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All About Ballroom Dancing

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Whether you are a student or a teacher, we're discussing ALL things Ballroom Dance related. There are so many ways to accomplish patterns & techniques in this industry, & we are here to assist in your understanding of these concepts. So let us know your questions...we want to hear from you.


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Whether you are a student or a teacher, we're discussing ALL things Ballroom Dance related. There are so many ways to accomplish patterns & techniques in this industry, & we are here to assist in your understanding of these concepts. So let us know your questions...we want to hear from you.






Interview With Monica Shifflet from Virginia Beach VA

Todd & Taras chat with a student from Virginia Beach VA about her journey in dancing. This is out first student to be on the show. Monica is an amazing student and just great woman to get to know. Learn more about Monica and how/why she got into0 ballroom dancing. From her 'day-job' in the cockpit of a fighter jet to going Mach 3 on the dance-floor. We loved chatting with Monica Shifflet. We're also sorry that we've been slack on getting out content. We're back in the studio to record some more All About Ballroom Dancing for you :)


Are YOU Holding Yourself Back?

“Are YOU Holding Yourself Back?” Todd Combs & Taras Denysenko episode 006 What does holding back mean to you? Are you your own worst enemy?Are you engaging in all-or-nothing thinking?Are you afraid of failure? Sometimes failure means different things: Rejection - disapproval - The UnknownDon’t like getting out of your comfort zone. Be brave & get out of your comfort zone. Outside your comfort zone will quickly become inside your comfort zone = more confidence - (Use growing muscles analogy) New Dancers: Looking StupidNot being talented enough, coordinated enough,The perfectionist - Self Criticism - You excel in your profession and other hobbies that starting something new like dancing will make you see all the flaws No PartnerDistance from Studio - (more of an excuse) Intermediate Dancers: Wanting to learn too fast is actually holding yourself back: Talk about people wanting to go up the levels too quicklyWanting to learn too slow...over analyzing every step. Paralysis Thru Analysis Advanced Dancers: Afraid to go all out, pull the trigger and go for it. When you over train and are afraid of making a mistake. Want to perfect things before the next routine or event - You expect perfection from yourself - Quotes: “I don’t believe in holding know, life isn’t a dress rehearsal!” - Kate Winslet “Courage comes by being brave; fear comes by holding back” - Publious Syrus What areas are you holding back? Now that you realize where you are holding yourself back what are the next steps you plan on taking? Please write in and let us know. It helps other dancers to know the struggles others go through because sometimes they think “It’s just my problem”...not realizing thousands of people have had the same issue. We look forward to our next episode of AABD. And until then...we’ll see YOU on the dance floor


Bob Powers On Standardizing Professional American Rhythm

Bob Powers Standardizing Professional American Rhythm Todd Combs & Taras Denysenko episode 005 12 Times United States Rhythm Champions3 Times World ProfessionalMamboChampionBob & Julia are recipients of the2012DanceSportHall of Fame AwardFinalist in the World Showdance ChampionshipsMember of the World Dance Arts FoundationCertifiedadjudicatorwith the National Dance Council of America* Certified with the World Dance Council Arthur MurrayDance Studio, Owner in Mesa ArizonaJulia & Bob are creators & owners of the Latin Dance Fitness Program “Core Rhythms” _________________________________________________ What exactly is this project you are doing? Is it like a “rule book”, or a guideline manual? Please let us know what it is. Bob Powers: The group is called Rhythm Champions and our mission is to promote American Style Rhythm dancing worldwide. The American Smooth has had great success lately and we have discovered that the reason the Rhythm has lagged behind is the fact that there’s a belief that there are too many differences in the techniques. So one of the goals of the group is to come to a consensus on each dance. We are in the process of developing a technique book, not a syllabus but strictly body, hip, leg and foot action description. So if you can imagine 15 former US Champions coming together to agree on a specific technique and how it should be expressed verbally. Who is involved? Is there a person or persons in charge of organizing this? What are different persons' roles? Bob Powers: Every US Champion since the inception of the Pro Rhythm division. I can list them if you want. 1984 Charles & Jean Penatello 1985-1987 Joe Lozano & Jan Mattingly 1988-1992 Forrest Vance & Susie Thompson 1991-2003 Bob Powers & Julia Gorchakova 2004 Tony Dovolani & Inna Ivanenko 2005-2006 Tony Dovolani & Elena Grinenko 2007-2010 Jose DeCamps & Joanna Zacharewicz 2011-2013 Decho Kraev & Bree Watson 2014-2015 Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine & Liana Churilova 2016-2018 Nazar Norov & Irina Kudryashova 2019 Andre Paramonov & Natalie Paramonov What is your role? Bob Powers: We are all equally involved and contribute to the technique as well as promotion and online classes to promote it. How did this come about? Bob Powers: During the Coronavirus stay at home order one of the guys came up with the idea and asked who would be interested. We all responded. What stage is this currently in? Bob Powers: Definitely developmental. It's taken us 9 weeks to do the Rumba Box. But the great thing is it just keeps getting better. We have such an amazing group of great dancers, teachers and musically gifted individuals that it can’t help but be a success. _________________________________________________


Julia Gorchakova On Dance Dresses - Clothing - Dance Exercise Core Rhythms - How To Become A Better Dancer

Julia Gorchakova Todd Combs & Taras Denysenko episode 004 12 Times United States Rhythm Champions3 Times World ProfessionalMamboChampionCreator of the Fitness Exercise Program called Core RhythmsOwner of Artistry In Motion - DanceSport Clothing Ballroom Dance Questions: What dance do you think challenges most students (as a whole or fem/male/cpl) and Pro competitors?What dance do you think has evolved the most since you’ve been dancing?What can any student do right now to improve their dancing? (Develop stronger foot/ankle usage, general balance, stronger core, or specific muscle group awareness...are some examples) Artistry In Motion Questions: How did you get started?Who needs “Dance Cloths”? (Everyone...every sport has their own “gear”)What should Men get, & when?What Should Women have, & when?What or who is your biggest design influence? Core Rhythm Questions: How did Core Rhythms come about? Listener Questions: Trishia Weger: What kind of diet do you have? Are you really strict about it? How do you stay in shape?You once shared with Tricia ie Todd. How you first started making your beautiful competition dance costumes with your mom, and that in the early years you had to make the flashy embellishments from raw materials. Can you tell us more about that, and how that differs today?She and her mom used to hammer out homemade sequins from small discs in Her home country in the early days. I was fascinated by that. I am sure there is much more to the story!How does a short dancer adjust dance style to get favorable attention from judges? Amber: What is something you think students 1) Overthink, and 2) under-prepare for in getting ready for comps, or even while at compsIs there any “OMG, not again” errors that you see people make? Dancing and Costume Beatriz Holan: I have one struggle (out of 150) I learn the school figures, I can follow with a partner but later, when I have to do it on my own, my brain goes blank! I don't remember much of the names. I feel like I've wasted a lesson and you know that is a limited supply Miscellaneous Questions: So tell us about your dogsAny crazy four wheeling storiesShare with the listeners the time you and Bob went running with your friends dog (they had to carry the dog back) If you were judging a couple dancing a side x side competition...AND that couple was Bob Powers & Julia Gorchakova. Who would you mark 1st?


Why Do People Like Ballroom Dancing

So Why Do People Like Ballroom Dancing You Ask? Today Todd Combs and Taras Denysenko we'll be discussing why people love ballroom dancing so much, and why ballroom dancing could improve your life in ways you couldn't imagine. Ballroom dancing could benefit you in ways so many ways you probably don't think need improvement. Who doesn't want to improve their life? Who doesn't want more self confidence, stress relief, or just to improve their relationship with their significant other or spouse? Who out there thinks everything in their life is so perfect that nothing can be done to enhance what they have right now? I hope none of our listeners out there have this mentality because we can always, always improve ourselves and our environment! In this episode we get to the core reasons why you should start either taking ballroom dance lessons or why you should continue taking your ballroom dance lessons.


Do I Need A Partner To Learn To Ballroom Dance?

episode - 002 Todd Combs & Taras Denysenko Episode Transcripts: Todd Combs 0:07 All right, everybody. This is the second episode of all about ballroom dancing and have one I am one of your hosts, Todd Combs and I on the other one harass Dennis sanko. In today's topic is a hot topic It is called Do I need a partner to ballroom dance? Taras Denysenko 0:35 And what an interesting topic this is, and it seems appropriate for the current times. But boy, we get a lot of phone calls and inquiries about people asking, Hey, I want to learn how to ballroom dance. Do I need a dance partner? Yeah, I would say normally who asked this question sort of the ladies, the single ladies that they call in and you know, for dance lessons. So I'd say in a week that's a that's a good percentage of people. Todd Combs 1:00 Call and ask that question constantly. Yeah. And that's a good question do you need? Do you need a partner to ballroom dance? And that is that is the focus of us answering this question. I mean, it's an easy answer, but we'll tell you why. It's an easy answer. But but maybe before we talk about and just give them an answer, I'm going to give the example of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. So Maslow proposed that healthy human beings have a certain number of needs and that those needs are arranged in the hierarchy, right? A lot of people might know the Maslow's pyramid. And this is done by five, a five level pyramid with the higher needs coming into focus only once after the lower needs have been met. So let's the first two needs we don't even they don't really pertain to us. The first need is the physiological need. And that is air water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing. The second one is safety needs personal security, employment resources, health, things like that. So I think people who are calling into dance have probably met those needs. And they already have those needs, right? And then, and then the third name, you can talk about the third need. Taras Denysenko 2:17 Well, 30 talking about love and belonging, where people are looking for friendship, a little bit more intimacy, family sense of connection. Todd Combs 2:27 Right? And then the, the fourth one would be esteem. So that's, you know, they want they want respect, they want self esteem, they want status, recognition, they want strength, freedom, things like that. Yeah. And then the final one is the self actualization, the desire to become the most that one can be. Right, and I think I think that's true. You could look at that pyramid and say, there's all kinds of things you can see yourself and all those levels. Everyone has those levels. Yep. And yeah, People come in and in dancing is not something everyone did when they grew up. I mean, I will I shouldn't say that some sometimes ladies come in and they did cheerleading ballet tap jazz, but guys never really did a lot of that not many. Right? So, yes, this is something new, you know, for promote for most people but even when women come in they were dancing by themselves. And they were in control. And then they come in and yeah, ballroom dance and they the guys lead. They hate it. Yeah. That's very true. They, they hate it. Yeah. But they they learn to like it. So so then maybe now we can, let's discuss a few reasons why. You know, people call the studio, kind of inside of this pyramid. So, now we trust and I discussed that next episode we're going to have a have a more in depth discussion about the reasons why people call The studio why people come in what? What are the major reasons they want to take lessons? Right? Right. So that'll be the next episode. So today, we thought would be an appetizer. You know, we would go over some of these but not so much detail because the next episode we will Yeah, that's that's like it's a good one because that next that next topic that's a that's a big one. That's what helps people really want to develop their dancing to their utmost potential. Taras Denysenko 4:29 But yeah,...


Ballroom Dance Music With Brent Thomas Mills

Todd Combs – Taras Denysenko – Brent Thomas Mills Transcripts: Todd Combs 0:01 So we are with our first episode of all about ballroom dancing and Taras and I were thinking what what should the first episode be? And we thought one question all of our students have is about music. Is it? Yeah, to know? Yeah. How to know when, what music goes with what and it’s and identifying music is a challenge. You can’t learn it here on just the podcast but understanding things. It’s a it’s the first step. Right? Right. So we thought we’d bring the man in. That’s right. The man Taras Denysenko 0:33 the myth, the legend, the legend, Todd Combs 0:35 the guy who writes if you’ve been to a ballroom dance competition, you have heard his music in your ears. And he does. I can tell you he’s so many events, ton of events. He goes from franchises in North America competitions, parties, their competitions, independent competitions, any kind of events that has music Brent is running it. I think he even went overseas Yeah, even they even let him in overseas was questionable for a little bit, but they let him in. Brent Mills 1:04 I had to get a special passport. I know. Thank you so much. Todd Combs 1:09 But everybody, let’s now welcome Brent Thomas Mills. Brent Mills 1:13 What’s up, guys? How you doing? Taras Denysenko 1:15 Good. Yes. Great. Brent Mills 1:17 Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate I appreciate you having me there most. Most. Yeah, most want to talk about judges or technique or their feet. And in my brain, I keep thinking like, Well, you know, it’s, it’s the importance like the movement, it all is important. But like, if that tune is not there, then you look really funny. Doing all that stuff without any noise. Yep. And it’s not like people go out and be like, Oh, I move like this. And then a band says, Oh, look, they look like they’re doing a cha cha let’s do that. It’s reverse. So if you hear it, then you do it. So that That’s what I like, right? Everyone is listening, and then they do it. Todd Combs 2:04 So first you have me on, I appreciate it. Absolutely no problem. And we were all kind of talking earlier about, there’s a big advantage of having a person run the music who is a ballroom dancer, not just a music, you know, fanatic or something like you. You’re a ballroom dancer, you know, dance. So that Brent Mills 2:24 It did help. I’ve been dancing since I was 14, actually, when I started. Taras Denysenko 2:29 Wow. And how did you really? Yeah, how did you get started? And well, I Brent Mills 2:33 just happen to have when I got into high school in the ninth grade, my drama teacher because I was starting to get into, you know, that type of thing, just so I could get out of math and science and anything else that actually made me think so I was like, yeah, drama easy, while the drama coach happened to be a former ballroom champion, danced on a Blackpool team. Per coach was Roy Mavor who is a very famous cabaret World Champion, choreographer and whatnot. So they did the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. And that requires 14 male dancers. And I was in a little Podunk High School. So dancing was not you know, was not definitely part of the football or athletic league. Let’s say that. So we had to go out and recruit football players and baseball players to you know, dance Seven Brides, which was appealing to them because it was like jumping over logs and the big social, were there throwing the girls around. So it looked cool then. So we did the whole musical ran it. And then when it stopped, you know, we had to learn walls. For a scene, we had to learn lifts. We had learned the polka. So we was over and we were like, well, we like doing this. Can we Do this after school so that drama goes right. But let’s start a little ballroom team after school once a week for an hour. So that started and by the time I was a senior in high school, it was an official club. We had like 36 people in there. We were...


Welcome To "All About Ballroom Dancing"

Todd Combs & Taras Denysenko Todd Combs 0:06 Welcome to the introduction to our new show All About Ballroom Dancing. Taras Denysenko 0:13 And I’m tourist Dennis sanko. When I’ve been teaching since 1994. Todd Combs 0:18 And I am Todd Combs I’ve been teaching since 1995. And not only are we teachers for so long, but we were also professional competitors for many, many Taras Denysenko 0:30 years. And wait, that’s not all. We’re also ballroom dance studio owners. Todd Combs 0:36 Yes, we own studios. We do it all. But we also a couple more things in our credentials in our in our little resume here. We are traveling consultants. We’ve gone through many, many exams, many tests, gone really far with this set of dancing and we get hired to go to studios all over the United States and out of the country to but mostly United States and we work in studios. Yeah, so we get hired, I’m sure if your students from other places you know that they bring in consultants to the studios you go to and that’s what Taras Denysenko 1:08 we do also. And wait, that’s not all. Because if you’re also competitive dancers, whether professionally or program or amateur, we’re also accredited ballroom dance judges. So we can do enforce our opinions on the dance floor and we can place you first or last. Don’t do it. Todd Combs 1:35 Now on this show, we’re not going to focus on trying to teach you to ballroom dance via a podcast, an audio show that’s just it’s it’s insane. That’s too much for anyone to do. We could probably do it because we’re amazing, but it’s still probably tough. What what we’ll we’ll talk about things and dancing, talk about moves. We’ll talk about stuff but you know, it’s not going to be a learning to dance show. Yeah. Taras Denysenko 2:01 So what we are and will be discussing on the show is some ideas surrounding ballroom dancing. Anything from anything? Todd Combs 2:11 Yeah. things you can do to improve your dancing Taras Denysenko 2:15 topics, from music to shoes, even subjects, like when you can wear rhinestones and when you shouldn’t. Todd Combs 2:23 And what we’re also going to do is we’ll definitely have interviews, we’re gonna interview coaches, we’re gonna interview Yeah, fellow coaches, fellow judges, fellow studio owners, teachers, students, professional competitors, we want to get all their opinions. Because usually when the students come in, they want to know, what are the judges looking for? What are if I’m doing even if it’s in studio doesn’t have to be a big competition. It could just be something you’re doing in the studio. What do What does everyone want to see work? How can I improve it? We’ll we’ll get everyone’s feedback from, from those questions. Taras Denysenko 3:03 Yeah, that’s the crazy thing is the ballroom world can be a strange and scary place if you’re brand new to it. And even at times, even if you’re not, so that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to help lead. You see what I did there? We’re like that. We’re here to help lead you through this strange and beautiful world. Todd Combs 3:24 Yes. And one of the big things is, obviously, there’s gonna be a lot more students listening to this than teachers and students have questions and we want to know, what are your questions? What do you want to talk about warming? We’ll pull our studios and see what students want to hear but we want to hear outside our studios. Now what do you want to hear us discuss what would be beneficial to you? What kind of questions do you have about dancing? And we know between us we know a lot about dancing. I’m not even trying to be conceited or but this is our This is our craft. You know, we’re really good at what we do. We know a lot about it, but I’m not going to say we knew everything and if we don’t know the answer we know someone who does know the answer. So yeah, I’m not going to say we’re not going to Oregon know every answer but we will find someone who does and will answer it for you. So, the Our...