This is the 4th in a series of articles from my dear friend Kati Lurot who is the biggest fan of Simply Dancing Partners....
"Okay all you 18 to 88 year olds (you men too). Ring Jenni, arrange to meet her and watch a class. You will be amazed at the warm welcome you receive and the encouragement from both teachers and students even before you sign up to join.
You will never feel useless or embarrassed. If you can'tt keep up with a class, one of the partners will take you aside and go through everything with you separately - almost like a private lesson.
By the end of your first class, you will be able to dance a short routine in both Ballroom and Latin. By the end of your first year, you will think that you dance like a goddess (god) - I do.
Have some private lessons first if you are feeling shy.
I have tried to analyse why dancing is so satisfying and challenging. Well, first of all, very quickly your coordination improves, your flexibility improves, your memory improves (I jest not) but most importantly, you are being whisked around the floor by utterly delightful teachers and partners and made to feel incredibly graceful. Week by week your confidence grows.
SDP has, in my opinion, the best teachers and partners in London. They offer a wide range of lessons and activities - I particularly like the Technique Workshops taken by the beautiful Rafal and the monthly Social Dances.
I'm taking my Bronze Medal Exams in April (with others from the school I hope) and I will report again later.
My big news is that with my new-found confidence I am also learning a Show Dance (very privately) with the wonderful Nuno. He has choreographed a very funny dance for me where he drops me twice, I elbow him once, slap his face once and trip him up (see photo below). My original idea that I am doing all this for myself, not to perform in front of other people, is fast disappearing. I've only had 2 hours of this so far and it is challenging but huge fun. My biggest fear now is injury. I cannot imagine the future without dance - so no more football with my grandsons."
I was absolutely blown away by the final performances on Strictly Come Dancing this weekend. Having studied Ballroom and Latin for the last eleven years I know just how hard it is to execute the figures let alone deliver them with such precision and finesse. The men have an incredibly difficult job to do and it is not surprising that so few are prepared to attempt it. However, just remember the joy expressed by all the men in Strictly this year such as Danny, Ore, Rob and Ed - it is so worth it.
When I started Simply Dancing Partners it was as a result of watching the early Strictly shows. I was so keen to get out onto the dance floor and experience what the celebrities do with stylish and confident partners. The reality was a huge disappointment - several well known studios promised that there would be men in the class. In every case we were lucky to see a man let alone dance with one. The task for a man of leading a partner when he is just learning the basics is so daunting it is no wonder that so few are brave enough to do it.
I approached the issue from the perspective of a client asking the question - "what would make this better for me?" I had tried taking private lessons and this certainly satisfied my primary requirement - I was actually dancing with a man for the full length of the lesson. However, the industry standard of 45-50 minutes per lesson was simply not enough for me I was just getting to a high and enjoying myself when the teacher called a halt as my time was up.
I designed the classes at Simply Dancing Partners to give me and my clients the perfect experience. We always dance with professional partners throughout the lesson and it lasts for 1.5 hours - just long enough to learn and practice each dance style. We cover each dance for three weeks and then return to it the next term building on more figures and technique.
The men who come to our classes never have to dance with fellow clients. They only dance with our expert team members whose job is to help them learn to lead with confidence.
When we have a Social there are always enough partners to match the number of clients so that no one ends up sitting and watching and praying for someone to ask them to dance. In fact the only complaint we ever get is that our clients get tired from too much dancing on these nights!! The experience really is like being a kid in a sweet shop with so many great partners to choose from. They are all so polite and caring and want to ensure that everyone has a great time.
It does come at a premium price but we all feel that it is absolutely worth it to be the ones on the dance floor and living the dream of being whirled around by great partners - something that would normally never be experienced outside of a private lesson.
Come and join us next term whether you are a complete beginner or have been dancing for some time. You are guaranteed to love being with our team and to meet other like minded people who share your passion for dance.
Call me on 07768 760388 to find the right class for you.
This is the next in a series of articles from one of my most loyal and satisfied clients - Kati Lurot
Rafal, who is a stickler (dictionary definition = perfectionist, purist, fanatic) for technique, makes me feel a bit like an uncooperative schoolgirl (he even started banging his head against the wall once when I made the same mistake over and over again) but I love the challenges which he sets me and I love dancing with him. He is beautiful to watch and so elegant when he dances. I also love his group classes.
Paul is a performer and likes to choreograph so sets me incredible routines which push me absolutely to the limit. Then he pulls back and tries to drum technique into me (I often feel quite broken when he has finished with me). He is primarily a Latin dancer and moves like a god. He makes me realise that I will never, in this lifetime, be as good as I would like to be but encourages me to go for it.
Nuno - very occasionally I share a private lesson with Jenni in which we do nothing but the Salsa with Nuno. There is no way that I could do this for an entire hour so splitting it works well. Recently, he has also been doing the Argentine Tango with me. Nuno is enchanting with a smile that lights up the world. He is patient and strong, an incredible performer and I often find myself thrown backwards into his arms - it feels fabulous. He puts on amazing shows such as RIP Cabaret which I went to see and was blown away.
Oleg - I have only joined his class a very few times. I have not yet worked out why I enjoy it so much. There is always a noisy atmosphere but Oleg remains calm, smiling and encouraging. I like his step sequences and he is a stunning dancer.
Tomasz is the ultimate gentleman. He is tall, a beautiful dancer specialising in Ballroom and really makes me feel that he is enjoying making me enjoy dancing with him.
Zoltán is new to the school. What a charmer. I am sure he will become very popular and a great asset. (AND… he is Hungarian - same as me - so an immediate connection).
There is so much more I want to learn - the Argentine Tango (Rafal in charge and love it); American Smooth - no lessons yet; Charleston - no lessons yet; Street Dancing (just joking here).
AND - I am now talking about taking the IDTA exams, starting with Bronze and Silver medals and hopefully a gold or two in the future and also joining a performance course. May have to consider upping the number of private lessons/classes I have but will the body take it?
Kati has only managed to dance with some of our wonderful teachers - we have several more. So, if you would like to share the experience of being taught by our team either in the group lessons - starting the week of the 9th January 2017 or by booking private lessons with them:
Call me on 07768 760388
Simply Dancing Partners Ltd Registered Office: Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll Street, London W1F 7LD. Registered in England.
Company Registration Number: 05716025