Guest Post: Finding the Best Fitting Latin Dance Shoes by Yami Dance Shoes

It’s an exciting moment when you buy your very first pair of real dance shoes. It’s like going from being a person who dances to a honest-to-goodness dancer! Anyone who has shopped for dance shoes though knows that finding the right pair of shoes isn’t always easy. Different brands fit differently, and just because others love a specific brand doesn’t mean that brand’s shoes will fit your feet. I remember shopping for a pair of Latin shoes and trying on different brands. It was interesting to me to see how one popular brand didn’t fit the heel of my foot, no matter which style I tried.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of dance shoes, then please check out this guest article by Tina Lee-Almazar of Yami Dance Shoes! She provides some great insight and tips into what to look for when shopping for dance shoes. Happy (and pain-free) dancing!

Continue reading

Back in the Studio

Happy Monday, dancers! I like to call today 50% off Chocolate Day. I used to go to the drug store every February 15 to stock up on discounted heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. Now I don’t go to any stores! And my diet is considerably healthier these days, so we’ll leave the February 15th tradition with my younger self.

I got to spend part of my Valentine’s Day at the dance studio. It’s the first time I’ve been there for at least a month. I took an 11-day cross country trip and quarantined before and after. If you’re curious, you can read what it’s like to fly during a pandemic. It’s crazy how much more time and effort a trip requires these days, if you’re doing everything you can to stay safe.

Continue reading

You Keep Falling Because You Don’t Believe You Can Fly

Way back in 2015, when The Girl with the Tree Tattoo blog was still in the Newcomer division, I wrote an article for another dance website about partnering. I listed trust as one of three key factors for a successful dance partnership. Trust is a funny thing. It is like a house of cards, built up slowly over time, but one wrong move can make the entire structure collapse. It’s very fragile, and at the same time, holds very strong influence over us. We are willing to give so much of ourselves to those we trust without question.

In ballroom dancing, you have to trust your partner. You have to trust in their ability to dance and lead or follow (depending on your role). On a more emotional level, you have to trust them to respect you as you allow them into your personal space. The physical contact required for ballroom dancing (another key factor) can make you feel extremely vulnerable. It takes trust to ease that feeling and make you feel comfortable enough to dance well.

Ballroom dancing also requires trust in yourself.

Continue reading

A 2020-Style Dance Showcase

I have an actual dance event experience to share with you today! The last one was California Open in February, a.k.a. a lifetime ago. This dance event was…different. And not just by the fact that it was a showcase, not a competition. It was different by the fact that I have already shared the dance experience with you. This is the viewing part of the experience. It was different by the fact that I attended opening night from my couch at home.

Of course, different doesn’t mean better or worse. Just…different.

Continue reading

Dancing Back Into Society: The First Dance Lesson

Happy Fourth of July, dancers! Does it feel different to anyone else? Well, to be fair, every day of 2020 feels different than the years before. But this Independence Day in particular feels significant because it follows a month of protests and demonstrations over the fact that so many citizens of this country still don’t enjoy the freedoms that this country is so proud of.

The energy has quieted down on my social media feeds as people return to their “regularly scheduled programming” after expressing support or solidarity for social justice for a week or so. And now it’s Independence Day! It feels like a prime opportunity/symbolic transition point to commit long term to evolving into a better country that believes that all are created equal (no qualifier necessary).

For my part, I’m continuing to work to evolve into a better dancer and person overall. As we go through this series, I’ll share different parts of my vision for my future self. Something that the last few months has made me recognize (and I can’t remember if I’ve already shared this with you) is that our ballroom bubble is an illusion.

Continue reading

It’s ok if you don’t feel like dancing right now

Officially two weeks in with this new “stay at home” reality (technically it’s been about a week and a half by order of the state but I started earlier). Week 1 was stressful and surreal, like “crap, is this really happening?” Week 2 was more contemplative. Yes, this is happening and it could be happening for a long while.

It’s been interesting to see how the dance community has reacted to their entire industry essentially being put out of work until further notice. Some reacted quickly to shift their services online and minimize disruption of their business. Some have shifted to giving away their services and asking for donations to keep them afloat. Others are simply showing up online frequently with inspirational messages and short dance demonstrations to encourage people to keep moving. The common thread is no one is ready to give up.

Continue reading

Dancing in the Time of COVID-19

We are living through some crazy times right now. I received official orders from the day job on Friday to work from home until further notice (we haven’t had any positive cases, but the company decided to play it safe). I went to five different stores on my way home and none of them had a single roll of toilet paper (I’m down to two “mega” rolls so I’ll be fine for a little while, but yeesh!). Major sporting events and huge theme parks are shutting down. Even the ballroom world is being hit hard with dance competitions being cancelled or postponed, and group classes and practice parties at local dance studios being cancelled until further notice.

Continue reading