Evianne Ballroom Studios

Wedding Dance Lessons, Ballroom Dance Lessons, and Latin Dance Lessons

Tango: Where did it come from?

Much about the origins of the tango dance is unclear, but most agree the term initially applied to the place where African slaves would meet Argentinians to dance during the first half of the 1800s. Because most who danced were slaves, intermingling socially with both natives and European immigrants, the dances occurred in the poorest neighborhoods. Most immigrants to Argentina at the time were young men, hoping to make their fortunes and then move back to Europe or bring their families.

By the middle of the century, the tango was well-known and included aspects of many European dances as well. It was common for barmaids to use the dance as a type of mating ritual, with their late-night drinkers. Gang members would use the steps in hopes of gaining enough skill to get attention by women as well.

Thus, because of these associations and the sexual overtones, high Argentine society snubbed it, even as it spread to neighboring countries and cities. Around the turn of the twentieth century, rich young men, bored with high society, began to look for adventure and found themselves in the poor neighborhoods. Hoping to find excitement, they learned the tango in order to take it to Paris to show their friends.

Worldwide immigration increased prior to World War I, and the dance took over in Paris, then America and the rest of Europe where new crowds embraced it. This pressured those high-born Argentinians who had rebuffed it to embrace it in the name of national pride.

The spread of the tango brought about Argentina’s rise to position among the top 10 richest countries worldwide, and it was used widely in movies during the 1920s and 1930s. Following the worldwide craze, the dance was elevated in Argentina as well, becoming part of upper class courting customs.

Musicians went from disdained to esteemed, often booked a year in advance. Neighborhoods engaged in dance competitions often until the wee hours of the morning, which resulted in riots and required law enforcement’s help to restore order. Then, during the 1950s, the dance became synonymous with political subversion and was forced underground due to new rules suppressing public gatherings.

The younger generation brought it out into the open again in the 1980s when democracy took over. It was reintroduced in Paris in a stage show about European revival that then toured worldwide. Still a popular dance to learn, versions danced today in ballrooms have toned down the suggestivity.

Dancing - Good for the body, good for the mind

Dancing: good for the body, good for the mind While ballroom dancing offers physical benefits through cardio and muscle toning, its advantages go further. An activity for all ages and generations, social dancing’s benefits seem to increase with age, using both physical movement and cognitive stimulation to keep your mind sharp. Here are three reasons to consider ballroom dancing:

First, physical health. With age, joints become stiff from use, misuse, or injury, causing loss of mobility and flexibility. Women often have changes to their center of gravity and balance, as well as their muscle structure, following pregnancy and delivery.

Dancing, as a low-impact alternative, benefits those who have difficulty with typical gym workouts, or who have previous injuries which prevent using weights, allowing a return to strength and toning with a more gentle activity. Further, improving muscle strength and flexibility reduces future injuries and aids with posture and self-confidence.

Second, mental health. The social aspect of dance affects cognitive health, keeping key connections open to improve memory. Choreography enhances memory for detail by teaching skills in a controlled and repetitive setting, forming new neural connections.

Repetition is key for transferring short-term memory into long-term, and so dance lessons can keep your memory active and possibly prevent or reverse some age-related degeneration as happens with Alzheimer’s. This leads to an increased ability to concentrate and to shift attention successfully, retaining sharpness of mind.

Lastly, emotional health. Beyond toning muscles and reducing future injuries, a surprising finding from research showed seniors who regularly engage in dance activities report less physical pain. In addition, they report a higher level of satisfaction with their lives, a sense of well being, and a feeling of connection to their community.

Directly due to dancing regularly, their lives hold more interest to them, giving them something to look forward to, and they interact more energetically with the world and people around them.

Valentine's Day with Evianne Studios

Pope Gelasius I chose February 14 as a religious feasting day around 496 AD, to supersede a pagan holiday previously held on February 15. It is unclear for whom this holiday is named as in Catholic lore, at least 3 saints held the name Valentine. However, all three are believed to have met their deaths in the same way and on the same day: by martyrdom on February 14.

One of the more well-known tropes about the origins of Valentine’s Day occurs during Emperor Claudius II’s reign in Rome, around 270 AD. The Emperor forbade weddings, not wanting men to marry during wartime so as to keep his military force at full strength and firmly believing bachelors were better soldiers. Saint Valentine defied the Emperor, officiating over secret weddings; for this, he was imprisoned and eventually executed. During his incarceration, he purportedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and prior to his execution penned a note to her, inscribing it “from your Valentine”.

Although throughout the centuries this holiday has taken many forms and traditions, today we look at Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate love. Evianne Studios offers special events for holidays like Valentine’s Day. This year we are taking dancing to a vineyard for a unique and memorable experience, combining appetizers and dessert with wine tastings and ballroom dancing for a night to remember!

While the traditional dinner, flowers, candy, or chocolates can be an ideal way to show your love and commitment, if you have been wanting a one-of-a-kind experience to make an impression, we invite you to reserve your spots. Come dance the night away to celebrate your Valentine!

Holiday Gift Idea

The holidays are just around the corner, and one wise bit of gift-giving advice is becoming more and more popular: Consider giving your loved ones the gift of great experiences instead of more stuff.

And what’s one of the most consistently popular experiences you can give? Ballroom dance!

The team at Evianne Ballroom Studios isn’t at all surprised that ABC’s Dancing with the Stars is still getting hit ratings after 25 seasons. There’s a very good reason for that popularity: There are many non-dancers among us who harbor secret ballroom dance ambitions!

We’ve had a blast helping those clients embrace their inner dancer for over 11 years, when the owner, Rachel, began teaching. Evianne offers more than 13 different styles of dance including waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, cha cha, swing, salsa, merengue and many more.

“I've never felt more comfortable dancing,” our client Franklin says. “I get pushed to learn when I need it while keeping things fun. Lessons are tailored to my goals as a dancer. I've learned everything from social dancing to competition technique and am always looking forward to my next lesson."

We pride ourselves on a fun and relaxed environment where everyone knows your name and you can't wait to come back, so think about the loved ones on your holiday gift list who would be thrilled (even secretly!) to receive the experience of ballroom dance this season.

Our special holiday gift card promotion offers generous discounts on our usual class fees: one lesson is $28 (40% discount), two lessons, $84 (40% discount); and 4 lessons costs just $140 (50% discount). 

Get in touch with us today to give your loved ones the gift of dance! Call us at 919-624-1357 to purchase your gift certificate today! 

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