Catherine Edwards shares her teaching methods and advice for couples preparing a dance for their wedding, drawing on five years of experience as a choreographer for Wedding Dance Houston. Follow her at https://www.weddingdancehouston.com, https://www.facebook.com/weddingdancehouston, and https://www.instagram.com/weddingdancehou/.

0 (0s):
Hello and welcome to the Dance talks. I’m your host Andrea Cody. Today is October 6th, 2020. And my guest is Catherine Edwards Catherine. If they certified ballroom dance instructor and choreographer, her company is Wedding Dance Houston, which is a program of Dance Houston. Catherine welcome to Dance talk. Thank you for having me. Thanks for talking with me today. Yeah. So let’s catch everybody up on your story, like how you got started dancing. Okay. Well, I started dancing when I was little. I started with tumbling class and then some ballet and tap and I enjoyed the tap.

0 (42s):
I enjoyed jazz ballet was difficult. I was very tall, very lanky. So it was everybody else is a very small, very petite. So I enjoyed the movements, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t working for me. The tap was a lot of fun. So I ended up joining up with a choir and I did show choir. So that gave me an insight into choreography. We had to choreograph some different Dance pieces to try out with a dance partner. And so we did a lot of partner dancing with lifts and all sorts of stuff. So then I really enjoyed that more so than ballet. So I put a lot of focus into that.

0 (1m 23s):
We did a couple of different Broadway productions and other kinds of productions, and I did that through high school. And, and then after that, it was a long break. So I didn’t really do any Dance until a year after college. And then when I was in Florida is where I found a studio that was offering training for ballroom dancing. So I started that back in about 2008, 2009, and then kind of just did that all the way through. And that’s where I got certified and competitive dancing and ballroom. And I had students that competed and did that all the way up until about 2013 and then took a break up until 2015.

0 (2m 10s):
And then that’s where I started working with Wedding Dance Houston okay, cool. Yeah. And their certification was in Devita, DaVita. What’s that training like it was a very rigorous, so it’s a lot of, you had to learn what the girl did and what the guy did. Umm, and you had to know exactly how far the foot was turning, like its 45 degrees to the left. My right. Foot’s going to step 45 degrees to the right left if it comes to right foot and close. So you had to, while you were dancing each step, the judges had to announce out loud what your feet were doing and what your body was doing at the same time. So my right, my right side is leading and then my right side is turning as my right foot turns out 45 years ago.

0 (2m 56s):
We had to do that for several dances. And then at the end of it, it’s it’s about an eight or eight or so Our test that you do. And then at the end of it, if you’ve completed it and done well, then you pass you and get a certification that’s a nationally recognized or, or a worldwide to. Yeah. Yeah. Is the training all really just about the movement and the connection or do you guys go into like the history or anything? Any other aspects of the Dance? I think we did a little history, but not a whole lot. It’s it’s mostly about the lead and the follow and knowing exactly what the footwork and the body is doing to really give you that.

0 (3m 38s):
I really know how to teach this step. Not just I can Dance it. So there’s a difference between you can just Dance it and being able to actually know exactly what the body is doing to cause that movement to happen. So ballroom dancing is so different from like the roots of each Dance, you know, where they come from. How do you think it developed or like when and why did it take on it’s like characteristics, do you think it’s just through the, through the competition and performance element that the dances became. So like, you know, canonized where everybody’s doing it the same way and it almost like, like turning it into like a sport with the rules where there can be a winner.

0 (4m 23s):
Yeah, of course I’m several years removed from students for the training, but yeah.

1 (4m 33s):
Yeah.

0 (4m 34s):
I think, you know, I know for sure, like, you know, tango is from Spain and Argentina, Argentina. They do a lot in Spain too. So as far as a lot of the moves go, a lot of the specific moves that go into tango have been added and specifically by a certain, you know, people are named, you know, the Viennese waltz of course has been done too for a long time in Vienna and in Germany, in that area. Right. I think a lot of like Fred Astaire when that kinda came around, when he started out and stuff, I think that’s kind of around when things started to get named and done and everybody was like, Ooh, I want to do this.

0 (5m 23s):
You know? And it was very popular to go out and have that kind of formal dancing. And so I’m sure it’s some from what used to be done, you know, people just remembering certain moves and then actually writing them down on paper, like, Oh, I remember my grandma taught me this move. And, but I think some of it also, you know, some of the other stuff was just making up moves that fit the timing and it was something that could be taught. And in succession, like you learn this basic move in Viennese waltz, and then now we’re going to learn this turn and then this, and then that way you kinda had, you know, steps one 10 and a Dance, that was something that you could teach across the board and then be able to use in competition.

0 (6m 5s):
So then when people went out to compete in it, you actually had a judging system to go on.

2 (6m 11s):
What was competing like for you?

0 (6m 15s):
Is this a whole different Orel it’s super early mornings. Umm, not a lot of sleep, which is so perfect for me then I love mornings, which I don’t. Right. I think, I think one of the times I had to be up at five or for 30 to start doing hair because you had to be breakfast eight by like six 37 and then between like seven 30 and eight 30 or so you were like on the floor practicing and by like eight or eight 30 you were competing. So you better have all your coffee, red bull and by 8:00 AM and dressed hair and makeup done.

0 (7m 1s):
So you had to come downstairs with your full outfit on, you know, maybe a jacket, so you didn’t get breakfast on you, but we’d all be sitting around a table, you know, dying in our coffee and our, you know, cereal cause everybody was so tired. And then you Dance from about eight til about noon and then they’d take a lunch break for an hour. And then after that, you Dance for a mountain noon until about five or so four 35. And usually competitions are anywhere from a short day. It’s just one whole day from like eight to six, but most of them are two or three days long.

0 (7m 45s):
So then you do that every single day for about three days. And then in the evenings they always have big fancy parties. So then after you danced, you have to go back upstairs, get all the hairspray out of your hair and, or, or keep it if you wanted to and then change clothes and to some kind of a nice formal attire where they would do like a five course meal at this, you know, like really nice banquet tables and stuff. And then they would have open dancing and stuff afterwards or just go to the bar and you know, drink till midnight, get up at five then the next morning at the time.

2 (8m 20s):
And again, it’s like a dance marathon.

0 (8m 22s):
It was a dance marathon.

2 (8m 24s):
Yeah. So did you go as a competitor or as like a pro am, you know, or with your clients, with your students? I didn’t mostly would the students. Okay.

0 (8m 35s):
I had one competitive student. I had a few that did local ones, which means that we didn’t really travel, you know, outside of just the city. But I had one that was, he did go a couple of places, even, you know, other spots in Florida. And so he and I did a lot. I think we, we would about anywhere from 200 to 300 entries for a competition, which is a lot of dancing. And you have to, you have to keep track of when you’re supposed to go up two. So you have a book that has all the heats in it and you have to go through and highlight all of them and make sure your on the floor.

0 (9m 17s):
Because if you don’t Dance for one, you know, there’s no going back. So you would have to kind of balance out. They don’t tell you, Oh, Katherine’s on the floor. And so, and so’s on the floor. You have to go look at the book and now I’m on the floor for the next four songs and to stay on the floor and you know, the no when to come off the floor and stuff. So there’s a whole lot, you know, not getting a lot of sleep over caffeinated at the food to regulate your own schedule. You’re dancing us all. So the next once a month you might start out salt and then you go, Oh, the tiny things to me for it let’s change this. So it was, but it was fun. There’s a lot of fun. Cool. Well, congratulations on your retirement from it is the competition circuit.

0 (10m 1s):
It’s also very expensive. I’ll stay. So the girls are rich. Do people spend? Yeah, I have a couple of dresses that are one is $800. One is like 2000. I had a lot of other ballroom dancers who actually were a very nice to me and gave me their outfits. So I got very high end outfits. A lot of people would go to thrift stores and buy old prom dresses and use those because on average, a very nice well to do like ballroom gown for a waltz or something that fit the criteria of what you’re supposed to wear. Cause you can’t have strapless. You can’t have, you know, certain things.

0 (10m 42s):
If you have tattoos, they need to be covered. It was anywhere from 800 to $5,000 for a dress. So if you think you’ve got to have, you know, you might want to have one for one day and you might want a different one the next day, then you have a Latin and swing outfit. So that was a whole different style of outfit with also it same, you know, you had to have a certain color tights to wear that were like skin color. You couldn’t have bare legs. You couldn’t wear a fishnet. And then the skirt has to be a certain length. It has to be, you know, appropriate. You can’t walk out there and like a bikini with a little hula skirt on, you know, you had to eat, it almost looks like a figure skater outfit except a little bit longer and the skirt, but it has this, you know, sleeves and stuff and didn’t you want something that’s catchy.

0 (11m 34s):
So you don’t want to walk out in the most boring dress because you want the judge’s to see you. So lots of sparkles, lots of glitter, glitter on the face. You know, I can’t tell you how many times I got glitter in my eyes while I was dancing from sweat. You know? So it’s it, you know, very extensive when you have to be tanned. So everybody gets spray tanned, a girl’s have short hair or you want to get, extension’s done to have longer hair, so you can pull it up and have like all this hair that moves. Certain hairstyles have to be done for Latin. Certain hairstyles have to be done for ballroom. So you would have your hair done one way, one day and then the next day or later on that day have to change it all up and pull it up into a real nice up do for your ballroom.

0 (12m 21s):
So then you have a lot of makeup and hairstylists that are always at competitions that cost a lot of money. I’m fortunate enough to have learned through all my years of choir and dance and performance of how to do my hair and makeup for shows. So I never had a problem doing my own stuff and had a lot of people that asked me to do it for them to save them to an extra 200, $300 for the hairstylist, but it gets extensive. So you end up spending, you know, just to get the look going for the competition, you know, $500, you know, even a hundred, just depending on what you know, how to do versus somebody else, having their nails done.

0 (13m 5s):
If you win a competition, you win money. But most of the time you would maybe break even with what you spent to go into it, if not lose, you know, money. So it’s just, it’s one of those. Like you do it because you love it. Not because your, you know what, you’re trying to walk away with a million dollars, right? Yeah. That’s cool. Yeah. So what brought you back to Houston? So after being in Florida for awhile, I don’t remember. I guess that was mad four, four years, five years in Florida. I’m at the time I was married.

0 (13m 46s):
And so we ended up coming over back to Houston where his family was at the time. It was right around at the time too, when a lot of stuff in the economy was a, we had kind of gone through a small recession back in about Oh eight Oh nine. So it Florida got hit kinda hard. It was hard to find work and keep working. The pay was not really that great. It was definitely struggling. So it was a good time to try to come back to Houston, you know, with my family, my friends and staff over there. So that’s what kind of led to the decision to go ahead and come back to Houston that I still still miss Florida.

0 (14m 31s):
I still miss the beaches and, and everything over there. That’s kind of a trip coming up and then I’ve a trip coming out. Then I’m going back to Florida. Like I do. What’s the town. I looked it up to st. Augustine. And tell us a little bit about that. Just for fun. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States that was built by the Spanish. I can’t remember the year, but it’s very early on. They established a Fort in kind of a camp set up their for themselves back when the Spanish ruled kind of a lot of the States down in the South.

0 (15m 11s):
And it’s just, it’s kept kinda the same feel since then. They never really changed it. They kept the downtown area with the very old timey structure buildings, the Spanish roofs, just very, very quaint, very cute. It’s a whole lot of fun to go to, especially if you enjoy history, lots of historic kind of tours and walks about that time. You know, very different from colonial America and the feel of their, this is a lot more Spanish history and stuff going on. So a really interesting to see what was going on down on this, you know, in Florida at the time when everybody was just colonizing up in America, you know, as we know it now, umm, and the beaches there to a spectacular, just really, really pretty.

0 (16m 3s):
And it’s I tell everybody, if you’re going to Florida, if you’re not doing Disney and you want a great place to stay, stay there because the food is fantastic, that people are a great lots of fun music and stuff to see them do that keeps everybody entertained without being super expensive. It looks really cute. It is. And it, you told me they have the fountain of you have a fountain of youth. There is a very cool, which is just a little tiny trickle of water out coming out of the ground. So it’s not quite a spectacular as you would imagine, but it’s, that’s where they feel like that it was at by the description that the Spanish said.

0 (16m 45s):
And so they have a whole little, you know, exhibit. So that way they can charge people, a lot of money to look at a trickle of water in the ground and drink from it.

3 (16m 53s):
Yeah.

0 (16m 55s):
You know, it’d be worth it if you’ve never been it it’s worth it. If you’ve been don’t do it again. Gotcha. Well you only need one drink when you say you only need one. So I did take one. So we’ll see, you know, ask me in 20 years if I still good. Okay, good. Good. So it’s working Catherine is actually 65, so its pretty impressive. Just doing I’m a miracle.

3 (17m 19s):
Okay. So thank you for including us it on August 18. Right? That sounds really fun. I hope you have an awesome trip.

0 (17m 27s):
Thank you. I’m excited. I haven’t gotten away all year.

3 (17m 32s):
Okay. Well let’s tell, tell us kind of give us an overview.

0 (17m 35s):
You have your second career with a really focusing on Wedding Dance so I guess I can go with how I kind of just started, fell into it. Teaching a ballroom studio was a lot of fun. It was a, I think a great learning experience, you know, starting out. But like I said, back in high school, I had to do a lot of choreography learning choreography, teaching it and creating my own dances, which I kind of enjoy them more creative aspect of getting to do that. And I did that some at the studio, but a lot of times you have regulations, you kind of have to Follow would the studio itself and how they want things to be taught.

0 (18m 18s):
So you can’t just like, well, I’m going to throw this thing together and it’s not really ballroom. It’s just kind of whatever I feel because in a way it would reflect on that studio. And if somebody in the town who worked in another studio saw somebody dancing, they’re like, Oh, where are you dancing? You know? And they say, Oh, well I take from blah, blah, blah. You know, then they’re like, well that’s not really ballroom. Like what are they doing? So I could see why it wouldn’t work.

4 (18m 46s):
But when I came back to Houston,

0 (18m 48s):
Ah, I, you know, I was just working at restaurants and stuff and that’s not my forte at all. So that’s when I started Googling just, you know, dance studios or whatever and fell upon Wedding Dance Houston and the way I really had never heard of anything specifically for Wedding Dance, but that was always a really fun thing to do when I was in the ballroom studio because they have such an excitement. It’s a couple that’s just starting out in life together. They haven’t quite hit that light 10 years where they’re like get away from me. So they’re still really excited and love, happy and getting to create something that kind of is like their big first step out as husband and wife, like a big look, what we can do type thing was really fun.

0 (19m 38s):
So finding a company that was working just in that area was like right down my alley and that’s when you and I started working together on it. And so that’s been something that’s just been, I think, just so much fun to do. And I maybe only had a handful of people like two or three where it was really difficult or trying to work with. But most it’s just, you get to meet new people, learn new people. If I go to their home, you see new homes, you get to see different areas of Houston learn what they do for a living make connections.

0 (20m 19s):
You never know who knows who.

4 (20m 23s):
And then sometimes, you know,

0 (20m 24s):
You get invited to weddings and get to be like kind of a part of their life or a part of their, their whole wedding thing and getting to be told things like you were our favorite vendor to work with, or you were the best part of getting married. Like that’s really fun to help kind of know that in a way, even though you are a vendor and you’re selling a service, it’s a fun service. So they’re actually getting to do something that’s much more fun than picking out a cake or trying on wedding shoes or something like that, where it’s not very personal. You get to learn something that you can do with your spouse later on in life.

0 (21m 6s):
So it’s like, you’re doing it for your wedding, but you’re you now know how to dance with your spouse anytime, anywhere you go somewhere do something. So,

3 (21m 14s):
Oh yeah. That’s awesome. Yeah. Well, we’ll get to that.

0 (21m 17s):
The trouble clients. Tell me about your, you know, the highlight, like what, what was your best experience I’ve had? I have had a few really great experiences. I will say my first couple that I taught one of my first ones that I booked fabulous. Couple, we, you still keep in touch and they, they took several lessons, but I got invited to the wedding. So that was maybe like my first or second a couple I ever taught through Wedding Dance Houston they love the lesson so much. They invited me to the wedding and it was just such a cool experience.

0 (21m 59s):
It was a, a traditional Indian

3 (22m 2s):
Wedding. So it was just, it was

0 (22m 5s):
Kind of, he was, you know, American. And so they kind of mixed both in like they had a string orchestra in the played guns and roses, you know, music. It was just really cool, but then everything, the whole ceremony was traditional Indian. The food was fantastic. It was at an old library downtown and then they had all these stances. It was, it was really neat. And I got to be put it on a table, meet their friends. So, you know, everybody kind of learned who I was and what I did. So when the Dance came on, just getting to sit there and see everybody’s expressions, you know, being my second couple I ever taught through Wedding Dance it was just really fun to look around the room and to see everybody like really ecstatic about all the dance moves that I’d worked so hard on to put together.

0 (22m 50s):
And it was just a really cool feeling and a course at the end of the Dance, everybody turned around and they’re just like, wow, you put that together. That’s amazing. And, and it really, the couple just loved it. They were like, it fit our wedding so well, like it was really rewarding to me cause I had no idea how my dances looked. You know, I had had a few like one or two lessons here and there, but not, you know, several lessons, like a real choreograph peace. And so it was really neat to be like, okay, I can do this. Like that’s awesome. Yeah. It’s not just in your head, not just in my head right in my head. It always looks great. Don’t always know how it comes out.

0 (23m 33s):
But I would say my other favorite was when I taught a couple, I guess start, I want to say we either started, we started not last year. It was a year before in the, and they came to me about their Wedding. They were getting married in Greece and they wanted to do something real choreograph. Neither really had Dance experience, which is

4 (23m 57s):
Common.

0 (23m 60s):
I’ll get to that later. But a lot of people do, you know, we’ll we don’t have Dance experience. Can we still do this? Well, yeah. This isn’t choreography for people with experience, you know, it’s pretty body. So neither had the us experience and they had a really cool

4 (24m 16s):
Full song.

0 (24m 18s):
And so I just kind of ask them, I said, Our you kind of open to like whatever I throw together. And they were like, yeah, we don’t care. Whatever. So listen to the song, knowing the ambiance to being in such an amazing country like Greece,

4 (24m 33s):
I really,

0 (24m 34s):
We wanted to throw together something really spectacular. That was just really breathtaking.

4 (24m 40s):
So,

0 (24m 41s):
So we started working through the lessons and it came up that I also play piano and they apparently had been searching for a pianist for their wedding as well. So then they kind of brought up the idea of me coming to Greece with them as the piano player. And you know, of course I said, yes, cause that would be stupid to say no. So I ended up going out there, but it gave us the opportunity also because one of their biggest fears was where to position themselves at this venue.

0 (25m 21s):
It was a very different kind of venue. It was outside on one of the islands, outside of Greece. So they have a lot of wind, there’s not tree’s on the Island. So nothing breaks the wind that comes in. So one of the things was, is are we going to be able to do all this stuff? And what if we get there? And we can’t do some of the lifts, there’s some of the moves because the wind is too strong and then we have to change something. And like, if you’re there, then you can help us change it and make sure it looks okay. So it was kind of a win win a because I would be, there is something did go, you know, catastrophic leave for a long, a while practicing and getting to be a part and play piano there, which worked out very nicely for the wedding and the setting.

0 (26m 8s):
It was just very fitting for it. So I did, I got to go to Greece last year and stayed a little while longer. So a whole week and a half for myself, which was just a blast and getting to do that. So that was really fun. And they really just kind of made me a part of their friends group. And so the whole time walking around the Island, I’d run into people in their wedding party. And they were like, Oh, there’s the piano player. There is the Dance choreographers. It was, it was a lot of fun. And then getting to experience, say a whole different part of the world. Who was you? Super, super, super cool. Totally. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about that.

0 (26m 48s):
Dance, I’ve seen it. It’s over the top. Sensational. Can you tell us like how you put it together? That was one of those. A lot of times I try to plan out dances. I do. I try to try it out at home, do the moose with the music, but this one I kind of would just play it in the car on the way to lessons and just kind of see it in my head once I kind of see the first lesson and see the ability or how the couple moves together, it really kind of helps me feel confident and that what I can see in my head can be put you out on the floors to, you know, for them to Dance.

0 (27m 28s):
So I, I really just kind of let my imagination go. And so I would just on the way into the lessons, I’d kind of just sit there in my head and kind of hear it in the music and kind of see it and hit, you know, replay and started over in kind of seed all the way through and go, okay. You know, I think that works. I think that works a couple of times at the studio I’d have to kinda run it through over on the corner and be like, okay, yeah, that definitely works. You know, and then show them and they just, it was just, we had about four or five different lifts in there. We had the plunging death drop and they’re, you know, at this one part of the music where the music just kind of does a drop cause I had a little bit of that electronic Dance field to it.

0 (28m 9s):
So it was just very fitting with a song, something very extreme. And then when you have it in the setting of Greece, I still go back and watch the video because of course I made sure I recorded it as well, but I’m just to go back and see it and see it in the setting and stuff would the wind blowing and it was just, it fits so well. And I was just, everybody loved it. Like nobody knew they were going to do anything choreograph. So the moment they started, the first move, all their friends, several cocktails in of course they were, you know, you know, all that stuff. They were super super into it. And so that was really, really fun to see it congrats and thing.

0 (28m 53s):
It was amazing. I’ll try to put a link to it in the show notes so people can check it out. Yeah, yeah. For sure. Yeah. I still use it a lot to show examples because of all the lifts we did. So when somebody says, Oh, I wanna do a left. What do you know? I’m like your swine there’s five. So you go in and pick which one you want. So I even still use it for examples for couples. I think it, I think it displays, we did so many different kinds of styles of dance. In one, there was a little bit of waltz. There was a little bit of a rumble box. There was some, you know, a choreographed turns in the air. So it kind of just had a little bit of all sorts of stuff thrown in. So I think it gave people an idea of how I can make a Dance slow or speed it up or add in specific terms to the, of the song to fit the music or the words or the lyrics of their music too.

0 (29m 48s):
So you’re really drawing on your musical experience yeah. Is that your main source of inspiration? Do you think, would you agree? You graph it Dance you mean by following the beat of music or the field of the song are a lot of a lot of times. Yes. If there’s something that is, you know, somebody comes with like a Frank Sinatra song that typically falls more in the ballroom styles. So you want something with a little more structure, maybe throw in a little bit of choreograph, turns in their, just to add a little more modern to it. But I always tell them that kind of music would, that kind of Dance is timeless. You know, it’s one of those people don’t do anymore.

0 (30m 30s):
So if you actually know how to Dance a waltz or Foxtrot, that in and of itself is really cool and in my terrible, so if they’re very set on that kind of style and that’s kind of the way we go, so I don’t, I don’t go as creative with that because I don’t think, you know, flips and dips and stuff in the middle of slimy to the moon is getting to fit. It doesn’t fit as well. But for me, a lot of the time that they come with a real unique piece of music, then I definitely kind of want to really, really let my mind to go to work on that and give them something really unique. Cause its a different kind of song, a different feel.

0 (31m 12s):
And I like to listen to the words a lot and see kind of what the song is trying to portray because that tells me a lot about the couple too. If they’re, you know, into this kind of music, I had a couple that did and it an EDM song, so very electronic Dance techno you know, tight thing. And they were like, Hey, this is what we like, can you do this? Or do we need to change to something more traditional? You know? And I said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, we’ll make this work. And we did. We actually put a waltz to it, which they were kind of like, how did you hear waltz? And this, the girl was a dancer and she’s like, I don’t hear it, but I trust you.

0 (31m 54s):
So we did, but it fit so well. And then we threw in a couple of really cool choreograph moves in there and she used to be a ballet dancer also. So we kind of threw in some ballet stuff and it just really flowed nicely and getting to see the video of that one, you know, was really cool, but it, it fit like it fit, it literally fits the music well, and we made sure that there were some turns and places where it would say, I hold you or I want to hold you, you know that there was a move where the husband was holding the wife, you know, in some kind of a move like that to, even though I know the audience isn’t listening for that word, if they go back and look at the video, they would see it and be like, Oh, that’s really cool.

0 (32m 37s):
They actually did this move when they said I’m to hold you. You know? So yeah. I do think a lot of my love for music and stuff does, you know, my ear for music and everything plays a part of it too. I’m not just teaching moves to a beat, but teaching it more to the tempo, the feel of the song, the mood of the song and the words.

2 (32m 60s):
Right. And drawing on your show, choir experience, in addition to your ballroom experience, I would imagine allows you to approach a song in a really kind of, open-minded like a blank slate sort of way, as opposed to what I think of is more kind of like paint by numbers where like, okay, I have these moves that I can do and I have to somehow, you know, put them in order to this song. Whereas, because you’ve done so much more like creative work in your experience, like you can just take that song and yeah. Maybe sprinkle in some classic moves, but you’re not stuck with them. Yeah. Yeah. How do you, I know sometimes a couples come in who have worked at your chain studios, you know, your franchises that are like in every major metropolitan city and they’re usually more, you know, con constrained to a syllabus or something like that.

2 (33m 55s):
What do you hear from the clients that, that come from there?

0 (33m 59s):
Aye. A lot of times it’s the, I would say two or three things I hear the most is they don’t feel like they’re getting to Dance together a whole lot. Umm, which is very common for studios to do. I disagree with it unless you’re going into competition because if you’re a couple and you want to learn how to dance together, if your learning how to dance with a professional than once you get back with your partner, it’s going to be like, Oh, well you’re not doing it like that teacher did it or you’re not doing it like that. Teacher did it because the professionals are going to know how to lead and Follow.

0 (34m 39s):
And I think when it comes to dancing, like doing a Wedding Dan, so you don’t need to know how to dance with me. I’m not dancing at your Wedding unless you want me to. And you take me to Greece and you want me to Dance in your wedding, then I’ll do it. You know? But I think that’s the one thing I hear. The other thing I hear is a price. You know, it’s, it is not a cheap hobby. It’s not cheap. You know, as a professional, it’s not cheap as a student in something you do because you love it. And just like any kind of sport or activity, you know, you spend a lot of money to learn how to do that sport and get good at it. So you can go and compete or be in the Olympics or something, you know, like triathlons and stuff.

0 (35m 27s):
You know, those bikes are, you know, cheap something you spend money on because you’re like, I want to move all the way to the top. Like this is what I want to do. I want to push myself and, and know do this for myself. But when, again, when you’re learning for a wedding, you’re not there to learn all the way through a Dance syllabus, you know, to be a competitive student. You’re just want some steps. You want to know how to follow in LEED. You want to know how do we get on the floor? How do we get off the floor? How do we start a dance? If I don’t know music, how do I know when I take my first step? How, how do I know how to turn? How does my wife know what I’m turning her or the woman?

0 (36m 7s):
How do I know which direction to go?

5 (36m 9s):
So

0 (36m 11s):
They want to come in. They want to learn something. And they want a very specific guided amount of time in X amount of lessons. You’re going to have this. So what we’re going to do is these few lessons here, we’re gonna start on some basics and we’re going to do this and this and this and kind of work through the song until we get to the end. And in the, in ballroom studios, that’s it

5 (36m 30s):
Is not quite how it’s done.

0 (36m 33s):
So I think it, it ends up because they have set strict rules. They have to follow according to their syllabus. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for flexibility with choreography or choreography. It can be an extra expense on top of what you’re paying for, for lessons. But you’re, I, I haven’t seen a whole lot of people walk out achieving what they were wanting at the end of those lessons because it’s more ballroom and structured. Then it is really listening to your song and trying to create something specifically for you as a couple, how you look, how you want your wedding to be, who’s gotten a feel for your venue, the vibe, how many guests are coming?

0 (37m 17s):
Is it a fancy dinner or are we doing a brunch? You know, all that stuff has to come into play. When you, when you go to choreograph something for somebody, because it’s not the same, Dance, isn’t going to look great on every single couple. Everybody is different. And I think just the other, the other one that I hear a lot too, is just getting to hear their songs or privacy of lessons. And a lot of people who come in, you know, never dancing before in Dance is not something that they do. They’re not going to want to be on the floor with five other people, two of which are competitive, you know, waltzing in circles, around you, you, you know it in a way it can almost be intimidating.

0 (38m 1s):
And I felt that a lot when I worked in a studio, when you have a brand new person are a couple and you tried to take ’em out on the floor and then you’ve got the competitive gold student who’s been dancing for like, you know, 20 years. And you know, you’re trying to learn baby steps, essentially in the middle of the floor. And this person’s just whirling all around to you. And you’re like, Oh wow, we’ll never be able to do that. You know? So it kind of gives you that feeling of, even though, you know, that person took a long time to work on that, you kinda don’t want that pressure cause you don’t eat. You always feel when you something new that people have been doing it for a long time or judging in a way, even if they aren’t.

0 (38m 41s):
So I think having options of where, you know, Brent, a studio space out it’s private. I think that helps a lot because they can joke. They can laugh. They can make mistakes, nobody cares. They know I don’t care. We all laugh about it together and or I go to their home so they can kind of learn in their house, which I tell him is a great way to do it. If you can just kick the coffee table off to the side, you’re going to practice at home anyway. Why not? No. How to dance in your space? Like already have it set up no where you need to face and what direction to start the Dance, you know, kind of mimicking how you would face at your venue.

0 (39m 24s):
I’ve taught out in the driveway, I’ve taught out on the street in front of their house. We’ve gone around a col-de-sac before. Ah, the neighbors loved it. They would all come outside and watch the dance lessons. Cause I thought it was so cool and, and people enjoyed it because they feel like, okay, I got to be comfortable. I didn’t have to dress up. I didn’t have to go buy ballroom shoes. I could be at my house, have a glass of wine, you know, learn how to dance and feel really confident. And you think that’s part of the success of it is that your, you don’t have that outside pressure of like I met at ballroom SUNY, I need to look and act and feel a certain way.

0 (40m 8s):
You can kind of just whatever, you know, we’re, PJ’s, you know, it doesn’t matter. So those are kind of the three things that I hear between, you know, people who have gone to the, you know, mainstream ballroom type studios versus when they come to us and get kind of that real personal, you know, feel where I’m, I want to know about the Wedding. I might forget the wedding date, but cause the short term memory loss, or you know, maybe at the time I have too many couples and everybody’s getting married within the same two week period of time. But no, the venue, no, the look, the feel, see a picture of their wedding dress, get personal and involved in a way where it’s not just like, Oh, you’re getting married or you have the song.

0 (40m 57s):
Okay, cool. It’s this. And then just show them what I showed the couple before them. And a couple before them, I try not to rinse a repeat. You know, I might take moves from dances that people say, Oh, I really liked that move in that video, but I’m not going to recreate that whole Dance because I want everything to be personal to that couple because I also don’t know who knows who. And so I would not want to be the teacher that has shown the same Dance to five different couples and Houston and what if they’re all best friends and now their age dancing at the same dance at their weddings. So, you know, so, you know, I’ve had situations where people have been referred to me.

0 (41m 41s):
So I want to make sure that whatever Dance they saw, they might have some of the same steps that maybe not the same terms or the same way. So that way it everything’s different because everybody is different and needs something Taylor made to them like a, like a suit fitted for them, made for them, for their style, their look, and their wants and their desires for a Dance. Do you just play the same? There’s a song over and over again. I do the whole time, the whole time. Cause that’s really important. You really have to get comfortable and that’s their homework, you know, go home and listen to the song until you hate it.

0 (42m 22s):
Because then, then the more you hear it even driving, right? The more you walk it through and your head, the more you actually go and practice the better, you know, you get with it. So that’s what I kinda tell them. Whereas I, I know that at studios, that’s not, that’s not a thing. You know, if you have other people dancing in a room, you have to share the music, you’ve got one sound system, so you have to share music and it can get a little frustrating when you’re trying to learn, you know, some kind of, you know, choreographed dance and you’ve got this huge point, the song that you need to hear. So, you know, that’s when the lift happens, but you’re trying to Dance that to an Argentine tango in the background, you know, and that’s a little difficult to be like, okay, now just pretend it’s your song, you know?

0 (43m 8s):
But then you’re hearing, you know, Frank Sinatra and you were like, that’s not my song and this is difficult. You know, you, you have to learn. And, and especially for people who don’t have musicality, they don’t hear rhythm. They have to kind of teach that to themselves. And so I have, I’ve given them counts to their song, like count to eight before you start your first, you know, step when you need to be able to listen to the song and hear that and go, okay, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Okay. There it is. That’s where I step. But if I’m playing other music just to be like where, or you could dance those two, you know, then they, they’re not going to hear that, you know, and their own song, it’s gonna be a struggle then.

0 (43m 49s):
Right? Yeah. I think it’s so important, especially, well, for both, but for the lead, you gotta kind of know what you’re going to do before you do it. And if you don’t know the song and you’re looking for a cue, but you actually don’t really know where it is, you know, maybe it’s a lyric or the start of a chorus or when the beat drops out, you know, whatever it is. It’s like, if you don’t know that song, I mean, you’re just lost. Yeah. After the girl, I think it comes down to like styling, you know, that poise like just really feeling connected to the music so that, yeah, like she’s a vessel for it. You know what it’s flowing through her and she can,

2 (44m 27s):
You can kind of float on that song and yeah.

0 (44m 30s):
They both need to know it. I think I see that being especially challenging when one of them picks it out, but the other one doesn’t really know it yet. You know what it’s like, you’ve got to learn this song. You know, this is your song now. So yeah. Love it. Hate it. Get to know it, you know, but you know, I’ve never found anybody ever ultimately says they’re sick of it. They think they’re going to be, you know, when they start their loud, Oh, we’re going to get so sick of a song. And it’s like, you know what? You’re not like, I mean, spoiler alert, you’re gonna grow to appreciate it. You know, what, than you ever imagined, you going to listen to it a hundred times and you’re not, I mean, no one’s ever been like, okay, we’ll do it again, but don’t play the song.

0 (45m 10s):
They’re always like, you know, can you put the song on? Yeah, absolutely. You know? Yeah. They want it. Yeah. So how do you handle challenging? A couple. I mean, you’re talking about very little Dance experience here and I’m a big dream for a big, big, big day. So how do you coach them through, you know, we want to challenge maybe not too much, or how do you know, how do you kinda smooth that push them put out, you know, them giving up. I think it’s all about encouragement and you know, even if they, even if they’re, you know, trying a Lyft or a dip is the first three times.

0 (45m 53s):
So, you know, I’ve had people try, you know, either a very deep dip or something, a little more challenging in terms of the lift. And it’s like, it’s kind of there, but not really. And they’re like, Oh, we can’t do those. This isn’t going to work. No, no, no. It’s going to work. You know, try this, try this change in his hand, I just keep telling him that I’m showing you how to do it. You got to go home and practice it. It’s not going to just happen overnight. Like tomorrow, you’re going to wake up and be like, Oh, look at me. I can dip now. So it’s kind of one of those things that you gotta really take home and, and keep practicing it and find your niche as a couple. So I may show you a handhold that doesn’t work for you.

0 (46m 35s):
And then when you go home, you know, in the comfort of your home and I’m not there telling you what to do, playing around with it, I’ve had people come back and say, Oh, we switched this handhold. We did it like this and now it works. So I think it’s encouraging. And then kind of letting them kind of feel like they also have a part to play in their Dance too, that they don’t have to stick to a specific hold and having options to kind of choose from, to take home and practice and find which one works for them versus what worked for somebody else. Because like I said, not everybody is the same, so now I’m never going to just be like, Oh, you know, just, here’s what it’s supposed to look like, go home and try to figure out how to do this, you know, without them trying it in front of me so I can be there to help spot or, you know, be able to say, no, no, we’re not doing that one anymore.

0 (47m 27s):
And that’s terrifying. Please. Don’t try that again. It’s I think you mean anybody can do lifts and, and dips and the things that you, you wouldn’t think you could do. They’re not as hard as people think a lot of it is momentum more so momentum and holding, like holding your core and stuff, then it is doing something real, you know, extreme with your body. I mean, there are those out there, but for you, you know, something simple or something just eye-catching, you know, everybody refers to dirty dancing. Well, I don’t want to jump off the stage and to his art has been front of all my guys and it’s like, okay, that is extreme.

0 (48m 12s):
We’re not doing, you know, we’re not doing that. We’re not doing I’ll joke with them and say, okay, so now you’re going to jump into his arms and he’s going to catch you with one hand and spin you around, like the pizza and the girls are always no, he’s not. And it’s a no, no, no, just kidding. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to do this and he’s going to have both hands. Oh, okay. Okay. I think we can do that. So, you know, you kinda make it so like one thing and then no, we’re not doing one handholds, you know, and no, just kidding. He is going to have both hands. Okay. Yeah. I think we can do that. Keep it within range. Yeah. So how do you collaborate with your couples? Like when they have ideas, I, on every single lesson, if we’re, or the lessons where we’re learning something new, we might have some lessons where we’re just reviewing or smoothing out.

0 (49m 5s):
But unless lessons, when we’re learning something new, I always tell them, try it. If you don’t like it, let me know and we can change it. You don’t, you’re not stuck to just doing it this way. Or I showed them options. Like, here’s, here’s two different ways we can do this. We can do it slower like this, or we can go faster and it’ll look like this, which way do you like better? Sometimes if the music changes and maybe it gets real fast and kind of fun or whatever, I’ll actually send them home and let them just kind of like, Hey, here’s a great place to freestyle and do some real funny, you know, stuff right there.

0 (49m 49s):
And I had a couple come back and they had created this whole, he was going to do the fishing pole across the room and real her in. And then they had this whole like sprinkler section they did in there. Dance it was, it was a cute fund Dance it fits the music. But I kind of was like, instead of me choreographing something there, why don’t, y’all just kind of throw together something silly, funny, goofy that you enjoy doing that highlight side about you. And so, you know, people kind of enjoy that, that they don’t feel like I’m not coming in as a Russian dictator. You know, you will dumpsters just the way, because this is my dad. So, you know what, I let kind of have a lot of say. So because again, I’m not the one performing it.

0 (50m 32s):
And if I’m showing them something and they feel like this is too choreographed, or this is too goofy, my friends are going to be like, why are they doing that? And if they care about that, I don’t want them to go out there and have that looming over their head, the whole Wedding like, Oh, and then we got a Dance that Dance and there’s that part. And she made us dance it and I hate it, you know? Cause that’s going to show right. And if they get to have a little bit of that freedom and a new way to be able to express to me, I don’t like that part or I’m going to change it or can we do this instead? Or, Hey, we practice this and we actually liked this move. Can we do this instead? Or maybe research a video on YouTube, Hey, we were doing some homework research and we found this move.

0 (51m 15s):
Can, can you show us how to do that? So we can put that into Dance we’d really like to do that, you know? And Oh, of course. Sure. And I think they really like feeling like that. They had say so in an aspect of control in their dancing, as opposed to me, you know, this is how it is and you will Dance this this way and no questions or the options and you know,

2 (51m 40s):
Straight back,

0 (51m 41s):
You know, all that stuff. So I think they feel like a little more like, you know, relaxed. Yeah. I would love to teach you, watch you teach with them

2 (51m 50s):
Accident. That would be such a treat. Okay.

0 (51m 54s):
Is it kind of explore the darker side of things? So with the harder to teach clients or maybe like, what do you see

2 (52m 4s):
Is kinda the, the big obstacles that your clients have to overcome?

0 (52m 12s):
The, okay. One, I’ve learned my lesson and talking about the dress at the get, go dress and floor space. A couple of times I had gotten lacks on not, you know, just kind of like, Oh, when are y’all getting married? Okay. That’s cool. Sounds fun. You know, you’re going to be in, you know, Bali or wherever, you know, Oh, what a fun place to get married. And I didn’t ask about the floor space. I didn’t ask about the temperature. Is it inside or outside? How’s the dress got to be? Or are you changing or you wearing a wedding dress as it going to be bustled. And I started teaching, showing moves and spins to come to find out that the dress was completely fitted all the way down to the ankles.

0 (53m 2s):
If your ankles can only go, if your feet like step apart, this far, all the terms I showed, we had to change. Yeah. You know, into the lesson. So that’s something that I have to kind of talk about because you know, I’ve had people who decided they didn’t want to bus all their address. And of course the husband can’t know what dress looks like and I have a horrible poker face. So, you know, the girl would come up to me, go, go, Oh, I’m not getting the dress bustle. Dis is what it looks like. And it had, you know, like five foot train, 10 foot, you know, just huge type thing. And its like it, can you maybe not 10 feet.

0 (53m 44s):
Cause that would be excessive if you could do anything. Yeah. But you know, to think that I have all these moves where she is maybe being thrown out to the side or rolled out or something and I’m like, husband’s always looking at me like, is that good or bad? You know? And I’m like, Oh f**k her face. I can do this. I have to ask about the dress. And that can be a little difficult to deal with. But I mean eight 95% of the time, it’s fine. I just make sure that I really cover that. And the other one is the floor space and I’ve done a, it was early, early on in my teaching. I think I had like several people that day.

0 (54m 25s):
And so it was like one of those where I just, my brain wasn’t on point. I didn’t ask. We had gotten in a few lessons in, I was showing them waltz. We go around the floor, come to find out their floor space. Was it like 10 by 10? Mm. So not a ballroom. It didn’t have a whole ballroom. They had just a few little sweaters on a floor. That was it. It was enough for them to do their Dance and then it was getting pulled up. But I don’t know what kind of dance that would be like one, two to 10 by 10. So we had to change the entire Dance and we’re already halfway into it, you know? So it was one of those where it was like, I gotta make sure I asked that question before I start letting my creativity go because I can’t, if I don’t ask, it’s not their fault for not telling me, you know, cause they’re just kinda like, okay, maybe she just kind of knows how we are supposed to meet this huge chance to fit in this a little space.

0 (55m 19s):
But those are some of the things that ended up kind of happening that, you know, if they’re not done right. Can turn things South, you know, very quickly. So I have to kind of go over those. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Well, do you live and learn and you’ve learned, so that’s good. Let’s see. How do you handle that connection when it’s not working? Right. Like if the, you know, the lead just doesn’t lead or the follow once a day is to lead, you know, how do you iron that out? Cause I see, I see a lot of difficulty with that, you know, for couples who just haven’t danced together, is it okay?

0 (56m 12s):
It feels like marriage counseling love a lot. What it, what it kind of it is, is, you know, there’s always a, he’s not this and she’s not this and I can’t feel this and you know, we’ll, she’s trying to back lead me and I don’t want to dance with her because she is not letting me work on my part and back and forth and the back and forth and back and forth. So I kind of have to go in there and just really, I tried to, you know, break people apart when it gets to that point. You know, that’s one of the places that ballroom working for the ballroom studio helped because you work with a lot of clients that are couples and you do pull them apart.

0 (56m 56s):
And one of the things that we do is when you start to hear the, Oh, well you’re not doing it Danny and a half now, you know, the back and forth that’s when you’re like, alright, and we’re going to start practicing this on our own. So, you know, you take the other person across the room and kind of work with them and show them how to do it better, put them back together and see if the facial expressions are changing. And if the big ring is slowing down and if it doesn’t again, kind of separate him again, work on it and bring it back together. So now I don’t have a partner with me when I’m doing the Wedding, you know, Dance instruction or a choreography, but I will kind of have them separate and say, Hey, okay, you know, let’s say the guys name is Bob Bob.

0 (57m 36s):
I’m going to go over your footwork with you. So then I’m just, you know, side by side with him, you know, here’s how your foot goes. You want it to go straight now, really make sure you have your arms like this and rolled back. If your arm starts to fall, you’re gonna, she’s not going to feel you and kinda go over all that. And I just, I kind of make it a joke too about like, Hey, if you want to have control of your woman during that three minutes of dancing, this is your control center over here. And then of course the guys are like, Oh yeah, I want to control her. You know, for as long as I can. So if it’s three minutes, I got I’m down for that. And so they get real excited about that part.

0 (58m 17s):
And so then I start, then I kind of break the girl away and show her different ways to position her, her body. So that way he could connect with her better. And then just kind of keep asking both of them, because I don’t want one person to feel like I’m picking on them more than the other. Right. You never want to do that. Like tell the guy, okay,

6 (58m 36s):
It does fix this, fix this, fix this

0 (58m 38s):
Because then all they hear is I’m not doing it. Right. I’m not doing it. Right. You know, I don’t want to do it anymore because I feel like they’re always, so you kind of have to go back and forth. Okay. Hey Bob, fix this. Okay. Hey Julie, fix this. Okay. Bob, no work on this. You know, Julie leaned back a little bit more and you’ll feel him better. So kind of balancing it out. And when they, when you start, you know, to see a slight improvement, a lot of a verbal encouragement, you know, like, Oh, that was it. That was it right there. I saw it. I saw it now just stay like that. Keep going. You, you know, they kind of will stop and be like, okay, so we did it. So we had to do it anymore.

0 (59m 18s):
And it’s like, no, no, no, keep going, just let the song out and keep going.

2 (59m 24s):
And then I’ll be like, okay, now, now that you kind of feel that when you go home, that’s what you want to feel. And then letting them know not to keep practicing, if it kind of slips or falls. So you don’t create a bad habit and you know what it’s supposed to feel like now? And it like it connected, you know, in your head. So when you go home to practice, keep that in mind. And so if it starts to kind of like his arm falls and you kind of slump, then, then just stop, take like a little break and then go back to it. So you don’t like, Oh, we got a Dance for 15 minutes to practice, you know? And then you’ve created this habit of dancing slumped over or whatever.

2 (1h 0m 7s):
So it sounds like you’re really validating both of them. I mean, they both have something to work on their learning. Yeah. So clearly it’s, you know, a growing experience. Yeah. You just gotta be there to cheer him through the kind of confusing part where it’s like, why is this not working? Yeah. I like to also play kind of like the devil’s advocate in this situation where like, I’ll try dancing with you the Follow and I’ll try to lead you and I’ll feel you’re not leaning back at all. You know, you’re not connecting at all. You’re like, it’s not happening. And so I’ll, I’ll just switch the arms and I’ll be like, okay, you lead me step forward.

2 (1h 0m 47s):
You know? And I’ll pretend I’ll do what she was doing, where she starts going forwards, but she has no connection on me, you know? And she’s like, she starts hesitating and I’m like, so why don’t you just walk forward? And it’s like, well, I’m going to run into you. And yeah. Right. Okay. So let me snuggle in here, you know? And once she tries to lead me, she’s like, Oh, OK. And then same with a guy I’ll try to lead him like, you know, like on his waist. And it’s like, I mean, you can lead somebody on your waist, but nothing like that shoulder blade, you know, that really connects to you the whole skeletal structure, the spine, the hips, the legs, you know? And so I’ll do it to the guy and I’ll be like, okay, so feel this, okay, now grab a shoulder now feel this.

2 (1h 1m 31s):
And he’s like, Oh, okay. You know, I mean, yeah. I feel like that’s a way to, to just kind of role reversal for them, you know, for a second, because what they’re experience level, they’re not going to be able to do that with each other. We’re like, okay, well, you know, Sally, why don’t you try to leave Bob? Well, that doesn’t make any sense. She doesn’t know how to lead either, you know, but I feel like I can kind of get in there and let them feel why it’s not happening. I have fun doing that. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I think there’s something about this connection that’s been developed for centuries, you know, between men and women in a very organic way that has to be, you know, transferred physically like a secret handshake.

2 (1h 2m 18s):
Like this is what it feels. That’s what it looks

0 (1h 2m 20s):
Like. Right.

2 (1h 2m 21s):
So moving on, how have, so I’m assuming you’ve been doing some virtual teaching without that physical connection. How have you been handling the pandemic? We are we’re in like month seven of COVID-19.

0 (1h 2m 39s):
So how’s it, how’s it going? I, it, I mean, its not, it is not as busy with the, the foot traffic as it was, but I’ve been able to work a lot with people who had, you know, lessons prior. They started to get comfortable and wanting to come back and finish about it. But in terms of even just the people that have come in or the people I’m continuing to work with doing a lot of at-home lessons and that’s been, I think a lot of, a lot of fun to do a lot of people who maybe used to be at the studio and then I switched them to at home and they felt like it was a super fun like date night, you know like, Oh we have our dance teacher coming over to the house tonight.

0 (1h 3m 25s):
You know, it just sounds very like all I get and personal, like Oooh, you have a private dance teacher that comes to your house, you know? And then they just, you know, get to hang out and their own space with their dogs and you know, making it a party for themselves type thing. Like, you know, we just finished dinner and then I come over. So we kind of been working at like that. And I think it’s worked out very nicely. And for people that, you know, kind of are interested in, you know, getting started with lessons, that’s kind of what I tell them is here’s, what’s been really successful. I haven’t done as much virtual. I think I only did one that was virtual in it. And it’s tricky for a partner dancing.

0 (1h 4m 5s):
You know, I think for something that’s maybe a little more like hip hop or something where you can do it on your own, you don’t need somebody to hold you or guide you through it. I mean, you can go through ballroom steps or, you know, salsa steps by yourself. But if you’re spinning, it feels different spinning by yourself than if you have a partner that’s turning you. So I think like hip hop or, you know, if you’re doing Bollywood dancing and stuff where you can, you know, learn at all by yourself, that works. I think partner dancing it, we made it happen. I can learn this steps, but it was really difficult because you can’t reach through the camera and like you see it and you’re like move their hand up no further up, no further down to abort to the sign to the other side, know your other left.

0 (1h 4m 52s):
Sorry, not that love go the other way. You know, it was like a lot of trying to give direction and then I’m trying to like flip myself around and be like, okay, its through a video. So we’re flipped, you know, so okay. Now I gotta flip myself. Okay. So that’s what’s going on and you know, it, it definitely is made me have to go back in my, my mind and remember all of my steps and how to describe what to do as opposed to where, when I’m in person, I could just walk up to somebody and just take the hand and be like here, here.

3 (1h 5m 26s):
Right. And then they were like, Oh, okay.

0 (1h 5m 30s):
But through a video and you’re like, no, no they’re a higher over left down, no turn 45 degrees, not 80, 45 smaller degree, you know, and having to walk them through, you know, it is, yeah.

3 (1h 5m 43s):
It was like, okay, this, this is a little challenging.

0 (1h 5m 46s):
This is really making me have to, you know, sit and think and learning how to do zoom at all,

3 (1h 5m 53s):
All that stuff. It was like,

0 (1h 5m 55s):
I am not technologically savvy. And I’m over here just trying to like, how do you even find you?

3 (1h 6m 2s):
Oh, is it on Google? Or how does it work? What do I do? I can, you all see me? You know, like, so it, it was, it was something

0 (1h 6m 15s):
To learn from. I like kind of doing like a little instruction, video thing. Cause that way you don’t have to worry about explaining partner dancing at the partner channel. The thing was, that was, that was a whole different world for me. But I’m happy that people got comfortable enough to at least be like, I trust that my house is clean or they’re house is clean enough that, you know, having three people in a room and I always try to maintain space with them, you know, just knowing that they have weddings coming up. So they’re not going to want me like, and their face, you know, type thing. So it was seeing how that worked. It played out. I enjoyed that and they enjoyed that.

0 (1h 6m 56s):
So that was very successful getting to the three of us in a, in a house. Yeah. Well, we’ll see where it goes. I can imagine part of the reason there weren’t there wasn’t a big uptick in virtual lessons is also that the events were not happening either. You know? So I mean, it makes sense to do a virtual cooking class cause you’re at home with groceries, you know, but I think as things progress and you know, weddings are getting booked and you know, people are having smaller gatherings and just starting to make those plans for the upcoming seasons. I could still see people wanting to do the virtual lessons because now everybody is comfortable.

0 (1h 7m 40s):
Yeah. You know, it just the virtual platform. So they might’ve been doing those cooking classes or, you know, whatever, and then they’re getting ready for their wedding and maybe they’re not an, a major city or they don’t want to go to that studio with all those people, you know, and so that they can still try out this virtual thing and that I could still see that, you know, on our horizon. I think it’s great for kind of introduction, like how to kind of move together. Like just, just kind of see how it, how it feels just to kind of move together and try this simple step and try this. But if you’re looking at progressing in sessions, you know, and learning more than just a few basics, then I would do in person at that point, but for just basics or I even have people that will want to, you know, use the aspect of the video to like if they go to their venue and it’s somewhere where I can’t travel too, they can video of me while there at the venue practicing too.

0 (1h 8m 44s):
And I have people that will use that feature now to, you know, do a run through at their venue where I can kind of sit there on video and watch them. And if there’s anything that needs to be altered or changed, you know, then, then I’m kind of their, you know, see it without having to like fly there to perfect. Yeah.

3 (1h 9m 5s):
Oh, that’s a great way to use it. Yeah. Getting with the New being gold times.

0 (1h 9m 11s):
So, and I can’t unjam a printer, so yeah. I’m trying to,

3 (1h 9m 14s):
You know, some aspects than others, I’m not. Yeah. I’m so

0 (1h 9m 22s):
Do you have any, what would be like your hopes for, you know, the upcoming season? What do you, what are you looking for in a client? Like what would be just kinda of the next step for you as someone to get married in Italy and need their instructor to travel with them?

3 (1h 9m 41s):
Great. One of the other countries

0 (1h 9m 43s):
You like to go see, please go get married there and I can come with you and I’ll even pay for my time.

3 (1h 9m 47s):
You don’t take care. I think,

0 (1h 9m 55s):
I mean really at this point, I mean, even the people that I’ve had this year, like I’ve, I’ve really enjoyed them. Like this year has been really, really good, you know, everybody’s been really positive and really fun and enjoyable to work with. And so I kinda, you know, just, just that just people who are, who can laugh and have fun with a Dance and not take it so seriously if they’re not getting it right. And, you know, just enjoy it with something that they can do with they’re a partner that gives them something to do in the evenings together other than just watching TV or going out for dinner or ordering in food or whatever it gives them like, okay, now we have these like five or 10 minutes, you know, three days a week to do a little, you know, a practice, our dance together and laugh and have fun and, and grow closer.

0 (1h 10m 52s):
So, I mean, really, I just, I would just love to have more people coming in. I mean, it’s, you know, as I, as I go through school, as I do other stuff in my life, you know, like I said, at the beginning, waiting tables is not my forte and anybody that’s worked with me at restaurants knows that. And even though it is a people type business did dancing is, is different. You know, because people don’t come to a restaurant specifically because of a server or, you know, they come they’re for the food, but people come to get dance lessons because of that instructor, you know?

0 (1h 11m 35s):
So it kind of, it makes me feel wanted, it makes me feel needed, you know, getting the awards that we get and stuff, you know, a for, you know, a dance studio for the year and stuff like that. It makes me feel good that all, all my years of, you know, maybe not being number one in a studio, but learning have made it to where now I get to kind of be number one, you know, and that I’m somebody that, you know, Oh, Oh, she is with Wedding Dance Houston Oh, they’re a really good, they’ve been around for a long time, you know?

2 (1h 12m 8s):
That’s, that’s it

0 (1h 12m 10s):
Super fun to do so. And you one, the hall of fame from the not last year. Congratulations. That was really fun. I think I have the award over there. Yeah. Awesome. Where I can see it all the time. It’s like my Emmy. Yeah. It’s. And so I think, you know, really just having more people come in and, and doing kind of what I enjoy doing, you know, and then something I’ve always told myself, no matter what other kind of career field, because what I’m going into is absolutely nothing to do. Dance but I’m not going to stop teaching because it’s so flexible.

0 (1h 12m 52s):
You know, it, I work for myself basically. It’s not, I have to be at a dance studio from, you know, eight to midnight, you know, for days a week, I’m only there for that lesson or they’re coming over, I’m going to them. And so I’m, you know, it’s something that I want to stay with regardless of what else I do, because that’s still something that’s a part of me, you know, and I’m not gonna just, you know, okay, well, the answer is for this season of my life, now I’m going to go do this because why can’t you do this? And Dance at the same time. Right? So it’s, it’s a real flexible option for me with something that’s really fun. And the people that I’ve met are just, you know, so many, but, you know, it’s, I, I love keeping in touch with them and seeing them after, you know, their married and having kids and moving and you know, all of that, it’s, it’s really fun to see that.

0 (1h 13m 49s):
And they’ll still talk on Facebook, you know, on their anniversaries and be like, share their Wedding video. Cause they have a sense of pride and it’s kind of fun to know that I was a part of that. Right, right. Yeah. Gosh, you just heard back from

2 (1h 14m 3s):
One of my first clients whose child was doing a,

0 (1h 14m 8s):
Is it getting ready for a sweet 16? You know what? It was like, you remember me, I remember you guys. I remember their names, their song there Dance, you know, and they remembered it two. And then now they’re wanting to, you know, to prepare for the next generation. And it’s just, it’s awesome. And I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head about, you know, being in this field. It’s like just our dream come true. Two, you know, we want to do this and you’re goal for the upcoming year just being to get to do it again is, you know what it sounds like, like I was kind of expecting you to, you know, wanna dance on the moon or something.

0 (1h 14m 48s):
But no, I mean, we really just want to do what we, is that an option? Are we going to open it

3 (1h 14m 52s):
That up next? You know, you just want to do it Wedding

0 (1h 15m 0s):
One day, one day that’ll actually be a thing. Well, you know, it will take like a week or two to get there, but you know, somebody, you got married in space. Oh, I’m sure it’s happened. It happened like a decade. Anti-gravity dancing.

3 (1h 15m 16s):
That’d be so much better.

0 (1h 15m 17s):
You learn how to dance as you’re just kind of rotating. Well, no, that would mean I would have to go do the anti-gravity training of at NASA and we could do you want it?

3 (1h 15m 32s):
Hey, you know,

0 (1h 15m 33s):
I mean, as long as it’s not actually skydiving, I’ll be a part of that. Other than that, you might want to go recruit some other people to do skydiving dancing. No, I like, I like my feet. Just how they are aerial dancing. Yeah. I would do that. As long as there’s like a string holding me or something, going to be more than a string. Let’s close with you giving us some words of wisdom from your experience. Like if we were a couple of yours, you know, and it was time for the big day, what would be your party wishes? It’s all about you. You’re not there to impress everybody else. You’re there to just show them something that you have worked hard on together as a couple.

0 (1h 16m 16s):
Here’s what we learned together. We didn’t know this before, and we’re really proud of ourselves for what we did. You know, whether it was one or two lessons are 20, you know, a, they wanna not the right. But you as a couple one to show off your hard work and your dedication and something, you know, here here’s us as a couple, we, you know, did something really fun because this is our relationship we want to express to y’all our relationship and what we can do together as a couple. And you know, I tell people bottom line you’re, you’re not competing. Nobody there is holding up a sign nine, a five.

0 (1h 17m 0s):
So nobody cares what your feet looked like at the end of the day. Nobody cares. If you missed a turn, just don’t make an, don’t get angry with each other on the dance floor. Cause then that’s what people see. And they’re like, Oh, what happened? But if you’re laughing and you laugh through it and giggle and just get back on, you know, what you were doing, nobody is going to know the difference. Even if you just made up that, move on the, ah, the Wedding Dance and that was not anything I put in there. Nobody else is going to know they’re going to be like, Oh, that’s cool.

5 (1h 17m 32s):
So just play it off. Yeah.

0 (1h 17m 34s):
You have fun with it. But like I, like I said, the most important thing is your there to show them what you do as a couple. And that’s what you have to remember. It’s your day. They’re just there to be a part of it. It’s not their day. So they don’t get a say so in how the Dance looks or how long it is or how short it is, its what y’all want. And they’re just there to be a part of it. Yeah. So that’s kind of my parting words. Show off what you can do either solo or as a couple and don’t care what anybody else says.

5 (1h 18m 10s):
My guess

0 (1h 18m 11s):
Has Catherine Edwards Catherine

2 (1h 18m 13s):
Thank you for being a part of DanceTalks. Thank you. That was fun. Thanks for listening. Please subscribe and share our podcast and reach out to us on social media. If you’d like to talk to Support DanceTalks donate to Dance Houston talk to you on Monday.