Dance Program Defined

DANCE Program ….. By Mary Lou Kaye
Students’ Guide

The Program is offered in two halves:

PHASE 1: Basic Social Dance©
PHASE 2Specific Social Dances

PHASE 1Basic Social Dance©

Basic Social Dance©  with a KISS  (Keep It Super Simple)

This method was developed specifically to make getting on the dance floor as soon as possible a reality
5 weeks, no kidding.

“Group” classes offer from 8 to 10 hours of instruction at a very affordable rate.  “Group” status means that 12 or more participants are enrolled.  This creates a party-like atmosphere which encourages everyone to have ‘FUN”.  Dancers advance thru several levels until they decide they have reached their personal goal ….. or it’s time for them to move into Phase 2.

This unique program developed by Mary Lou focuses on the fun of dancing and eliminates all the work associated with the traditional learning process …. especially for the Fearless Leaders, the quarterbacks of this 2 person team.

While the Leaders’ focus on listening to the music and developing their leading muscles, the lovely Followers are learning to read the clues being sent out by their partners so they can learn to flow gracefully around the dance floor.

Partner dancing is primarily comprised of 3 entities: music, leader and follower.
Shouldn’t this be the focus when you get started?

Memorizing a list of patterns and steps and then trying to figure out which set of patterns and steps you need to match the music being played while trying to avoid collisions on a small dance floor is a formula for too much work and not enough fun.

All of the movements (not steps) in Basic Social Dance© can be done to any song that is played in 4/4 time ….. to any kind of music ….. C/W, 50s, salsa, Latin, you name it.

With no effort or awareness, in addition to musicality, leading and following, the students begin to develop other important factors of being a good dancer.

Some of these traits are:

  • maximum movements with minimum effort
  • partner orientation
  • ease of movement
  • secrets of turning
  • pivoting and moving quickly

Learning Style

At the beginning, we talk about “learning styles” and how it’s my job to figure out what yours is.   Some people have a very thorough approach to learning new things and they proceed at a pace that allows them to examine all aspects of the subject matter.  This takes more time but they own the subject matter.  Repeating a class occasionally may be the best choice for this learning style.

Others say “bring it on” ….. as fast as you can.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s very important to note, that when learning a physical skill, regardless of your learning style, the only way to perform at a comfortable and above-average level is to do the movements over and over and over until the muscle response is automatic …. the BOREDOM level …. Absolutely necessary to ultimate success on the dance floor (or any sports field for that matter).

Can’t practice 2 hours a day?….try very hard to
attend the Field Trips.

Relax and enjoy your dancing journey at your own speed.  Often dancers have questions as to where they should go next and I’m very happy to help in examining your options.  Your comfort level is the MOST IMPORTANT thing.

Field Trips

Field Trips are an important part of the program.  They are intended to provide you with your own feedback about your progress.  It’s in your best interest to attend as many as you can.

Dancing is a physical skill and it must be put to use as often as possible.  It is intellectual in the initial learning stages only.  You need to develop muscle memory and feel the movement to enjoy the activity fully.

This training method merges Mary Lou’s talent and developed skills with her life-long interest in “street” dancing, so your instruction will be professional and polished but sill all-around fun to your favorite music.

Since the students can do the simple movements presented in the Basic Social Dance portion of the program to any music, they can chose to limit their dancing career just using the material presented in several levels of these classes.

HOWEVER……if dancing has become a focal point in their social life because, in addition to being fun, and a great source of fitness, they realize they have developed a life-long skill, THEN….. It’s time to move to the second half of the Dance Program.

PHASE 2Specific Specialty Dances

Here are just some of the “social” dances that are enjoyed at celebrations, lounges and  dance halls around the country.

Social Dance Name Table

Partial List of Social Dances

This is by no means a complete list ….. there are many more and elsewhere at this site you will see a more complete listing. (LINK?)

In Phase 2 classes these dances are introduced and scheduled as time permits.  Participants at this level generally have evolved into semi-private class situations to  accommodate the more advanced nature of the material being presented and the learning styles of the students.

The amazing thing is that the students who have progressed through the Basic Social Dance entry level are able to pick up all the intricacies of all the different dances with very little or no effort. They had already assimilated all the necessary skills without being aware of it ….. how great is that?

AT NO TIME OR LEVEL do we aim for the formality of Ballroom Dancing which is best showcased in competition and performances.

Our goal is to stand out on the dance floor as much for the fun we’re having as the skill we’re demonstrating.

Mary Lou Kaye - Social Dance Instructor


See you on the dance floor!
Mary Lou Kaye

Contact:  Mary Lou @
480.491.4942  (Phoenix area)