Category: Dance Info, News & Trends

Mental Health Awareness & The Mental Health Benefits of Dancing

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Feeling stressed? Not a surprise. This has not been an easy road. Health in the time of the coronavirus has become an issue extending far beyond the physical damage that can be done by COVID-19. Life as we know it has been severely disrupted. The mind/body connection, so important to overall wellness, can break down...

National Ballroom Dance Week Reminds Us To Never Stop Learning

September always reminds us of learning and the challenges of mastering new worlds. As children in school, we studied the basics. In college we branched out into areas that complemented reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic – philosophy, art, dance. We soaked it all in and it made us who we are today. Learning is a lifelong...

Is Dancing on the Menu This Labor Day?

This Labor Day might not be the same as past ones but that’s no reason we can’t still enjoy the holiday. We just need to find different ways of doing it. Planning a backyard barbecue with the family? Party on. But let’s think about staying active if we can’t march in the parade or go...

Regular Stretching Improves Ballroom Dance Skills

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Did you know that dancing can help increase flexibility and give you relief from muscle aches? Keep your body in tip-top shape and ensure your ballroom dance skills flourish by starting a regular stretching routine. Regular stretching can improve physical performance, decrease injury, improve joint movement and improve muscles, Mayo Clinic reports. When we do not stretch,...

Get A Head Start!

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“To dance is to live,” wrote Charles M. Schulz, the beloved creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang. And that’s just what our plan is – to dance and to live. Dance has always enhanced life, made it sweeter. Maybe now more than ever. As the world edges toward a new normal, we’re...

Fred Astaire Dance Studios® NEW Online Lessons Platform

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Staying mentally, emotionally and physically sound during trying times is one of the best prescriptions we can offer. Dance is a great way to bust stress and stay in shape. You don’t even need to leave the house – because now, dance will come to you, with Fred Astaire Dance Studios® new Online Lessons platform!...

Weight Loss Through Dance and Diet

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We all know people who work out furiously at the gym without losing much, if any, weight. Some of them rationalize it – if I exercise, I can eat what I want. That’s what they say, even as the weight creeps on a bit at a time and rarely leaves for long. You cannot consume...

A Few Of Our Favorite Dance Movies!

When you think of movies featuring great dancers, the first name that comes to mind is Fred Astaire, founder of Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios. Often partnered with the gifted Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire brought fabulous moves, smooth sophistication and romance to the big screen. And, of course, Ginger Rogers did the same – backwards,...

Dancing Our Way Through Summer

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We know you can dance. Now we want to find out how well you cook. Please join us on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 8-9 p.m. in the studio for our Potluck Practice Party. You’ll get plenty of time to work on your latest steps and techniques, and you will get to enjoy the treats brought...

Helpful Tips to Achieve Perfect Ballroom Competition Hair!

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There are three key components that make up a dance competition; the dancing, the audience, and the dancers themselves. Can you guess what the first thing is that the audience notices? That’s right, the dancer’s appearance – their costume, hair, and makeup to be specific. A dancers outfit, hair, and makeup play a big part...

An In-Depth Guide: Preparing Your Body For a Dance Competition

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Fred Astaire Dance Studios across the globe host many regional and national competitions throughout the year. In order to feel fully prepared for a FADS dance competition, you want to make sure you are treating your body right for the few weeks leading up to the competition so you are able to handle the demands...

The Importance of Good Technique

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When it comes to dance, no truer words were spoken than what was said by British poet and dramatist, John Dryden in the 1600’s, “Dancing is the poetry of the foot.” Whether dancing in front of an audience or dancing down a street on a sunny afternoon, the feet write and display the graceful beauty...

How To Tell The Difference Between Popular Types Of Latin Dances

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Ballroom dance is enjoyed all over the world in a variety of forms, many having common roots. This is particularly true of the popular Latin dances. While we often think of them as South American specialties, their histories are more complicated than that. Many derive from African rhythms and patterns that were later adapted in...

Fred Astaire Dance Partners: January Birthdays

Ginger Rogers is likely the dance partner we think of first, but Fred Astaire, our co-founder and namesake, was fortunate to have performed and starred with numerous well-known & talented dancers, on both stage and screen during his career. This blog post highlights the stories of two of Astaire’s esteemed dance partners – George Burns...

What Do I Need To Know Before I Come For My First Lesson?

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward learning new dance steps. You stopped by Fred Astaire Dance Studios, chatted with the manager and an instructor and decided the time is right to learn how to dance, to perk up your social life and to get in better shape (yes, dance does all of those things...

Exploring The Passion Of The Paso Doble

If you’ve been watching Dancing With The Stars like we have, you probably noticed a lot of Paso Doble performances last night for the Halloween Special (we especially liked Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas’s Paso Doblé) . This theatrical dance has an interesting background that involves role-playing of sorts so it’s no wonder the Halloween...

Three Ways Dance Lessons Are Better Than A Gym Membership

Here come the holidays. And here come the parties, the snacks, the beverages, the little overindulgences that make clothing a bit too tight for comfort. Hey, we like to look good in our smart outfits. Even a couple of pounds can cause distress. We know how easy it is to add a few and how...

Do’s and Don’t of Social Dancing

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Dancing is a staple of many social activities conducted in public – weddings, social and business parties, dinner dates – and as such, is subject to the usual social conventions. Grace and charm are part of dance (and part of the fun!), and your personality is as well. Ballroom dancing can be active and passionate...

How Well Do You Know Ballroom Dance Trivia?

Test your knowledge and see how much you know about ballroom dance trivia, with this super-fun quiz, originally published on Discovery.com. 1. This early form of ballroom dominated the dance scene from the 17th century to the 19th century. A. Minuet B. Waltz C. Reel 2. Which 3/4 count ballroom dance style represented a transition...

4 Reasons Why We Love to Salsa

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It’s summer, and summer brings the heat. The same goes for one of our favorite dances – salsa. It’s hot, hot, hot. Salsa continues to grow in popularity because of its fast pace and the lively music that accompanies this Caribbean-based dance. Latin dances build to a crescendo, creating tension and release. That makes salsa a...

Start Dancing With These 4 Questions

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Have  you thought of taking dance lessons, but never actually took the plunge? Ballroom dance instruction, whether in private lessons or group classes, provides many benefits physically, mentally and emotionally. Dance is not only a wonderful social and creative outlet, but one that can provide a very satisfying workout. Before you sign up for classes,...

Dance Styles that Burn the Most Calories

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Dancing is a great physical activity. It is a fun way to exercise and burn calories! ! The health benefits of taking dance lessons at our Chicago West Loop Fred Astaire Dance Studio might even be better for you than a joining a gym! Switch up your workout routine and have some fun on the...

Facts About Fred

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To watch Fred Astaire dance on film – even today – is to marvel at his grace, skill and athleticism. What many don’t know is the extent to which this virtuoso practiced, worked on… and worried about his craft.  Astaire’s brilliance speaks of a confident character without a care. But Fred Astaire, namesake and co-founder of...

History of the Cha Cha

Once upon a time, it was known as the Cha-Cha-Cha. Somewhere along the way, it lost a Cha. Now it’s just the Cha Cha, but it has lost none of its appeal! This dance is characterized by three quick steps (Cha-Cha-Cha!) followed by two slower steps. With American Style Cha Cha averaging 30 beats per minute,...

How to Get the Most out of our Ballroom Dance Lessons

We love dance because it is joyous and expressive, and we hope you do as well. Some people find their passion in the precision of steps, others in the emotional and physical components of dance, still more in finding another mode of self-expression. Sadly, some people dance and do not get the full measure of...

Tips For Choosing a Ballroom Dance Studio

For many, social partner dancing is a way to enjoy ourselves and get the most out of life.  It helps reduce the stresses of everyday life for a few hours and provides entertainment. Dancing is also a healthy activity to do with a loved one or a friend. Whether you’re interested in taking dance lessons...

How Dance Relieves Stress & Loneliness During the Holidays

Many of our students tell us that they think of their Fred Astaire Dance Studio as a home-away-from-home, and a family. These are people with a common interest – a love of dance – who also discovered a genuine fondness for each other, a wonderful outlet for their creativity, and a sense of accomplishment as...

Join Us As We Welcome The Windy City Bulls!

Join Us As We Welcome The Windy City Bulls! Your Fred Astaire Dance Studio of West Loop is always happy to help new businesses feel right at home. So help us welcome the Windy City Bulls basketball team to our area! The Bulls are the new NBA Developmental League (D-League) affiliate of the Chicago Bulls. Opening night...

Why Do You Think You Like To Dance?

We know that ballroom dance is beneficial physically, mentally and socially. But what is it, exactly, that makes us like to dance? Beyond the tangible physical, mental and social benefits, why does the movement and the expression of dance give us such pleasure? Now, here at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we’d probably say we like...

The History of the Foxtrot

When we discuss the basics of ballroom dancing, we often fall back on two of its staple styles – the foxtrot and the waltz. Today we are going to take a closer look at the foxtrot – a smooth, progressive dance characterized by its slow step, and long, sinuous movements.  Named for its creator, vaudeville...

DanceSport Challenge 2016; All the Info You Need!

Yeehaw, it’s competition time! And It’s not too late to join us as several of our students and instructors hit the competition dance floor! Our students will be representing their Chicagoland studio at this year’s Regional DanceSport Challenge! The event will be held at the prestigious Westin Northshore Hotel in Wheeling, IL on September 16th...

Please Join Us For Two Spectacular Regional Events This Month

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Our students take pride in their dedication to dance and we respect the hard work they put into mastering dance steps and routines. We love giving them opportunities to show their accomplishments to the world. That next opportunity arrives Saturday, Aug. 6, with our annual showcase – Big Stage Ballroom – at North Shore Center...

There’s too much fun to be had on the dance floor for anyone to say “I can’t dance.”

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“I can’t dance”. How many times have you heard this from a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse? Sometimes by “can’t” they mean “won’t.” At Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios, we don’t believe that any person “can’t” dance. Let’s face it – you need to be able to get out on the dance floor at social events...

Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter

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We at Fred Astaire Dance Studios love to share information about the benefits of dance – socializing, building confidence, learning a new pastime, getting in better shape – and so many more, including… guess what? Dancing makes you smarter! In an article called Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter, Richard Powers, who leads...

The Emotional Benefits To Dancing

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We all have a basic need for acceptance, friendships, a social circle. And one of the best ways of building this type of support system and network is through the activity of dance. At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, we work very hard to provide exactly this type of atmosphere, and offer many ways for people...

4 Stretching Tips to Avoid Injury and Help Flexibility

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We’re always happy when our students come into our Fred Astaire Dance Studio, ready and eager to take part in their favorite dance class. Today, we have a little tip for all of our students, whether long-time dancers or those just starting out: Try to arrive a few minutes early and maybe plan to stay...

Foot Care Tips to Keep You on Your Toes

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“Dancing Feet” is one of the best-loved songs from the famed musical, “42nd Street.” So, how are you taking care of your dancing feet – or are you, at all? Whether you like to waltz or cha-cha or cross the dance floor in a glorious tango, your feet are the principal carriers of the rest of...

The Overall Benefits of Dance

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We get it. We’ve been there. You’re stressed, a little frazzled, and you want to be in better shape. But you’re not really the type with a hobby to take your mind off daily issues, and you’re not a gym rat or interested in team sports. What to do? Hey, you’ve already found our Dance...

Join us: St. Patrick’s Day Practice Party!

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“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light / May good luck pursue you each morning and night.” – Old Irish proverb. A Happy St. Patrick’s Day awaits you at Fred Astaire Dance Studio—West Loop on Thursday, March 17, from 8-9:30 p.m. at our St. Patrick’s Day Practice Party. We’ll be featuring an...

The Freddy Ball Is Here!

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All the hard work and practice come to fruition under the hot lights of competition at the Freddy Ball on March 11-12 (Friday and Saturday) at the Westin Chicago Northwest Itasca. Fred Astaire Chicago is proud to be hosting the 10th Annual Spring Event. With the growing publicity of ballroom dancing in the mainstream media,...

Valentine’s Guest and Newcomer Party

Members often tell us how much fun are parties are and that they wish they could bring a guest. For Valentine’s Day, we will grant your wish. It’s our Valentine’s Guest and Newcomer Party on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7:15 p.m. Here is your chance to introduce your friends, co-workers and family to the great...

Valentine’s Day – Put Some Rhythm In Your Love

Valentine’s Day and the weeks preceding it certainly lead to thoughts of love, romance and togetherness. The dance most frequently associated with passion and flair is the tango and it is a wonderful dance to learn with your favorite partner because of the closeness it engenders. The music and the closeness create a partnership on...

Join Us: Motown Cabaret!

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect chance to introduce your friends, family and co-workers to the world that awaits them at Fred Astaire Dance Studio West Loop, the time has come. Our Motown Cabaret on Friday, Feb. 5, is open to the public and will be an absolute blast. We’ll have professional and amateur...

Mark Your Calendar: Freddy Ball 2016!

  FREDDY BALL is the first Chicagoland Regional Competition of the year! Fred Astaire Chicago is proud to be hosting the 10th Annual Spring Event and it will be hosted at the Westin Chicago Northwest Itasca. With the growing publicity of ballroom dancing in the mainstream media, all four of the Chicago Fred Astaire Regional...

Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan: A Collaboration That Changed 20th Century Dance Choreography

The legendary dance talents of Fred Astaire were surely influenced, even enhanced, by the many dance partners, collaborators and choreographers he worked with during his iconic career. This blog post tips a hat to Hermes Pan… dancer, choreographer, collaborator and good friend of Fred Astaire for over 60 years. Born on December 10, 1909 in...

Fred Astaire Dance Partners: November Birthdays

Fred Astaire’s iconic talents as a professional dancer wouldn’t have been possible if not for his numerous & talented dance partners. Ginger Rogers may have been the most well-known, but our co-founder and namesake was fortunate to have had the opportunity to star with numerous dancers on both stage and screen. This post celebrates two dancing...

Dancing With The Survivors

Fred Astaire Dance Studio of West Loop is proud to announce its Dancing With The Survivors event on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at Ashton Place. Here is your chance to dance to support breast cancer awareness, patients and survivors in conjunction with The Pink Fund, which offers Real Help Now. This is a...

Join Us For Our Sports Cabaret!

We live in a sports-crazed world and your Fred Astaire Dance Studio West Loop is jumping on the bandwagon. Welcome to our Sports Cabaret on Friday night, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The sports theme relates to the music and what the students are performing at this fun event. There will be an Act 1 and an Act...

Fred Astaire Dance Partners: October Birthdays

Beyond his own talent, Fred Astaire’s success as a professional dancer wouldn’t have been possible if not for his numerous, talented dance partners. Our co-founder and namesake was fortunate to have starred with numerous dancers, on both stage and screen. This post celebrates three of his dancing co-stars with October birthdays: Claire Luce, Rita Hayworth...

Dancesport Challenge 2015!

The ninth annual Dancesport Challenge is on! Join us on Friday, Sept. 18, and Saturday, Sept. 19, at the beautiful Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illiinois, for two days of dance, fun and food. DanceSport Challenge 2015 is the final event hosted at this venue, so pack up your golf clubs and meet your...

Beyond Dancing: the Debonair Fred Astaire

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The name of the beloved Fred Astaire is instantly recognized throughout the world. But were there aspects of Fred Astaire, besides his professional dancing and acting career, that no camera ever revealed? Upon Astaire’s death from pneumonia at age 88, New York Times dance critic, Anna Kisselgoff, said: “The magnitude of his achievement is as great a social phenomenon as it is...

Fred Facts Quiz – How Serious a Fred Astaire Fan are You?

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Do you consider yourself a true fan of Fred Astaire? Take the challenge and quiz yourself on some “Fred Facts”, then check your score below to see what kind of “Fred Fan” you really are! 1. Where was Fred Astaire born? A. Hamburg, Germany B. Linz, Austria C. Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A 2. What was Fred...

9 Benefits You Can Experience Once You Start Dancing

Whether you flaunt your every move on the dance floor or sway to your favorite songs in the car, dance is an activity that everybody enjoys, in one way or another. Luckily, dancing is something that will not only bring a smile to your face, but can also help improve your physical and mental health....

Barrie Chase: She Danced With a Legend

Saturday evening at the FAWC (Fred Astaire World Championships) 2014 Dance Competition in Las Vegas, the suspense rose as our (now, former) President/CEO, Jack Rothweiler, began introducing his surprise guest to the audience. He mentioned the Fred Astaire TV Specials, talked of his first meeting with this guest and their conversation of four-plus hours. Still,...

Popular Dance Movies Quiz – How Much Do YOU Know?

Dance films started out as rather classy productions, with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly dancing in top hats, tails & spats… and often, with a lovely & talented leading lady. In later years, dance movies got downright racy as they were taken to the streets. Let’s see how much you know about some very popular...