Latest Articles

Ballroom Chat #13: Anthony Chen

Samantha Stout | July 13, 2020

In episode #13 of Ballroom Chat, we talk with competitor and instructor Anthony Chen about his preferred dance style: Lindy Hop. We discuss the history of Lindy Hop, how the competitive experience of Lindy differs from typical ballroom dance events, his work with the non-profit organization Salt City Swing, and his thoughts on the future of the lindy hop dance style.

Ballroom Chat #12: Cesar Rojas

Samantha Stout | July 06, 2020

This week, we talk with Cesar Rojas about Casino Rueda. We discuss the history of salsa and the Casino Rueda dance style, how this social dance is opening doors for people to learn more about Latin dances, and the importance of finding your dance community.

Ballroom Chat #11: Hope Jackson

Samantha Stout | June 29, 2020

This week, we talk with Hope Jackson about her start in the dancesport industry, her time dancing on the television shows So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, her latest endeavor teaching as an instructor with Dance Vision, being a brand ambassador for Aida Dancewear, and balancing her additional activities in modeling, dancing, and hair and make-up.

Ballroom Chat #10: Michael Johnson

Samantha Stout | June 22, 2020

Michael Johnson is a US Professional Ten Dance Finalist, coach, Dancesport adjudicator, owner of Dance Majic Dance Studio, published author, and host of the Majic for Life Podcast. We talk about his start in the industry, the mindset of a competitive dancer, his podcast, and how to effectively communicate dance instruction online.

Ballroom Chat #9: Ian Gillett

Samantha Stout | June 08, 2020

Ian Gillett is a US Pro-Am National Champion in Smooth and Standard, a World Masters Pro-Am Champion in Smooth and Standard, World Pro-Am Champion in Smooth, a Regional Examiner for DVIDA, Former Collegiate Assessment Director for USISTD, and several times over Top Teacher Winner. We talk about his start in the industry, the importance of a good foundation, returning to the basics at every level, and the evolution of Standard and Smooth dance styles.

Ballroom Chat #8: Kimberley Mitchell

Samantha Stout | June 01, 2020

A conversation with Kimberley Mitchell. She is a two time US Professional Latin Champion, coach, judge, adjudicator, and invigilator. We talk about her start in the industry, the preparation process to get showcase ready for the 40th Anniversary of the Ohio Star Ball, her thoughts on when and how to restart competitions, and the importance of finding your own authentic style.

Ballroom Chat #7: Molly King

Samantha Stout | May 25, 2020

A conversation between Samantha from Love.Live.Dance and guest Molly King, West Coast competitor, instructor, published writer, podcaster, tiny home owner and overall awesome human being. We talk about how to 'Live Your Dance', the joys and challenges of owning a tiny home, her book 'Don't Stress', and the importance of living a whole life.

Ballroom Chat #6: Rozana Sweeney

Samantha Stout | May 18, 2020

This week we talked with Rozana Sweeney from Art & Style Dance Studio. We talked about how the current situation is affecting dance studios and competitions, potential ways this will change how Dancesport events are conducted, the 2019 NDCA rules updates to syllabus events, and what you can do to stand out in front of a judging panel.

Ballroom Chat #5: Martin Skupinski

Samantha Stout | May 11, 2020

A conversation with Martin Skupinski from BallroomUtah. We talk about Martin's start internationally, coming to Canada and the US, getting a start in teaching at Fred Astaire and owning an independent studio in 2020.

Ballroom Chat #4: Krista Treu Derington

Samantha Stout | May 04, 2020

A conversation with Krista Treu Derington. We talk about growing up in a ballroom dancing family, balancing family and competing, the benefits of SeneGence, and all about performing in Strictly Ballroom.

Ballroom Chat #3: Marcos Martinez

Samantha Stout | April 27, 2020

A conversation with Marcos Martinez, owner of the dancewear brand MMD. We talk about the custom dancewear industry, Marcos' process for creating unique garments for his clients, and training for competition under quarantine.

Ballroom Chat #2: James Cook

Samantha Stout | April 20, 2020

A conversation between Samantha from Love.Live.Dance and guest James Cook, West Coast Swing dancer, competitor, and instructor. We talk about the differences between Ballroom Dance and West Coast Swing, navigating different social dance scenes, and how to be responsible for your own growth.

Ballroom Chat #1: Amanda Wolf

Samantha Stout | April 13, 2020

A conversation between Samantha from Love.Live.Dance and guest Amanda Wolf, owner of Studio 101 and Pittsburgh Wedding Dance. We talk ballroom in quarantine, the move to online teaching, how the wedding industry is changing and adapting, and where we see dance instruction can improve for the better.

For those that missed the announcement, on September 14th, 2019, the National Dance Council of America announced that a couple -- for purposes of competitive dancesport -- will now be defined as a leader and follower without regard to the sex or gender of the dancer. Accordingly, same sex or gender-neutral couples are now able to compete with opposite-sex couples in all competitive ballroom dance…

Things To Know Before Your First Dance Lesson

Samantha Stout | August 05, 2019

Whether you are a social dancer, taking dance lessons to prepare for a wedding, a couple looking for a few moves for your first dance, or a seasoned competitive dancer, there are a few things you should know before you prepare for each lesson. It’s not easy, otherwise everyone would do it. Students of mine will often say that I refer to learning to dance like learning a second (or third) language…

2019 Las Vegas Lights Dance Challenge

Samantha Stout | June 01, 2019

Love.Live.Dance's instructors and students regularly participate in local, regional, and national dancesport competitions. These competitions give students an opportunity to show off their new skills and to benchmark their progress alongside their peers. Most recently, the studio participated in the Las Vegas Lights Dance Challenge, a one-day ballroom dance competition in May 2019 at Harrah's…

Announcing a New Wheelchair Dancing Group Class

Samantha Stout | September 13, 2018

If you follow the Love.Live.Dance social media pages, you probably saw that I teased that I was embarking on a new adventure — becoming a certified wheelchair dancing instructor. Thanks to the American Dancewheels Foundation (ADF), I am now a certified instructor in the sport, and I will be starting a wheelchair dancing group class as discussed below. Here’s a little bit about the sport, the…

Top 5 Father-Daughter Dance Songs

Samantha Stout | August 05, 2018

Searching for the perfect song for your father-daughter dance? As part of many of our wedding dance lessons, we asked to help with father-daughter dances. These are always fun and special dances to add to any wedding, but sometimes it can be hard to think of a fitting song. In order to jump start your selection process to find THE song for your special day, here are my top 5 song suggestions from…

Swing into Wedding Season

Samantha Stout | May 14, 2018

If early indicators are anything to go by, swing is the dance style that everyone wants for their wedding in 2018. However, before you go to an instructor, you should probably know that there are nearly ten different varieties of swing! While it’s certainly not required, being familiar with some of these sub-genres before booking your wedding dance lessons can certainly make your first lesson…

Wedding Season 2017 Wrap-up

Samantha Stout | September 26, 2017

As the traditional “Wedding Season” for dance studios comes to a close, let’s look back on the most used songs of 2017. This is by no means a national trend list, simply the songs that were most used by my clients, and clients of the studio where I teach. Popular Wedding Songs of 2017 Goo Goo Dolls – “Come to Me” I’ve mentioned my thoughts on this song previously. It took me by surprise that…

Wedding Dance Lessons - Do's, Don'ts and FAQs

Samantha Stout | August 11, 2017

You’re getting married! Congratulations! If you’re thinking about taking lessons for any of your wedding dance needs, here are some important things to keep in mind before you start. Let’s start with the Positives! DO: Research and price compare dance instructors in your area. Many studios offer bridal or wedding packages at a discount to their normal private lesson packages. Take a look at…