Josh & Susan leave their “Cat Tracks” in Uptown!

This is the first of a series of videos we’re calling Cat Tracks, because we plan to leave our prints all over town! In them we’ll be celebrating three things: 1) Memphis places and spaces, 2) our amazing students, and 2) the abundant variety of ballroom dance styles.

 

 

This gorgeous mural, located at Second and Mill (Uptown), was painted by artist Erin Miller Wray. Want to see more? Check her out on Instagram @erinmillerwray or just wander around town looking for her signature bright colors and uplifting messages.

 

 

Between his triathlon training, her community organizing, and a shared love of travel, it’s surprising that this busy couple can fit in anything else. Nevertheless, they’ve been dancing together for about a year now, and they’re really looking good!

 

The dance they’re doing is the Push-Pull (4-Count Swing), and it is extremely versatile. It can be done to almost any style of up-tempo music (old or new), and is perfect for parties, wedding receptions, and class reunions.
The Way You Do The Things You Do

 

3 Dances Everyone Should Know How to Do


 

All right, if I’m honest, I think you should know a lot more than three dances. But in general, you need at least three: one for slow music, one for fast music, and one for intermediate tempos. So here are three very handy dances that will fit the bill for almost any occasion.

Not every studio teaches slow lounge, but it works beautifully for those slow songs that will inevitably be playing for the first half-hour or so of any event (wedding reception, class reunion, charity gala). It can be relaxed and friendly, sensual and romantic, or even a little campy, depending on the song and the mood of the couple dancing. In fact, many engaged couples will learn it for their first dance and then also use it for the father-daughter or mother-son dance. It’s that versatile!

 

Swing is a big umbrella that includes several dances (many of them regional), but the simplest is push-pull. It’s fast and fun, making it a go to dance for parties. Unlike most forms of swing (which use a syncopated 6-count rhythm), push-pull has a simple four beat pattern, making it easier to learn and to lead. It’s also less taxing than its more complex cousins, and therefore appropriate for almost any age or fitness level.

 

And then there is rumba. At first glance it’s not an obvious choice, since it’s traditionally a Latin dance, but the rumba rhythm can be found in oldies, pop, and even country music. The basic movement is a simple box-step that anyone can learn. From there you can add a few simple patterns for social dancing, or develop a sophisticated repertoire of wraps, turns, Latin motion, and styling.

 

So, these are my choices for the three dances everyone should know. What are yours?