Dance Blog

Now That You’re Full Bronze

Posted on: Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

You’ve successfully started your dance program, you’ve survived the ebb and flow of the Curve of Learning, and now it’s time to survey the exciting horizons of Full Bronze.

For reference, this is the 3rd and 4th level of the most popular social dance program in the world, known as “Full Bronze”.

You’ve unlocked access into an exciting and exclusive part of your program.  Here are 6 of the most exciting things to look forward to.

5 Things in Full Bronze You Will Love 

1.  Non-Stop Flight

Also referred to as “continuity movement”, your Foxtrot and Waltz will get a huge makeover.

You’ve heard of the expression “outside the box”, well that’s exactly what happens to your box step in the Waltz, or any closed finish in the Foxtrot.  Rather than closing your feet, you’ll learn to pass your feet to create continuous, or continuity, movement.

Seem like no big deal?

This is the tool that makes dances like Waltz and Foxtrot look like they are flowing continuously around the room.

2.  Bolero.  

For decades, this dance was only available at the Silver level, but when the Bronze level was revamped in the early 2000’s, this elegant and sensual dance was added to the Full Bronze.

Bolero is a dancing hybrid.  It combines the sweeping movements of a Waltz with the rhythms and connection of the Rumba, add in some shaping from the Tango for a little extra zest, and you’ve got the Bolero.

One of the great advantages for anyone learning Bolero is the tempo.  Immediately, it becomes one of the slowest dances which allows you to develop your styling, control, balance, and multi-tasking on the dance floor.

Oh yeah… and it’s super sexy too.

3.  Upper Body Action

Every level of your dance program unlocks a new area of your body when it comes to style and technique, as mentioned in this article:  The Arthur Murray Program for Social Dancing with Style

Bronze 3 turns the quality focus to the torso.  On the ballroom side, it’s an emphasis on the topline.  For the Latin, it’s developing the torso in cuban motion.

Bronze 4 shifts further up the body.  Most notably, to the arms.  For any time in your dance life where you were puzzled by arm movements, it’s at the Bronze 4 level where it is officially introduced as part of your dancing criteria.

4.  A Trip to Vienna

Okay, well maybe that is a bit misleading, but every full bronze student has the opportunity to unlock the classic and majestic dance of Vienna, the Viennese Waltz.  Made famous by the debutante balls held in Vienna, Austria.

Whether you have a trip to Vienna in your actual travel plans, or as a dream vacation in the future, you’ll be able to capture the feeling of the sweeping, elegant dance in the meantime.

5. Clear Characters

Imagine a book with a wide variety of characters all introduced in the first chapter.  It would be tough to establish who was who and even harder to keep track of them by name.

If you imagine that each level of your Bronze program is a chapter of a book, the first two “chapters” have, slowly but surely, helped to define the dances/characters in the story.

Now, entering Full Bronze, those characters have a voice.

You’ve reached the point in the story where each dance has a clear role in your story, you rarely lose track of them, and confusing one for the other is no longer a normal practice party occurrence (unless it’s a Tango immediately following a Foxtrot).

Earlier in the program you may have wanted to discard any characters you didn’t deem necessary.  In fact, you may have even contemplated putting the book down, but now, in Full Bronze, you can reap the rewards of assimilation.  These characters are no longer a learning liability and you can now move forward and see how they advance your story.

Final Thought

Full Bronze isn’t just the dance accomplishment of passing beyond Bronze 1 and 2.  It’s a major plot point in the Dance Journey, a lighthouse in the stormy waters of self doubt that can accompany even the best people when taking on a hobby that uses routes exclusively outside of one’s comfort zone.

Congratulations.  You’re a dancer now.  Associate Bronze has secured safe passage for you in this next leg of your journey. Enjoy it, you’ve come a long way.

How to Turn New Year’s Resolutions into Dance Skills

Posted on: Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

1.  Decision Time

Here’s the thing:  No one ever says they are glad they waited to learn how to dance. They definitely don’t say they are glad they missed out on all of those fun dance moments while they were waiting either. So consider this resolution like your “learning to dance alarm clock.”  Oh, and there will be no more pressing of the dancefloor snooze button this year either.

2. Don’t Overthink Things

Sure, you think your brain is fun-loving and adventure seeking. That is, until you decide to do something outside of your comfort zone.  That’s when the insurance adjuster version of your brain shows up to spoil the party. That side of your brain is going to panic a bit.  It will try to find all the holes in your rationale and make efforts to convince you that staying home is a much more suitable alternative.  Don’t listen.

3.  Close the Window

From the moment you first contact Arthur Murray, your goal should be to take the initial lesson as quickly as possible.  If possible, within 48 hours. You’ve got to “close the window” between your first contact and your scheduled appointment.  Otherwise, you run the risk of #2 (“Overthinking”).

4.  Tell No One (or someone)

Have you ever called someone before you did something risky because you knew they’d talk you out of it?  Don’t call that person this time. If you absolutely have to… feel free to tell your closest companions (but maybe after your lesson just to be safe). A study covered by Psychology Today revealed that the most successful resolutions come from people with great self-efficacy. Meaning:  They believe that they were in control of their success, not anyone else.  Not to mention – you’re not the only human that has the capacity to overthink things.  The last thing you want is someone you know to talk you out of this resolution.

5.  Find Three Benefits

Don’t panic.  We’ll help you find them.  Well, first… there’s learning how to dance.  That’s a biggie.   Now let’s examine some of the other great side effects from this activity that you may not have even realized are included. Whether it’s weight loss, happiness, stress relief, or self confidence –  there are plenty of additional benefits to learning to dance. Here’s an idea:  Pick a few and share them with your teacher so you can knock them out faster.

6.  Open the Door

This should be taken in every sense of the phrase. Open the door to the possibility that within five minutes of your first lesson, you could be dancing.  How cool is that?  And yes, you will need to, literally, open the door to your house, to your car, and to the dance studio to make this all possible.

7.  Skip The Criticism

Want to know the secret to actually following through with a resolution? Sticking with it. This isn’t just a snarky thing to say to people who make resolutions, studies actually show that people with the best success failed at some point, but continued. You wouldn’t let one donut get in the way of a fitness resolution, so don’t let a missed step in your dancing do that either.

8.  Celebrate and Redirect

Did you show up?  Celebrate. Did you have more fun that you thought?  Celebrate. 

Did you reveal to your friends and family that you have a new dance hobby?  Mega-Celebration.

In addition to the high fives, the positive posts on facebook, or a sake bomb if that’s how you roll – this is also a time to redirect your strategy.  Each little celebration is a rung up the ladder.  Once you’re there, and the confetti has fallen, it’s time to raise the stakes, map out your strategy, and move up another rung.  Do strike while the iron is hot, but don’t quit while you’re ahead.

There are plenty more great dance milestones, benefits, and exciting dance journeys in the future.