Dance and Stress

There is a lack of research in ballroom dancing in general but physical activity has been proven to reduce stress, and some even argue that dancing has the potential to decrease stress more than other types of physical activity due to the social interaction, music, opportunity for expression etc. 

So there really is no better time to get dancing, sign up for a class now or alternatively have a dance around your living room with me in the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uy8hsz9c8c

To find a class close to you or find out how to start your dancing journey contact me now on kristina@danceballroomlondon.co.uk for a chat.

How do I best support my child in ballroom dancing?

By Kristina Pfeffer

Participating in sports is a part of most children’s lives. For most it is a positive and enjoyable experience, but for some, it can also be stressful and associated with negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and loss of confidence. The quality of the sport experience is mostly down to the interactions with coaches, parents and other children participating in the sport. A very small percentage of children competing at the juvenile and junior levels will end up being professional dancers and therefore the main objective for teachers and parents should be for the participation in dancing to be enjoyable as well as to teach skills, which can be transferable to other areas of the young people’s lives. Research shows that when young athletes are in a caring, supportive environment the sport can foster positive psychological, social and emotional development.

 Particularly for children and teenagers the parents’ involvement in the sport is important. We have all seen examples of parents pushing their children too far, but at the same time the involvement of the parent’s can be crucial for the child to be able to reach their potential, or even to be able to participate in sport at all. I am sure all dance parents are more than aware of the time spend going to competitions, transportation all over the country, not to mention the money spend on lessons and costumes. So how do you best support your child, making dancing a positive experience, keeping them happy and well functioning while at the same time reaching their potential? Every parent wants the best for their child, but sometimes knowing how to support them best can be a challenge, and how to deal with inevitable disappointments of bad results and loss of dance partners can be daunting. Below are some tips, based on recent research, on how to best support your child as they go through the exciting world of ballroom dancing.

How involved should I be in my child’s dancing?

Parents can be anything from minimally involved to highly involved in their child’s dancing. Research suggests that being moderately involved in your child’s sport is most beneficial to the child, as you can provide the best support for the child. Being minimally or highly involved create a less optimal environment and can reduce enjoyment and increase stress. It was found that when mothers in particular were moderately involved in their child’s sport it produced more enjoyable experiences for the child. Of course it is individual to the child, and where one child might find high parental involvement stressful, another might enjoy that their parents’ come to all competitions and practices, so the best thing to do is, to ask your child if they enjoy having you there or not, and to what degree they would like you to be involved.

How do I deal with my child having a bad result?

When the child is young, participating in a sport should be fun and little emphasis should be placed on competition. Some children thrive in competitive environments, but there is no reason to put any extra pressure from parents or coaches. The emphasis should be on the child improving, working hard and dancing to the best of their ability. Children rely heavily on their parents and teachers for feedback regarding their competence and how you interpret their abilities is really important to how they see themselves. Whether they win or not is most of the time not even only due to their ability, as it depends on which other children are competing that day, who is judging etc. Instead of asking your child “Did you win today?” ask them instead “Were you happy with the way you danced today?” and if they are happy with their dancing, that should be celebrated as a success. Maybe they have set a goal with the teacher of dancing on time, having better connection with the partner or improving performing, and you could ask them whether they achieved the goal that they set themselves.

How do I choose the right teacher?

The parent and the coach are the key people in the lives of a young athlete, and choosing the right coach and teacher for your child can be very important for the child having a positive experience. Coaches are experts in the field of dancing, and parents are experts in their children, so combining these strengths and for the coach and the parent to work together is going to create the best results.

If parents and coaches work together to teach the young athletes coping techniques to deal with psychological challenges such as dealing with stress and managing emotions, dancing can provide your child with many skills, not just being able to do the waltz and cha cha, but also to learn life skills and promote a healthy outlook on sport, school and life.

 

Hope you enjoyed this article, if you have any comments, questions or would like to know more about the research behind this article, don’t hesitate to contact me on Kristina@danceballroomlondon.co.uk

 

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Where can I dance socially?

An essential part of becoming a great dancer, especially if your goal is to be a great social dancer, is to attend social dance events. At these events you will get the opportunity to practice the steps you have learned in classes and private lessons and you will also have an opportunity to dance with other people of different levels. This will ultimately make you the best dancer you can be! Most people are a bit nervous going to their first event, but a great way to do it, is to go as a group or with a friend, and I often organise social nights out where everyone is welcome to join.

Our next social event as a group will be Simply Ballroom on 25 February in Hammersmith. Go to www.simplyballroom.co.uk for more info and to buy tickets. 

Other venues which have regular events are:

Bishopsgate Ballroom: http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/Events/Bishopsgate-Ballroom

Black Tie Ballroom Club: https://www.facebook.com/BlackTieBallroomClub/

Enjoy your adventure into the magical world of ballroom dancing!

Where can I buy dance shoes?

There are several places online where you can buy your dance shoes. The brand is not that important but to find the style and shape that suits you. Shoes come in all different price categories. For beginners and improvers (until you get to competitive level) you can have one pair of shoes that can be used both for ballroom (waltz, viennese waltz, tango, quickstep, foxtrot) and latin ( cha cha, salsa, samba, bachata, jive, rumba, swing etc). Some of the pages where you can find shoes are below. You can also go to visit a shop if you would like to try on the shoes beforehand. Shoes should fit tightly but comfortably. If you need any support in choosing the right shoe don’t hesitate to contact me.
These are all great brands and I can recommend:
This is very cheap but I can’t guarantee for the quality, but maybe a good idea if you are just starting out and don’t want to spend too much money:
 

Which song should we choose for our First Dance?

I can make you dance to anything! If you have a particular song with a significant meaning to you as a couple, we can find a solution and adapt a style to make it fit to that particular piece of music, even if it is not one of the usual choices for a wedding song.

 Some songs have a clear beat which makes it a little easier to dance to. Also the tempo being  neither too slow or too fast is an advantage. I am always happy to listen to new ideas and give you my advice. 

 You can either go traditional with something slow and romantic or surprise your guests with something completely different, such as a first dance I choreographed recently, to “can’t touch this” by MC Hammer, or maybe an upbeat Swing or a passionate tango?

 If you decide to go the traditional route, below is a list of the most popular First Dance songs.

To book your First Dance or to get more information give me a call on 07751048369 or send me an email on Kristina@danceballroomlondon.co.uk

 

-       “Thinking out loud” Ed Sheeran

-       “L-O-V-E” Nat King Cole

-       “At Last” Etta Cameron

-       “A thousand years” Christina Perri

-       “Better together” Jack Johnson

-       “Can’t help falling in love” Elvis Presley

-       “Everything” Michael Buble

-       “Fly me to the moon” Frank Sinatra

-       “Marry you” Bruno Mars

-       “Your song” Elton John

Ballroom dancing reduces the risk of dementia by 76%!

 There are so many benefits of ballroom dancing for all ages, and I came across a very interesting study recently which shows that ballroom dancing reduces the risk of dementia by 76%, much more than other activities, such as playing golf or doing crosswords. One of the reasons for this is that when dancing you have to make fast decisions while also learning new skills. Of course other benefits of dancing are exercise, fun, the music, being able to engage in an activity with your partner and meeting new people. Just another reason to start dancing!

 See the link to the study below

http://thealzheimersproject.org/2014/12/ballroom-dancing-and-alzheimers-can-dancing-make-you-smarter/

 To sign up for our new classes starting soon go to www.danceballroomlondon.co.uk under 'Ballroom and Latin' for more info and to book! 

What should I wear for my first Adult and Ballroom Beginners Class?

Hi everyone! I often get asked by new students what they should wear for their first ballroom and latin dance class, so I will try to answer this here. 

 The most important thing for me when you come to your first class is that you feel comfortable! If this means wearing trainers, you are welcome to do that. In general though I suggest wearing a shoe with a low heel for the ladies, as this changes the balance slightly and moves your weight more forward. For the gentlemen I suggest wearing anything that doesn't have a rubber sole, as this can make it harder to move and turn on the floor. 

Regarding clothing you can wear anything you would wear everyday, as long as you can move comfortably in it. Usually we learn to dance because we want to use the steps when we go out and dance socially so anything that you would wear going out socially in, would be a good idea to wear to the class ( although you don't need to be too formal).

 If you want, at a later stage, to invest in special dance shoes, or a dance skirt or dress, I am happy to advise you on that and please just ask. But for your first classes the focus will mainly be on learning steps and what shoes and clothes you wear is not that important as long as it doesn't restrict your movement too much.

 Hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing you in class!