Choose Dance Over Other Sports

Ballroom dancing is a unique sport that offers a range of benefits that other sports cannot match. In this particular article we will focus on price difference between ballroom dancing and other sports:

Ballroom dancing is generally less expensive than other sports like tennis, basketball, and baseball. For example, according to a Bravo TV article, the cost of one-on-one training for ballroom dancing as well as tennis ranges from $100 to $250 per lesson.

According to a survey conducted by Project Play, the average annual cost for basketball training is similar to ballroom dancing. However, the cost of training can vary depending on the level of the player, where you reside, and the trainer. For example, the cost of one-on-one basketball training can range from $100 to $250 per session.  Similarly, the cost of baseball training can also vary depending on the level of the player and the type of training. Similarly, the cost of basketball and baseball equipment can be quite high, especially if you’re looking for high-quality gear.

Proper high-end dance shoes are essential for ballroom and Latin dancing. They provide the necessary support, flexibility, and comfort that dancers need to perform at their best. In fact, many professional dancers consider their shoes to be the most important piece of equipment they own.

While dance shoes can be expensive, they are a worthwhile investment for anyone who is serious about ballroom and Latin dancing. According to a DanceShopper article, the cost of ballroom and Latin dance shoes can range from $90 to over $150 depending on the style and brand. However, high-end dance shoes can cost over $250 per pair. While this may seem like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that dance shoes are designed to last for a long time and provide the necessary support and comfort that dancers need.

In comparison, the gear needed for other sports can be quite expensive as well. For example, according to a Rookie Road article, the cost of basketball training can range from $100 to $300 per session. Similarly, the cost of baseball training can also vary depending on the level of the player and the type of training. Additionally, protective gear such as headgear, gum shields, shin pads, shoulder pads, and joint supports can be quite expensive.

Given these costs, it’s clear that investing in high-quality dance shoes is a smart choice for anyone who is serious about ballroom and Latin dancing. Not only do they provide the necessary support and comfort, but they can also help prevent injuries and improve your overall performance.

Practice dance wear for ballroom and Latin dancing can be expensive. According to a DanceShopper articles, the cost of ballroom and Latin dance practice wear can range from $50 to over $250 depending on the style and brand. However, investing in high-quality practice wear is essential for anyone who is serious about ballroom and Latin dancing. Good quality practice wear provides the necessary comfort, flexibility, and support that dancers need to perform at their best.

In comparison, the gear needed for other sports can be quite expensive as well. Similarly, the cost of baseball training can also vary depending on the level of the player and the type of training. Additionally, protective gear such as headgear, gum shields, shin pads, shoulder pads, and joint supports can be quite expensive.

Ballroom gowns are an essential part of ballroom dancing and can be quite expensive. However, high-end ballroom gowns can cost $4000 or more. While this may seem like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that ballroom gowns are designed to last for a long time and provide the necessary support and comfort that dancers need.

Yes, ballroom and Latin dancing cost, but they are many reasons why that’s the case.

Physical Benefits: Ballroom dancing is a great way to stay in shape and improve your overall health. It can help you build muscle, improve your flexibility, and increase your endurance. Additionally, ballroom dancing is a low-impact activity that is easy on your joints, making it a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Mental Benefits: Ballroom dancing is also great for your mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your cognitive function. In fact, a 2016 study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that ballroom dancing can help prevent the onset of dementia in elderly patients.
Social Benefits: Ballroom dancing is a social activity that can help you meet new people and make new friends. It’s a great way to connect with others who share your interests and passions.
Given these benefits, it’s clear that ballroom dancing is a great choice for anyone looking to get in shape, improve their mental health, and make new friends. So why not give it a try? You might just be surprised at how much you enjoy it! 💃🕺

Aleksandar Bonev

North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe





Daily dance practice | North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe

Daily dance practice is an essential aspect of a student’s overall development, both physically and mentally. Not only does it enhance physical strength and flexibility, but it also improves focus, discipline, and creativity. However, it is essential to practice under the guidance of a quality dance teacher who can provide the necessary instruction and feedback to ensure proper technique and prevent injury.

Physical Benefits

Dance practice is a great way to improve overall physical fitness. It helps students develop muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility. Daily practice improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases. It also improves posture and balance, which is essential for maintaining a healthy body.

Dance Student: Jovita Fuentes and Dance Teacher: Aleksandar Bonev


Mental Benefits

In addition to physical benefits, daily dance practice also provides significant mental benefits. Dance requires concentration, focus, and discipline, which helps students develop mental strength and agility. Regular practice promotes self-confidence and self-esteem, which is essential for overall personal growth.

Creativity and Artistic Expression

Dance is a form of artistic expression that allows students to explore their creativity and emotions. Regular practice enhances the ability to express oneself through movement and develops a sense of artistic appreciation. Daily dance practice also helps students to develop a keen sense of rhythm and musicality, which is beneficial in other areas of life.

Importance of Proper Guidance

It is crucial to practice dance under the guidance of a quality dance teacher who can provide the necessary instruction and feedback. A good dance teacher can help students develop proper technique, prevent injury, and foster a love for dance. They can also provide a nurturing and supportive environment that encourages students to take risks and grow as dancers.

In conclusion, daily dance practice is essential for a student’s overall physical and mental development. It promotes physical fitness, mental strength, artistic expression, and creativity. However, it is essential to practice under the guidance of a quality dance teacher who can provide the necessary instruction and feedback. With consistent practice and proper guidance, students can enjoy the many benefits that dance has to offer.






#dancersbook #danceclasses #learntodance #howtodance #dance #danceschool #dancestudio #danceteacher #socialdancing #competitivedancing #proamdance #glencoe #glencoedance #glencoedancestudio #northshoredance #chicagolanddance

Ballroom and Latin dancing for kids – North Shore Dance Society Glencoe

Ballroom and Latin dancing for kids


The choices we make for our kids will often determine their future and it is up to us and us only to help them be their very best.

Ballroom and Latin dancing are often highly recognized as a first choice for parents and kids in many parts of Europe and Asia. Dancing in general is one of the very best options when it comes to sport and art.


Not long ago, I read an article written by a mother, trying to choose the right activity for her 6 years old son (mom is not a dancer). Leaving in the United States of America, her obvious choices were baseball, American football, hockey and perhaps basketball. Friend of hers told her that a dance studio just opened down the road and she decided on giving it a try. Three months later, she wrote the article I am talking about, describing how happy she and her son are. Choosing good posture, elegant costumes, music, good shoes, coordination and soooo much more, apparently turned out to be a decent choice.


I have started dancing at the age of 6 and for that will forever be grateful to my parents.

Dancing helps kids in many ways. Some of the benefits that I believe dance would give to all kids are:


   ~Fitness – at young age, kids will experience fun associated with fitness activities early in life and that would create life – long positive fitness habits. Over time, kids will build great stamina and incredible posture to carry for life, regardless dancing or not when they get older.

   ~Mental Focus – learning how to concentrate on a task and achieving goals.

   ~Balance – walking in sync with music, creating movement with different speed, shape the body in many ways to accompany the styles you learn and so much more.

   ~Social Skills – communicating with your teachers, dance coaches, dance partners, friends that dance at the same studio, meeting people during dance events.

   ~Strength – try dancing jive for only 2 minutes and you will know what I am talking about… Dancing is one of the most physically demanding sports and it requires constant strength improvements.

   ~Flexibility – improved range of motion, through holding or transitioning between different dance positions and moves.

   ~Coordination – Hand-eye coordination improves writing ability while eye-tracking improves reading readiness. To coordinate your dance movements with music and your partner is a science in a league on its own.

   ~Burn calories – Helps keeping your body in a great condition, prevents weight gain and gives jumpstart to a healthy life.

   ~The Sport of all Sports – dancing would help prepare your child for all sports, activities and most importantly – life.

   ~Discipline – no explanation needed here….


Every parent have a choice, when it comes to sports and activities. If we fully understand that our choices will make the difference for the kids we are raising, all should be fine.

 My parents made a choice many years ago and now I give you my point of view.

Our dance studio works with kids of all ages and helps them achieve their goals.

Thank you all for reading and happy dancing!



Aleksandar Bonev – Founder of the North Shore Dance Society




#dance #kidsdance #kidsdanceclass #danceclasses #kidsclasses #kidsdancelessons #dancesudio #bonev #glencoedance #glencoedancestudio #northshoredance #bestdancestudio #danceforkids #danceteacher #kidsactivities #kidsballroom #kidslatindance #kids #juniordance #juniorclasses

How to start your dance journey

Many years have passed since my first dance lesson at the age of six. Many teachers have accepted me as their pupil and molded me to their tastes and expounded their theories. Some were excellent and some were not so good (saying it politically correct, btw some had no clue what they were talking about), but each of these teachers left me with something of value and enabled me to better assess dance teachers and their very definite ways of teaching ballroom, social dancing, lyrical, modern and folk. Styding variety of dances, styles and general movement is perhaps the most important thing that I enjoyed throughout my journey so far. Coming to United States in the late 2011 was an important step in my development as a dancer and human being. The dances in US are generally divided into two categories – social style and competitive style. 

If you have decided to take dancing lessons, you should first decide whether you are going into it for the fun of meeting new friends who also love to dance, or if you are ambitious enough to go much further than that, then acquire a good partner and go into Competition Styles. In other words, ask yourself, “Am I going to take lessons to learn social dancing just to have fun with lot of people who love to dance, or am I looking for a partner in order to enter dance competitions?”

Once you have answered this question, your goal is clearly in view and you may proceed with confidence. Whether you have decided on social dancing or competitive dancing, a wise first step to take is to think first…

Once you have decided on the level of dancing you will have to pick the teacher and dance family to be guided by and be part of. Understanding that the right teacher, who would care and guide through dancing as well as be part of important moments in life is a must!!! I wish all the best to all of you



Aleksandar Bonev – Founder of North Shore Dance Society

Dance Teacher / Dance Instructor / Dance Coach


North Shore Dance Society – Glencoe, IL










#danceteacher #bonev #dancestudio #glencoe #chicago #glencoeil #dancestudent #learntodance #socialdancing


How to Build a Performing Arts Studio in Your Home

Whether you love to sing, dance, or create music, setting up an in-home studio is a great way to pursue your passion outside of class—or during a pandemic! Take advantage of a spare room or empty basement and build a studio perfectly suited to your needs. This is a great opportunity to get creative! Here are some resources from the North Shore Dance Society to help you set up a home studio so you can maintain your practice in your spare time.


Are you considering taking a dance class? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, check out the lessons available from North Shore Dance Society!


The Benefits of Building a Home Studio


Nothing beats having a dedicated space to practice singing, record music, or choreograph a dance.


●        An at-home studio is a great place to practice the skills you learn in class.

●        Your studio can inspire you to pursue your passion for the performing arts in a professional environment.

●        Plus, making updates and improvements to your home can increase your home value!


Where to Start


Once you’ve made room in your home for a studio, outfit it with some equipment and décor that will help you get the most out of the space.


●        Soundproof your studio so you can sing and make music without disturbing family members or neighbors.

●        Invest in some recording equipment so you can record and produce your own music.

●        Install mirrors if you’ll be using the studio to practice your dance techniques.

●        Get creative and decorate your studio in a way that inspires you.


How to Make the Most of Your New Studio


You can use your new studio for a number of fun creative pursuits, from dancing and acting to singing and music production.


●        Enjoy the many benefits of learning how to dance.

●        A home studio with good acoustics is a great place to practice singing.

●        Learn how to create music that you can distribute on digital streaming platforms.


Building a home studio can be really exciting, but it’s easy to go overboard when it comes to purchasing equipment and interior design features. Try to keep it simple and start with the basics. Once you’ve been using your studio for a while, you’ll have a better idea of the specific things you need to buy to make it complete.


Article by Amy Collett








#dancestudio #dancelessons #glencoedance #northshoreclasses

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 (



#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 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. 


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.


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