Last month's reaction to my June Newsletter was very interesting to say the least. I received a number of notes telling me stories of "class bullies" who seem to want to dictate the curriculum for the entire class. These instructors find it very difficult to keep everyone happy. I did relay that usually these bullies are only the minority and keep in mind to be sure not to let them drive away your other students.
I gave others our survey system and advised similarly that it's important to find a good mix of dances that may or not be done at events. Your class is what counts the most and you have to find dances that they will enjoy for the steps alone and not because someone in England or Florida etc... is enjoying the dance. Hopefully this will help you decide what's best for your class.
Incidentally, has anyone else caught the Oxygen Channel series Dance Your Ass Off? It's on Monday nights and repeated throughout the week. The show is basically a combination of Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance/Dancing With The Stars. Each week, hefty people are paired with a professional dancer and learn a different choreographed routine. The fun these people seem to have on the dance floor is so amazing and infectious. I found this show clearly by accident but found it impossible to tune out. It'll be interesting to see how much weight the winner loses. It's no secret to our dance community that dancing is a great exercise for weight loss - now more will know.
OK, so we had our favorites survey last month and Amame and Guantanamera both tied again for number one for the 2nd time in a row. John Robinson's Drop The Beat has been on our survey for over a year now and is going to be retired as a Thursday Night Champion. Not bad for a dance that got very little publicity. It does show you that there are good dances our there that aren't being talked about by the PR folks out to further their own dance agendas. Keep that in mind the next time you're reading from the usual sources. Try and find someone that teaches from a variety of choreographers and make sure to keep some of our American counterparts in mind when choosing your dances. Many don't realize this, but the US still does have some good choreography.
This month, our US counterparts took a backseat though as we have taught all international requests. New this month to our Current Favs is Insomnia (Walton), Issues (Gallagher), Make My Day and Hit The Lights (Sittrop).
Dances no longer on the Favorites List: Head Phones (Gallagher), Hot Spot (Team International) and Body Cha (Poulson). Tango Cha (Thompson) has been a huge national favorite, but has never been a survey favorite with our class unfortunately. I personally love this one so kind of sad it never caught on here.
Recent teaches included for our next survey our:
Leave The Boat - Where The Boat Leaves (Zac Brown Band) - Rachael McEnaney: I happened to catch this song on our local country station and was instantly a fan of the music. When I found out Rachael had a dance to it, I knew it would not disappoint. So thanks to the Lou Ann Schemmel instructional video, I was able to quickly learn this and the class seems to have a lot of fun with it.
Poker Face - Poker Face (Lady Gaga) - Craig Bennett - 64 count dance is another crowd pleaser that the class begged us to teach because of the survey status. The music is wonderful but the dance is very tricky in spots. Most likely will have a solid following with our class.
We've also been introducing monthly retro dance favorites. Last month, we did Syncopated Rhythm (Fowler & Fowler) and this month it's Andy Skidmore's one hit wonder Can't Stop Loving You.
That's all for this month.