We have classes back this week. Mask are encouraged, but dance can be physical so we understand if you feel the need to take it off when dancing. The instructors will have theirs on - unless they need to speak loudly to a group.
This week in the group classes we are doing:
Even though we are back, we do seem to live in volatile times. I am thus thinking about doing the next awards night on a regular teaching night to limit uncertainty. You will hear from your instructor about it this week.
Finally, I was watching Avengers End Game and there was a scene to show how two characters spent their lives after having another chance. It was communicated through dance. A way of dance that is simple, allows for considerable intimacy, but is not seen much today. So I thought I would share that scene with you here.
See you in the studio this week.
Because there are no classes this week due to the snap lockdown, I thought it best to share insights and motivation for good dance.
I have spoken in class before about the need for complex/compound movement and how that looks better.
I can keep saying this, but sometimes a visual helps.
After seeing the quote "That girl has more moving parts than an expensive Swiss watch." for the music video for the The McCoys' Hang On Sloopy I thought to myself that this is indeed a good example of such movement.
You will be unlikely to dance like this woman with a partner, but it's good to know what's possible.
There is a bit in this update:
Please join me in welcoming Kim - https://www.destinedance.com.au/kim.html - to the team. Kim has had quite a diverse dance career starting in 1981. This includes ballroom and other styles that gives her great insights she is excited to share with everyone.
New contact details
The studio now has a new phone number - 8774 9614. This is because of a shift to a more flexible phone system.
Now that COVID seems to be restricting what we do less, awards nights will be back. This is still being finalised, but start thinking about what you want to work on next to progress your ability. There is nothing like an awards night to hone that focus.
You might have seen this on the Facebook page or Instagram. On the 20th there is a bubblegum rock show at Carnegie Hall. This is a great chance to use your Lindy Hop, Jive, R'n'R and blues dance skills as they were intended. Get back to me if you would like to come along so I can add you to the Destine Dance table.
A slight change to the business model
Thanks to everyone who has helped our wedding couples by watching them do their last rehearsal with us. This helps the couple get used to performing for an audience so the actual event is not as daunting.
And it seems to have paid off. The popularity of the wedding dance lessons at Destine Dance are such that we are 3rd on the first page when you type "wedding dance lessons in Melbourne" into Google.
For that reason we will be expanding our wedding dance lesson offering to other areas around Melbourne. If you ever hear of someone getting married, then please let them know about us.
New video in the members' area
The bronze Lindy Hop routine is now up on the members area. Contact your private lesson teacher to get the password - it has changed.
Classes this week
This week in the group classes:
See you on the dance floor
In this last update for 2020, I wanted to say thanks to everyone.
The last 4 weeks were an excellent way to finish up the year at Destine Dance. I had no idea how many people would come in and what the vibe would be like. But it was a great experience.
I hope that it was also a great one for everyone who came in.
I am now formulating plans to come out swinging in 2021. It seems people are keen to start living life again. And I am more than happy to help with that.
Keep an eye out for future updates about the specific plans for next year.
The general plan is to open officially in February, but there might be some special one off events in January.
In this update:
This week we will see the year out with:
Tuesday Street Latin (6:30pm) - Salsa and Bachata (the classic street Latin dance around now)
Wednesday Latin and ballroom (7:30pm) - Waltz and Rumba (we have not done Rumba for a while and waltz is another classic)
Thursday Swing and Rock & Roll (6:30pm) - Blues and west coast swing (they went well last week and people seemed keen to do some more west coast)
Plans for next year
The plan is to open officially in February. There are a few reasons for this:
I will also talk to the club about some minor use of the venue so there might be some odd events or lessons in the second half of January. I will keep you posted.
Because this has been a unique time, we are going to try some new things to see what people think of them.
First, the classes for this week:
You have probably noticed that the new things are all on Thursday. We are going to do some west coast swing and work on making you look cool in the blues.
West coast swing will be more the intro level because we do not do it a lot. However, if you want to know how far it can be taken, then check out one of my favourite west coast swing dance videos (note – this is all improvised):
West coast swing, like other swing dances, is a pretty useful one for most social events and popular music.
During lock down – and still now – Anita and I were doing online sessions with Katrina Rogers (who grew up blues dancing in the US). I will share some of the insights she shared with us on how to look good and be cool when dancing the blues. We will cover some new figures as well so you will look cooler and know some new moves.
Finally, next week will be the last week for the year. Let me know if there is any dance style(s) you would like to see the year out with.
See you on the dance floor this week
The first week back was one of the most remarkable for Destine Dance.
I was honestly unsure about what would happen. And it was indeed pleasing to have a week that had:
Check out the photos of some of the classes this week to see how happy people were to be
The group classes last week were mostly focused on recapping and that seemed to work well for most. So that's the plan for this week too. The only thing to change is that we will focus on some different dances this week. To recap the basics of the styles we teach. This week the classes will be:
Finally, thanks to everyone for the speed with which they were able to leave space for the capoeira group. It helps in these times to keep as much social distance between groups as we can.
I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor
It's an eventful update this one:
You might recall that our instructor Scott Everard was studying education. Well he now has work at Caulfield Grammar helping out around the school in different places, particularly around the boarding house doing administrative stuff for the heads of boarding. He will also be doing relief teaching. That means it is time to move on from Destine Dance. He was a great recourse for the studio. He had excellent rapport with students - I am sure his private students will miss him - and he brought great expertise on the swing based dances that highlighted his overall dance knowledge and ability. He did say he will also come in from time to time. So as well as wishing him all the best, we look forward to seeing him around in the future.
And this is the week of our return!
I am very keen to see you back on the dance floor and also simply interested to see what things will be like given the past. The next 4 weeks will be a time of reflection on what things are now like (I have little idea what to expect) to establish plans on what to do next year. It is a very interesting time full of potential and I am glad to be sharing it with you.
Also, I wanted to remind you of a few things:
See you on the dance floor
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted life for everyone. Adapting your plans to a global
pandemic isn’t easy, but in many cases, it’s still doable. Here how you can handle six different
life changes during the pandemic.
Buying a House
Some things can’t wait even during a pandemic — having a baby, starting a new job, and
moving house, to name a few. While optional upsizes and downsizes can be put off, some
homeowners have no choice but to move. Luckily, the real estate industry has wasted no time
adapting to the coronavirus pandemic. With 3D photography, virtual walk-throughs, and tours
via video chat, buyers can find a home without putting themselves or sellers at risk. Buyers may,
however, want to include contingencies in their offer in case the virus becomes an issue.
Having a Baby
Speaking of having a baby: This is one big change you can’t reschedule no matter what.
There’s no need to panic if you’re expecting a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. The risk of
an ill mother transmitting the virus in utero or during childbirth appears to be low, and hospitals
are taking precautions to minimize transmission in maternity wards such as limiting visitors.
Women with low-risk pregnancies also have birthing centers as a hospital alternative.
Starting a Job
Whether you accepted a job offer before stay-at-home orders were issued or got hired by an
essential business, the coronavirus pandemic has made it a strange time for workplace
onboarding. Your workplace may still be shut down due to the crisis, temporarily operating
remotely, or taking new precautions to prevent coronavirus transmission. If you’re being asked
to work remotely, find out what technology you need to excel at your new job. If you’re reporting
to a workplace, know how to keep yourself safe at work. And if that new job is on hold, learn
how to apply for unemployment benefits to help make ends meet until your first paycheck
Adopting a Pet
Not all changes are big and scary! People are also making little changes to brighten their lives
during the coronavirus pandemic, like adopting pets. While adopting a pet isn’t a decision to
take lightly, this is a good time to take the leap if you’ve been considering pet ownership for a
while. The extra time at home gives new pet owners plenty of time to train and bond with their
Spending More Time at Home
We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home this year. If your family is anxious, arguing a lot,
or complaining excessively, there are steps you can take to make your home a more positive
environment. This starts with eliminating clutter by putting things away or tossing items you no
longer use. Next, give your home a top-to-bottom cleaning. Finally, open up some windows and
let in as much natural light as possible.
You can also find some fun family activities to participate in whether that’s starting a family
dance party, practicing yoga together, or holding a backyard scavenger hunt.
Starting a Victory Garden
Some families have turned to their backyards to solve the challenges brought on by the
pandemic. Rather than frequenting grocery stores for their fresh vegetables, people have
revived the tradition of victory gardening. It doesn’t take much to get a garden growing if you
have a sunny patch in your backyard.
Navigating life changes is challenging enough without a pandemic thrown into the mix, but life
stops for no crisis. So, when one shows up, take the reins instead of backing down. With a can-
do attitude and the right tools, you can keep life moving forward no matter what.
You might have seen the post on facebook and you might have noted that indoor contact sports are now allowed.
Whether you have or not, the point is, we will be teaching classes for the end of November and into December to see 2020 out. Not a bad way to finish the year I reckon.
So starting on the week of the 23rd, we will be running group and private lessons.
You can see the details of the group lessons below:
If you want to pick up your private lessons, then drop your teacher a line or they will contact you. We do not have as much available time for private lessons so get in quick by contacting your teacher if you are interested and you want to secure time.
We are only teaching because contact indoor sports are now allowed. Our plan is within this context. We will ask that you:
Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to seeing you - even if half your face will be covered.
This blog is written by the staff at Destine Dance and is inspired by the questions and challenges faced by our students