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Who’s Ready to Do the Can Can?

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The Can Can was a popular music hall dance in France during the 1840s, with its vigorous twirling of skirts and high kicks. High energy and physically demanding, it was the talk of the French cabaret a scandalous association given the modest nature of society at the time. Both men and women danced it, but because of the high kicks, splits and cartwheels, the possibility of revealing a women’s pantalette was provocative and inappropriate. In certain instances, there were a few dancers of the Can Can that were arrested for performing, despite the dance never being officially banned. Performed most famously at the Moulin Rouge, a few men became Can Can stars, but the dance is more widely recognized as being danced by women, often seen danced in chorus lines. In the 1890s one could make a decent living dancing Can Can. Some of the Moulin Rouge favorites were Valentin le Désossé and his frequent partner La Goulue.

Positions and Kicks

To start a Can Can stand with at least 5 people standing side by side, to form a line. Lay your hands on the shoulders of the people on either side of you. Kick your legs in unison to the beat. These kicks can be as remedial or as complicated as the choreographer wishes. The pace is often quite fast. The most basic of moves is to kick up the knee bring leg foot back to the floor and then do a straight leg kick.

Splits and Cartwheels

There are also the splits and cartwheels incorporated into the performance. One of the crowd-favorite ending moves was a sweep to the side leg kick that slides down into the splits.

Music

The music was first danced to Galop or Quadrille music. Both popular dances in the 19th century. Jaques Offenbach composed a song specifically for the can can—“Orpheus in the Underworld Overture,” which became the most recognizable Can Can song. Inspiring other composers such as Aram Khachaturian and Franz Lehár, and artists from Picasso to Toulouse-Lautrec. There have even been movies and operettas inspired by this dance. The Merry Widow in 1905, and Moulin Rouge in 1952 and again in 2001.

The Can Can, though risqué, has been of the most celebrated dances in the world of dance.

Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.

Top 3 Dance Moves Learned from Michael Jackson

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Michael Jackson was one of the most influential choreographers in dance history. His ability to push the boundaries of what dance could look like have inspired and been celebrated by many in the dance world for so many years he was dubbed the “King of Pop.”  His moves are some of the most recognizable and innovative that you see so many variations even still in today’s choreography. Jackson was born in August of 1958. His career as a performer started at the early age of six and continued to entertain the world until his death in 2009. Although he can be credited with a barrage of iconic moves there are a few that are the most recognizable and beloved.

The Grab and Thrust

The first trademark moves and easiest to learn would be the Crotch Grab coupled with the pelvic thrust.
Grab the crotch of your pants then stand with knees bent one foot behind the other. Move hips back then thrust the entire pelvis forward. Arm placement for this move often varies.

The Spin

The next is the Spin. this move has been performed for many years, even before Jackson’s time but he threw a new flare into it.
Hop to the right spreading arms out to your sides parallel to the floor. Then cross your right foot over the left pulling your arms into your chest (as if to hug yourself) quickly turn to your left 360 degrees ending facing the same direction you started in.

The Moonwalk

3rd and most famous of all of Jackson’s moves is the Moon Walk. It is best to start out practicing this move wearing only socks and on a smooth surface.
Stand with weight on the ball of the left foot (heel raised) and the right foot flat on the floor several inches behind the left. Slide the right foot back keeping the foot flat to the floor. Then switch your weight to the ball of your right foot (heel raised) and slide the left foot back along the floor keeping the foot flat to the floor.

Dancers all over the world have been influenced by Jackson, and he was referred to as a dancer with the fanciest feet on the street.

Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.

 

Get Your Click “On” with Tap!

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Tap dancing is one of the most recognizable forms of dancing, and one of the most fun to learn. It’s danced using the sound if the shoe hitting the ground in rhythm. Different styles of tap are: post-modern, Broadway, Jazz (rhythm), and classical. The post-modern over the last three decades spotlights a narrative in the routine. Tap has roots in clog dancing Irish jigs and African tribal dances. Vaudeville (a form of variety show) is where the style made its mark, but was seen danced in minstrel shows in the 1800’s. In the 1920’s a chorus line entered the stage wearing tap shoes, which defined the dance.

Tap Steps

There are 4 fundamental steps in Tap dancing that any beginner should learn—the shuffle, ball change, single buffalo, step heel, and heel step.

The shuffle:  a two-move combo—the brush and the strike. The brush: stand on one leg and bend and lift the opposite leg off the ground. turn both feet outwards without dropping the raised leg. Swinging your foot forward and pointing your foot so the ball (only) brushes the floor. The strike is performed with your leg swinging backwards instead, still making sure to brush the ball of the foot.

The ball change: Feet parallel but not touching. Rise to the balls of your feet, right foot back staying on the ball, simultaneously lifting the left foot from the floor. Rock your weight to the other side and switch feet.

The buffalo: Step on to the ball of your right foot lift the left foot and do a shuffle, return to original position and hop onto the ball of the foot, placing it behind your right foot, and simultaneously lift your right foot into the air in front of you. Bend the right knee out making your toe end on the opposite of your left foot.

Step heel and heel step: the latter places one foot in front of the other bring the heel down first, bringing down the ball of your foot. Repeat with the other foot and do this move for a few feet. The reverse is the step heel, placing the ball of your foot down before the heel.

Tap is a fun and energetic style of dance for beginners.

Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.

 

Time to Dabble with the Dabble

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The Dabble (dabbing) was a step that hit the mainstream after Cam Newton, quarter back for the Carolina Panthers, during touchdown celebrations. However, the moves origins came from the Atlanta hip hop community, where credit for the craze mostly goes to Quality Control labeling.

In September of 2015, they released “B*#@ Dab”. Bringing controversy to where credit is due, Skippa Da Flippa’s “How Fast” shows the move and was released in July of 2014. Migos of Quality Control Labeling conceded the credit and Skippa was named the moves creator. In 2015 XXL magazine reported on the popularity of the dance move that they were seeing in clubs and on street corners. This dance move has become so well-known it’s is being done by royals, politicians, and celebrities all over the world, even making its way into video game avatar taunts.

There are countless memes of the dance move and just as many GIFs. Prince Harry has been seen dabbing. Jeremy Corbyn has an animated campaign election ad of him dabbing. A woman even did it during a bill signing in the President’s office. Dabbing has also been done during news casts and on awards stages and during political debates. Even the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta learned the move to appeal to the younger population.

Music

There are many songs with lyrics that mention dabbing, and a variety of music genres that dabbing is being danced to. It’s an easy little move that you can slip into any dance or even as a gesture of triumph. The move is intended show extreme excitement about something. Many jokingly mention its similarity to an exaggerated sneeze.

The Move

Dabbing is quite easy to do.

You point one arm up towards the sky keeping your fingers outstretched and bow your head down to the bent crook of the opposite arm.

Both arms should be at the same angle with both hands pointed.

This move is often incorporated into other dances—the Whip/Nae Nae, for instance.

You see some version of it in a lot of hip hop choreography lately. So, if you’re looking for something to add a little expression to your day, dabble in the Dab.

Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.

Line Dancing Isn’t Just for Cowboys

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Line dancing became most popular in the 1970’s with such dances as the electric slide, and the Cha cha, and the cupid shuffle. However, it all began with the Madison. The height of its popularity was in the 1950’s, and in 1961 The San Francisco Stomp embodied the definition of a line dance. Line dancing is a dance done in a group. Dancers line up in rows doing synchronized moves, often not meeting one another.

Line dancing stemmed from contemporary disco, although country and western line dancing emerged at the same time. “Country line dancing” is what most people think of when they think of line dancing. The most well-known Country line dance songs that helped to bolster the dance were “Cowboy Boogie,” and “Walkin’ Wazi.” Many different musical styles have been inspired by this dance, such as rhythm and blues, disco, swing, and Latin. Country and western line dancing usually includes the two-step, western promenade, and variations of the polka and swing. In the 1970’s the disco version of line dancing brought new life to the style.

Even though in the decades since line dancing has been synonymous with country music, these days that is no longer the case. The versatility of this style is what keeps it going. Pop, rock and hip-hop line dance songs can get people up and moving.

Line Counts

The count for line dancing is either individual-1,2,3,4 or double- 1&2 3&4. There are four categories One step, two step, Waltz or Cha cha.

Some of the basic moves of line dancing are as follows:

One count steps
Step (one count)
Right Vine ( three counts)
Left Vine (three counts)
Touch Tap (one count)
Scuff (one count)
Stomp (one Count)
Double count steps:
Triple step (1&2)
Forward Shuffle (1&2)
Sailor Step (1&2)
Rumba Box (eight counts)
Toe switches (two counts)
Rolling Vine (three counts), just to name a few.

The versatility makes line dancing one of the most popular and fun group dances to date. Whether you are two stepping to “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’S or doing the “Tootsee Roll” by 69 Boyz, there is a version of this dance for all kinds. Anyone can learn to grapevine with their friends.

Arthur Murray is ready to make you move! Dance on in to our location at: 1711 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404, or call us at (812) 334-0553.

Good Timing Comes from Learning Salsa

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Learning salsa has many benefits. It’s an excellent work out that gets you sweating, but you are having too much fun to notice. It builds confidence, and it helps you develop better coordination and memory. Salsa is a partner dance, emphasizing synced rhythm, but one aspect is important above all others, and is difficult to master: Timing. 

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Your Dance Class Will Create Friendships

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Dancing, as with any work out, releases endorphins, one of which is called oxytocin. Branded the “bonding and love hormone,” oxytocin plays a role in social bonding and sexual reproduction. It is also the hormone that underlies trust and is released during breastfeeding. In a dance class the opportunity for social bonding is very high. There is a level of trust dance classes and troupes develop in one another. You will meet new and interesting people from all walks of life, who are like minded. Who like you, either want to improve their body or improve their mood.

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Do the Funky Chicken

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In 1969, Rufus Thomas wrote “Do the funky chicken.” It became #5 in the R&B chart and #28 on the US pop chart in 1970 and was produced by Al Bell and Tom Nixon. It featured the instrumentals by the Bar Keys and the guitar stylings of Michael Toles. The song was the title track on Thomas’s 1970 LP Do the Funky Chicken. After performing with Willie Mitchells band, Thomas improvised the song as a novelty like most of the songs on the record. Thomas was quoted as saying that the inspiration for the song came to him in the middle of a performance, and he just separated each move in the lyrics. Thomas was also a radio DJ and incorporated one of his regular shticks from his show into the song.

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