More about Dancing and Lessons

You are entering the world of ROUND DANCING.


Listen carefully to the cues in the background.
 
What is Round Dancing?
Round Dancing is Ballroom Dancing to a sequence of dance steps that has been pre-choreographed to 'match and flow' with the music. All the couples in the room are dancing the same figures around the floor (in a circle) at the same time. There is a 'Round Dance Cuer' in the front of the room calling out the cues (similar to Square Dancing). Over the last 50+ years thousands of routines have been published providing pleasure to almost every dance style imaginable, including Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Tango, Swing, Merengue, and many others. After learning to Round Dance, you will be totally prepared to go Ballroom Dancing also. See below for the many advantages Round Dancing.
 
This is a video of a Waltz being danced at Colorado's annual state-wide dance.
There are 3 large ballrooms for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers.

Advantages of Round Dancing
1) Because the dances are danced in a circle, and the flow moves in the circle, there is no problem of people running into one another.

2) We teach the men how to lead, but they don't have to lead because the lady also hears the cue and knows how to do her part. (But we encourage the men to lead.)

3) Some people have trouble hearing the beat in the music. If the man will execute the cued figure right after the cue is given, he won't be very far off from the beat.

4) There are no 'amalgamations' (sequences of figures) to memorize in Round Dancing.

5) Round Dance Instruction and Dancing is considerably less expensive than most other forms of dance instruction. Throughout the country, the cost varies between $5 to $15 per couple per night. 'Dancing Penguins' charge $6/person for a two to three hour dance evening.

6) If you know how to Round Dance, you will automatically know how to Ballroom, and can therefore go to any Ballroom dance activity, as well as any Round Dance activity.

7) Competition is not a part of Round Dancing, We dance to enjoy and have fun.

8) At the upper levels, many of the Round Dance instructors are trained by some of the best International & American ballroom teachers/competitors in the nation. Your 'Dancing Penguins' have been and are Ballroom trained by top competitors.

9) You can Round Dance in every major city in the United States, and in many foreign countries, ALWAYS in English. For example, Round Dancing is very popular in Japan.

10) There are many Round Dance clubs in Denver who dance at various levels (beginners through advanced) , and various special dance events throughout the year that are most enjoyable.

11) Round Dancing in taught by two instructors - a male instructor for the man and a female instructor for the women. The result = faster learning.

12) Your 'Dancing Penguins' instructors use advanced Teaching Methods , that normally are not used by most other instructors (see right-side panel for more information on this).

Class Specifics on Schedule and Fees
Classes are usually held on Tuesday evenings.
Our fee is $6 per person per night (up to 2.5 hours of dancing).
Our normal schedule is as follows:
6:30pm - 6:45pm -- Come early at this time for special questions or help
6:45pm - 7:30pm -- CLASS TIME. We teach only figures, not dances.
7:30pm - 9:00pm -- CLUB TIME. We dance to pre-choreographed dances. It is also great practice time.

A set of classes will last from about 6 weeks to 14 weeks, depending on the rhythm. For example, it takes about 6 weeks (or less) to learn Merengue, but it takes about 14 weeks (or less) to learn Waltz (there are lots of figures in Waltz).

Only one rhythm is taught during that set of weeks. Once completed, then we move on to another rhythm. After you have one rhythm learned, you are welcome to stay into club time, when we will put on dances that include that rhythm. We will also be putting on dances of other rhythms. So, once you have learned multiple rhythms, then you will be able to dance most all of the dances of the club time.


  Levels of Dance
There are 6 levels of Round Dancing called 'Phases'.

Phases 1 & 2 are called 'Easy Levels', and include:
   Waltz and Twostep

Phases 3 & 4 are called 'Intermediate Levels', and include:
     a) intermediate level figures of Waltz and Twostep, and
     b) more rhythms such as: Cha-Cha, Rumba, Quickstep, Mambo, and others.

Phases 5 & 6 are called 'Advanced Levels'. These levels include:
     advanced level figures of Waltz, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Quickstep,
     Paso Doble, West Coast Swing, and etc., up through
     and including International Tango.

Some dancers prefer to learn to dance at the Phase 2 level, and remain there the rest of their lives. Others like more challenges, and some progress up to the advanced level where new challenging figures are always being presented. There are clubs across Denver, the nation, and the world, that satisfy all these differences in peoples pleasure levels.

Teaching Methods
Your 'Dancing Penguins' instructors use an advanced teaching method called 'Progressive Teaching'. This includes the following concepts:

1) Almost every figure that you learn will be based off another figure that you already know. So, in essence, you only have to learn a very small item to accomplish an entirely new figure.
Sometimes, this means that you will be taken through a series of changes that will ultimately lead you to the accomplishment of a very difficult figure. And you will end up saying: 'That wasn't so hard.'

The old style of teaching is to show you the difficult figure, and then say: 'Now do what I just did.' That is a very difficult way to learn, and that is the way many teachers teach.

2) We teach Body Mechanics, which is very important to comfort and appearance, by using multi-level instruction. This means that we show how to do a figure, then we talk about how to do it better, then how to do it best. We tell the students: 'You choose the degree of quality that you want to put into this figure.' We find that everyone chooses different levels of quality. In other words, we do not even try to enforce perfection in a figure any more than the desire of the student to learn perfection.

3) Your instructors entertain while they teach. This has been a very difficult thing for most instructors to implement. The normal thought process says that one must concentrate more to learn, and therefore the instructor becomes quite serious about accomplishing the task. But, it is a well known fact that when people are having fun, they will learn faster. It breaks through the mental blocks that always occur.

Additionally, we often observe that people are having difficulty with a particular action, movement, or figure. That is when we take a break, or put-off until the next session. We never try to drive through mental-exhaustion.

4) Once a figure is learned, your instructor will 'Hash Cue' that figure into a practice session. Hash cueing means that he will call out figures randomly that you already know mixing in the new figure with them. This will give you practice not only for the figure, but for getting into and out of the new figure, relative to the other figures. You will get a lot of practice time.

5) People usually have one of 3 types of learning styles: Auditory, Visual, or Kinesthetic. Your instructors are professionally trained to recognize these characteristics in you as learners, and therefore their approach will be varied and specifically targeted to each student's learning style.

These are some of the techniques that your 'Dancing Penguins' use in teaching you how to dance, and all the time with fun weaved in.
How can you beat that??