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Ballroom Dance Lessons Make a Fantastic Mother’s Day Gift!


giftWe all want to give those special women in our lives the best gift possible – That perfect gift that says “I love you”.  Well, what better gift is there than the gift of dance?!  What woman wouldn’t love for to be whisked around a dance floor?  Taking ballroom dance lessons may have been something that she always wanted to get around to doing.  Here is your chance to give her that opportunity, and best of all, it is a gift that keeps on giving.  There are so many wonderful benefits of ballroom dancing, both physically and mentally.  She will also have so much more confidence both on and off the dance floor, all while meeting some great people in the process.

Mother’s Day (May 10th) is just around the corner, so don’t wait… you can give her the gift she’s always wanted!  BDBR has several options for you to fit any pocketbook.

Gift Option #1 — Get a $300 Gift Card for $275

Gift Option #2 — Two 50-Min. Private Lessons for $150

Gift Option #3 — Two 8-week Group Classes for $170

Gift Option #4 — Get a Gift Card for Any Value!

You can purchase any gift card above online at www.ballroomdancebr.com/giftcards OR just stop by the studio and purchase one from our front desk.  We would be happy to speak to you to make sure you are getting the perfect gift for that special woman, so feel free to call us at 225-308-4014 to discuss our gift card options as well as our lesson options.

A Dancer’s Advice to Wedding Couples

As a dance teacher, I see a lot of wedding couples. More and more people having been moving away from the traditional sway dance, instead taking lessons to learn something more intricate. If you’re like me, you appreciate this trend. There is nothing quite so boring as watching four minutes of the eighth-grade sway step. That being said, it can be easy to get in over your head when you’re attempting a trained ballroom wedding dance. So, if you having been thinking of taking some ballroom lessons in preparation for your wedding, here are some tips that will make it a lot less stressful, and a lot more fun.

1. Start early. I get a lot of couples who try to start their wedding dance just a few weeks before their wedding. That’s just not enough time. Considering the inevitable scheduling difficulties that abound as the wedding date approaches (and those on top of already busy schedules), it is nearly impossible for couples to consistently practice in the weeks leading up to their weddings. If you start early, you will have a better chance of practicing consistently, and missed lessons won’t have such a drastic effect on your dance because you will have time to make them up. It makes for way less stress and a way better dance.

2. Invest in private lessons. If you are looking for a choreographed dance, then private lessons are the only way to go. However, if you are looking for a lead-follow dance, you can certainly start with group classes, and after one or two you may feel that is all the instruction you need. While it is great if group classes can get you feeling comfortable, they are not going to offer any of the in-depth instruction that will really make your dancing look good. There are so many fine points to dance posture and technique that it’s difficult to keep track of what you’re doing and what you’re not. That is where private lessons can bridge the gap. Even if you only do two or three lessons, having one-on-one (or one-on-two) instruction time will give you a much better understanding of your dance and how to work as a team.  For an actual choreographed dance; however, we have a wonderful Wedding Dance Private Lesson Package that includes eight 50-minute private lessons along with a complete choreographed routine.  We will also cut the music to fit your dance perfectly.  (Want more information?  Visit www.ballroomdancebr.com/wedding.html and complete the short online form and one of our professional instructors will be in touch with you to discuss your options in greater detail.)

3. Have multiple song options. Of course, if you have your heart set on a particular song, you don’t have to compromise. But keep in mind that some very popular wedding dance songs are actually very difficult to dance to. The tempo can be too fast or too slow, or the rhythm may be inconsistent. If you bring your instructor a few different songs for your dance, he/she can coach you on which song will be easiest to dance to and what kind of options you have.

4. Practice. I know this one seems like a no-brainer, but I also know how difficult it is to find time in a busy schedule to practice. It doesn’t matter what the hobby is, it’s tough. But practicing doesn’t have to mean doing the same four of five dance steps over and over. If you can find time to do any kind of dancing between your lessons, it will keep your muscles and your memory active, so it will be easier to pick up where you left off the last time. A perfect environment to practice in a fun way is to attend practice parties. Any studio you attend should host a party every week, usually on Fridays or Saturdays. BDBR’s social dances are held on every Saturday night except for the first Saturday of the month.  (See our calendar of events at www.ballroomdancebr.com/calendar.) Take that opportunity to go out and practice. You can make it really special and turn it into a date night. Just make sure you get on the floor!

5. Have fun and smile. This is the most important bit of advice I can give you. It doesn’t matter if your dance is the best in the world if you don’t enjoy it. If you can smile and have fun, it will be so much more engaging for you and your audience. Something that you can really remember and look fondly back on. After all, it’s your wedding! If there’s a day that you should be having fun, it’s today.

Following these suggestions will help make learning your wedding dance a much more enjoyable process. Of course, there will still be the occasional hiccup. If you have any trouble or concerns, don’t be afraid to communicate these to your instructor. We’re here to help, and we want you to have the best wedding dance possible. Best of luck!

Johanna Collier
Dance Instructor
Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance Baton Rouge

New Year’s Eve at BDBR

Before I started dancing, New Year’s Eve was not something that I often got excited about. For all the hype of the holiday, I had never encountered a very interesting way to celebrate it. It seemed like the only way people knew how to observe the new year was to throw a house party or go clubbing. Don’t get me wrong – mingling with friend’s is certainly nice. But since you can throw a house party any old time, it doesn’t really make for a spectacular way to spend your New Year’s Eve. Clubbing is much the same, except with added noise, poor lighting, pressing crowds, and a lot of shaking – none of which especially appeal to me. Other than that, it was difficult to find a different way to celebrate the new year without spending a good bit to do it – at least in the Baton Rouge area.

Then, of course, I discovered ballroom dance. The art and community have many great qualities – several of which I mentioned in my “Holiday Shopping Made Easy” post, and several more of which I plan to elaborate on in the future. Not least among these are the special events. Halloween at BDBR involves costumes and our Thriller line dance. For Christmas, we have our Winter Showcase, complete with catering and our Christmas music selection. And at BDBR, I have discovered a classic way to celebrate the New Year with food and friends. We begin with the food, setting out appetizers and drinks. The first few hours of the party are spent mingling and dancing. As midnight approaches, we begin the countdown to a champagne toast at the new year, as well as a balloon drop, followed by Auld Lang Syne. We follow this with more dancing and end the evening with a light breakfast on the new year. Of course, intermingled with all the festivities are New Year’s decorations, hats, and horns. No New Year’s party is complete without a bit of glitter, after all!

Overall, it’s one of the best ways to spend New Year’s Eve that I have ever encountered. It is romantic (for couples and singles both!), it is vibrant, it is timeless. So if you’re looking for something to do to welcome 2015, what better way than to come celebrate with us!

Johanna Collier
Dance Instructor
Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance Baton Rouge

The Calm After the Storm – Post-Showcase Repose

As many of you know, we hosted our annual winter showcase last weekend with stellar performances by staff and students alike. There was eating, drinking, dancing, cheering and overall a wonderful and rewarding atmosphere created by over one hundred friends and family-members. All in all, it was awesome.

If you have ever performed on stage (or in our case, on floor) – whether in ballet, ballroom, theatre, or anything else – I am sure you are familiar with the pre-show rush. You know, the week before the big night, during which you scramble around doing all the prep work that you promised yourself you wouldn’t wait until the last minute to do and then promptly waited until the last minute to do. Costume alterations, last-minute choreography changes, hair, nails, shoes, and the list goes on! Yeah, showcase week gets a little hectic.

Of course, that’s nothing compared with showcase night. That’s when the real magic happens. On the floor, all is calm. The audience is enchanted with beautiful costumes, brilliant choreography (if I do say so myself), and the grace and poise of practiced dancers. But back in the dressing room, chaos. It is a whirlwind of people ranging from fully dressed to all but naked. Shoes are thrown, feathers fly, santa hats are tossed – there is no telling what you will see. It’s a six-hour emotional roller coaster of joy and frustration, laughter and tears.

And it is so worth it.

When the lights dim after the last performance is done, the emotional whirlpool fades leaving one thing – an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. No matter what happened – wardrobe malfunctions, music mishaps, choreography mistakes – you did it. You got up in front of an audience and shared your joy, fear, and excitement. People cheered for you and laughed with you, and now you’re done. You can relax, have a drink, take a load off. Enjoy a week of sweet repose after a job well done.

So to all of our dancers who performed on Saturday: Congratulations! Take some time to yourself and enjoy some time with friends and loved ones. You have more than earned it!

Johanna Collier
Dance Instructor
Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance Baton Rouge

Holiday Shopping Made Easy – Give the Gift of Dance

Every year at about this time, I start to get a little stressed, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. Holidays usher in all kinds of wonderful things – time with family, traveling, holiday gifts, and shopping for instance. But they also bring with them a lot of stressful things – time with family, traveling, holiday gifts, and shopping for instance. Family and travel? Well there’s only so much we can do about either of those. But holiday shopping presents an ever-evolving problem. Budgets change, people’s interests change (Oh you’re not playing guitar anymore? Guess I just wasted a few hundred dollars). Not to mention there are about one-point-one million other things that we’ve got to do besides Christmas/Hanukkah/Whatever shopping.

Well, I’m going to give you a cheat this year. Consider it my gift to you to make your holiday shopping a little bit easier. You probably haven’t ever really considered giving dance lessons before, but ballroom dancing is a great gift, and I’ll tell you several reasons why.

1. The Bucket List – I cannot tell you how many people I’ve talked to who have “always wanted to take dance lessons,” but never got around to it. And I’m not just talking about women! Especially after Dancing with the Stars and movies like Take the Lead and Shall We Dance, ballroom dancing is becoming ever more popular and ever more accessible. Most studios offer an affordable introductory package so you can give your loved ones an experience that they can take with them for the rest of their lives, and you don’t have to break the bank doing it.

2. New Year’s Resolutions – Everyone wants to get back in shape after all the holiday eating, but no one wants to go to the gym (at least no one sane). Ballroom dancing has some really great cardiovascular benefits and is awesome for toning muscle groups all over – I mean, have you seen Sharna Burgess? How about Derek Hough? Plus, going to a dance lesson is way more fun than going to the gym. It’s like having a personal trainer who not only helps you keep in shape, but also teaches you a skill that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

3. Social Life – Here’s the best thing about the ballroom dance community, and something I wasn’t expecting when I first started: everyone is nice. Everyone is friendly. In fact, it’s probably the most welcoming community I’ve ever been a part of – not in any way the snobbish environment I was expecting. Now, that’s not to say there are no exceptions, but they are few and far between. In my experience, no matter if it’s your first day or if you have been dancing thirty years, everyone you ask is happy to dance with you. You’ll end up with friends of all ages, and the environment is always upbeat and uplifting.

4. Everything Else – Okay, I might be getting a little bit lazy with this one, but I simply don’t have the time to write a paragraph about every reason dancing is awesome (and you probably don’t have time to read an article that long), so I’ll give you the highlights. I’ve touched on the physical side of dancing, but there is more to it. In addition to getting in shape, dancing corrects posture, improves balance, and helps keep you young. There are mental benefits as well. Ballroom dancing helps prevent the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (you can check out this article and many others online). Plus, it’s one of the best ways to connect as a couple – I’ve even had couples tell me that the most fun they’ve ever had together was when they were dancing.

So, your holiday shopping just got a little easier, right? And while you’re out there dealing with all of the holiday fuss, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. You may want to add some dance lessons to your own wish list!

Johanna Collier
Dance Instructor
Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance Baton Rouge

Black Friday Special Starting Wed. (26th) at BDBR!

The BDBR Black Friday Special starts Wednesday (26th) at 10:00am and ends Friday (28th) at 10:00pm!

Buy 4 Privates Lessons, Get 1 FREE 
From November 26 at 10am through November 28 at 10pm, when you by 4 private lessons at regular price, get 1 private lesson FREE! You won’t want to miss this savings!  You can take advantage of this special by coming into the studio on Wednesday or Friday OR purchase it online on our web site! Remember though, the studio will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. * See restrictions below.
                Buy this Black Friday Special today!

Want to give this offer to a friend?

Give your loved one a gift card for this fantastic deal and get them on the dance floor with you! We have a gift card tailored specifically for this deal so purchasing it online is as easy as can be. You can also check out our other gift cards available online.




For more information, please visit www.ballroomdancebr.com/black-friday.html, email us at info@ballroomdancebr.com or call us at 225-308-4014!


See you on the dance floor!


BDBR Management



* Multiple deals and/or gift cards can be purchased; however, Black Friday Deal cannot be used in combination with other discounts or specials and cannot be applied to previously purchased private lessons or packages. Amount must be paid in full to receive the Black Friday Special.

Welcome to the new Courtney Black’s BDBR Blog!

BDBR LogoWe are so excited to present the BDBR Blog! We hope you’ll find this an informative and entertaining place to learn about our studio dance events as well as ballroom events in the Baton Rouge area and generally just to learn about ballroom dancing as both a hobby and a sport.

We invite you to browse around our website to find out more about us, what services we offer, and how you can get started with ballroom dance lessons. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.  You can email us or give us a call at 225-308-4014.  Our monthly calendar will keep you updated on our group class schedule, weekly dance parties, and special events.

Be sure to check out our online gallery, as we frequently update pictures and videos from our classes, events and more. Also, make sure to find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ballroomdancebr if you haven’t already.

Most of all, don’t forget to share this with all of your friends!

See you on the dance floor!

Courtney & Jared, Owners
Courtney Black’s Ballroom Dance Baton Rouge
5664 Jones Creek Road, Ste C
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Phone: 225-308-4014
Email: info@ballroomdancebr.com


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