fbpx
dance team

LEVEL UP! DANCING YOUR WAY UP TO A SEMI-PRO SALSA DANCE TEAM

Naldine

When I first started social dancing in the winter of 2017, joining a team wasn’t part of my plan. Instead, dancing was more of a hobby to spice up my monotonous life. My plans changed on Saturday, January 26, 2019, when I attended “Sabado de Rumba,” a social hosted by Rhythmology twice a month. Out of nowhere, Alfred asked me to attend team practice that upcoming Tuesday. Talk about short notice. Before I even responded, my mind screamed, “Hell yeah!” The universe delivered an opportunity that I couldn’t reject, and I’m proud to be part of an all-women dance team with six other talented dancers. I’m here to tell you that if I could make it on a dance team in less than a full year of dancing, so can you!

7 Simple Ways to Get on a Dance Team

Ask, and You Shall Receive. If you don’t knock, you’ll never know if someone will open that door. Asking is the easiest way to receive. If you’re interested in joining your studio’s dance team, speak to the team director about your intentions. The worst that can happen is a flat, “No,” but that doesn’t mean that you give up. Continue mastering your dancing skills and ask again until you hear a “Yes.” 

Audition for the Team. Most dance companies recruit new dance team members and hold auditions seasonally. Auditioning is your chance to shine and show them what you got. Therefore, don’t be afraid to try out the old-school way for a spot on the team and bring on the heat!

Act Like You’re the Prize. Confidence plays a role in claiming your spot on a team. Ask yourself why wouldn’t they want you on the team? You’re an asset and bring significant value. According to the law of attraction, things flow to you when you act as if you have it already. Therefore, don’t sell yourself short or doubt your ability to join a semi-professional team. You got this!

Invest in Private Classes. Last year, I took weekly private classes from January to July. Yes. If you do the math, that’s seven months of 1-1 practice sessions. During those seven months, I had the opportunity to improve my dancing skills with focus and determination. Private classes also allowed me to jump from Salsa Level 2 to Salsa Level 4. Therefore, I recommend that you put in the time and work to elevate your dance skills.

Go to Socials and Dance Events. Believe it or not, the instructors monitor your progress, even at socials! You might think that you’re invisible, but they’re watching. Socials are an excellent opportunity to stand out and show off your versatility. It might lead to an offer to join a dance team like in my situation.

Make Friends with People on the Team. The power of networking is real. Sometimes, who you know is the key to opening the door of opportunity. Therefore, if you’re friends with someone on the team, he or she can put in a word for you and help you get on the team. It’s also an excellent opportunity to see if the team is the right fit for you. 

Say Yes to the Showcase. Even if you’re not asked to be on the team, you can volunteer to dance at your studio’s student showcase. Rhythmology hosts two student showcases annually, and I had the opportunity of performing at the “Step It Up” Showcase last year. Participating in the show will prepare you for what it takes to be a performer. So go for it!

Life is about elevation and self-mastery. Dare to try something new or step outside of your box. Don’t be deterred because you feel like you’re not “team level” good. I was only in Salsa level 4 when I joined the team with less than a full year of experience. So you don’t have to be in Salsa Level 8 to join. Dancing on a team will challenge you mentally and physically, and you’ll share that unique journey with your dance mates. Therefore, I challenge you to level up!

 

 

high five

TOP 5 REASONS TO JOIN RHYTHMOLOGY TODAY!

Naldine

At Rhythmology, I’ve met people from all walks of life. I love to hear stories about why someone started social dancing at this studio. I shared how burnout led me to dance. Like me, some people need a lifestyle change. Others start dancing to bond with their significant others or to come out of their shells. You might want a beautiful wedding dance to share with your future husband or wife. Whatever the reason is, I guarantee that there’s no better place to start your dancing journey than at Rhythmology. I’ve been a Rhythmology customer for over a year, and it’s an investment that you won’t regret!

1. It Offers More Flexible Group and Private Classes than Other Local Studios

Rhythmology is open seven days a week, allowing its customers to achieve a work-life balance. When I worked in the real estate field, I experienced long days where my closings extended beyond my regular work hours. Nevertheless, I could still catch a class in the late evenings or on weekends to de-stress. Likewise, some of my fellow dancers attend school, participate in extracurricular activities or work part-time.

You’ll also love the cool Rhythmology app, which shows the various Salsa and Bachata classes for beginner, intermediate or advanced students. The app allows me to plan out my schedule and to sign into class in advance. Don’t forget to download the app today from the iTunes app store or Google Play!

Apart from the app, you’ll deal a lot with Catherine, the face and heart of Rhythmology. Catherine will make sure that you’re in the right class and answer any of your questions or concerns. She keeps Rhythmology running so that you and I can have an enjoyable experience and come back for more.

2. It’s a Family-Like Culture

The minute you walk into the studio, you feel the magnetic energy. Every class fills up with people of diverse backgrounds who unite under one roof to immerse themselves in social Latin dance. More importantly, the people are warm and inviting. I always look forward to the friendly hellos, hugs, or kisses on the cheek before class. Giving high fives during partner dance is custom. We also clap and cheer for the student that performs the dance routine with the instructor at the end of class. So if you’re looking for a sense of community, you’ll undoubtedly find it here at Rhythmology. 

Dancing at Rhythmology Brings All Walks of Life Together

3. The Instructors Spice Up the Classroom

Every Rhythmology instructor brings his or her personality in the classroom. If you’re interested in the mechanics behind dancing, then you’ll enjoy Alfred’s class. Alfred is a mathematician at heart, and his methods will help you understand concepts like timing and musicality. If you’re seeking a more physical and mental workout, then I dare you to take Luis’ class. I find his choreography to be challenging, but he pushes you to the limit. If you’re looking to channel your rhythm and sensuality, then Bryan’s body movement class is a must. Your body will move in ways you didn’t know it could. Brianna represents for the ladies and moves with style and grace! She’ll make sure that you’ve mastered the basics to advance to the next level. 

I also can’t leave out the other exceptional instructors like Jose, Simone, Julie, Mark, Sal, Christina, and Bella, who spice up the classroom too.  I recommend that you try every instructor and get a taste of their flavors. 

4. It’s in the Heart of Westbury

Rhythmology is conveniently located on Long Island. The Long Island Railroad train station is right across the studio, and the highways are nearby. I’ve spoken to many dancers, who commute from Queens to East Long Island to attend classes. On a warm day, you could also walk to the restaurants on Post Avenue. My favorite spot is Punta Cana Grill, which has the best empanadas and Dominican cuisine in town. What better way to burn those calories than with a dance class at Rhythmology!

5. The Brand Promotes Community Not Sex

The reality is that most people associate social dancing with sex. Rhythmology, however, strives to keep the environment respectful and comfortable for all dancers. Its underlying mission is to establish a sense of community for people of all ages, races, socio-economic classes, etc. You’ll also pick up essential life skills like communication, confidence, and teamwork. Therefore, bring your friends and family and let’s embark on this journey together as a dance tribe!

Legacy

ALFRED PENA TALKS ABOUT LIFE, HIS MARRIAGE TO RHYTHMOLOGY AND BUILDING A LEGACY

Naldine

What do you give a person, who seemingly has it all? Well, “thank you,” is a priceless gift. Last year, Alfred gave me the opportunity to write blogs on his platform. This platform took years of energy and hard work to build, and I don’t take this opportunity lightly. Therefore, special thanks to Alfred and his exceptional team. Kudos to celebrating the 10th anniversary of your growing empire, Rhythmology! I’m excited for the next 10, 20 and 30 years to come.

On a gloomy Sunday in mid-March, I got a glimpse of the parts of Alfred’s life that most people don’t see. The minute I walked in, his pit bull, Whiskey Tango (“Tango”), greeted me like he’s known me forever. As I settled in, Tango jumped onto my lap and covered my face with kisses. I’m not a dog lover per se, but I’d make an exception for him. Tango’s affection was super sweet and instantly made me feel at home. After spending time with them, I can confidently say that Tango is a reflection of his dad, Alfred.

Alfred

Alfred y Tango

Alfred is super laid back yet radiates this positive, high-vibrating energy that makes you enjoy his presence. What you see is what you get whether you’re with him one-on-one, in a dance class or at a public event. Running a successful business is no easy feat yet I saw no trace of tiredness in Alfred’s face. As he recovered from back-to-back 15+ hour work days, he was more than happy to share his day off with me. Our laughter filled the air as we talked about life, business, and all the between.

It didn’t surprise me that Alfred eats, sleeps and breathes Rhythmology on his days off. Most people don’t know that Rhythmology once existed in the shadows of a math tutoring company that Alfred created to debunk the stereotypes that all nerdy kids are socially awkward or all jocks are dumb. Alfred was the exception to this stereotype. Who has ever met both a math genius and a social dancer? Not me! That is until I met Alfred. 

The Birth of Rhythmology

I’ve always been very entrepreneurial. I’ve always only kind of worked for myself and never really had a boss.

Naldine: I came in when Rhythmology was up and running and missed the beginning stages of the blood, sweat, and tears. So walk me through the birth of Rhythmology.

Alfred: (laughs). It’s a complicated story. So Rhythmology was initially part of a math tutoring company called WISE Tutors that I started. Before I attended an Ivy League school, I thought that everyone would be super nerdy. However, I realized the opposite. The nerdy kids were crazy cool and had extreme athletic, artistic and social abilities. So after I started social dancing in college, I wanted to add dance to my math company to show that nerdy kids could be socially balanced and the jocks could be academically successful. We lead by example because I was a mathematician and a social dancer. We hired other tutors, who successfully balanced chemistry and piano and physics with football. That was the concept.  

In math, you solve problems step by step and in dance, you do everything step by step. In Mathemology, the slogan was study the theory, follow the logic. Rhythmology’s slogan is study the movement, feel the rhythm.

Years went by, and I sought advice from a Small Business Administration (“SBA”) professional, who told me that I shouldn’t merge dance and math as a business. His logic was that a doctor, who also worked as a mechanic, would concern customers. Is he a good doctor or a bad mechanic that needs to work as a doctor to make a living? Either way, it removes trust from one profession to another. 

Then, the downturn of the economy in 2008 caused a decline in my math tutor clients and forced me to drop math altogether. 

There’s also a third side to the story — the personal side. My girlfriend at the time was a dancer too. I was planning the whole dance business on Long Island, and she encouraged me to “do it, do it, do it.”

That’s the birth of Rhythmology. It was the decline of the economy that allowed the arts to surge up, the advice of the SBA professional and personal pressure that pushed Rhythmology into existence. 

Dear Younger Self

Whatever idea you have, just go for it. The worst that can happen is you fail.

Naldine: Like your situation, some of us have an idea, and we might seek advice from a friend, family member or professional, who casts doubt on that idea. What advice would you give to your younger self or anyone facing that situation?

Alfred: Yeah. That’s an excellent question and one that I’ve thought about. It ended up working out for me because Rhythmology is an amazing product. Whatever idea you have, just go for it and don’t think about whether another idea is better. You make that idea your A plan. Go for that. Make that happen, and don’t start thinking about what your back up plan is. Your A plan will always fail if your back up plan is in the back of your head. Once the idea fails, then fine. It fails, and your back up plan becomes your A plan. That’s what I would tell my younger self.

(reflects out loud) I should’ve kept going. I think WISE Tutors was a great concept. It was unique and tackled a lot of cool things like the balance of life with academics and phobia. A lot of kids aren’t excelling in math because of fear and the negative perception associated with nerdiness.

Find Your Passion and Build a Legacy

My parents are amazing…They taught [my brother and I] that the point of education is to find your passion.

Naldine: It’s important to highlight the cheerleaders like your ex-girlfriend, who encouraged you to start Rhythmology. Sometimes, we also seek validation from our parents because they have a vision of who they want us to be, but that might not align with who we want to be. Were your parents on board with the idea of Rhythmology? 

Alfred: I fall under that category. The career path that I followed was not the one my parents thought I would. They believed that I would become an investment banker or a math teacher. However, my parents are amazing and instilled a lot of core values in my brother, Jeffrey and I. Jeffrey is a genius, and it was because of the work they did with us. They taught us that the point of education was to find our passion. They succeeded. We are doing what we love and pursued the non-traditional path. Often, following the arts, creates fear. There’s a misconception that pursuing the arts won’t result in financial success like more traditional careers. My parents, for instance, are doctors. However, one could argue that there’s art in science. Nevertheless, my parents are proud of the person I’ve become and see me as a successful entrepreneur and business owner. 

For me, I’m seeking to create a legacy in life.

I want to do something that I can provide a change in. Being a Latino kid from the Dominican Republic, I felt like I was losing Spanish and my culture was evading me. Therefore, Rhythmology was the perfect way to find myself, my culture, create an industry that didn’t exist and build a legacy. 

Naldine: Wow. Thank you for sharing. That was raw, authentic and very insightful. So, enough about business. Let’s talk about personal. Woohoo!

Sneak Peek!

Look out for the next blog post where we talk about the leading lady in Alfred’s life!

 

eye contact, connection

5 FUN TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SOCIAL LATIN DANCE SKILLS!

Naldine

~ Listen Closely. Feel Deeply. Look Beyond. Dance Freely ~

As the modified saying goes, practice makes permanent (not perfect)! It’s plain simple. You’re capable of developing good dancing habits if you commit to the process. Stop making excuses and become the great dancer that you aspire to be. Check out some great tips below and practice them until they stick!

  1. Listen to the Music

The “hustle and bustle” of New York makes it difficult to stop and be present in the moment. Latin dancing, however, requires us to pause and listen carefully to the music. Musicality is an important skill that determines your timing to different styles of dance like Salsa, Bachata, Cha-Cha or the Tango. That’s why you must listen and feel the beat to move to the rhythm. You can improve your dancing skills today by listening more to Latin music. You don’t even have to speak or understand Spanish to decipher the rhythm. If you need music recommendations, follow Rhythmology’s Salsa playlist on Spotify today!

  1. Ladies, It’s Okay to Let Him Lead!

In Latin dance, the man leads, and the woman follows. This sounds quite simple, but most new Latin dancers including myself struggle with this concept. If you’re anything like me, it’s difficult to let go of control and trust a stranger. However, I’ve learned that there shouldn’t be a power struggle between the man and the woman in Latin social dancing. Otherwise, you’ll look like a couple fighting on the dance floor. No Bueno! Latin dancing is about kindling a genuine connection and communicating through body language. The man and woman rely heavily upon their hands to transmit signals between them. For example, the man will spin his partner by using his hand and fingers.

Remember ladies, following your leader, isn’t an invitation to be passive or submissive. You’re not a prop or an accessory to the man. You’re equally important and must still do your part and pay attention to his signals! The next time you dance with a partner, I challenge you to keep calm and follow his lead. Over time, it will become second nature, and you’ll look like a pro on the dance floor.

  1. Make Eye Contact

This might be extremely awkward at first, but eye contact is a great way to connect with your partner. Dancing with your head down does not exude confidence and might cause you to bump heads.  So don’t be afraid to look into your partner’s eyes and break the awkwardness with a warm smile or “small talk.” Trust me, smiling works and that’s my go-to move in awkward situations like dancing with a stranger.  For couples, eye contact increases intimacy and creates a deeper connection. There is nothing more appealing in Latin dance than expressing love on the dance floor.

  1. Let Go of Your Inhibitions and Just Dance!

Why do we become so self-conscious around others yet we confidently dance in front of the mirror when no one is watching? Dancing should be a fun and relaxing experience whether we’re in the comfort of our homes or outside our comfort zones. Don’t overthink and just let your body move effortlessly. Everyone has rhythm. We’re often too focused on comparing our dancing skills to others that it blocks our ability to release the rhythm within us.

I admit that I struggle with the overthinking part a lot. Sometimes, my body naturally stiffens when I’m overthinking the counts or steps. However, we must relax our arms to properly give or receive signals, as we discussed in the second tip. Remember just to let the music take over and dance.

  1. Be Patient

It takes time to develop strong dancing skills. Be easy on yourself and don’t rush the process. It’s okay to step on your partner’s foot or be off beat from time to time. It’s not the end of the world if you turned the opposite way or forgot to shift your weight. Take the time to learn from these mishaps and practice until you improve. Self-awareness is the key to succeed as a dancer. If you find yourself struggling with the dance steps or rhythm, then sign up for private lessons. Private lessons are less intimidating than a group class or a social at a club. So don’t wait to schedule a private class today to hone your dancing skills! You’ll thank me later. 

CONTACT US

Address: 361 Union Ave. Westbury, New York 11590

Call: (516) 280-6677

Email: info@rhythmologydance.com

FOLLOW US

Instagram: @rhythmology

Facebook: Rhythmology Dance

Twitter: @RhythmologyNY

© 2018 Rhythmology Dance. All rights reserved. Website designed by Rhythmicpromotions.com