It’s 2017! New Year, New You! Why you should hit the floor dancing.

Did you know that dancing is the best way to increase your metabolism, even better than the more typical gym exercises? That’s what experts claim. Dancing requires a surprisingly large amount of energy, an amount that you have no problem expending when it is simply so much fun! There are so many dances that really get your heart rate up, help you shed those extra pounds, tone your muscles, strengthen your core AND improve your skin.


Not only are ballroom dance steps pleasing to the eyes, but the dance also has lots of benefits for your health. Like exercise, one of the main benefits of ballroom dancing is shedding those extra pounds. How would you like to have those well-toned bodies of women dancing the tango or rumba? If you have started ballroom dancing while you were young, it can help a lot in correcting and developing a good posture, as this is one important aspect of this dance that you should master, although it is not too late to get proper posture as an adult. Aside from this, here are other Surprising Health Benefits from Ballroom Dancing that have been identified.

1. Weight loss

If you are looking for a fantastic way to shed those extra pounds, ballroom dancing could be your option. Ballroom dancing is a good way to burn calories and it can burn up to 265 calories in an hour and can burn as much calories as other forms of exercise. What is good about dancing as a form of exercise is that, you will never feel the hard work because you love the activity and it is fun.

2. Healthy body

Aside from maintaining a healthy weight, other benefits of ballroom dancing is that, it improves blood circulation as well as helps maintain a healthy heart. It also helps you get good balance, strength, flexibility, and of course get rid of those joint pains you get from sitting all day watching TV.

3. Stress reliever

Indeed, ballroom dances are fun ways to relieve stress from everyday life. It is also a good way to relax, have fun and be happy. Having a great music and gliding smoothly to the dance floor with your partner is indeed a good way to get rid of life’s many troubles and worries.

4. Self-confidence

Maintaining a good posture and appeal to the audience while dancing is also a good way to boost your self-confidence. Learning how to present the art of dancing to an audience is indeed a confidence-booster and the more you are into it, the more you would likely apply this confidence in other aspects of your life.

5. Good posture

Practicing good posture is a requirement in ballroom dancing, and it is indeed one of the great benefits of ballroom dancing even if you are still starting with the lessons.

6. Well-toned and graceful body

The longer you practice the dance steps and movements, the more you will get a well-toned body as well as well-toned legs. You will also learn to move with grace even if you are not in the dance floor.

7. Productive free time

Ballroom dancing is also a productive and healthy way to spend your free time. If you have weekends off, you can go to dance classes instead of being stuck on the couch and on the TV. Who knows you might discover that dancing is one of your passions.

8. Fun and happiness

Dancing is also one way to be happy. With all the great music and lively and graceful movements, it is indeed very helpful in maintaining a good emotional and mental health.

9. Socialization

Ballroom dancing is done in pairs and it allows you to meet a lot of people who are also interested in dancing, thus it can also help you socialize and widen your circle of friends. With these benefits of ballroom dancing, you surely would love to be a part of happy dance classes learning different ballroom dances. So go now and start learning!

And what did the National Heart, Ling and Blood Institute say about dancing? Well, they indicated that dancing can decrease your blood pressure, aid you in managing your weight, lower your risk of coronary heart diseases and strengthen your bones, especially those on your hips and legs. The good just keeps coming.Can you believe that dancing also helps with memory, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia? The New Journal of Medicine reported that dancing does.

Like most exercises, the amount of benefit you get from dancing depends on the type and intensity. when a person gets his or her heart rate up (and) … dance is a weight-bearing activity which builds bones.”


images-5The secrets of Venice, whispers of mystery & intrigue, a manifestation of the celebrations of 15th century Renaissance. Join us in this masked revelry and popular costumed festivities as we present our 2017 Showcase with the Masquerade Ball.

A night full of sensational experiences, live dance performances and a magical evening of dancing await. Enjoy a delectable sit down dinner from the chefs of Harbour Banquet Centre. Costumes, masks, DJ music, dance, amazing performance choreography…and a murder? Yes, a murder mystery. Be prepared to be entertained!



Date: Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Venue: Harbour Banquet Hall, Oakville  (map)

                2340 Ontario St, Oakville, ON L6L 6P7, Canada

Doors Open 3:00pm

Dinner & Dance 7:00pm



DAY PASS: $35.00 | 3pm – 6pm. | Enjoy our Blueheel Showcase as students perform their dance routines & freestyles.

DINNER, DANCE & SHOW: $99 | 6 pm– 10 pm  (includes day pass) Then stay and party Venetian style with all the glam and intrigue of a Masquerade Ball.

For information and tickets call 905 274 3262.



3:00pm  – Doors Open | Social Dancing

3:30pm  – Viennese Line Dance

4:00pm  – Student Showcase

–  Latin & Ballroom Freestyles

                 – Latin & Ballroom Choreographed Routines

                 – Casino Rueda Formation


6:00pm  – Showtime – Professional Dance Shows

7:00pm  – Dinner | Cash Bar

Murder Mystery Reveal

8:30pm – Social Dancing

10:00pm – Thank you & Goodnight



Presented by : Blueheel Dance Studio | With Guest Studio Dance Avec Moi


Dance classes make the best holiday gift for those who don't need more stuff

Dance: Among The Top 20 Gift Experiences to Give This Holiday Season

Perfect for those who really don’t need more stuff.

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage writes in his top selling book, that “while the positive feelings we get from material objects are frustratingly fleeting, spending money on experiences, especially ones with other people, produces positive emotions that are both more meaningful and more lasting.”

A Gift of a Lifetime

That explains why gifting experiences tops giving “stuff” or material goods anytime. While the unwrapping of presents under the tree provides fleeting excitement, it is the gift experience that provides memories to last a lifetime and with something like dance lessons, a skill that can be enjoyed time and time again, long after the tree comes down.

How many times have you heard, “I’ve always wanted to take dance lessons” or “I wish I had more confidence to get up and dance?”

Whether gifting a special someone, a wife, a girlfriend, a sibling, friends or even yourself, dance is one of the best investments that you can make.

It’s the thrill of discovery. The pushing of personal boundaries, the gaining of new life experiences – to see something different, feel something different, to learn a new life skill that opens new doors.

Wow. Feel alive. Just like “Dancing with the Stars”, it is possible to experience it, to live the dream. Would you ever have done the Salsa, the Rumba, the Tango, the Swing? As Jennifer Lopez said to Richard Gere in the movie, Shall we Dance?… “Feel this alive”.

So go on and do something different, gift the experience of dance.

Lifelong Skills

Dancing is like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn how, you can call upon the skills at any time, or return for more classes to refresh your memory. Dancing can also increase confidence and self-esteem. When you give the gift of dance lessons, you’re giving a valuable gift that will continue to benefit recipients for the rest of their lives.

Dancing is for Everyone

If you have ever seen a ballroom dance competition, you know there are categories for children, adults, and seniors. Almost anyone can learn to dance and have fun doing it.

The best part is that everyone starts the same way by learning the steps. People of all skill levels are welcome. No one needs to feel nervous or self-conscious. No experience needed. No partner necessary. In truth, these effects fall away quickly as dancers start moving and having fun. When you consider the incredible benefits your loved ones and friends can gain from taking dance classes, it is easy to see why this gift is a no-brainer.

So let’s do it! To help you make the leap, Blueheel Dance Studios is offering an amazing Holiday Special. For a limited time, you can gift the experience of dance for 50% Off.


A Confluence of Small Arms, Dorothy & Dance

First in our series of excerpts from Dance Floor Diaries#1.16

It was the most serendipitous of situations. An email from intrepid dancer & choreographer Colleen Snell about the audacious dance program she had put together for IN SITU 2016, a multi art festival in celebration of the upcoming restoration and reimagining of the Small Arms Building, an abandoned WWII munitions inspection building, into a future creative hub for arts, culture, heritage and environmental endeavours.

_mg_0261   _mg_0435   building-front   sasabandonedjpg
A spectacular three day event that was sheer magic as artists, performers and community came together to celebrate history past and the vision of the future. Being an avid supporter of Colleen and all things community, Blueheel rallied to the cause and sent out an email to its customer base about this extraordinary event.

Dorothy Browne with Ward Councillor John Tovi

What was truly extraordinary, was the response from 92 year old Dorothy Browne, bon vivant, dancer and member of Blueheel Dance Studio. Dorothy, as chance would have it, had actually worked as a munitions inspector in the 1940’s at the Small Arms Building. So as special guest of honour, Dorothy attended the event and was visibly moved by the tangible energy and motivation to keep history alive and reinvent the future of the Small Arms Building. And as awed and honoured as Dorothy was, so were the organizers and celebrants of InSitu to meet someone who had actually worked in this building and been a part of its history. Living history.

Dorothy Browne is an inspiration to all. At 92, Dorothy lives on her own, is totally independent, writes and dances to keep her youthful outlook on life.

“Why I feel Dance is Music made Visible”.

By Dorothy Browne

When I dance I am in a world of make believe.
To be able to control my mind, body and soul to
such rhythmic moves is so enchanting and beautiful.
The music notes seem to float all around me and they
envelop me in a state of sheer happiness.
To hold music within ourselves is so refreshing , so
warming and an overall feeling of pleasure and accomplishment.
It is so often people become disagreeable between one another , but
as I see it, if there is music of any level beginning to sound out, very
soon they begin to mellow and forget their differences of opinion
and actually find themselves swinging and swaying to the music
and soon are overcome with a much better understanding of each other.
I believe music originated with the angels playing their harps and
placing their musical talent within us to enjoy and pass on from
generation to generation.
There is so much stress and strife in this world, but even so, where there is music there will be laughter…..!”
Dorothy Browne

Counting down Movember. Bros with Mos.

Join an amazing movement this Movember (formally known as November). As you know, Blueheel Dance Studios is making it’s move to support men’s health  and we need you on our team. Blueheel has started a Movember team page on their website. You can

  1. Donate directly by clicking on our blueheel movember page or
  1. Grow your Mo and join us at our Blueheel Mo Party – a fun way to party and give back at the same time

Friday, November 18th | 8:30pm

Tickets at $10 and all proceeds will go to the Movember Foundation

Tickets are available at the studio or you can buy them directly at

Mo History

(Excerpt from

historicalfigures_dali    historicalfigures_einstein-2    historicalfigures_mlk-2

Origins of the Mo

The moustache evolved from a roughly cut block of hair in prehistoric times into the genuine work of art it is today.

Theoretically possible since flint razors were first fashioned around 30,000 B.C, it’s unknown who first sported upper-lip topiary. What is known is that the oldest portrait of a shaved man with a moustache is an ancient Iranian horseman from 300 BC.

What a Mo can mean

Over the course of history, men with facial hair have been credited with attributes including wisdom, sexual virility, masculinity, and technical proficiency in all things.

Equally, the moustache has fallen on less illustrious times, a result of being sported by some notorious dictators.

The modern Mo

The moustache has proven its resilience. Just when it seemed that it would be hung in the dusty mop cupboard of history, a cultural revolution swung the pendulum back, ushering in a new day for moustaches.

Long live the Mo.



Mo Facts

Albert Einstein had a moustache for over 50 years.

The world’s longest moustache is believed to be a 14ft monster belonging to Ram Singh Chauhan of Rajastan, India, who regularly massages it with mustard and coconut oil to keep it healthy.

In 1967, The Beatles gave away cardboard moustaches with their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Police in a district in India’s Madhya Pradesh state are being paid to grow moustaches because bosses believe it makes them command more respect.

A one-month-old moustache is capable of holding approximately 30ml of liquid or around 10% of a glass of beer before leaking its contents down the face of the owner.

Salvador Dalí published a book dedicated solely to his moustache.

The average human hair grows at a rate of 0.014 inches a day, or about 5 to 6 inches a year.

There are between 10,000 and 20,000 hairs on a man’s face.

Men with moustaches are more attractive. Fact.

(excerpt from…more )


Dance as a therapy for depression

 What’s depression got to do with dance and why we need to start the conversation.

Movember 2016
Movember 2016

How does mental illness choose it’s guileless victims? Disengage them from happy, productive lives? Rob them of all joy, emotion or any interest in life? Deplete them of the ability to perform even the most basic of functions? One in five Canadians will suffer from some form of mental illness whose tendrils reach insidiously across a spectrum of mild social dysfunction to suicidal bipolar states. Genetic disposition? Disruptive, tragic life events? Environmental factors? One thing is clear, no one choses to suffer from depression. It does not differentiate between age, educational and income levels, nor cultures.

The steps to recovery start with the small things. Staying connected. Reaching out. As the saying goes, Do nothing and nothing changes. Change one thing, and everything changes. Keeping active has always been one of the best ways to getting healthy and keeping healthy. Most people have the opportunity to live a healthy and active lifestyle, staving off many diseases in the process and in some cases even combatting the effects of serious or chronic ailments.  The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to run marathons in order to maintain an active lifestyle. You could go on daily walks or bike rides around your neighborhood, or join a gym to exercise with a family member or friend a few times a week. You could sign up for local dance classes and tango or foxtrot your way to better health. The important thing is to focus on activities that you find fun and fulfilling – otherwise, you won’t stick with them.

There are mountains of research available that show the benefits of dance. The PsychCentral article “Dance Away Stress and Depression” quotes from research that found

  • dance lowers the levels of stress hormones and significantly lowers levels of depression
  •  dance produces higher levels of mood-boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine
  • And dance, requires you to focus and be fully present in the moment, much like the practice of mindfulness.

This Movember (formally known as November before it was hijacked by the Movember Foundation) is awareness month for men’s health, with particular focus on men’s mental health, prostate and testicular cancer. The banner page on says it all:

“The state of men’s health is in crises. Men experience worse longer term health than women and die on average six years earlier. Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. Three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half million men taking their own life every year. That’s one every minute “

“Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends are facing this health crisis and it’s not being talked about. We can’t afford to stay silent.”

 So this Movember, start the conversation. Make a Move. Blueheel Dance Studio is making it’s move to support men’s health  and we need you on our team. Blueheel has started a Movember team page on their website. You can

  1. Donate directly by clicking on our blueheel movember page or
  1. Grow your Mo and join us at our Blueheel Mo Party – a fun way to party and give back at the same time

Friday, November 18th | 8:30pm

Tickets at $10 and all proceeds will go to the Movember Foundation

Tickets are available at the studio or you can buy them directly at

This Movember, start the conversation and spread the word. Please share with friends, family and co workers. You can make a difference.


Blueheel Dance Supports MS Society Fundraiser

Blueheel Dance Studio supports MS
Blueheel Dance Studio supports MS


Presented by Atlas Care, this was the 16th annual tournament in support of the MS Society, Peel-Dufferin Chapter. This tournament would not be possible without the generous support of company’s like Atlas Care Heating & Cooling, Aecon, Lennox, A&W, Access Abilities, York Heating & Air Conditioning and so many more who donate prizes, sponsor holes and purchase foursomes. The MS Society wishes to thank those who golfed, sponsored, donated and volunteered on Tuesday September 13th at Royal Ontario Golf Club. With your help, we raised over $60,500!!


Letter From MS Society Peel Region:


On Tuesday September 13th 2016 at Royal Ontario Golf Club

Golf Fore MS raised over $60,000 for MS Society, Peel-Dufferin Chapter!

Your support and generosity made this possible.


The funds raised at Golf Fore MS support our neighbours affected by multiple sclerosis while advancing ground breaking research in the aim to find the cause and cure for MS.

We will use the money raised with your donation to help fund education sessions, support groups, purchase mobility aids, and fund local programs and services.


You helped raise $60,000 that will support our neighbours with MS and fight back against the disease.

We appreciate your generosity and feel very lucky to have you as donor.


Together, we will end MS!


Thank You!!

Dance shoes and how they make a difference

Feet First. Why Dance Shoes Make a Difference

When you begin your journey into the fun and fascinating world of dance, you might want to consider getting a pair of dance shoes. For certain types of dancing, like swing, some street shoes may suffice. For other types of dance, though, specialized shoes are a must, and you won’t have to dance for long to understand why. Here are just a few reasons that having dance shoes for salsa, rumba, fox trot, waltz, and more can make a world of difference.

Suede Soles

Mens shoes for danceunknown-9Most shoes have some kind of rubber on the bottom, whether it’s the soft, gripping rubber on sneakers or the harder rubber on formal footwear. Neither are ideal for dancing since the former can make it difficult to spin and slide, while the latter can prove far too slippery on the dance floor.

It is for this precise reason that dance shoes (for ballroom dancing) are often made with suede soles. This material provides the right amount of slide and grip to move around the dance floor in a precise and controlled fashion.

Of course, suede is a somewhat delicate material, so proper upkeep is important for optimal performance. After dancing, it’s best to use a sole brush to rough up the suede and keep it from getting too slick.

Heel Height

Womens heels for danceDance shoe for womenHeels range from 1.5-3 inches for women and 1-1.5 inches for men, depending on the style of dance they’re being used for. The heels on dance shoes are designed for dancing, and as such, are sturdy enough to provide support during rigorous physical activity.

Normal shoes are unlikely to offer the same comfort, stability, and durability when subjected to ballroom dancing. While you may need to replace dance shoes regularly because of the strain you subject them to, they are much more likely to hold up and give you the support you need than the average walking shoe.

What’s the Difference?

Dance shoes are subjected to rigorous testing by professional dancers and are designed to offer comfort and facilitate movement. For example, the open-toed shoes used in salsa and other Latin dance styles are made to allow for pointing and precise footwork, while the closed-toe options common to other ballroom styles will protect and cradle the foot through jarring steps.

Other shoes simply aren’t designed to provide the same level of support and protection needed when engaging in ballroom dancing. With the right dance shoes, you can keep your feet healthy and happy as you dance the night away.

Design – Form & Function

Womens dance shoesunknown-11Styles of dance shoes are many and varied, allowing every dancer to find not only a suitable shoe, but one that compliments their outfits and their personal aesthetic – from social dance shoes to competition shoes, teaching shoes and practice shoes.

Every woman knows that the shoes make the outfit. Guys too are now getting more conscious of shoe styles and aesthetics. New designs in the market come in satin, suede, leather – basic or patterned, with glitter and diamanté or without.

Buying Tips

It is important, when choosing a pair of dance shoes, that the fit is right. We recommend that you go to a professional dance shoe store like Dance Plus where the owner Barbara Wilson will be more than happy to spend time with you to help you find the right size, width and shoe type for you. Plus mention Blueheel Dance Studios to get a special discount.

I love my dance shoes!


We are proud to announce that Blueheel Dance Studio has been nominated by the Stars of Mississauga South Small Business Awards 2016.

Small Business Awards
Stars of Mississauga South Awards

This award was created by the Local BIAs (Business Improvement Area) to recognize small businesses that are unique to Mississauga South and make the community a more vibrant place to live and work. The Award Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 12th at the Clarke Memorial Hall, Port Credit and the winner in each category will be announced.

Blueheel Dance Studio has been in business in Mississauga for 14 years providing Latin & Ballroom dance lessons to residents who are looking to expand their social activities and lifestyle through dance. Besides the classic ballroom dances like rumba, tango, foxtrot and Swing, Blueheel also leverages the raw energy of street dances like Salsa, Bachata & Merengue. Blueheel has always been an active member of the community participating in scholarship programs and fundraisers such as Dancing with the Mississauga Stars organized by the Community Foundation of Mississauga.

Keeping our fingers crossed and with bated breath, we would like to thank all our clients and business partners who have helped us share our passion for dance and brought us to where we are today.

Dance to be happy. Dance because you can.


If Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy say its a trend…it’s a trend. Not to mention Fall 2016 Fashion Week and the runways of New York, London and Paris, if that’s anything to go by.

Rhianna n PJ Chic
Panama Chic Hits the Red Carpet. TOKYO, JAPAN – APRIL 03: Actress/singer Rihanna attends the ‘Battleship’ Japan Premiere at International Yoyogi first gymnasium on April 3, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)


On Friday, September 30th, Blueheel Dance Studio will take the lead of the great fashion icons, hosting their own Pajama Jamming Party Night, starting at 8:30pm at the Port Credit, Lakeshore Studio. Guests can anticipate an evening of imaginative sleepwear fashion being pranced around the dance floor to the rocking rhythms of an E.C. Swing, lively Mambo or a foxy Foxtrot!

Come alive this Friday night at Blueheel Dance Studio:


Date: Friday, September 30th

Time: 9:15pm

Tickets: $20:00

Dress Code: PJ Chic, comfy slumber wear, Bananas in Pajamas

Venue: Blueheel Dance Studio | 34 Lakeshore Rd E | Port Credit, Mississauga

This being a Pot Luck party, you are challenged to bring your most creative midnight snack (yaaaay! cheat night with Oreo Cookies & Ice Cream?). Expect an evening of fun social dancing with plenty of entertaining moments.  Sandra Rossi is getting pretty creative with her team party challenges.

Come in your PJs, bring your favourite snack and enjoy in, shall we say a very relaxed, atmosphere?

For more information, call 905 274 3262


Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival 2016

September 9 – 10 – 11

South Side Shuffle
Port Credit: Tim Horton’s South Side Shuffle 2016

Port Credit – Always electric and especially when this three day Blues & Jazz Festival hits the town. Always a fantastic event, this is the 18th year of the festival, celebrating award winning Canadian, US and international artists.

 The festival attracts over 50,000 people to the village of Port Credit over the course of the weekend to enjoy the music, food and entertainment in a safe and festive atmosphere at the 4 stages in Port Credit Memorial Park and local bars and restaurants.  Blues fans are already snapping up tickets for the annual Beggars Blues Banquet Gala on Thursday, Sept. 8th, 7 p.m. at the Port Credit Legion, hosted by the Hogtown All-Stars featuring Chuck Jackson and award-wining musicians.  Everyone loves the Saturday Street Shuffle – 2:00pm to 6:00pm on Lakeshore Road. New this year are the Ribbers and BBQ food vendors at Memorial Park and the “Southside Shuffle Scavanger Hunt”.   Check here for the street map and activities.

Besides enjoying the great upbeat jazz and R & B acts throughout the festival, you’ll also get a chance to learn the dances associated with Jazz, Rhythm & Blues courtesy of Blueheel Dance Studios.


Come discover the East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing and the Lindy Hop at our Port Credit Studio.

Friday, Sep 9th: 7:00pm, 7:45pm & 8:30pm

Saturday, Sep 10th: 4:00pm, 4:45pm & 8:30pm


Friday, Sep 9th: 9:15pm | Tickets $10/-


For Swing Party tickets and information: call 905 274 3262 | Blueheel Dance Studios | 34 Lakeshore Road E

Learning about the beginnings of Jazz and its dances is one way to start learning how to dance. Read this if you're just starting your dance lessons!

Jazz: The Beginnings

The roots of jazz can be traced back to gospel, folk, and blues music created by African American populations as early as the antebellum period, although jazz as a style would not be fully developed until much later. It wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th century that the form as we know it today began to take shape and gain popularity, namely in and around New Orleans.

Jazz is characterized by heavy brass, conflicting rhythms, and improvisation, and it is one of the few forms of music that is categorically attributed to American culture. As such, it is no surprise that several types of dance either stem from this style of music or lend themselves to it. Here are just a few of the ballroom dances one could perform to jazz music.

Fox Trot

This dance from the early 20th century is attributed to Harry Fox and was originally called Fox’s Trot. It was danced to ragtime music, which is a form of jazz.

This versatile dance allows partners to switch back and forth between slow-quick-quick steps and more traditional slow-slow-quick-quick steps to speed up or slow down, depending on the rhythm. Because jazz is often variable, the style is highly compatible with the fox trot.

Any beginner to dancing, and especially dancing to jazz music, should start with the fox trot. This fun social dance is easy to learn and more complex stylings can follow.


This dance is similar to the fox trot, but as the name implies, a bit quicker. Like the fox trot, this dance is well-suited to changing jazz rhythms, as there are both lively steps and slower interludes.


Social dance West Coast Swing. Demonstration of a leverage pose.Both East and West coast swing styles can be danced to jazz music, including variations like Lindy, Jitterbug, and so on. In fact, when swing dancing and music were on the rise, jazz and swing music were often considered interchangeable, considering jazz often used swing-style rhythms.

For beginners, East coast swing is probably easier to start with, although West coast arguably invites more variation, especially in terms of suitable music. Both styles tend to work best with jazz when a six-count rhythm is used (as opposed to, say, the eight-count rhythm more common to Lindy).


The jive is more often paired with rock and roll or big band music, but because it is a swing derivative, there’s no reason you couldn’t dance jive to your favourite jazz tracks. Because the style of dance is so lively, though, it tends to work better with faster-paced songs, so an up-tempo jazz selection is advised if you want to make the most of this dance.


Samba, the Dance of Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is known for many things: gorgeous women, beautiful beaches, and its undeniably compelling music and of course, the Samba. All around the world, people recognize Samba as being the symbol of Brazil and the infamous carnival that takes place each year in Rio de Janeiro.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to attend Carnival in Brazil, then you know that the music and dancing can be quite contagious. Samba is deeply rooted in the celebration, so it’s no surprise that this has become one of the most popular types of dance lessons to take around the world. It is a very upbeat and flirtatious dance, making it attractive to both men and women.

What is Samba?

Samba is an old dance style that originated in Brazil, but comes with a twist. There are many different variations of Samba, but its origins are African in nature. The genre and styles are rooted in the traditions Angola and the Congo.

Back in 1914, Samba was called Maxixe. By 1923, it had traveled from South America to Europe, rising in popularity in France. A French dance book was created to be used to instruct students how to dance Samba. It was later introduced to American audiences in 1933 when Dolores Del Rio and Fred Astaire performed Carioca in “Flying Down to Rio.” A few years later the Samba was performed by Carmen Miranda in “That Night in Rio.”

The rhythm of Samba is very specific, going off a 2/4 tempo. Traditionally, choruses were sung to a batucada rhythm, along with varying stanzas of declaratory verses. String, percussions, trumpets, flutes, horns, choros and clarinets are widely used in the composition of Samba music.

The Emergence of Ballroom Samba

One version of Samba is known Ballroom Samba, which is more of a social dance compared to the street dance style of the original Samba. It is a partner dance and is nothing like other traditional ballroom dancing styles. It has more of a slight downward bouncing motion to it, unlike the disconnected origins of other ballroom dances.

In ballroom Samba, you do the bounce at the 2/4 and 4/4 count. There are various rhythmic patterns you can experiment with. People dance this way to Samba, zouk, flamenco and South American music. Learning to dance the Samba gives you a taste of South American and African culture and gives you the opportunity to be the belle of the ball whenever you are out on the dance floor.

If you start to feel the beat, so to speak, as you watch the Rio Olympics this summer, then opt for a dance class that teaches authentic Samba dance lessons.


The Salsa Greats of All Time – Salsa Music

When it comes to the evolution of salsa music, there are almost too many incredible and influential musicians to name. Artists like Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Tito Puente, Ismael Rivera, Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, and even modern names like Marc Anthony top the list and will be instantly recognized by anyone who loves salsa dancing and Latin music.

Then there are lesser known artists in the salsa music arena that drove the genre forward. Xavier Cugat may not be as well-known these days as he was during his prime, but the Spanish bandleader is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in spreading Latin music in the United States.

Xavier Cugat (1900 – 1990) was a musician, arranger, and bandleader who was born in Spain but grew up in Cuba. As a result, his musical tastes tended toward Latin music, and salsa in particular. In an era when ballroom dancing (waltz, foxtrot, etc.) was the norm, he introduced the American public to an alternative rhythm and dance style.

Cugat is best known for his role as the leader of the Waldorf-Astoria’s resident band before and after WWII, a position he took over after famed bandleader Jack Denny. Prior to this, his band appeared in several Hollywood films.

Cugat’s style encompassed a traditional, Cuban salsa sound that is different from the contemporary salsa music created today. Whereas you might expect to hear Cugat’s work in a ballroom dance studio, you’re not likely to catch it on the dance floor at your local salsa club.

The salsa of today has taken on a different structure, with faster rhythms and the adoption of outside influences. In fact, modern Cuban salsa is often referred to as timba.  Although it has strong roots in traditional salsa, it is often considered its own, distinctive style.

The components of these two types of salsa are roughly the same.  You’ll hear drums, brass, and strings in both, but the styles are distinct. For those unfamiliar with the evolution of salsa dancing who are taking adult dance classes for the first time, the most noticeable difference is in pacing.

However, the Cuban salsa style introduced to the U.S. by Xavier Cugat and his contemporaries was influenced by North American styles over time, such as jazz. Salsa, developed independently in Cuba, adopted more of the flavor of Afro-Cuban music and rumba.

Whether you’re listening to modern Cuban or American salsa music, it’s not going to sound the same as the traditional style that first came to the U.S. with Xavier Cugat and other musicians of the time. However, both traditional and contemporary salsa sounds can provide wonderful rhythms to dance to.