How every social dancer feels at Christmas

Christmas decorations

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Christmas is a busy time for everyone, but if you are dancer I can bet that you haven’t had a free weekend for a while! Works Christmas parties, family dos, drinks with friends, all this on top of the usual dance events and the Christmas specials too; the struggle is real. But there’s no need to feel alone, below is what most dancers go through every year:

  1. Just as supermarket shoppers panic buy on Christmas Eve because the shops close for “ONE WHOLE DAY!” dancers fear the idea of not being able to bust a move anywhere on the 25th. Rocking around the Christmas tree with your Nan after too much Baileys just does not cut it. Events on the 27th, or even boxing day are always great successes as people scratch that dancing itch.
  2. You spend a large amount of time turning down invites or coming up with excuses as to why you can’t attend non dancing festivities so you can dance instead.
  3. Your Christmas list contains dance shoes or a shoe brush or a dance bag or all of the above.
  4. You debate how much time is acceptable to leave your family for and go dancing.
  5. You get forced to give everyone “a spin” around the floor at the works Christmas party because somehow they found out you can dance.
  6. Any money gifted on Christmas day will be ploughed straight back into 2016 events.By now you have danced to “All I want for Christmas” at least 8 times and the Michael Buble numbers are off the scale.
  7. Christmas day TV viewing is based largely around…you guessed it…dancing. UK readers, I know most of you will be prioritizing Strictly Come Dancing over the Queens speech, don’t lie.
  8. Your first thought when receiving clothes as gifts is “can I dance in this?”.

That’s it from Dance Dependent for this year, we have exciting things in the pipeline for next year, so make sure you subscribe below for free updates.
Nick Stephens

How to survive the post-weekender blues

Dance dependent, The blues photo

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We’ve all been there. It’s understandable. When you step into the microcosm of a dance weekend all time, space and outside commitments are forgotten. I like to turn my phone off and stay off Facebook for as long as possible to further enhance the feeling. For 72 hours all that there is, is dancing, socializing, dancing, talking about dancing, learning about dancing, reminiscing about dancing and dancing. The Monday morning combination of your endorphin supply being abruptly cut, a total of 6 hours sleep and a 5 hour drive home is enough to make even the hardened dance veteran wince. But fear not. Dance dependent is here to help you through with the ultimate guide to take the edge off those blues.

  1. Music is essential. It’s what got you to that lovely fluffy place and it’s what will bring you down safely too. There are two ways you can go with this. Number one, you can listen to music that you danced to, re-living each delicious moment for the second time. But for some this can be too much, the idea that you aren’t there any more sinking you back down into that dance-less pit. If this is you then I suggest door number two. ANY music that you don’t dance your particular style to. Personally I like a bit of deep house and drum and bass, nothing too musically intricate but something that enhances your sleepy but relaxed state.
  2. Massage / bath. Book in a sports massage or have a bath to get those muscles ready for more dancing.
  3. Keep the high going. This one comes with a warning. Check out my post on dance addiction! Some people like to keep dancing and just never stop, this can only end well? Right? Not for the faint hearted, going dancing at your local on a Monday or even going straight there from a weekender can help ease the pain. But what goes up must come down……
  4. Immerse yourself in social media. Add all your new dance friends, post the “aftermath” status, get all your favourites in a group chat. Dissect the event, the dances, “that” moment. Find comfort in the fact that everyone is just as upset as you that it’s all over.
  5. Sleeeeeeep. For me, getting to bed after a weekender is extremely hard. Your body clock is screwed, normal bedtime is pre-drinking and dancing time. Also in my head, once you hit the pillow, it’s finally over. But trust me on this one, your body wants that bed, and the sooner you give it to it, the better.
  6. Plan the next one. This may not be helping you to come back down to reality but knowing when you can get your next fix should ease the pain.

I think that’s the lot. Good luck with work tomorrow. I feel your pain, no-one will get it, they weren’t there, I know, I know!
Let us know your tips for avoiding the come-down below.

Nick Stephens

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I have two left feet

Dance dependent, two left tango feet

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I have two left feet. I had been partner dancing for a number of years before I made my discovery. Strange to think that it took so long to realise. Even stranger then is the fact that I had become rather proficient at leading nicely connected, musical dances. All the time I was blissfully unaware. How weird that I had somehow managed to dance so well without understanding a simple truth; when I dance I have two left feet.


It took Argentine tango to bring this to my attention. Like many newcomers to tango I started gaining ability, improving my balance and I was even starting to enjoy some of the traditional music. But like most newcomers I was being held back by my failure to understand one simple thing. When I dance I have two left feet.


I remember my moment of epiphany vividly. I was having a private lesson with the Dutch tango maestro Bennie Bartels. As is the way with these affairs my mind was being bent to breaking point trying to motorize my imaginings. Attempting not to be flustered as I inflicted my brutal tango lead upon this ultra-refined expert. Why is it when you need your skills the most they seem to abandon you? If only when I danced I didn’t have two left feet.


Bennie must have noticed the steam coming from my ears or perhaps he feared for the safety of his toes, he said in his beautifully pronounced English that I had to ‘think his feet’ where I wanted them to go. I stopped thinking about my feet and his feet, and now started to think about my four feet. Bingo! When I lead an embrace I have two right feet and two left feet.


Looking back I identify this as being the moment that I finally started to ‘get’ tango. Tango teachers talk a lot about having a student mind. Like most students of dance I had very quickly abandoned the idea of having two left feet. It is synonymous with being clumsy. However if you apply it literally to leading any partner dance it reveals a level of understanding that will really propel your progress.


So, dance. Enjoy having two left feet.

Nath is a Tango, Modern Jive and Blues teacher based in the Midlands. You can also find him behind the decks. Check out here for more information


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