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Friday, 1 November 2013

You know you're a dancer...


Let's do the samba

Have you ever looked at all the videos and pictures of the Carnival of Brazil and just had the desire to be there? Well I have. Many times in fact. I've been looking up the festival and looking at all the differences between the samba dance from Brazil and the ballroom samba.

The Brazilian festival is known for its over the top outfits and the African and Brazilian music associated with the festival. The festival is not only cultural but also religious as well. The carnival is an annual festival held during the Friday to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent (the forty day period before Easter). The festival consists of a set of styles that define the samba genre (both solo and partner dances).

The Samba no pé is one of the solo dances that is most often danced impromptu when samba music is played.The rhythm is 2/4, with 3 steps per measure. The basic movement is the same to either side, where one foot moves to the outside lifting up just before the first beat .
This is the type of Samba one sees in the Brazilian Carnival parades and in other Samba carnivals over the world. This is also one of the most popular sambas.
Samba Axé is another type of solo dance that is performed in the carnival. The dance is completely choreographed and the movements tend to mimic the lyrics. It's a very energetic kind of dance that mixes elements of Samba no pé and aerobics.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Dance Phtography: Beautiful



I wish I had the time to learn all the different types of dances around. There is so much beauty in each dance form that it blows my mind away. For now I am content to watch shows, videos and look at pictures of some other dance forms. Ballroom and Latin dancing is my focus for now but hopefully I'll be able to add another type of dance next year. Who knows?

View more pictures

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hip-Hop

I just found this awesome channel on YouTube that posts sick dance videos. The channel is called FreestyleCultureTV and is run by a guy called Brazil. I was watching some of the videos and I actually never realized how many different styles of hip-hop dancing there are.

Check out some of my favourite videos from the channel:

This video is amazing. I love the techno style of dancing.


Justin Timberlake - Pusher love girl

Beyonce - Upgrade you

BeautyandDaBeast

Eye contact: an art-form


I don't know how many times people I've danced with have told me this! Whenever I'm dancing with someone who is at a higher level than me, I tend to look at my feet just to make sure that I'm doing the moves right. I'm sure many other people feel the same way.

What we do not realize though, is that we are so focused on getting the steps right that we don't allow ourselves to be led properly by our partner. Yes, knowing the steps is important but being able to follow as females is even more important. It doesn't matter if you're doing the moves perfectly or not, it will not look good if you don't follow your partner when he leads you. Obviously the more advanced you get, the better you get at being able to follow and thus relying less on getting the sequence right because you know your partner will just lead you into it.

Another problem with looking at your feet when dancing is the loss of eye contact. It is important to have some sort of connection when you're dancing with someone. Chat. Smile. A bit of eye contact is important. Of course too much eye contact can get a bit awkward too especially if you're dancing with someone you're not familiar with. It all comes down to balancing your eye contact though.

As dancers in ballroom dancing or any other partner dance, it is important to have eye contact because it is a tool that helps you connect and communicate with your partner without speaking. It is therefore a good idea to practice and master it. Make it a natural thing and make it a habit when you dance. This discipline is really more of an art form within the art of partnered dancing.

And remember, making eye contact and giving a smile also makes your partner more comfortable. You're basically letting them know you want to be there and you're enjoying yourself. if you make you partner comfortable, they will probably make more of an effort to do the same for you.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Roar_Katy Perry


I'm so in love with Katy Perry's new song! I keep trying to dance all these different styles to it in front of the mirror. I know most of the lines in the song have been used before and they're cliche but it is still an empowering song.

I found this video on YouTube though, its a contemporary piece to the song. It's only about 0.28 seconds. It made me want to learn contemporary. Check it out. The choreography is quite good.



And you can check out the song here, if you want to have another listen.



A dancing chicken for my birthday :)

I found this really super duper video on youtube. Since it's my birthday today, I decided to share it with you.

I hope you'll like it as much as I did :)




Monday, 2 September 2013

Dancing: A social affair

The one thing that I have enjoyed the most about learning how to dance, is the social aspect of it. Most often than not, people start dancing, especially styles such as ballroom and latin, because they witnessed a television show, someone talked them into it or they are just trying out something different. For me, the love for dance started with my interest for dance shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing. I remember being 16 and thinking that, as soon as I get to University, I will sign up for classes and learn. I did just that with UCT Ballroom and Latin Society and I've loved it ever since.


I'll mention a few reasons why dancing enhances one's social life and how it generally improve one's quality of life.

1) Dancing helps you meet different people and make new friends. When you meet someone at a ballroom & latin class, you already have something in common. You want to learn how to dance. You'll therefore have something to talk about as you dance. Dancing with a partner means that you can have a more developed conversation later on which can involve more people. From that point on, anything is possible. People who dance together have been known to hang out with each other outside of their class, going out for movies, lunch or even more dancing.

Social Dancing


2) Dancing increases your self esteem and confidence. The dance community is an open and friendly community. From the moment you walk in the door, you feel welcomed, whether it is at a salsa club or at your dance class. You find yourself in a place that is fun, open and energizing. Learning how to move well on the dance floor and seeing yourself constantly improving is major boost in confidence. Being able to walk up to a guy and asking them to dance shows the amount of confidence that can be gained by us ladies while guys learn to be able to ask any girl to dance.

3) Dance offers an activity for people who may not consider themselves as sporty. The benefit of dance is not only that of increased exercise, but the participation in an art-form, which is rooted in technique, which gives an opportunity for a creative outlet.

4) Dance can offer insight into other cultures, either through the dance style itself or by meeting new people. Paso or Salsa anyone?

Paso Doble


5)You may meet your special person. I've seen so many people who have met through dance and end up dating. Imagine finding someone who loves dancing as much as you do. No awkward first dates. And the person is likely to have great posture too (maybe? no?) Imagine dancing the Argentine tango with your other half though. Pretty hot!

Argentine Tango

If you're a bit skeptical, check out your nearest salsa club, go to a swing party or any dance social. You will see what I'm talking about. Dancing is fun. Embrace it. And dance some more. Life is too short not too :) And obviously, there will be people who are just not interested but they're missing out in my opinion.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A DANCER'S SILHOUETTE...

A DANCER'S SILHOUETTE...

This is just a poem I found online that i really wanted to share. Hope you like it as much as I did

by: Kassandre Renee

across the wall dances her shadow...never letting her dreams go
watching closely her silhouette...refusing to forget
though her spirits slowly falling...
because they'll never understand her hearts true calling
they tell her what to do...and she tries to...to move on
but her desires are never really gone
why do they refuse
to let her pursue
her dreams
everynight, she cries
cause theyve torn and ripped
at her happiness
and far away she starts to slip
she just wants to fade
to a place
a place where permission is not needed to let her body go
where not just her silhouette is a dancer
but she is as well
somewhere she can be
free
free to move
to move as she may please
she wants a chance,
she wants a shot at freedom
freedom to dance,
freedom for more than just her heart, her soul,
her silhouette,
to move

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Dance quotes

A lot of people will start every day off thinking about some of the famous quotes that have been said throughout our history. It helps to keen them focused on their goals in life as they think about these great men and women who have helped to shape our world. Furthermore, quotes inspire us and keep us interested in any activity that we are partaking in. Dance quotes are no different.

All dancers love to see a few quotes that show how important dance is to them. Most of the quotes are usually made by ballet dancers but there is no reason why we cannot all translate that into any type of dance.

Dance quotes for me are especially important because they show that there are other people out there who feel the same way that I do. I constantly search for dance quotes on tumblr and pinterest all the time and I am always so excited when I see a quote that I haven't heard before or when it has been creatively put in with a new dance picture.

Below are a number of dance quotes that I absolutely love. One of my favourite quotes is 'I dance because there is no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the world disappear.' There is no other quote that describes how I feel than this one. I find myself being swept away in music and wanting to do the waltz or a contemporary routine when I listen to music and it just takes you to another place. I have said I don't do contemporary dancing so that is just wishful thinking on my part though.

Another of my favourites is a quote by Martha Graham. She says “Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” Nothing could be truer. I always want to tell people to just relax and enjoy themselves when I see them stressing about looking perfect or not getting the moves right. Dancing is about having fun and meeting new people. In a social setting, no one cares really. As long as you are having fun, people forget to look at your dancing. Perfect moves come with practice, but in the meantime, we should enjoy ourselves while we learn and have fun learning this craft.



  
           





 

We're on Facebook :)

I've added a Facebook page as a support for this blog. Check it out. It should be fun to manage on my side. Hope it adds more value to you as well.

I'm going to add a lot of quotes and pictures there, just to keep everyone interested in between posts. The link is :

https://www.facebook.com/SnowieDanceBlog

Or you can just click on facebook on the right hand bar, for faster access whenever you need to.


Let's talk about dancing shoes

As a ballroom and Latin dancer, one of the most important things that you need to have is a nice and comfortable dance shoe to practice and perform in. While my first dancing shoe was okay, it wasn't as comfortable as it should have been. I really should have paid attention to all the tips that I had browsed through before actually purchasing my first pair of latin shoes.

One of the things that I should have especially paid attention to is the fact that dancing shoes are made of leather. As a result, it is important to get a slightly smaller size to allow for some stretching. Obviously you don't want your shoes to hurt you and to make you uncomfortable so your discretion is needed. My first shoes got really stretched within a few months and dancing in them made life a bit too difficult.

Knowing the styles to buy is also important for all dancers especially beginners as they tend to buy just one pair. Ladies generally buy latin shoes whereas males generally buy standard shoes. My first pair were 2 inch heels but I found that a bit short for me. I currently have 2.5" heels now which I'm very comfortable with. Obviously, everyone has to work with what's more comfortable for them.

Heel sizes and the different types

Ladies heels can vary from 1-3 inch heels. However latin requires a slightly higher heel in order to bring your weight forward onto your toes. Males can only choose between 0.5-2 inch heels i.e 0.5-1" for ballroom and 2" for latin.

Male dancing shoes generally look like this:
Standard ballroom

   
Latin/ Rhythm


You don't get a lot of variety in style with male shoes (As much as i know anyway). 

Female dancing shoes generally look like this:

Latin/Rhythm
Standard Ballroom


The reason that most girls tend to just buy latin shoes is because you can manage to dance standard ballroom in Latin shes but the same can't be said for ballroom shoes. It is very difficult (impossible even?) because standard shoes are not flexible enough to allow you to point your feet. I don't really know much about that though as I'm only an intermediate and we just use latin shoes. 

There are many different styles for ladies to choose from. Standard ballroom has a lot less variety compared to latin though.

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Practice shoes: 

I've been seeing a lot of people in my dance class wearing practice shoes and I've been wondering weather they're worth buying and what difference they would make,

This is what I found: 

Practice shoes are essentially just standard or latin shoes, but with perforated leather so your feet breathes better. I actually need to ask a few of my friends about this as I didn't get a lot of information on the internet. But this is how they look:
Male 
Female 
Ladies Practice 164401Ladies Practice 680901flx20044-10

Dancing shoes are so pretty. I can't wait to add another pair to my small collection



                 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Converse as dancing shoes


My obsession with Converse All Stars has no bounds. If only I could waltz in them and still look poised and elegant. Sigh. As it is, I spend so much time looking up new pictures on pinterest and tumbler, it's insane. So as a tribute to that obsession, I've put up a few pictures that are slightly dance related.

I especially love the ballet pics. Those are always quite pretty










Dancing through our guests

ballet converse


Converse and Tutu, Part Two | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

keepdreaming

Friday, 16 August 2013

Slavik & Karina

I know it's not happening but I wish they would just danced together one more time. They're still my favourite couple even though they haven't danced together in years.




The following are links to two of my favourite dances by this dynamic couple;

Rumba 2004

Rumba to Lionel Ritchie

At least there is still Yulia and her amazing legs to watch

No Sokkie for me :(

Some of our members in my dance society are going out on a celebratory sokkie outing tonight. I was also quite keen on going until I realised the amount of work I need to get through this week. I feel so lame not going :'(.  At least I'll get to start my business ethics essay though which is due in 2 days. I left it quite late as it is already.

Some of you might not know what a sokkie is so I'll just explain it a bit. Sokkie is a dance uniquie to Southern Africa and mostly popular with Afrikaners. 'Sokkie' means sock in Afrikaans and refers to the way young people often dance in their socks and also barefoot. Sokkie is often danced to Afrikaans music, though not restricted to it,

This(Sokkie)  is the only good video I could find of a sokkie unfortunately, but it is a good one though.

I hope my friends are having an awesome time sokkieng up a storm :)

Intervarsity: Formation

Every year, a different University hosts a ballroom and latin dancing competition with various sections including latin, ballroom, team dance and formation. This year, I decided to be part of the UCT formation dance. We spent a lot of time practicing the moves and making sure we got our lines and steps right with the help of our coach Iliana.

This year, only four Universities competed, namely: University of Cape Town, University of Stellenbosch (Maties) and University of Pretoria (Tuks). Our formation was based on the 1920s theme with a bit of Charleston, Milonga, Waltz and the Viennese. Maties had a rumba and slow foxtrot formation while Tuks had a bit of everything including the ballroom tango, Samba, Rumba and Paso.

Here are the links to the 3 formations:

Tuks Formation

Maties Formation

UCT formation

I am happy to say that we won the formation category (As I do a victory cha-cha :) )

Below is an image of my team, our coach and I in our formation outfits while we took pictures.