 goals that I personally had for my professional dance experience and hopefully that will help you maintain your dance motivation and be happy through your journey of dance.

The first advice:

Setting clear short and long term goals! Understanding that you will have different responsibilities to achieve your goals will help you significantly. Having set your goals, you will be able to plan every week of your dance practices and dance lessons to reach what’s needed. Write your goals on a single page and try using less than 250 words. Keep in mind, that you shouldn’t have more than 3 goals a week on probably 5 goals a month…

Read your goals before every practice. it should take you less than a minute anyway. Remind yourself why those goals are there (written on the page). Rethink and change your goals when feeling like…

Remember, that %20 of what we do during our dance lessons and self practice after will produce about %80 of our final goals. Goals, goals & goals in dancing…

Second advice:

Praising your dance progress and every little step on the way to greatness! Obviously, your dancing progress will have Ups and Downs, so don’t forget to focus on the positive aspect of your progress. If you put the accent on the positive by emphasizing on what you have done well, you will manage to build more confidence and that will help your progress. Praising, often brings the best in people and makes them perform better. Personally, I have some rules for Praising: 

  1. Praise immediately – when you do something well, don’t be shy about it and hopefully your teacher will be smart enough to do the same…
  2. Be specific – So… if your teacher is being happy about something, make sure that you fully understand what that thing is! I used to work in a studio on the North Shore, where people were praised because they smile or have a nice hair… Leave the studio Right Away!!! 
  3. Speak about your dance feelings – Tell your teacher what feels good. Doing something right is worth noticing. You can always build on that good work!
  4. Pause – Praising is great! pause, enjoy the moment, chat about it and get back to work after!
  5. Encourage – Now, that you have felt good about your dancing, hope you understand that there’s nothing that you can’t do!!!

Praising matter big time and beating yourself over that left turning figure in tango / waltz for an hour or more is not worth, simply move on and get back to it another time

Advice Number 3 (for the people that are still reading ;))

My final advice is called redirect. Praising your dancing, without recognizing what needs to be done better will lead you to nowhere. If your ballroom teacher gives you only a nice feedback, than probably something is wrong. While nobody really likes being told how wrong something is, a constructive feedback can make a big difference if you are open minded. It is important that the teacher you are working with, will be able to help you improve by giving you the next step and guiding you to the next level of your dancing. Unless you confront what needs to be improved, you won’t be able to reach your best. 

 

Honestly, those where the steps that I followed and they helped me greatly, to feel good about my professional dancing. Understanding, that YOU and only YOU can motivate YOU is a big deal

Thank for reading!!!

 

Aleksandar Bonev – Founder and Co-Owner of North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

Glencoe Ballroom Dance Club Empowering Lives Through Dance (northshoredancesociety.com)

 

 

#dance #dancestudio #danceteacher #learntodance #howtodance #dancejourney

Dancing and the Brain

Millions of people around the world love to dance, either recreationally or professionally.

Many of those who are ballroom dancing, doing the foxtrot, salsa, waltz, tango, or rumba, don’t even realize, that they are doing something positive for their bodies—and their brains? Dance, in fact, has such beneficial effects on the brain that it is now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological movement disorder. “There’s no question, anecdotally at least, that music has a very stimulating effect on physical activity,” says Daniel Tarsy, MD, an HMS professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). “And I think that applies to dance, as well.”

Stimulating movement

Scientists gave little thought to the neurological effects of dance until relatively recently, when researchers began to investigate the complex mental coordination that dance requires. In a 2008 article in Scientific American magazine, a Columbia University neuroscientist posited that synchronizing music and movement—dance, essentially—constitutes a “pleasure double play.” Music stimulates the brain’s reward centers, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits.

Studies using PET imaging have identified regions of the brain that contribute to dance learning and performance. These regions include the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum. The motor cortex is involved in the planning, control, and execution of voluntary movement. The somatosensory cortex, located in the mid region of the brain, is responsible for motor control and also plays a role in eye-hand coordination. The basal ganglia, a group of structures deep in the brain, work with other brain regions to smoothly coordinate movement, while the cerebellum integrates input from the brain and spinal cord and helps in the planning of fine and complex motor actions.

While some imaging studies have shown which regions of the brain are activated by dance, others have explored how the physical and expressive elements of dance alter brain function. For example, much of the research on the benefits of the physical activity associated with dance links with those gained from physical exercise, benefits that range from memory improvement to strengthened neuronal connections.

A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can decidedly improve brain health. The study investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. The researchers looked at the effects of 11 different types of physical activity, including cycling, golf, swimming, and tennis, but found that only one of the activities studied—dance—lowered participants’ risk of dementia. According to the researchers, dancing involves both a mental effort and social interaction and that this type of stimulation helped reduce the risk of dementia.

In a small study undertaken in 2012, researchers at North Dakota’s Minot State University found that the Latin-style dance program known as Zumba improves mood and certain cognitive skills, such as visual recognition and decision-making. Other studies show that dance helps reduce stress, increases levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, and helps develop new neural connections, especially in regions involved in executive function, long-term memory, and spatial recognition.

A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine discovered that dance can decidedly improve brain health.

Movement as therapy

Dance has been found to be therapeutic for patients with Parkinson’s disease. More than one million people in this country are living with Parkinson’s disease, and, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, each year another 60,000 are diagnosed with the disease. Parkinson’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called motor-system disorders, which develop when the dopamine-producing cells in the brain are lost. The chemical dopamine is an essential component of the brain’s system for controlling movement and coordination. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, an increasing number of these cells die off, drastically reducing the amount of dopamine available to the brain.

According to the foundation, the primary motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include bradykinesia (slowed movement), stiffness of the limbs and trunk, tremors, and impaired balance and coordination. It is these symptoms that dance may help alleviate. “A lot of this research is observational, not hard science,” says Tarsy, “but it’s consistent and there’s a lot of it.”

Tarsy says that dance can be considered a form of rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS). In this technique, a series of fixed rhythms are presented to patients, and the patients are asked to move to the rhythms. Studies of the effects this technique has on patients with Parkinson’s or other movement disorders have found significant improvements in gait and upper extremity function among participants. Although there have been no side-by-side scientific comparisons of RAS with either music or dance, Tarsy says people with Parkinson’s “speak and walk better if they have a steady rhythmic cue.”

 

Complementary moves

At the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Peter Wayne, AM ’89, PhD ’92, an HMS assistant professor of medicine at the hospital, studies the clinical effects of mind-body and complementary/alternative medicine practices on patients with chronic health conditions. He has conducted clinical trials designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tai chi for patients with Parkinson’s and other balance disorders. Tai chi is a Chinese martial art once used for self-defense but now performed as exercise. Wayne considers tai chi to be a more ritualized, structured form of dance.

“The focus of our work is to take advantage of traditional exercises in which it’s implicit that the mind and body are connected more efficiently,” says Wayne. “Tai chi is one such exercise that we focus on because of its benefits for both balance and mental function.” Research, he says, has shown that the increased susceptibility to falls that occurs among people who are aging or who are dealing with disorders such as Parkinson’s can be mitigated by the practice of tai chi; it improves their strength and flexibility as well as their cognitive performance.

One such study appeared in 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In this study, a team of investigators led by a scientist at the Oregon Research Institute found that tai chi helped improve balance and prevent falls among people with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease. After six months, those who practiced tai chi twice weekly were physically stronger and had better balance compared with those who did either weight training or stretching. On average, the participants who did tai chi achieved balance measures that were two times better than those achieved by weightlifters and four times better than those participants who stretched. Those people who practiced tai chi also fell less and had slower rates of decline in overall motor control.

Wayne says tai chi may possibly benefit people with Parkinson’s disease in other ways, too. “Practicing mindful movement,” he says, “may help compensate for some of the motor deficits that are common in Parkinson’s and aging.”

Under Tarsy’s direction, BIDMC has initiated several wellness programs, including ones that feature tai chi, Zumba, yoga, and drumming, designed to help people manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Although it is still unclear to what extent these programs benefit patients, Tarsy says there is evidence that such activities as dance and tai chi can stabilize the effects of the disease and slow the degree to which everyday movement is affected.

Scott Edwards is a freelance science writer based in Massachusetts.

 

#dance #dancestudio #dancelessons

 

660 Vernon Ave, Glencoe, IL 60022

The art of dance and the beautiful story of a wonderful dancing friend

This moment of time, when you realize that writing and especially in a foreign language is in fact extremely difficult, not to mention that you are about to do so, for someone so incredibly important, someone who have helped you shape your life for good…

Dancing is a symbol of energetic life, invigorating passion, desire, deep feelings and sexuality. A dance symbolizes the stages and rhythms of life. Dancing is even more than we can possibly imagine… Dancing is life….

I will begin this dance story, by saying that I have met this person, about 9 years ago at the dance studio that I was working at that time – Arthur Murray.

At that time, the studio in Glenview, had the so called “Dance Students Party”, where every existing student, had to invite friends, so they can be introduced to the dance community.

I believe, that you can already guess, that my future friend and student, was one of the guests at that time. After seeing, that Arthur Murray had an ad for free / discounted dance lessons, she got invited by one of her best friends – Mrs. Doris W., who was already taking dance lessons for some time to join one of the dance parties.

After enjoying her first time in a dance studio and having a great conversation with her daughter, about how she used to love dancing, my dear friend was about to start her dance journey.

Her family, happened to be extremely loving and supportive, so they got her a few lessons to start with.

Realizing that the age of 72 is just a number and having a wonderful first lesson, my friend started getting a bit more involved into dancing and committing to dance packages, that would be bringing her journey to a different level.

 

At the beginning, her very first dance teacher – Kelly, managed to do a great job, by helping her build a great understanding of coordination and balance, combined with lots of fun and joy, which is an important part of everyone’s dance journey.

 

Before I continue, telling you the dancing story of my friend, I would love to tell you couple words about her past:

Extremely accomplished in the sphere of physiology, she was RHR management physiology with issues affecting leadership effectiveness as well as working for Bankers Life (Vise president of Human resources)

For her, the consulting carrier and her family, where the most important thing.

Interestingly enough, every time she has attended a major event with dancing, weddings or any other occasion that would include dancing, she would be the first one on the dance floor!!!

 

After sharing parts of her past, let’s go back to her dance journey and the moment she left Murray dance studio…

In the mid of 2013, I decided on leaving my workplace and creating a dance society in the North Shore area, which later was named “North Shore Dance Society”.

My friend decided on following me and we started practicing in her… leaving room (and yes, stop making excuses with the amount of space you have, just do it…).

Eventually, we started renting a floor space (paying floor fee) at a great place, located at the heart of Wilmette. Soon after, the very first dance event became a priority and everything after that is a wonderful history for both of us.

 

If you happened to ask her about the art of dance in her life… Expect to hear this:

“Other than family, nothing has had such an impact in my life. Quality in my life. Thinking of other ladies that say I wish that I can do it… Part of having the health is considering dancing as a gift of life. Source of joy, sense of fulfillment, frustration, cognitive as well as physical. Great sense when a dancer understands something and works well. Tremendous support of family and friends.

Lots of things that I didn’t expect – great physical activity and amazed by the things that I learned how to do… Lost weight and I am probably in the best shape of my life. Had to give away my old clothes.

Looked better every day and that made me very happy. Met some incredible people and made many wonderful friends through the dance community in Illinois. Very supportive community and a great friendship is what I have experienced.

Although, I have done many dance events, never felt competitive…

Balance, coordination & so much more to gain, thanks to dancing. Getting older is simply a reality for everyone.so I wanted to make sure that keep myself in shape.

Opening the dance studio in Glencoe was a fantastic idea. Feeling, like this is my second home, I have met absolutely great and very supportive people. Dancing is Celebration of my life and the most fulfilling part of it. If I had to choose one activity – dancing without question.

With tears in my eyes, hard to express how much I love dancing…

Understanding that my goal is the best dancer that I can be. Pushing myself every single time I practice or perform. The physiologist in me, understands that I can do it. Coordination between arms and feet is soooo hard… Having the opportunity to learn from a female and a male instructor is a blessing. Working with Olga is just part of the magic in dancing and the benefits of learning from her are countless.

Olga and Aleks, encouragement and a great constructive feedback is simply phenomenal.

About dance events… Well, they have never been my main thing, but on the other hand, I love doing them and I can see plenty of benefits to participate them. I used to get very nervous before performing, but that’s no longer the case. With time, I have stopped being nervous, but always want to do well. I enjoy the fun of the events and the fact that we get to be together (being with our group)

Currently, I am dancing over 20 different styles, but my favorite is the “American smooth” – Waltz, tango, Foxtrot & Viennese Waltz. My biggest fear in dancing – forgetting the routine while performing (never happened).

My favorite dance routine was a Foxtrot on the song “You make me feel so young”!

If you ask me about my favorite dance event, well… they are so many, but I will stick with Extravaganza Showcase and Harvest Moon Ball, since I feel like home there. Another incredible event, that I would strongly recommend, would be the Wisconsin State Championship.

Why Aleks?! –well… fun has never been my main thing (you will understand once you work with him). I like the way he teaches. Consider him as an excellent teacher. Different way of teaching between levels and constructing everything like a Lego construction. Slowly build up and a clear focus before refining. Looking at what needs to be done.

Favorite Coach – hmmm, that’s a tough one… For me is hard to feel the difference, because they all contribute to my dance development. Bill Sparks, Peter Minkov, Olga Boneva and just some of the names that I would like to thank for the dancer I am today.

Little advice for all of my fellow dancers – Get more out of individual work. Make sure you practice every day.”

 

Anna Marie Buchmann

Pro/Am Dancing vs Social Dancing, North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

What is the difference between Social & Competitive Dancing?!? Probably the most common question that any dance teacher have to answer .

Social Dancing
Social dancing is a non-competitive version of ballroom and latin dancing as well as night club dancing (Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Polka & more).  Usually it is comprised of all the same dances, like Foxtrot, Tango, Swing, or Cha-Cha, but designed to be used in practical settings like wedding receptions, nightclubs, business functions, or informal gatherings.  Social dancing is less formal that exhibition dancing and is meant to be enjoyed while socializing. 

Competitive Dancing or Pro/Am

When it comes to Ballroom Dance and DanceSport, you hear the expression Pro-Am a lot. Pro-Am competition is a category in DanceSport where amateur students partner with a professional dancer, similar to what you see on “Dancing With The Stars.” In these events only the amateur is being judged, leaving the professional free to concentrate on helping you look and dance your best! There are several age classifications and level divisions available, allowing professionals to dance with all their students, and to ensure you compete against other dancers of similar skill. Every dance style is available, so you can choose the dances you want to compete in.

 

Skills needed for Good Dancing – Social vs Competitive Pro/Am

Leading and Following – The most important skill for good social dancing is Leading and Following.  This is the non-verbal communication from the leader to the follower indicating the direction, timing, and style, among other things. If deciding to compete in a Pro/Am category with your dance teacher, you better be ready to take your dancing to the next level. Be ready to understand your own routine and eventually your partner’s steps. Directions become absolutely “must know” and your timing have to become very clear and easy to understand. The physical connection and understanding of yours and your partners body weight will be crucial for a good synchron. Creating space for your partner and making him/her look better will be an important task to master.

Posture and Dance Frame – When social dancing, your posture is important to the extend where you don’t want to look down and hopefully you don’t disturb your partner. Your dance frame in the world of social dancing is probably the very last thing that thoroughly matters, so just bread and enjoy your time on the floor. When it gets to Pro/Am dancing, be sure to keep a great posture and a wonderful dance frame, that the style you are dancing requires. I can promise you, that frame and posture will be the two things you will probably spend the most time during your hard practices, because without those two, competitive dancing would not work well for you.If Leading and Following is a message, then good posture and dance frame are the antenna broadcasting the signal is what you can think of when competing. 

Multi-Tasking

Ultimately, social dancing is having the ability to converse while dancing.  Being able to multi-task, like chatting about work or the weather while Waltzing, takes some practice but allows dancing to develop into natural use much quicker and that’s as far as it goes. Making a dance mistake, while having a blast in a salsa / bachata club is perfectly fine as long as you are smiling and the person dancing with you understand that you are not competing. When you are preparing to compete, the level of multi – tasking changes right the way. You will have to practice over and over different moves with the correct posture, frame, alignment, timing, styling and so on… Once you are on the floor, you should have everything memorized and focus on the one and only thing that matters – dancing your very best.

Cost

If you are not willing to spend much, then social dancing is for sure to go. Not having to attend any events and the low dance expectations will save you some cash. You can always buy cheap dancing shoes and use about any clothes you have for your practice. You can skip practices with weeks and always come back with a big smile. If you are exited to compete and to be the very best dancer that you can possibly be… I f you are looking forward to every lesson with your instructor and you are always ready to learn some new information (after you practice the old one for hours every day)… If you are ready to skip your wedding anniversary because there is a local dance competition that you have prepared for months (please look at your schedule and find a different comp or you are risking a bit ;))… That simply means that you are a dance competitor and there’s nothing to stop you from your dream. YES, Pro/Am has a cost behind and it’s important to understand it from the beginning of your dance journey. Besides paying for dance lessons and group classes, dance student will need to buy practice clothes (please buy quality practice clothes, since they will be the only one with the proper cut,weight and movement), good practice and competitive shoes (ENGLAND!!!!!), eventually a dress or dresses (depends on how many styles of dancing you are competing in), costumes for the guys, hair and make up for the ladies (possibly for the guys as well), maybe some dance jewelry for the ladies. Every dance event (dance showcase or a dance competition) cost money to attend and the teacher or the studio have to be compensated for their time and commitment. 

The most expensive places to dance at and do dance events are without any doubt the franchise studios (rather not mentioning their names). If you are excited to dance and want to be a good dancer, make sure you find an independent dance studio and don’t forget to do your research before starting your dance journey. As any other business, they are plenty of so called “dance teachers” that should not be teaching you. If you are not getting a clear answer for your dance questions or if you feel no progress (worst is when you are a beginner student and you find out that your “dance teacher” has 2 months of dance experience)  – please find another one…

Last but not least – Should you do a Pro/Am?!?

Many students find that training for a goal, such as competition or a dance show, focuses them and allows them to apply the ‘outside world’s’ ways of measuring results to an art form that has an always moving future. And, allowing you to forgo responsibility for much of the partnering aspect will, as you are being told, allow you to feel like you are concentrating your energy and effort to yourself solely, without the cumbersome issues that real partnering presents – not only the mechanics like compromise, scheduling, and interaction, but also in dance aspects like compromise, interaction, and presentation.

Expense of course is relative in any hobby or pursuit – but if it makes you happy, there is not dollar value that is too great, in my opinion. However, dance is a journey and not a goal, no matter how often your studio ties the memorization of steps and choreography to a specific level or rate of success. You can be a great dancer with very few movements, and a very bad one with millions of steps.

Dancing and performing with your teacher is one the very best things that you can possibly imagine and unless you tried it at least once you will never find out what you’re missing

 

#nsdsbonev #dance #dancepractice #proamdance #dancing #socialdancing #lovetodance #glencoe #glencoeillinois

 

 

Momentum in Ballroom and Latin Dancing

 

So, what is the secret? You’ve seen the videos of professional dancers flowing through step after step, so seamlessly you can’t even tell where one pattern ended and another began. But when you dance, it feels like each step clunks down about as smoothly as bricks on a wall.

The differences between what you see and what you dance yourself lie in how you direct your momentum from point A to B. When practicing the techniques below, always remember that the end goal is to dance efficiently, by conserving momentum with minimal effort. Why? Because it’s the loss of momentum that makes your dance feel so clunky.

Rolling Through the Steps
Probably the first momentum-generating technique we are taught, the goal is to simply travel in a straight line, using the following foot technique:

For Smooth/Standard: Walk normally. Notice how your heel strikes the ground first, then rolls to the front of your foot as you take your next step. Concentrate on keeping your body level by softening your knees, and push off the back foot to create your forward energy. Don’t lean forward! If it starts to feel like the concourse at an airport, you know you’re getting somewhere. Do the same thing backwards, this time by sliding the ball of the foot back, and letting it roll until the heel makes contact.

For Rhythm/Latin: Slide forward on the balls of your feet, NEVER losing contact with the floor. There’s no foot rolling action here, but there is hip-rolling action. As your weight transfers forward and your heel kisses the ground, let that forward energy settle into your hip, rolling it backwards, until it almost feels like your weight is moving towards your heel. The energy must roll forwards again, so send it into the opposite hip, stepping forward as you do, and repeat. The movement should feel like an infinity symbol rolling around in your hips, fed and maintained with your forward (or backward) momentum.

Aim for Zero
At rest, we must always return to the balls of our feet. This means we anticipate the amount of energy we need to get from point A to B, and practice until we can transfer from ball to ball without wasting energy. One way we do this, especially on the side steps, is by driving a wedge out with the inside of the free foot, then rolling to a flat on the weight transfer. Why? Because the rolling action helps to slow us down, exactly as much as our transfer to the side ‘sped us up’ so we come to rest over our foot – at zero. In smooth/standard, we use this technique for our forward and backward movements too, rolling through our foot to ensure continuous movement.

Of course, we don’t actually want to stop moving on the dance floor – we want to stay balanced and in control. Because uncontrolled momentum is lost momentum.

Blending the Movement
The above techniques are great for single-direction travel, but what about changing directions (i.e. turns)? We are already completing each weight change on the balls of our feet, which is the best place for them to pivot, if needed. Now it’s up to our body rotation (smooth/standard), or our hip rotation (rhythm/Latin) to rotate strongly enough to turn the rest of our body along a new path. This includes anything from the waltz reverse turn to a triple spin in mambo – the only change in our bodies is how strongly we rotate. Also, we must make the turn as we arrive on a new foot, or in others words, the last instant before our forward energy would stop. Wait longer, and you’ll have to ‘force’ the twist to build up momentum again. Turn too early, and you won’t be balanced on the ball, and end up falling out of the turn. Blend the energy from the previous movement into the new one, and nothing will be lost.

Juggling Energy
In ballroom dancing, your partner is just as important as you are for conserving momentum. The two of you must be constantly working in tandem or in opposition to each other, in order to keep energy juggling between you. One common way this is expressed is through a light but responsive frame, which acts as a shock absorber for any movement – it can compress and extend, but always with resistance, and like the willow branch, it immediately snaps back to place once the pressure is reduced. Often, the follower acts as a shock absorber for the leader, bending slightly to receive his momentum, which then travels into her body and moves her a split second later. A back-leading follower might think she is helping, but in reality she’s killing the momentum for both of them.

Remember that, like the fast car, there are no sudden stops or changes. Work hard to make every movement soft but irresistible, and enjoy the gloriously flowing dance that arises.

Full Credit to the Author: Ian Crewe

Ballroom & Latin Dance Teacher

What a wonderful Sunday it was… Just another incredible weekend, thanks to our students here in Glencoe Ballroom Club!

After another day of teaching, something made me realize how lucky and blessed We are (all dance teachers) ! To dress well, wear an extremely comfortable dance shoes, always perfect temperature in the dance studio, practicing with fantastic people that we are happy to call our students or meeting potential one, but most importantly – being part of someone’s dance life and creating a great friendships!!!

It takes special training, knowledge, patience, humor and love of people to be a teacher of any kind. This is a time consuming and important responsibility, but a very rewarding profession.

In everyone’s life there are certain significant and special people who have influenced your life.  Throughout the years, I have had the chance to work on my dancing with some great teachers and most importantly motivators, but the strongest impact in my dance career has been made by dance students. Our students come into our lives with their own purpose and reason and often that is more than just – salsa, bachata or kizomba. They are coming for a life changing experience for them and for us.

Dance students and dance teachers often have a common goal – help each other grow!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41TA0dW_Sgc

To finish my short write up, I would like to share what an incredible friend and a dance student of mine, recently told me:

“The start of a better world, or a better life, or a better future is simply our belief that is possible. Dance teachers are meant to inspire, especially in difficult times. They remind us that self -confidence can work wonders, but mutual confidence can work miracles. Aleks, for the fact that you believe in me and in my dream to dance, I believe in myself”

Sending much love to everyone reading it!!!

Aleksandar Bonev

North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe, IL

 

#dance #dancing #lovetodance #alwaysdance #danceclass #dancelessons #dancemotivation

Life of a Ballroom Dancer

Recently someone told me – “The world will always try to say who you are, but it’s only up to you to decide”

The truth is that everyone decides their own future, which is define by their own actions. Every action has a consequences, some are good and some not so much…

My very first step into the world of dancing was about 24 years ago and that was definitely not my choice, but my parents were the one to make it. I have to say that this was the very best thing that they have done for me and will be forever grateful.

My love for dancing was, is and will always be so hard to describe… Dancing has given me so much, that I can say that I am who I am because of that incredible sport/art/love

Life of a professional dancer is an absolutely beautiful adventure and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to experience it.   From the moment you meet your partner, through the long hours of practices, travelling for coachings to the moment on the competitive dance floor…. Every single moment is so precious and beautiful.

The beginning…

While searching for a dance partner, usually people try out dancing with different dancers and discuss goals (usually professional). If they feel that they are the right match, then they start working together. In my case, I had the opportunity to partner with a few magnificent bulgarian ladies while competing in Europe. After coming to U.S. ,  7 years ago, my main focus was to teach people and share my passion for dancing, leaving behind my professional development.

December 22nd. 2017 I met with a girl from Easter Europe for a “try out” and the magic happened…. Honestly it felt like words are not needed  and then it begin…

As a professional dancers we often have to sacrifice time,money and much more to proceed the ultimate goal – improvement. Injuries and a constant pain are just normal day to day thing.

Bottom line is that personally I love my life, have made a clear choice and excited about dancing more then ever.

Aleksandar Bonev

Co-Owner of North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

#dance #nsdsbonev #dancing #ballroomdance #salsa #bachata #socialdance #competitivedance #dancegroupclass #glencoedance #glencoedancestudio #northshoredance #chicagodance #danceforeover

Happy Thanksgiving to all dancers!!!

Dear dance friends,

The trees I see through the dance studio windows are changing their colors. It takes my breath away when the sun shines through those trees. Love teaching dance lessons and seeing the beauty of the weather outside. I am thankful…

In this grateful season between raking leaves and preparing our students for some upcoming dance events, as well as working on our professional dancing, I want to invite you to spend some time in prayerful reflection of all the things that we can be thankful for in our dance world.

 For myself, some things I am most grateful for include my fantastic dance students and friends, the beautiful studio that I am part of, the fantastic ukrainian person that share the same passion and love, the dance events that I was able to attend and of course most importantly the health that God gave’s me.

Besides dancing, I am also thankful for the frustration that offer me a chance to develop patience, for the challenges that encourage personal growth, and most of all, for the moments where my heart is open and my mind is quiet enough, that I can see the glimpses of grace that God is sending into my life.

It is this moments that we need to intentionally stop to give thanks to God, to acknowledge that we have all that we need, most of what we want, and an abundant piece of the promised peace of God – all of which exceeds well beyond anything we can ask for or imagine.

May your Thanksgiving be a time filled with giving thanks, of delighting in love, and of dancing with a big smile.

Blessings to everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Aleksandar Bonev

#nsdsbonev #glencoeillinois #dancestudio #danceclasses #lovetodance #alwaysdance #groupclasses #groupactivities #dance #ballroomdance #americansmoothdance #socialdancing #salsa #bachata #rumba #waltz #tango

Dance Students

Dancing…Blood, sweat, tears, time, commitment, passion, love, hard work, dedication, time, money…

In about seven days, it will be my 24th dance anniversary, anniversary with the love of my life…

But it was that long ago (only twelve years) since I started teaching people the art of dance and sharing my passion for what I consider “The most difficult yet so beautiful ” art that you can imagine.

Throughout the years I had the opportunity to work with wonderful (and not so much…) people with great personalities. Many of my students, extremely accomplished in personal and business level had thought me so much and help me developed the person I am today.

Sometimes students come and go, realizing how hard it is, how much work they have to put into achieving their goals (sometimes they have non and that doesn’t make the teacher’s life easy), how much it cost (YES,dancing is not the cheapest sport) or sometimes just because they find their own reason.

Besides the students that come and go, there’s also some really unique and special students that simply never give up and always find they way to keep going. Students that would do anything and everything to make their dream come true, regardless of every obstacle, regardless of what their friends or relatives think, regardless of the pain sometimes they feel (YES – dancing comes with pain sometimes), regardless…

I have the honor to know people that never give up, dancers that would do what it takes to improve, to get better and to smile when they want to cry. Some of those people are as I call them – my best friends, dance friends, students of mine, dance partners and most importantly – people that I can trust, that they will be next to me when I need them the most, and for that I Thank them…

Often teachers forget, that we are who we are, thanks to our students. Our students are the once, we should thank for everything and I fully believe in it!

When I think who should I be grateful for (it’s #Thanksgiving at the end of the day ), immediately i think of my dance students.

Thank you ALL and Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

 

Aleksandar Bonev

North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

#dance #students #dancestudents #glencoeillinois #chicagodance #lovetodance #proamdancing #danceclass #groupclass #dancers #socialdancing #salsa #bachata #ballroomdance #ballroomdancing #danceforeover #waltz #tango #argentinetango #thanksgiving #happythanksgiving

Dance journey, passion, desire, life and so much more…

Dance journey, passion, desire, life and so much more…

Who defines the body beautiful, and how has this definition been affected by feminism, multiculturalism, mass media and new technologies? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what kinds of images still have the power to produce such sensory experience?

All of these questions have very simple answer – the art of dance!

For me there’s no question about beauty in life, beauty in art, beauty as existence. When I experience something that is fully what it is — when it doesn’t present itself as being something but just is — then I feel I’m witnessing beauty. Galloping horses are beautiful, but the horses are not galloping and thinking, ”Oh, we are so graceful.” If they were thinking this, then they might not be beautiful.

I think that good art is autobiographical. This is about perception. It’s personal. There is a way that both the ugly and the beautiful can coexist. But the pendulum keeps swinging back and forth — you’ve got to look like this, now you’ve got to look like that. Well, let’s talk about what is good art, how do you make good art, and what is integrity in craftsmanship.

Creating energy and motion in dancing is absolutely incredible but without passion, desire and a sip of love it simply feels dry.

What does the audience want, and what are we creating? We lose the audience when things slow down and become a little more like nature. This is connected to the state of the world now, and the destruction of nature. It’s impatience with things that take time.

Deciding to be in a position to think bigger then you could ever imagine yourself being is one of the most important things for every dancer (regardless the level). It took me a while to to give myself permission to play much bigger role in my own life then I’ve ever imagined and I blame/thank dancing for that!

Dreams exist for a reason… Dreams are things that you have not achieved yet, but you want so much, that there’s no sacrifice you are not willing to make!

Passion to be a dancer and so much more is the best thing in this world for me and I thank God for every day I can take a dance step!

Co-Owning a Dance Studio in one of the most beautiful places in Illinois and having my Annual Dance event is a privilege in my life that I cherish and feel extremely happy with!

There’s no passion without love, there’s no desire without dreams, there’s no future without goals….

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with single step” – Lao Tzu

 

#thinkbig #nsdsbonev #playbigger #goals #visionboard #yesican #inspiration #iwantthis #iamworthit #entrepreneur #millionaremindset #dance #dancer #ballroomdancing