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Duet Dance Studio

2412 W North Ave., #201, Chicago, IL 60647

312.823.8199 | info@duetdancestudio.com

Send us a message to schedule a lesson or ask any questions. We look forward to getting to know you and dancing with you soon! 

 

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2412 West North Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL, 60647
United States

312.823.8199

Duet Dance Studio Chicago offers ballroom dance lessons and wedding dance classes. We teach salsa, swing, tango and waltz dance lessons. Privately and in groups, for adults and kids.

Blog

Get useful tips on ballroom dancing and wedding dance preparation and watch tutorial videos created by Szewai Lee, founder of Duet Dance Studio.

12 Warm Up Exercises for Ballroom Dance Students

Szewai Lee

Just like any other physical activities, it’s important to warm up our bodies before we ballroom dance. Rather than jumping into the dance hold and go, we have compiled some basic warm-ups that you can do with your partner and alone to get your entire body ready for your ballroom dance lesson or practice. Try them in the order below to progressively work through the body.

 

Leg Exercises:

1. Walking Knee to Chest

This dynamic stretch is a great way to slowly get your body moving while stretching main muscle groups. It can be done walking as seen in the video or standing in place. It is also a great balance exercise!

Warmup-hip.gif

 

2. Lunges

Stand with one leg straight in front of you and one straight behind, then slowly bend the back leg down into a lunge position. Once there, slowly straighten the back leg out back to the starting position. Key points to remember: keep the front knee in line with the toes and try to lower your hips in the middle of your legs. Don’t let the front knee bend in front of the toes as this can cause knee pain. Your legs will be more than ready to Tango after this exercise!

Stretch-lunges.gif

 

3. Partner Calf Stretch

Stand face to face with your partner and lunge one leg back. Try to get the back heel on the floor for a nice calf stretch while pushing against your partner’s hands for resistance. Make sure to keep the front knee in line with the toes when lunging. This can also be done pushing against a wall if you do not have a partner.

Stretch_calf.gif

 

4. Partner Quad Stretch

Use your partner as a balance point and grab the opposite leg into your hand to stretch your quad. The goal is to keep your balance while stretching the top leg. To get more of a stretch, pull the foot higher.

Warmup_quad_stretch_partner.gif

 

5. Forward Bend

Stand with feet together and starting with the top of the head, slowly roll down through the spine until your hands reach the floor. Reverse this motion by rolling back up to standing-your head should be the last thing up! If you find this too difficult, keep the knees bent or place your hands on a higher surface to lighten the stretch.

Stretch_forward-bend2.gif


 

Neck, Back and Shoulder Exercises:

6. Shoulder Rolls

Easy, quick and great to get you ready for dancing in frame! Try to keep the rips in and abdominals engaged.

Warmup_shoulder.gif

 

7. Neck Stretch

Grab your head with your right hand and slowly pull down with the right arm, stretching the left side of your neck. Switch sides and try both a few times!

Warmup_Neck.gif

 

8. Shoulder Activation on Wall

Warm up your shoulders, arms and core with this dynamic exercise. Standing against a wall, work on keeping your posture strong- shoulders down and back, abdominals engaged, and ribs tucked in. Extend your arms overhead then slowly bend them driving your elbows down towards your waist, then straighten the arms back up to the starting position. Try your best to keep your arms sliding on the wall during the movement. This will activate your shoulders and core, and also be an active stretch for your arms and shoulders. See the photos for the correct posture.

Warmup_arms.gif

 

9. Partner Shoulder Stretch

Stand face to face with your partner and place your hands on their shoulders, walk your hips away from them while bending forward. Keep the back straight and head in line with your spine. Try to keep the abdominals engaged while you push your torso towards the grounds to stretch those shoulders. This can also be a great hamstring stretch!

Warmup-Shoulder-partner.gif


 

10. Partner Chest Opener

Stand back to back with your partner and hold hands. Step one leg out in front of you in a lunge position while keeping hands connected to your partner. Your arms will naturally pull behind you, stretching your shoulders. You can bend into the front leg more for a bigger stretch, or try keeping your feet together and working on counterbalancing!

Warmup_chest_opener_partner.gif


 

11. Partner Backbend

Stand facing your partner, grab hands. Slowly bend backwards with your upper bodies, using each other as resistance! This will be great to practice counterbalancing as well as stretching your lower and mid back. Make sure to come in and out of this slowly.

Warmup_backbend_partner.gif


 

12. Side Body Stretch

Start by facing your partner and holding hands; slowly open your body to the side while doing a side lunge with the legs and letting your arm extend overhead. Once in a comfortable side bend, straighten the inside leg to increase the stretch. Gently unwind back to neutral and try it again. This will stretch your obliques and shoulders and get you ready for dancing frame!

Stretch_side-body-stretch.gif



 

What is your favorite warm up before your dance class? Please share with us!

This post is written by Duet's instructor, Ashton. If you like this post, you might also be interested in Differences between Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Cha Cha.  


The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!

17 Unique First Dance Songs of 2018

Szewai Lee

The wedding professionals at Duet Dance Studio put their heads together and are pleased to present a list of the hottest, unique first dance songs for 2018. In the list below you’ll find new hits, beautiful country songs, and classic oldies. THE BEST PART? We’ve listed the style(s) of dance which fit each song, so that you can get started on your first dance right away! Need more help with your first dance? Book a lesson with Duet Dance Studio for a personalized lesson with one of our pros who can help you customize your first dance and meet your goals. If you don’t live in the Chicago area, check out our Online Wedding Dance Program, which makes long distance learning a breeze! 

 

1. "It Ain't Wrong Loving You" by HONNE

Dance styles: Rumba and Smooth Swing

 

2. "Love on the Brain" by Rihanna

Dance Style: Modified Waltz

 

3. "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran

Style: Modified Waltz

 

4. "City of Stars" from La La Land

Dance Style: Rumba

 

5. "Something in the Way You Move" by Ellie Goulding

Dance Styles: Rumba and Smooth Swing

 

6. "Stay" by Zedd & Alessia Cara

Dance Styles: Rumba and Smooth Swing

 

7. "Electric Love" by Borns

Dance Styles: Rumba and Smooth Swing

 

8. "Something Just Like This" by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

Dance Styles: Rumba, Smooth Swing, and Salsa!

 

9. "Mean to Me" by Brett Eldridge

Dance Style: Slow Foxtrot

 

10. "Head Over Boots" by Jon Pardi

Dance Styles: Rumba, East Coast Swing (Triple) and Slow Country 2-Step


11. "In Case you Didn't Know" by Brett Young

Dance Styles: Slow Foxtrot and Single Swing

 

12. "From the Ground Up" by Dan and Shay

Dance Styles: Modified Waltz and Smooth Swing

 

13. "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra

Dance Styles: Foxtrot and Single Swing

 

14. "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole

Dance Styles: Foxtrot and Single Swing

 

15. "How Sweet It Is" by Marvin Gaye

Dance Styles: Rumba, Smooth Swing or Triple Swing

 

16. "You and Me" by Penny and the Quarters

Dance Styles: Rumba, Smooth Swing

 

17. "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges

Dance Style: Slow Foxtrot

Cover Photo: Matt Andrews Photography featuring Duet's students, Megan and Donnie.


The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!

10 Ways to Get Your Wedding Guests on the Dance Floor (And Keep Them There!)

Szewai Lee

Picture the best wedding reception you’ve ever been to… Now picture the worst... Was it uneventful and low energy? Here at Duet, we believe the most surefire way to keep everyone entertained at a wedding is by keeping the dance floor packed with guests all evening. We’ve compiled a list of ways that help future brides and grooms ensure their dance floor is one that is not easily forgotten!

1. Song Requests

Before the big day occurs, have your guests write a song request or two on their RSVP. This helps your guests instantly feel excited to see if their song will be picked. Then, once it is, they’ll be so excited they’ll run to the dance floor! Everyone has that one song they can’t help but jam out to!

2. Don't Limit Yourself

When choosing songs for your wedding, don’t limit yourself. If you stick to one genre of music all evening, your guests could get tired easily. We suggest only playing about three slow tunes throughout the evening, that way the energy stays high!

3. Anniversary Dances

Anniversary Dances are a fun way to incorporate couples of all ages to join in the fun! Start by having all married couples on the dance floor. Then couples who have been married for more than one year stay on the floor, then more than two years stay, then five, then ten, and so on and so forth until you have older couples who have been together fifty years! It’s a fun, interactive way to get your parents, grandparents, and older married couples to have a good time.

4.  Invite Guests to Join your First Dance

If you’re keeping your first dance short and sweet, a great way to kick off the night is inviting your guests to join you at the end of your first dance. Get the party started by having everyone flood the floor to dance with the newlyweds!

5. Bridal Party Backup Dancers

A great way to keep guests consistently on the floor is by asking your bridal party to be your backup dancers. Tell them you need their help to rally the crowd and get them excited about dancing the night away! They won’t let you down on your special day.

6. Line Dances

Even though many people roll their eyes when they hear the “Cha Cha Slide” or the “Wobble”, line dances are an easy way to get guests out on the floor. Pick a line dance that you’re not horribly sick of hearing, and have your DJ use that song to get guests excited to dance!

7. Glow Sticks

As the lights start to go down, break out the glow sticks! It is actually quite fascinating how excited adults get over glow sticks (and the kids will love them too). If you keep the lights low and the glow sticks high, the party will never end.

8. Snowball Partners

If a lull ensues (maybe after a slower song), feel free to snowball partners. What this means is you and your new spouse will go find guests to dance with. After a while, give them instruction to go get another guest, while you also grab a new partner. Keep dividing and conquering until everyone is out on the floor! Again, your bridal party can help you with this task so the floor stays full.

9. Plan out a song for each table

Plan out a song for each table to dance to. Make sure when the DJ or band plays that song, everyone at that table gets up to dance!

10. Keep Dancing

Make sure you and your spouse keep dancing! If you lead by example, people will follow. Everyone wants to dance with the happy couple on their big day, so make sure they all get a chance to. Nothing pumps an audience up more than seeing you excited at your own wedding!

How do you get your dance floor packed? Please share with us!

This post is written by Duet's instructor, Meghan. If you like this post, you might also be interested in 4 Unique First Dance Songs Recommended by Dance Experts.  

Photos by Love Is A Big Deal


The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!

Line Dance 101: How to Do the Wobble, Electric Slide and Hustle

Szewai Lee

Looking to maximize the fun factor at an upcoming wedding? Better brush up on your line dancing skills with our crash course! Line dances are a great opportunity to dance with all the guests at a reception, including dancers from different generations and friend groups. The experts at Duet Dance have provided easy to follow tutorials for three of the most popular line dances: The Wobble, The Electric Slide, and The Hustle.

 

The Wobble

VIC’s song ‘Wobble’ was originally released in 2008, and it’s popularity as a line dance has soared in the years following. The Wobble is a staple of many wedding receptions, and the simple repetition of steps make it an ideal dance for bringing together older and younger dancers. If you’ve ever wanted to shake it with your funky Great Aunt Erma, this is the dance for you.

 

The Electric Slide

This line dance dates back to the mid-1970s when everyone had disco fever! The foot patterns are very accessible for beginners (and those who’ve had a little to drink), and this simplicity also allows dancers to put their own little twist on the movements. We’re going to show you three popular options: the ground slap, the double lasso, and the knee kick!

 

The Hustle

This is the line dance your Uncle Mike is referring to when he’s waxing poetic about polyester bell bottoms and ‘the way music ought to be’. Also dating to the mid-1970s, Van McCoy’s hit has remained a popular line dance for decades. The footwork is a bit more complicated than the line dances above, but what it lacks in simplicity it makes up for in style- can you dig it?!

Need more help on your dancing?

This post is written by Duet's instructor, Kathryn. If you like this post, you might also be interested in Easy Country Line Dances for Wedding Reception


The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Duet Dance Studio is located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessonswedding dance instruction and private dance parties. Online Wedding Dance Lessons and Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!