Dance Lessons in Edmonton
200-10505 107 St
NW Edmonton, AB, T5H 2Y5
(780) 488-7722

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Dance as a Workout – How Dance Can Get You Fit for Spring in Edmonton

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Dancing is a form of human expression. It’s been used for centuries as a method of story-telling, entertainment and socialization. But did you know that it is also a phenomenal workout?

After a long winter in Edmonton, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, cooped up and out of shape. If you want to amp up your workout and get faster results in time for spring, dance lessons could be the answer you’re looking for. At our dance studios, we have seen students transform both their bodies and improve their emotional health through dance lessons.

6 Reasons to Take Dance Lessons

1. Burn calories, increase stamina
Dancing is an aerobic exercise that gives your cardiovascular system, heart and lungs an excellent workout. It can burn as many calories as jogging and uses the same muscle exertion and breathing rates as cyclists and swimmers. Plus, it’s more fun too!

2. Improve your balance and coordination
By mastering the ability to balance your body in a number of positions, you strengthen stabilizer muscles while protecting your core. Dancing also engages the Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System, which improves your coordination by strengthening the body-mind connection.

3. Dance helps you build core and upper body strength
Due to the control and motions involved, dance allows you to tone your body and build muscle. By improving your muscle tone, you strengthen your joints and bone density, which can help prevent and treat arthritis and osteoporosis.

4. Dance is good for your memory
Learning new dance steps and associating your movements with music is a great way to build your memory and improve your mental health. Increasing your mental exercise keeps your mind young, quick and alert.

5. Improve your mood
Dance is a social activity that releases endorphins in your brain to improve your mood. It is tremendously beneficial on an emotional and social level, which also strengthens your physiological health.

6. Increase cultural interactions
Dance allows you to meet new people and build new relationships. It is a universal language without barriers. No matter what country you visit, if you can dance, you can achieve a form of communication and share your spirit with others.

A Dance Style for Everyone
Whether you’re looking for beginner dance lessons or you have previous dance experience, Arthur Murray Dance Centers can help you get the fitness results you want. From Rhythm and Latin to Ballroom and Country, there is a dance style to suit everyone’s soul.

Try them all to get a feel for the ones that move you and make you want to step out on the dance floor. Or to book a complimentary dance lesson, contact us today!

How Ballroom Dancing Can Literally Save Your Life

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“Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and the Position of the Head.”We have all heard our instructors talking about maintaining good posture and keeping our heads up for balance and stability, but here’s one more way that dancing can benefit your life and your continuing health.

Constantly looking down can put as much as 60 Pounds of extra pressure on your spine, leading to early wear, tear and degradation. This is one of the findings in a study from spinal surgeon Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at the New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Center. People spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over reading and texting on their smartphones and devices. Cumulatively this is 700 to 1400 hours a year of excess stresses seen about the cervical spine. Poor posture occurs when the head tilts forward and the shoulders drop forward in a rounded position. Losing the natural curve of the spine incrementally increases stresses about the cervical spine leading to degeneration and possible surgeries. Weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. When the head is not tilted, the spine already supports 10-12 pounds (the average head weight) but when it is tilted at 15 degrees, this places a 27 pound weight on the spine. Tilting your head forward 30 degrees increases the weight to 40 pounds. At 45 degrees, it is 49 pounds and at 60 degrees it goes up to a whopping 60 pounds of excess weight on the spine (about the equivalent of having 4 bowling balls hanging off your neck).

Good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders and the “angel wings”, or shoulder blades retracted. In proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished.

High-power posture posers experience elevations in testosterone, increases in serotonin, decreases in cortisol and increased feelings of power and tolerance for risk taking. Low-power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.

Though it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make efforts to look at their phones with a neutral spine and avoid spending hours each day hunched over. If you ask us….. take some beginner dance lessons in Edmonton.

Contact us today for more information about Arthur Murray Dance Centres in Edmonton. Be sure to check out our blog to learn more about everything from ballroom dance to our 11 tips for dancers of all skill levels.

11 Tips for All Dancers, Regardless of Level or Skill

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Dancing is a whole lot of fun but it can be physically demanding. Here we offer 11 universal tips for all dancers that will help you to enjoy your dance workout without being bothered by fatigue and sore muscles.

In our previous blog we discussed the 8 secrets to ballroom success. Read our universal dance tips for all dancers below and follow the link to learn more about Arthur Murray’s dance studios in Edmonton.

1. Drink Water
First and foremost, always drink lots of water. Not just in the summer when it’s hot, but in the colder winter months as well. Your body still needs to be hydrated before, during and after exercise. Your body doesn’t function at its best without it. To prevent body shock room temperature water is best. Avoid alcohol, as it is a diuretic and steals water from your body.

2. Warm Up
Most dance injuries happen because the muscles are not warm. Warming up increases heart and breathing rates, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen provided to these muscles. The warmup allows your joints to secrete more synovial fluid, which is what helps keep you from getting stiff. This means that your chances of getting stiff are a lot less when you warm up.

3. Stretch
A bit of stretching between dances will help reduce lactic acid buildup in your muscles. Lactic acid causes fatigue and sore muscles.

4. Laugh More
Laughing relieves anxiety by reducing aggression and conflict. We develop a stronger immune system as well through laughter. Not only does laughter improve mental health, it is one of the easiest sources of cardiac exercise. It’s also highly contagious because it is universal. Everyone can laugh and it’s one of the few gifts we are born with.

5. Good Posture
Not only does good posture make it easier to dance well, it helps you breathe better, walk better and even feel better. You will even be taller if someone were to measure you relaxed versus standing up straight. A major benefit to having good posture is that it can help prevent future back problems.

6. Nutrition
Avoid eating processed foods; the sugar content will contribute to adult diabetes and the hydrogenated fats will clog arteries causing strokes and heart attacks. Fruits and veggies contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, and water to help you stay healthy.

7. Dance Etiquette
Do not criticize your partners while on the social dance floor. It’s inappropriate because it is embarrassing for them and you. Let the teachers tell them on their next lesson.

8. Practice
Going through what you learned in class for 5 minutes at home goes a long way in remembering for future lessons or socials. If your partner can’t practice at the same time as you then do it by yourself! By improving your dancing, you make it easier on your partner. This is also the time to practice finding the beat so you can start on the correct count. Work on dancing with your feet together, instead of apart; this will develop a sense of balance.

9. Group Classes
Group class is a great way to work on body and foot technique, since there is no lead/follow. By developing coordination you can learn how to syncopate. Here’s your chance to work on foot positions, foot placements and arm styling, as well as Cuban Motion.

10. Proper Technique
Without using good technique you don’t become a great social dancer. Incorrect foot position and/or posture cause balance and lead/follow problems. As you progress to higher levels technique is important in order to understand and perform the more advanced steps.

11. Beginners 
Make sure you have strong basics before moving up a level or learning new patterns. The new steps will be more frustrating for you if you don’t know your basics well enough. NEVER refuse a dance; this is how we learn to be better dancers, so dance with everyone from all levels.

Guys – Warm up with the basics and gradually move up levels. Your job is to make the lady look good, which in turn, will make you look good.

Gals – Patience really is a virtue. It is important to know and remember that the guys have more to think about than the ladies.

Now that you have some helpful hints on how to improve your dancing, let’s see you in action! Contact us today to sign up for dance lessons in Edmonton

Which Groups and Edmonton Dance Classes Should I Attend?

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This group is designed for new students looking for beginner dance lessons in Edmonton. By restricting the group to newer students, we are able to provide an even playing field and it allows us to teach the fundamentals of dancing.

New Student Classes
This group is designed for new students looking for beginner dance lessons in Edmonton. We all remember how those initial groups can sometimes be intimidating. By restricting the group to newer students, we are able to provide an even playing field and it allows us to teach the fundamentals of dancing. We are always happy to see experienced students wanting to go back to the basics and develop their skills. Those of you who have had more than 10 lessons should graduate to the Bronze 1 Class and embrace the challenges that your Bronze program has to offer.

Bronze 1
Anyone enrolled on their Bronze 1 Program will get to learn more about their dancing. This class will complement your personal lessons and get you to reach your next level quicker. The only requirement is that you have completed your Introductory Program. Anyone working on a higher level is encouraged to join this class to develop their style/techniques, lead/follow skills as well as help out with demonstrations when called upon by the teacher leading the class.

Bronze 2
The participants in this class should meet the following requirements:
1) Have completed their Bronze 1 Program (graduated the level)
2) Enrolled on a Bronze 2 Program
3) Have been introduced to the school figures for the Bronze 2 level
The Bronze 2 group class is a great way to get introduced to some of the variations of the Bronze 2 Level as well as further master the technique learnt in Bronze 1. As always anyone working on a higher level is always encouraged to join in and continue their development.

Bronze 1 & 2
This group is open to all students working on either level. This is also known as the Associate Bronze Level. Bronze 2 compliments as well as completes the Bronze 1 Level. Concepts from both levels are taught during this class. It is also a great warm up before the Practice Session that follows.

Bronze 3 & Up
The students attending this class should have completed their Associate Bronze Level (Graduated their Bronze 2). In this class we get to introduce you to more advanced concepts as well as more intricate figures. You should also have been introduced to the school figures of the Bronze 3 Level. It is a great warm up before the practice session that follows.

Advanced Group
The participants in this class should meet the following requirements:
1) Completed their Bronze 3 Program (Graduated level)
2) Enrolled on a Bronze 4 Program
3) Been introduced to the School Figures for the Bronze 4 level
4) Have graduated the Bronze 3 level in the dance being taught that day.
All 10 dances in the Bronze Program will be covered throughout the year, and that is why we have the 4th requirement listed. We will enforce these requirements as we feel that students working on multiple dances should get the same opportunities that the other students get from group classes.

Open Group I
The only requirement for this class is an interest for the dance being covered on that day. No Basics are needed for the class as the teacher leading the class is well aware of the multiple levels of students in attendance. If you are unsure whether a dance is suited for you, you can always ask your key teacher to help guide you along or recommend which groups you should attend.

Open Group II
To attend this class you either have to have the dance being taught that day in your program, or have had attended the Open Group I in the same dance the week previous if you’re still unsure, give us a call!

We want everyone to feel at home at Arthur Murray Dance Centres. Call us today to talk to one of our instructors and find the right dance lessons in Edmonton for your skill level.

Be Nice to be Near! 7 Tips to Make Sure You Get a Second Dance

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There are few activities that you do within a few inches of another person. Ballroom dancing is one of the more fun ones.We work hard, play hard and dance hard but after an hour long party sometimes we start to look like a deodorant commercial.

There are better ways to make sure we are nice to be near, without sacrificing our technique and style!

1) Pocket Mints

A piece of gum is a great way to keep your breath fresh! However sometimes the noise from chewing gum can be just as off putting as the bad breath itself. Try keeping a couple mints in your pocket, and popping one at the beginning of every lesson.

*A Helpful Hint! As a courtesy, every time you have a mint, offer one to your partner! Even if they have nice breath, it can’t hurt to have a minty treat and a fresh taste! (Disclaimer: It is completely acceptable to break the “avoid gum while dancing” rule, if it is offered to you.)

2) Never say “No”

“Never say No” is also a great mentality to have anytime you’re asked to dance! Dancing with people of all levels is what makes us strong partners. Besides… It’s only a minute and a half!

3) Perfume and Cologne

It is important to understand that some people have more sensitive noses than others! Wearing to much perfume or cologne, or wearing an overbearing scent can be distracting and upsetting to others.

*A helpful hint! Start by putting a small amount of unscented lotion on the spots you intend to apply your scent. This will help the skin to hold the scent for longer, while using less product. The general consensus is to apply a small amount of perfume or cologne to the wrists, inside of your elbows and collarbone. Should you still feel “naked” try applying a small amount to the back of the knees. (Yes you read that right, the back of the knees).

4) Deodorant or Antiperspirant

Just as it’s not okay to wear an entire bottle of Channel No. 5, it’s also unacceptable to wear no product at all. If you usually go au natural you may find that with a little shopping, (and a few free samples at your local store) there could be a more natural scent that’s just right for you.

5) Holding Hands

Rings can be sharper than you think, If you’re wearing a ring with sharp edges, try turning it around, or simply taking it off while your dancing. Loose fitting bracelets and watches or even large uncovered cuff-links can also be problematic. Catching a piece of jewelry in your partner’s hair during a Showcase Solo is not how you want to remember the event.

6) Attire

Be sure that your attire is dance appropriate. There is a difference between what one might wear to the club versus what you might wear to a Medal Ball. Things to keep in mind when choosing your outfit should include:

*Does it move? (This isn’t a tip for being nice to be near, it’s just important that your skirt or dress feels “dancey”.)

*Does it cover your arms? Should it? This is left to the women’s discretion, for men however it is discourteous to wear tank tops, or any garment that doesn’t cover the armpits. Short or preferably long sleeves are customary.

*What is the chance of a wardrobe malfunction? Try to be sure it’s not an outfit that is at risk of riding up to high, or pulling down to low. When you’re dancing you’re moving A LOT. You never know when somethings going to get pulled, tugged or jostled around.

*Dance Pants. When in doubt wear a pair of dance pants. They are a form fitting undergarment for women that ensure that if something does ride up or if you decide to go full out on your next develop, you will always look you best.

7) General Courtesy

The most important thing in any ballroom dancing situation, is comfort and safety. Everyone should always feel like Arthur Murray is a warm, welcoming, safe and friendly place to be. Always remember to ask someone to dance politely, a please and thank you goes a long way. Clap at the end of every song and with the switch of every partner.

Always dance your best! Whether you are looking for wedding dance lessons, beginner dance lessons, or intermediate dance classes in Edmonton Arthur Murray Dance Centre is here to help. Learn from our trained instructors and contact us for more information today!