Smooth/Ballroom II

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Event Dates

This event occurred
in the past.

  from 3-5pm
Will NOT Occur On...
Sat, 02 July 2011
Sat, 18 June 2011
Sat, 13 August 2011

Instructor: Darrell Dieringer
Enrollment: limit 20 (this is a group class)
Tuition: $125/person (see below for specials)
Format: eight two-hour sessions (see below)
Register by 15 June 2011

Held At:
  Kanopy Dance Studio – 341 State St
  2nd floor above “The Gap” clothing store

Offered By: the Art of Dance

You do not need to enroll with a partner. Partner changes occur frequently in class.

Dances Covered:
    Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, and Merengue

Please fill out all pertinent Registration Material, and bring the forms with you on the first day of class along with your payment.

Darrell’s much anticipated Ballroom II class picks up where your previous beginner-level classes left off. This class will cover more moves, styling, and technique in Waltz, Tango, and Fox Trot (American Style for all).

We will cover American Style Smooth dances in this class.


Experienced dancer? Already familiar with the music, basic patterns, styling, and common moves in classic “Smooth” dances – Tango, Fox Trot, and Waltz? Learn greater power, energy exchange, and more refined partnering – as well as new moves requiring these skills – in these American Style Smooth dances. No partner needed. Dress comfortably for a movement class.


Students will already know basic moves and be able to identify the music for four different dances – Waltz, Tango, Fox Trot, and Merengue. Students will improve their good dance habits, emphasizing the importance of posture, frame, and connection/partnering. Students will recognize how those good habits are absolutely essential in the Leading and Following of moves, and how those good habits are what serve to make each dancer a welcome participant at any social or competitive ballroom dance event.


This is not a beginner-level class.
This class is for you if…

  1. You already had a beginner-level class with either Darrell or Sarah, and…
    • You are familiar with our warm-up and balance exercises
    • You understand “Touchless Dancing”
    • You can successfully execute several different moves in several different dances
  2. You have not had a beginner level class with either Darrell or Sarah, but…
    • You are familiar with bronze-level syllabus moves in several dances
    • You are ready for a faster-paced class that focuses on excellence in the use of your body for graceful and powerful Leading and Following


Each class period is two-hours, consisting of 90 minutes of instruction time followed by 30 minutes of guided practice time (where Darrell is available to help and answer questions). Class will occur on eight Saturday’s, taking the week off for the Fourth of July.


Eight two-hour sessions for $125/person. Enroll with a friend (can be a Lead or a Follow, regardless of your role) and save $25/person. No Partner is required – expect numerous partner changes. Please see the Changing Partners FAQ.

Reserving Space

Please Email Darrell Dieringer to reserve space in class. Payment is possible by cash or check. If needed, Paypal can be arranged.

Kanopy Dance Studio

Held at:

    341 State Street,
    Madison, WI
    (608) 255-2211
    ( map | website )

Kanopy dance studio is located in Downtown Madison on State Street. Nearby parking is available in the Overture Center Parking Ramp and the Capitol Parking Ramp.

The studio is located on the second floor above the Gap clothing store. The door to enter the studio is to the left of the Gap.

Each instructor at the Art of Dance is independent and sets his or her own prices. See Prices for all available private lesson packages. See Group Classes for all avaialable classes. Each instructor at the Art of Dance is independent and sets his or her own prices. Limitations may apply. Please see the FAQ and read the studio’s Policies.

written by:   [ About ]   [ Contact ]
Published: 28 May 2011 at 2:46pm
Last Edited: 02 August 2011 at 7:43pm

Class Notes

The class notes for Smooth/Ballroom II

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Class Notes

Week Two

Turning left and turning right are fundamental to traveling dances – Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Samba, and Paso Doble. Not all of those are Smooth/Standard dances, but all of them do travel.

More specifically, doing moves that are able to turn left and that are able to turn right is important to both navigating around the dance floor and to improvising solutions when your planned path become blocked or occupied by other dancers.

You took the Simple Twinkle – presented initially as a left-turning move (it starts with half of a left-turning box/reverse turn) – and turned it into a right-turning move. In the second measure of the Simple Twinkle, the Lead needs to “cut-off” the Follow, thus finishing the move with the Lead backing the Line of Dance (LOD) with the Lead’s left foot ready to move backward (as it would in the Lead’s back-half of a right-turning-box/natural turn).

This is particularly useful for navigating around corners of the dance floor.

To accomplish this “cutting-off”, Leads must use their torso to rotate strongly toward the Follows prior to taking the through-the-middle step of the second measure of the Simple Twinkle.

** Dance Floor Calculus **

We reviewed important concepts like
– Line of Dance
– Facing/Backing Wall
– Facing/Backing Center
– Facing/Backing Diagonal Wall (diagonal right)
– Facing/Backing Diagonal Center (diagonal left)

Leads, you do Left-Turning Moves when you are facing Diagonal Center (diagonal left) and your Left Foot is free. The converse is true for Right-Turning Moves.

Say you are a Lead who is Facing Diagonal Wall with your Left foot free. You need to do a move that becomes a Right-Turning move. Half of a Left-Box (with no rotation) will work here. That move becomes a Right-Turning move – at the end of half of a Left-Box, your Right Foot will be free, and you will still be facing Diagonal Wall (diagonal right), ready to do a Right-Turning move.

Same set up – You are Lead Facing Diagonal Wall with your Left foot free. You could do the Simple Twinkle from last week that ends with the Lead backing the Line of dance. That Simple Twinkle starts like a Left-Turning move, but it becomes a Right-Turning move.

** Viennese Waltz **

Despite sharing the term “Waltz” in their names, the dance Waltz (sometimes called Slow Waltz) should be treated as a separate dance from the Viennese Waltz.

You only did left-turning moves in Viennese Waltz – forward, side, cross-in-front; back, side, together. Forward moving person supplies the power. Backward moving person supplies the rotation.

Next Week
– right turning Viennese Waltz
– posture, poise, sway, and power.

Week One

The main objective today was increase your arsenal of moves by making alterations to moves you already know.

The Chassé Twinkle
The base move for the three-measure Chassé Twinkle is a the two-measure Simple Twinkle. The first and last measures of the Chassé Twinkle are identical to the Simple Twinkle, which mean the additional measure appears in the middle.

The Chassé Twinkle requires a Syncopation – subdivision of the music/movement. The feet go “through-the-middle, side, together, side” and the count is “1 2 and 3″ (often written 1 2+ 3). You stay in Promenade Dance Position throughout the Chassé Twinkle.

Turning Right
About half the time in Waltz (or Fox Trot, or Viennese Waltz), you will do moves that turn left (or could turn left). The other half the time, you will do moves that turn right (or could turn right).

By beginning a Simple Twinkle with the Lead’s Left Foot moving backward, but still opening into Promenade by the end of the first measure, this becomes a right-turning move.

Why? The Follow’s Right Foot is coming forward when the Lead’s Left Foot is moving backward at the start of the move. For Box-Based moves (like your moves in Waltz), whenever anyone’s right foot comes forward (either Lead or Follow), the move can potentially turn to the right. (The converse is true regarding the Left foot – when anyones Left Foot comes forward, the move can potentially turn to the left.)

Four-Measure Simple Twinkle
You learned a four-measure pattern that starts like the familiar Simple Twinkle (Lead’s left foot forward). However, at the end of the second measure, the Leads turn to face the Follow (cutting in front of the Follow), thus turning the Lead’s back toward the Line of Dance (more or less).

From here, the Lead’s Left foot is free (and the Follow’s Right foot). This is where the right-turning version of the Simple Twinkle comes in. Leads are already set up to move backward with the left foot, so that’s what they do, opening into promenade at the end of that third measure. The fourth measure is the familiar “through-the-middle, side, together”.

This is a useful move to do at a corner.

Next week…
- The Calculus of Smooth Dance Choreography

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Man, I hope I can make it to class again soon. It sounds like I could be learning such good, interesting stuff if only I could go!