While instructional videos can't replace learning in person, it does grant us increased flexibility in improving on what we've learned before, or at least refreshing our memory. After all, you can't simply hit rewind on a lesson and play it back whenever you need a reminder.
Today I interviewed Candace, a student who dances and practices at studios, socials, at home, or even waiting for an elevator! Candace's occasional migrations south make this flexibility of learning especially important, as she recognizes how easy it is to forget what she's learned.
Ian: Hi guys! My name is Ian Crewe. I'm an instructor at the Joy of Dance Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and the creator of SocialBallroom.Dance: Where you can learn your dance, at your place, on your schedule.
I'm joined here today by Candace Poulton - did I get that right?
Candace: You did.
Ian: Awesome! Candace is a student: did you want to say how long you've been dancing?
Candace: It feels like a hundred years, but probably twenty.
Ian: And it looks like ten.
Ian: so Candace is here because, not only does she take lessons at different places, but she also practices at home. So why do you sometimes practice at home versus going to a studio?
Candace: Convenience. I live in a condo, so it's nice. I have a beautiful rec room, we have nice wood floor. Sometimes it's just easier, especially if it's cold and rainy out. And if I feel like doing a dance I can just go down with somebody and practice a few things that I've learned. I don't do it as much as I should...
Ian: We never do. Do you ever find that space is an issue?
Candace: Because of where I live, space is not usually a problem but I like to go to different places around Toronto. I've only lived here 11 years - I'm originally from Montreal, and when I came to Toronto I found it great, because then it's got me into meeting a whole bunch of people. I don't know what I would have done without dance.
Ian: And do you have any methods for working your dance practice into your routine?
Candace: Because I live in a high-rise condo, when I'm in the hallway, waiting for the elevator, I will try practicing a step that takes a lot, takes a long stretch.
Ian: So while you're waiting for the elevator, because you have that hallway... That's awesome! Do you have to like, awkwardly stop when somebody comes around the corner?
Candace: Oh yes, oh yes! I usually just stand there, and just shift awkwardly, talk to them. I don't do that a lot - I usually like to practice with somebody, but I don't always have that opportunity so that makes it difficult. I find people can progress a lot faster when they have someone to practice with.
Ian: Do you ever get the opportunity to say, meet with other people and practice in more of a communal area.
Candace: Well yes, we usually get together to dance in a couple of places down in the Etobicoke area. And as I said: it was the best thing I did, moving to Toronto and meeting the dance community.
Most people, the only time they dance is when they go to a lesson and they practice there, and they go home, get busy, and they don't do anything. And the next week they show up and they've forgotten everything, right? You know, so that was that's where I find most people are.
Ian: Have you been able to see the difference between when you don't practice versus when you do?
Candace: Yes, it's a huge difference! Because you come out of your class and you remember it, and I remember when we first started dancing, that's what I used to do. When we went home, we would clear out the dining room and practice, and then the next day we'd do it again.
But sometimes we would go home, not practice, get busy, get to the studio, say "okay, what did we do?" Couldn't remember a thing.
Ian: So you're talking about clearing out the dining room? Are you serious?
Candace: Yeah, and the chandelier was a little bit too low, so I got like a little hook, and booked it up on the ceiling.
Ian: Wow, that's amazing! Do you have any other places apart from home or the studio where you practice, and do you tend to have a preference of what kind of place?
Candace: Well almost every week I go out dancing...
Ian: So at socials.
Candace: At socials. And I get to dance with different people. And when I go to Florida, I find places I can dance down there. Everybody has a different style, so it's really great because as I said, it gets you out, it gets you to meet people.
Ian: So are there any other methods that you explored that helps you develop your dancing, or anyone you know who has used other techniques other than learning at a studio?
Candace: Oh, I go on YouTube and try to find if there's a step that I am having trouble with. And it's been great - I've learned a whole line dance that way, and I've learned a little bit of West Coast Swing, and even Foxtrot. I don't remember which step it was now, but I find it on YouTube.
Ian: So can you tell me some of the names of the socials that you go to in the city?
Candace: Oh, I I definitely Joy of Dance - there's good Saturday parties. And I go to The Westway and 30-Up: They're both in the West End of the town. And one or two up closer to north. I've been to Dance Cafe...
Ian: Oh yeah, I've heard about the Harmony Club...
Candace: Yes, I've never been there. I've heard so much about the Harmony Club. There's another one up on Gervais now, I think it used to be called the Police Association...
Ian: Oh yeah, the OFL.
Candace: Yeah, that's right.
Ian: Well, thank you so much. It was great that you were able to join us today Candace.
Candace: It was a pleasure.
Ian: And thank you for watching viewers! If you had any questions or comments about today's video, you can always message me on my Facebook fan page, Ballroom Dancers Anonymous. Or you can email me at email@example.com - again that's firstname.lastname@example.org. Have yourself a fabulous week, and until next time, happy dancing!