Here are some ideas of where to purchase dance shoes.
Encore Dance Emporium
Local: 645 Denver Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537
Dance Shoe Store
They sell the brand: Very Fine dance shoes – good quality at reasonable prices.
They sell shoes and dance boots and also orthotics for dancers.
Dance 4 Less
They carry a variety of brands at reasonable prices.
One of the favorite and most romantic social dances, often associated with special events such as weddings. Stemming from an 18th century Austro-German folk dance, the waltz has evolved over the years to reflect changing times and fashions. Danced to music in 3/4 time, the waltz is characterized by a graceful rise and fall, and allows for fluid movement around the dance floor. The American Waltz is especially elegant.
Born on the back streets of Buenos Aries, the Tango is a passionate and expressive dance. The dance has an earthy and dramatic nature. Its movements can be slow and stealthy, other times sharp and staccato. While the Argentine Tango is more personal and stylized for the bar scene, the American Tango is more appropriate for the social ballroom dancer. Learning the dramatic Tango is exciting, and increases your dance stamina, creativity, and elegance. Many times you’ll find a blend of the two.
The slow-slow-quick-quick steps of the Foxtrot make it a classic and timeless dance first developed by the vaudeville comedian Harry Fox around 1910. The Social Foxtrot is ideal for both confined spaces and larger open areas to showcase the grace of the dance.
Cha Cha Cha
Dance one of the most popular of Latin-American dances. Similar to the Mambo and Rumba, the Cha Cha rhythm splits on the fourth beat, creating a 2-3-4 & 1 beat. This allows for fun and infectious dance with movements filled with turns and breaks that let your own personality shine through. A fast dance designed for small spaces, you’ll love dancing the Cha Cha.
Salsa and Bachata
This is a ‘hot’ popular dance style danced to a complex mix of many different rhythms. It is a fusion of an Afro-Cuban beat with enhanced jazz beats which results in a high energy pulse that has become popular everywhere. This club style dance closely resembles that of the Mambo and Cha-Cha. However, the distinctive beat of qqsqqs sets it apart and the over all look is hot and spicy. The most important element to a good Salsa is enjoying yourself on the dance floor. Definitely a fun club dance.
This popular Latin style comes from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. Following an explicit one-two rhythm, the purposive slow-slow-slow-slow steps of the Merengue are ideal for club dancing, as the partners can repeat many of the eight-count steps in a relatively small area of dance space. Great way to practice the ‘Latin Motion’ of the hips.
It is said that, if Tango is the dance of passion, then Rumba is the dance of love. Both the male and female dancers demonstrate strength and power in this intense Cuban classic. A prerequisite for good Latin dancing. The Cuban Motion is essential in most Latin dances. The Rumba is used by good dancers everywhere and provides interesting variety suited to a limited space. Neat, attractive, precise footwork gives you confidence in your dancing. The Rumba will sharpen your sense of rhythm, timing, and muscular control.
You’ve all heard it….”it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing." Starting in the early 1900's as the Jitterbug and then at the Savoy Ballroom in New York was later named after the infamous Charles Lindbergh . It really took off with the influence of Frankie Manning in the 30's. Lindy is an 8 ct step whereas the Jitterbug is a 6ct. If you love the Big Band era sound and high energy movements, the Jitterbug/Lindy Swing is the dance for you.
East Coast Swing
A triple time swing developed by the large dance schools and used for rock n roll music and competitions.
West Coast Swing
Lindy was brought over to Hollywood and with the influence of Dean Collins in the movies it developed a style all it's own. West Coast Swing is a slotted dance that also moves to a 6 and 8 count rhythm. With the versatility and creative aspects of this dance you'll have no reason to sit out on a song. It's energetic, smooth style keeps you craving for more.
Night Club Two-Step
It is a fairly easy dance to do and fun for beginner and advanced alike. It is a very versatile dance in that it can be danced on small night club floors or big, expansive ballrooms. A beautiful cross between waltz, bolero, rumba -danced to a variety of tempo music. Enjoy the natural feeling of the easy, relaxed, casual yet elegant style that is a perfect dance for all occasions. Danced to contemporary and country ballads.
The Hustle is the partner version of disco dancing. It is a fast moving, energetic dance characterized by its many turns. The lady spins almost constantly while her partner draws her close and sends her away. Hustle is still very popular at West Coast Swing dances and in some Latin clubs.
It is a fusion of swing and disco, a return to partner dancing, a modified lindyhop and jitterbug, still very popular in crowded dance floors in New York. Music played for the Hustle is modern, based upon rhythm and blues.
This category includes a number of dances such as Two-Step, Three-Step, Country Swing, Country Waltz and a number of variations on the Polka. There are many popular line dances done in Country nightclubs throughout the USA; most are not done in partnership except for the Cowboy Cha-Cha. All of the currently popular Country dances have their roots in Ballroom dances. This style is developed and executed specifically to the Country style of music and characterized by a relaxed style and popular turns used in all of these dances interchangeably.
*some information gathered from Paul Bottomer’s (2006) Dance Class, London, England: Hermes House.
What skills and background do I need to start?
Adults of all ages and abilities are welcome, from the first-time novice to the more seasoned dancer.
Do I need to have a partner?
It’s not necessary to have a partner. All classes are open to couples and singles. You never need a partner for any group class, party, workshop, or lesson at Okay Dance. We try to balance the number of leads and follows in the classes but of course inviting someone along will help, not to mention a lot of fun sharing the experience with someone you know. Debra will also lead or follow when necessary. Students do meet others in class and have established partnerships. In Private lessons, Debra teaches both singles and couples – men or women.
Will I be dancing with the same person all the time?
Everyone rotates in the group classes so you can experience dancing with many different people. This has been proven to be the best way to learn to dance, and it’s a lot of fun, as well! It’s important to learn to dance with people of different heights, abilities, styles, and personalities. Whether you lead or follow, you become a more well-rounded dancer by practicing with a variety of people.
However, sometimes there are reasons for staying with the partner you came with and that is fine. Some students are simply more comfortable learning with just one person. When it comes time to change, you can just stay with your partner. No one will mind.
How many people are in the group classes?
It varies based on the session, class sizes are not limited.
If I miss a scheduled group class, can I make it up?
We definitely recommend that students attend all classes in the series, there is no way to make up a missed lesson. Some students schedule a private lesson to cover what was missed – plus then they get the added attention often missed in a group setting. However, if you know you might have several conflicts in a given month, you may wish to take a class on a drop-in basis. Also, previously learned material will be reviewed since repetition is necessary for retention.
Keep in mind that classes are taught with progression in mind. That is, each subsequent class period teaches you more advanced skills. This makes it more difficult if you just drop-in during the latter weeks of a given course.
What should I wear to the lessons?
No specific dress code is required for the lessons. However, always keep in mind you are meeting new people, they may become a future dance partner or friend. For the comfort and enjoyment of your dance partners, please be conscious of proper hygiene. Keep colognes and perfumes to a minimum, wash your hands, and be neatly dressed. You’ll feel better if you look your best.
For our dance parties, dress up as if you are going out somewhere nice for the evening. Some parties will have themes that you might want to dress for; those will be announced in advance.
Do I need special shoes?
Leather-soled shoes, such as your typical dress shoes, country boots etc. are recommended. Avoid tennis shoes, flip flops or loose sandle type shoes and high heels over 3.” Ladies tend to find it more comfortable to dance in a shoe with a slight heel but not too high. More seasoned dancers will purchase special dance shoes; these have a soft leather sole for better dancing. Dancers carry them to the event and put them on at the dance or lesson. And, even though this is Colorado – hiking boots are definitely out!
You may want to take a look at the Dance Apparel Link to find out where shoes and clothing can be purchased.
Should I learn one dance, or many?
There are advantages to both paths. Learning multiple dances helps you in many ways to be a better dancer because:
- You have more opportunities to dance when at a social event (because you have learned enough to not miss an opportunity).
- You will start to learn the overall theories that are so important in learning all types of dance; you’ll not only understand certain moves in each type of dance, but understand how to move like a dancer.
- One dance will help you learn faster in another dance because of the natural progression in learning – as you master certain techniques they carry over to other dances.
- Many times after learning one dance, you will find similar moves within another dance, making it easier to learn new moves.
How many lessons do I need? What is the frequency of lessons?
In the beginning, it is important to take one (or even two) lessons per week. This will allow you to rapidly build upon what you have already learned the previous week without forgetting too much in between. Depending on your goal, if you want to become an average dancer that understands basic movement, with a few patterns, and techniques; you should allow yourself 6-9 months of training. The more you become immersed in the dance world (meeting new people, going out to clubs, practicing, taking group classes, and private lessons) the sooner you’ll feel comfortable on the dance floor. Much of that depends on your desire, time and finances.
Where can I go dancing in Northern Colorado?
There are a variety of dances and locales in the area. We are working to provide more social ballroom dance opportunities. We do offer dance parties so students have a place to practice.
Where did you get the name “Okay Dance”?
It began almost as a joke. During the summer of 2006, Debra’s middle daughter did some promotional video for the band “OK Go” (the Grammy-award winning group most known for their dancing-on-treadmills video). For a while, everything seemed to be “ok this” and “ok that.” When it came time to decide on a name for Debra’s dance business, “Okay Dance” seemed like a natural.
Need to reduce stress? Want to meet people? Like to have fun? The best answer to these questions is simply – YES, so “Okay…Let’s Dance.” It also is a great follow-up to all kinds of statements, like “My spouse and I would like a hobby together,” “I need to increase my fitness level,” “I’m getting married, and I want to do something special at the reception,” or “I want to do something more than just bar-hopping on the weekends.”
How do I sign up?
You can sign up by either sending an email or calling; leave a message as to what you are interested in. Group classes and parties are posted on the website. But you can contact Debra anytime and she will contact you soon after.