Dance Styles

Exercise your BODY, MIND and SPIRIT through dance….while the music stimulates, strengthens, & heals!    

     Hey, do you have two left feet? No Problem! You too can be the life of the party when you know all the basic dance steps! Increase your confidence and poise through the Smooth/Ballroom dances: Tango, Foxtrot and Waltz. Add some fire and passion to your dancing through the Rhythm/Latins: Rumba, Mambo, Salsa, Merengue, Cha-Cha, and of course, Swing/Jitterbug. Freestyle and Hustle lessons are available for all the favorite Retro music and popular club mixes.  Erotic and Floor or Chair work, may help you unlock your inhibitions and allow you to isolate and rotate all those special parts.  We also offer a variety of styles for children (ages 5 and up) for balance, focus & discipline, and dance education.

Social dancing is fun, energetic, and a great way to meet people and make friends!!!!!

     If you already have some dance instruction and you want to increase you skills, then we have just what you need!  Now that you have learned the basics of social dancing, it’s time to party! I can polish your dances and make you look and feel like Fred and Ginger….maybe?  You will learn the secrets that can help perfect your Ballroom technique. Fancy footwork, turns and spins, and additional new steps will prepare you for Weddings, Black-tie affairs, and the many social occasions that we enjoy!  I teach wedding couples to dance and feel gracefully and elegantly for that special FIRST dance.  All styles of music are utilized for your dancing pleasure.

     Wedding couples, we will choreograph a dance that best showcases your style and personalities.  If you need help finding that perfect song, we can make some suggestions.  Some of our couples prefer to have memorized routines and others prefer to “wing it” with steps they have learned.  We are here to help, not judge!  How can we assist you in making your Wedding Day the best possible with as little stress and anxiety about dance as possible?  Contact us now…get started…don’t wait!!!

We can help Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances too. John has been teaching multiple styles of dances for over 30 years now. We have also assisted in creating group Ethnic specific dance celebrations: Indian, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Quinceañera, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs too.

     We have arranged and taught classes at colleges, senior centers, churches and synagogues, rehearsal dinners and weddings, schools, offices, and homes. Tell us what you need and we’ll try our absolute best to make it happen for your special event!

The Smooth Dances: Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango, Waltz and Viennese Waltz.

Foxtrot: Little did Harry Fox realize that his trotting on a New York stage in 1913 would become an overnight success, nor last so long.  Foxtrot is the foundation for so many of the social dances that followed.  It’s ease of movement and smooth style, make it an enjoyable favorite of all ages.  Foxtrot has so much variety that can be used because of the musical construction.  A real social winner, almost everybody dances the Foxtrot in some form.  This is the dance most used today by wedding couples for their 1st dance together as husband and wife.  Whether Michael Buble’ or Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald or Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra or Rod Stewart, Classical or more top 40, the music for Foxtrot may vary as do the dancers themselves!

Quickstep: This fast and lively dance is derived from the Foxtrot. The tempo is 4/4 time and there are 50 Bars Per Minute have you dancing to a rhythm of steps:  chasses and turns with rise and fall.  The Foxtrot was unable to be danced at the speed that bands were playing in the 1920’s.  Foxtrot and Quickstep have a common origin. In the twenties many bands played the slow-Foxtrot too fast. Eventually they developed into two different dances. The slow-Foxtrot tempo was slowed down and Quickstep became the fast version of the Foxtrot. 1925 began the Charleston fever, it had a lot of influence on the development of the Quickstep.

Tango:   This dance spread throughout Europe in the 1900’s and was introduced to American audiences by Rudolph Valentino around 1920’s.  Many styles of Tango exist:   Argentine, Gaucho, French, American, and International. Although its origin is still debated today (Buenos Aires, Spain, France or Morocco) it is enjoyed by Americans and danced across the silver screen even today:..”The Tango Lesson”, “True Lies”, “Scent of a Woman”, “Evita”, and “The Adam’s Family”, to name a few.

Waltz & Viennese Waltz:  Originating from Europe’s Vienna and Austria in the late 1700’s, the word waltz from the old German word walzen means to glide, turn, or roll.  Written in 3/4 time, the recurring even beats of music sends the dancers whirling around the floor enjoying the thrill of movement.  The present day waltz style and movement hasn’t changed very much.  This dance has had a long history of popularity and criticism.  However, it has stood the ravages of time and is the most flowing, beautiful, and graceful dance to date….in my opinion!  You will not have the respect for the dance it is due, unless you have tried it:  balance, rise & fall, swing & sway,  and timing MUST be perfect to make this dance breathe.

     Sometimes referred to as the grandmother of all dances, the Viennese Waltz dates back some 400 years ago in Europe.  The music was and still is today, fast in tempo, about 60 Bars Per Minute.   Whereas, the Waltz is about 28 to 31 BPM, exactly 1/2 the speed of Viennese.   One makes a 360 degree turn in 6 steps every 2 seconds, or there about!   Wow….that’s fast.

The Rhythm/Latin Dances: Rumba, Cha Cha, Salsa & Mambo, Samba, Bolero, the Swings, Bachata, Merengue, and Hustle.

Rumba:   Rumba was originally a courtship and marriage dance, linked to African folk dance and also of Spanish decent.  The romantic sounds of the Latin instruments flowed across the water to the United States from Cuba in the early 1930’s and with the help of Xavier Cugat and his orchestra it grew in popularity.  It met a bit of resistance from the upper crust society because of the suggestive body and hip motions brought about by the transferring of weight from one foot to the other while the hips sway from side to side.  This today we call Cuban Motion.  Rumba is the embodiment of Latin American music and dance and it’s sensual rhythms and body expressions make it a Ballroom favorite.  The Pussy Cat Dolls, Anastacia, Andrea Bocelli, Christina Aguilera, Sade, Michael Buble’, Kenny G., Sting, and Elton John recorded songs that express the rhythm & sensuality of which the dance Rumba is born.

Cha Cha:   A most exciting infusion of Latin Mambo and the American Swing, it became popular in the early 1950’s.  It is basically a triple rhythm Mambo:   three step rhythm to two beats of music called syncopation.  Today, many artists use a Cha Cha rhythm that we can enjoy on the dance floor:  Lady GaGa, Santana, Kelly Clarkson, Jesse James, Della Reese, Selena Gomez, Shania Twain, and Marc Anthony.  The music may be Country or Classical, Rhythm and Blues or Reggae or EDM, Top 40 or 1950’s.  Cha Cha is great fun and a good work out that can be widely used!

Salsa/Mambo:   The “Mambo” came from Cuba where many Haitians had settled.   The fast Swing and up-beat Latin music infused to form the uninhibited Mambo and this spicy dance grew out of the Rumba and took a hold on the American dance scene at the close of W.W.II.  Perez Prado introduced it to the La Tropicana night-club in Havana in 1943.  Salsa is a combination of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance moves.  Salsa and Mambo are similar in that both have a pattern of six steps danced over eight counts of music.  While strict Mambo breaks on the second beat of music, Salsa breaks on the first, second, or third beat… depends upon the dancer. Whether you dance in a linear style or rotation, tightly close together or a tad farther apart, Salsa in particular has many styles & rhythmic beats & patterns.

Samba:   A lively Brazilian dance known to all as their native dance.  It is characteristic of the people full of life and vitality.  There are many forms since it was started about 1917 and then came to the US in the golden 20’s.  The dance movements follow basic Waltz patterns and has the style that sways with bounce giving the dancers an appearance of undulation and pulsation through the pelvis.   Shakira, Tarkan, Jennifer Lopez, Sergio Mendez, and the Black-Eyed Peas have modern songs with distant yesteryear beats.  There is no Cuban Motion in this dance although it is categorized with the other Latin dances!

Bolero:   Bolero is a unique dance style combining the patterns of Rumba with the rise and fall technique and character of Waltz and Foxtrot. Three steps (basic footwork timing is Slow-Quick-Quick) are taken to four beats of music which is written in 4/4 time.  Bolero is the slowest rhythm dance.  Bolero has the same Afro-Cuban roots as the Rumba and is thought to have originated from Cuban or Spanish folk dances such as the Danzon and Beguine. It was introduced in the United States in the 1930’s.  Originally a Spanish dance in 3/4 time, it was changed in Cuba initially into 2/4 time then eventually into 4/4. The music is frequently arranged with Spanish vocals and a subtle percussion effect, usually implemented with guitar, conga or bongos.  Some songs used are “Beautiful Maria of My Soul”, “Mas Alla”, and “Live to Tell”.  Many artists have lovely songs for this dance style: Adele, Diana Krall, Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, and more.

Swing:   Truly American–formed from many dances such as Charleston, Black Bottom, Shag, Bop, etc.  It is referred to as Jitterbug, Rock and Roll, Lindy.   Are you confused yet?  Well just wait.  It has branched off into East Coast and West Coast, Jive, Hand Dance, Cajun and Zydeco, Double and Triple Time as well.   The “swing” dates back to the 20’s in the Black Community while dancing to jazz music.  Its popularity boomed during the early 40’s when it reached the Savoy in Harlem, New York.  These acrobatic versions were exciting to say the least, and they were toned down by society for all ages to enjoy but retained the carefree abandonment so characteristic of the music.  Every era has enjoyed its own style of dance and type of music by which it may be identified.  Swing is still danced today and whatever you want to call it….we all share the same roots of this energetic dance. 

***StudioDNA teaches single, double, and triple timed East Coast Swing!

West Coast Swing:   West Coast Swing is a cool, sexy dance that spotlights the lady.  Like hustle, it’s perfect for nightclub dance-beat music.  This dance consists of six and eight count patterns that are danced in a slot. Much expression and creativity are possible with this dance.  In a 1947 book, Arthur Murray recognized that, “There are hundreds of regional dances of the Jitterbug type”.  WCS is a slotted dance: the follower travels back and forth along a shoulder-width rectangle, called the slot, with respect to the leader.  The leader is more stationary but will move in and out of the slot depending on the pattern led.  A general rule is that the leader leaves the slot only to give way for the follower to pass him.  Sultry Soul, Country, Blues, Rock-N-Roll and many of genres of music can be used for this dance!

Bachata: One of the most popular styles of social dance on the Latin dance scene. This dance is based on an easy to follow sequence of three on-beat steps, with a tap marking the fourth beat. It is styled with a fluid and seductive sway of the hips which is mesmerizing to watch and just wonderful to dance!

Merengue:   The Merengue is the native dance of the Dominican Republic, a lively Latin dance with hip motion.  There are many stories but it seems as though slaves having been chained together would drag their legs creating the “limp look” of the dance.  Another story says that a wounded soldier returning from battle with a limp was greeted in dance and the community felt obliged to limp with him!  It was introduced in the 50’s in the United States where a more Latin hip (Cuban Motion) style was added.  Whatever the history may be, this dance is fun and probably the most versatile at any dance occasion.

Hustle or Disco:   This dance is much like the Swing in patterns, but it has a distinct flavor utilizing the Disco-type music.  Many steps have been added over the years from other dances to give it constant variety and never ending popularity.  It is believed to have evolved in the 1970’s in clubs in New York from line dances to solos to partners this dance is true to the lifestyle of the 70’s.  Today there seems to be as many different kinds of “hustle” styles as there are instructors.  Whatever your genre of music 70’s up to current songs you can find a style that will fit and make you happy!

John also teaches:

Freestyle, Club Dancing, Hip Hop, & Sensual/Erotic Movement:   These forms of NON-regimented dance styles help the dancer to learn how to better express what they are feeling inside and show it through movement on the outside.  Of course, music is the key to expressing what we feel, and the situation of where we are or for whom we dance is necessary to consider, John tries to share how to “LET GO” and just be comfortable with yourself!  One must use good judgment when dancing.  Pelvic rocks, hip thrusts, and butt pumping may not be appropriate at every dance venue.  I can help you move that body any way you want.  YOU have to know where and when to do it!

     These forms of dance allow one to isolate and let loose, have fun, show off, or just get SEXY out on the dance floor!   John has a method of exercises and techniques that he instructs in order for each client (regardless of age, culture, or sex) to practice.  The continued motions and “steps” will enhance the dancer’s confidence and body rhythm while moving to all kinds of music in any situation.  “Time and Place” is always the best appropriate concept when using your new body moves!

CLAW! Cardio Latin Aerobic Workout  These classes are designed to have spontaneous fun and incorporate high energy with arms and footwork styling as one does in Latin dancing.  Samba, Cha Cha, Salsa, Swing, Hustle, Merengue, Mambo and Freestyle moves are applied.  NEW MUSIC each class: pop, current, and themed classes keep your interest and JOY at an all time HIGH!!!!  There are some patterns and small routines that John uses, but memorized patterns are not necessary.  Bring a mat because we will do some floor work stretches and exercises to finish the class.  Hand weights, hula hoops, jump ropes, & ribbon wands may be used to help you workout to your potential.  GET ready for the FUN!  Keep you eyes and ears open and get ready to follow instructions and ROCK IT OUT!

Children’s Dance Class:   John also teaches children how to move and feel comfortable with their ever changing bodies.  Exercises in gross motor and fine motor skills will help them to “fit in” with their friends at parties: Birthday Celebrations, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, School Events, & Proms as well as for StudioDNA Showcases and Competitions.  Ages 5 and up are welcome.  Whether Ballroom and Latin or Freestyle, StudioDNA kids have a great time learning, performing, doing shows, and having a discipline to assist them in their education.