There are many annual events that the Arthur Murray community looks forward to, and Dance Camp is high on that list. Our dance studio’s camp is a few days away on Saturday, March 23 and promises to be a full day of dance learning and fun. If you attended last year, you probably feel as though Saturday just can’t get here fast enough. If you’re a current student planning on camping for the first time, you’re in for a real treat. With competitive dancer and traveling coach Dani Atkins at the helm, this camp spices up your weekend with new ballroom skills.
What Is Camp?
Designed for current students, Dance Camp is a full day of focused, themed group classes taught by Dani Atkins. A professional competitor, Dani travels to Arthur Murray dance studios around the country as a consultant and coach. We are so fortunate to have her visit us. She might have trained many of your favorite instructors! In fact, don’t be surprised if you’ll be learning from Dani right alongside your instructors at Dance Camp. All of our studio’s instructors attend camp, learning tips and techniques to incorporate into their own teaching.
There will be seven sessions total, each lasting 40 minutes. The first six sessions are open to current students, while the last is reserved for our advanced students.
What Can I Expect at Camp?
Dance Camp is a supportive environment with specialized teaching in which students can learn tools to use in and out of our studio. Each session typically has between 8 to 15 students, with partners rotating throughout. Students are free to ask Dani questions along the way and take videos of her instructions if they wish. Our dance studio’s instructors will be there to help and will follow up on the material Dani covers after camp. The best way for students to put Dani’s teachings into use is through private lessons.
The themes for Dance Camp change every year. We’re excited about this year’s line-up:
- 11:45 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. East Side vs. West Side
The first session will focus on the lively swing style of dance! It will dive into the high energy moves that are distinctive of the East Coast swing (such as triple time and old time clock) and explain how the West Coast swing embodies a more slow, jazzy vibe (think “Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Crocker).
- 12:30 p.m. -1:10 p.m. I Like to Move It, Move It
Get ready to travel the floor because this session is all about the smooth dance styles! Dani will demonstrate tips on how to achieve a better quality of movement during smooth dances, such as pushing yourself on your foot and using your ankles along the way.
- 1:15 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Where Is My Head At?
Our third session will focus on the importance of head positioning. Dani will address how the weight of your head assists with overall balance and posture when dancing. Your head can help you turn faster, follow more effectively and improve your overall look as a dancer.
- 2:00 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Shape It Up
If you’ve snapped an image or seen a photo of a waltz, foxtrot or tango dancer, you might notice how every move looks camera-ready. Smooth dancers are trained that every movement is a picture. Dani will demonstrate shapes you can make with your body and how to properly assure that you and your partner would be captured beautifully in a photo.
- SNACK BREAK
- 3:15 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Country Western – Giddy up! In this session, Dani will teach techniques to perfect your two-step or shuffle.
- 4:00 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. The Secrets to Competition & Performance – Glitz? Glamour? Bling it on! In this session, Dani will unlock how students can add more pizzazz to their overall look and performance during a competition or performance. Whether you are or aren’t a competitive dancer, this session will cover how you can add flare and stand out socially in a competitive environment.
- 4:45 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. I’m a Hustler (For Bronze 3 or 4 and above or advanced students) – End your day at camp by chiming into your inner John Travolta. Reserved for our Full Bronze students, this session will focus on the hustle. Dani will be teaching our advanced group cool, new patterns for this flashy and upbeat style. Everyone is welcome to watch this session!
Dance Camp will also feature a relaxed, freestyle event where students will pair with instructors to show off their best moves. Dani will select a winning couple based on leading, following and technique. (No rehearsal required.)
What Should I Bring to Camp?
In the words of Instructor Arden Sarver, “Students only need to bring a willingness to learn.” Light snacks will be provided so grab a comfortable pair of dancing shoes and plan to be here on Saturday!
How Do I Sign Up and What’s the Deadline?
Stop by the office this week or give us a call at (248) 548-4770. There is no deadline! Dance Camp is a no-pressure opportunity; you can simply show up. We understand life gets busy and it can be hard to plan ahead so if you wake up Saturday morning and feel the dancing jitters, just head on over. Thanks to our beautiful, large ballroom, we can easily accommodate current students as walk-ins.
It’s sure to be a jam-packed day, so save your weekend errands for another time and join us this Saturday, March 23!