Emerald Ball’s 30th Anniversary!

Wayne and Donna Eng are pleased to announce the 30th Anniversary of the Emerald Ball!

 

This year is bound to be bigger than ever before, and you won’t want to miss it! The Emerald Ball is one of the longest-running Dancesport competitions in the United States. It started 56 years ago under dance legends Ken & Sheila Sloan and now 30 years under Wayne & Donna’s supervision. The Emerald Ball attracts every status of dancer from beginners to professionals from Dancing With the Stars. It’s always the beginning and finale of the Dance Vision Circuit and a great place to see where your rank is in the national spotlight. Original organizer Ken Sloan will also be attending the big celebration!

Wayne and Donna Eng competing in the 1980’s

The Emerald Ball has an unmistakable and excitable charisma that has attracted dancers from all around the world! As Wayne says, it’s all about energy. He even uses an energy healer to help him incorporate his energy as effectively as possible while at the Emerald Ball.

A happy, excited energy always draws crowds of people, and we believe that’s part of the charm of the competition.

Rather than using status to intimidate newcomers, the Emerald Ball encourages new dancers to set new goals and see where they rank. It also gives them a chance to participate in a dancesport competition and get a feel for it. For the pros, it’s the beginning of the circuit, the starting point for the rest of the year, and a chance to compete against friends and colleagues that come every single year.  It’s even great for visitors and family members, particularly during the Pro and Show Dance portions. There’s something for everyone at the Emerald Ball!

Don’t miss the 30th Anniversary Celebration!

Mayo Alanen – How To Create Your Own Art On The Dance Floor!

 

Mayo Alanen is ranked second in the world and was a featured professional on Dancing With the Stars.

He is incredibly dedicated to the success of his students and well respected in the dance community. A talent scout spotted him at the Emerald Ball and he was on the show a year later. Alanen now lives in New York and has students from all over the continent who enjoy learning from him as he teaches professional ballroom dance, specializing in American Smooth.  He donates to charity by competing often and is passionate about bettering the community around him.

Make the world a better place – through dancing!

We agree when he says you should take your art and truly make it your own. Of course there is a time to ask for help, or to strictly follow an expert’s advice. However, we adore the emphasis he places on really taking your art and making it mean something to you. Each participant has a unique view that makes them special and memorable. He sees his students and other dancers as equals, and believes in all of them.

Alanen mentions a charity he created with one of his students. He and Aiyesha Dey donate their winnings to a different charity, giving them a bigger purpose and motivating them to work harder.

Join them as they help the world around us with programs like Meals On Wheels, supporting seniors that are living in solitude and hunger. They also worked with Dancing Dreams to raise funds that provided disabled children weekly dance therapy classes. Donations are also given to the Child Welfare project that supports underprivileged children in Bengal, India. The charity purchases school uniforms, meals, extracurricular activities, and study materials.

Dance for a bigger purpose! Donate and learn more here: https://competingforacause.org/

An Interview with Jenell Maranto

We have the privilege of sharing with you an interview from Jenell Maranto!

She is the owner and teacher with Jim Maranto of the Academy of Ballroom Dance in Phoenix, AZ.  Jenell is a Fellow of the Imperial Society Ballroom Branch and has produced numerous US Ballroom Champions. She is also a DVIDA examiner.

Let’s begin with, what was the most challenging dance routine you have performed or learned?

Every performance is challenging for me because I’m always nervous.

 

Your favorite dance performance?

My favorite thing is competition.  Competition is fun and makes me happy   Being alone on the floor performing is not as satisfying.

 

Who/what inspired you to start dancing?

When I saw Australian Ballroom Champions Kerry Wilson & Ann Harding perform in 1981 in Reno Nevada, I knew I had to lean how to ballroom dance.

 

What is your most memorable experience in dance?

My most memorable experience in dance was winning the U.S. Professional Smooth Championships in 1993-94

 

What is your favorite quote?

Once a mind has been stretched, it never regains its original shape.

 

What do you look for when judging a Pro/Am competition?

When judging Pro/Am I look for; Assured footing, balance over ones own feet, musicality, body stretch, and partnership.

 

What considerations go into turning Pro?

I was already a professional dancer before I learned ballroom so I didn’t know I had a choice but when my Pro/Am student – Jim Maranto won the U.S. American Smooth Championship we decided to turn Pro together and compete with the big kids.  I already owned my own dance studio and Jim joined me and started teaching. It was a great decision for both of us.

 

And finally, what would you like to tell dance students that you wish you knew when you started dancing?

No regrets, being in the ballroom dance business has always been great for me.

Stay tuned for more interviews!

Click Here to view Instructional videos by Jenell Maranto for Dance Vision

How To Have The Heart To Win – David Hamilton

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

To learn how to keep moving forward in the face of adversity, keep reading.

David Hamilton had many roadblocks to overcome to reach the success he has today. Firstly, at the peak of his career, his partner Olga Foraponova decided to stop competing in Dancesport competitions to start a family. Having recently grown his status as a professional dancer, he knew if he stopped it would be the death of his career. So for the next few competitions, he competed without a consistent dance partner, which can be risky. On top of this, his entire career David struggled physically. He was born with 6 lower lumbar instead of 5 in his back, causing nerve pain; which was worsened by a car accident. A necessary back surgery reduced his flexibility by 33% in his back. He knew even then, to give up at that moment would have been the end of everything he had worked toward. Even with discomfort and charlie-horse like pains in his legs that he felt during a final Viennese Waltz competition that would define his championship title, he won 2nd place! What does he credit it all to?

Persistence.

Don’t fall into the trap of learning to accept something as it is if it isn’t what you want.

To reach your goals, you must:

  1. Design your life with intent, and reject what does not fit.
  2. Be quick-witted. Navigate intelligently and consider the consequences of your next step to the best of your ability.
  3. Be self aware. Appreciate your strengths, accept your weaknesses, and define yourself with both of these in mind.
  4. Advocate for yourself as a professional. Stand up for what you want and who you are so believably that no one can deny you.
  5. Lastly, be grateful. Faith in the future comes from knowing what good can come of doing what you’re afraid of, or what is difficult. You will never feel like good things are in your future until you appreciate what you have already experienced, and decide that you want more.

Now, through his Persistence, David Hamilton is an American Style Smooth Champion with the national time with his first partner, Teresa Shiry. That title is followed by two more with Olga Foraponova. He also has three  World Showdance finalist titles and 68 National Dance Council Championship event titles. He does lectures on smooth at competitions and now owns Dance World of Nashville where he coaches.

To be successful, persist!

Our Hot Picks for June!

Summertime is here! Now’s the time to learn exciting social dances to enjoy throughout the season. We have handselected some of our favorite video lessons taught by world-renowned champions and teachers with a reputation that can’t be beat.

American Style Rhythm DVIDA Bronze Cha Cha Syllabus by Donald Johnson & Kasia Kozak

Cha Cha is one of our most requested dance videos. The perfect dance for a night out, Donald Johnson and Kasia Kozak break down this fun, lively dance here:

International Style Tango Technique by Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova

Taught by the winners of 2018 Blackpool Dance Festival, Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova demonstrate tango with annotations to show each move they are doing. Check it out here:

DVIDA Bronze Salsa Syllabus by Felipe Telona Jr & Carolina Orlovsky

Watch a fun and easy breakdown of the exciting salsa here by Felipe Telona Jr and Carolina Orlovsky! Perfect for hot summer nights:

International Latin Samba Technique by Shirley Ballas

Former Latin champion Shirley Ballas expertly breaks down Samba Lock timing in this easy to follow video! Watch here:

Join us for our Instagram giveaway!

Dance Vision Circuit is offering a free 1 month subscription to Dance Vision’s dance video library

to the winner! Visit their instagram for details: https://goo.gl/oKwmz4

Blackpool 2018 Winners – Congratulations Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova!

Katusha Demidova and Arunas Bizokas are an aspiring Standard Ballroom professional dancer’s dream come true. The couple took the title at Blackpool Dance Festival for the 8th year in a row!

Katusha and Arunas are the current World Professional Ballroom Champions, British Open Champions, United Kingdom Champions, International Champions, and 3 times United States Champions. From the beginning of their dance partnership, Katusha and Arunas took the Dancesport community by storm. One month into their dance partnership they won the Ohio Star Ball. Two months in, they were competing in the United Kingdom Open Championships. There they placed second among the top dancers of the world. By September of 2009, after dancing together for only two years, they won their first World Championship title.

The couple draws your eyes with their irresistible charm and a chemistry that can’t be faked. Katusha and Arunas now run Rogers Dance Center in Hackensack, New Jersey. The gorgeous dance studio where they teach everything from social dancing to dancesport competition training. Katusha and Arunas continue to improve and learn their dancing and pass on their wisdom and knowledge to students of all age.

Congratulations on winning first place in Blackpool for 8 years in a row, to one of the most loved and well respected dance couples around!

Argentine Tango – Improvisation

Ginger Rogers once said, “When two people love each other, they don’t look at each other, they look in the same direction.” While you may not always be in love with your Argentine Tango partner (or you might!), the intimate nature of the dance resonates with this saying. To dance the Argentine Tango is not to mirror each other; instead, it is about acting and reacting. The dancers have two very different objectives, working in tandem to create the beautiful tango. Let us further explain the objectives of each dancer.

Argentine Tango is a series of improvised movements that are executed by two independent individuals. There are no basic tango steps, no checklist of steps to complete before the end of a song. A good leader must have the sense about him not only to choose the next move, but to invite his partner to make that step in a way that is clear to her. She must accept the invitation, complete the movement, then regain her balance. Once she is ready again to follow, he invites her again.

The follower may indicate that she would like to stop for a moment and add an adornment, which the leader can accept and allow her to add to the dance, or he can choose to continue in the steps that he planned next. This allows the follower to add her own flair to the dance, and perhaps give the leader a moment of stillness to design their next move. The leader must be dependable, but flexible, and wait for his follower to be ready to follow him again. The follower must be agile, adaptable, and trust the leader.

If you are new to the Argentine Tango, try listening to your partner in this way. Leaders, wait for your follower to regain her balance before you invite her to follow you again. Followers, don’t be afraid to communicate that you want to slow down and add to the dance. Your personality and how you improvise together is what makes the tango so extraordinary!