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Ballroom Dance

J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Dance Background. I have been a ballroom dancer for over fifty years. I have taught dance since 1988, occasionally substituting for a dance teacher at SCSU during my career there. For a while after retirement I taught in my home studio. I currently teach by appointment only and prefer to teach dance workshops.

Academic Background. I have a B. S., M.S. and M. ED. degrees in teaching and a Doctorate in Instructional Design. I have assisted in the design of instructional materials in almost every department of the university and have consulted in industry regarding instructional design for employee training. When I began teaching ballroom dance on a regular basis, my first task was to assess the ballroom dance curriculum with particular attention to the scope and sequence of its individual components. Though differing from the traditional studio curriculum, the emerging instructional design has proved highly efficient.

Research. Since early 2006 I have been engaged in ongoing research on the cognitive and motor requisites to effective partner dancing. Related findings have led to the identification of principles of learning directly applicable to the teaching of partner dance, the identification of a skill hierarchy for partner dancing, and the development of workshops for both dancers and teachers of dance.

Courses. Ballroom Basics is a foundation class for beginning social dancers. For the American Ballroom and American Rhythm introductory classes, I use the Dance Vision International Dance Association (DVIDA) Syllabus, recognized by the National Dance Council of America and the Canadian Dance Teachers Association as their official American Style Syllabus. Almost without exception, the figures are presented as they appear in the DVIDA syllabus; thus there is maximum learning transfer from all my dance classes to any recognized, syllabus-based dance curriculum.

Workshops. Retired, I mostly volunteer, providing dance workshops for partner dancers and teachers of partner dance. See the Curriculum page for details and for arranging a workshop for your group or organization.

Where I dance. I dance regularly at local and regional social dance venues. In Houston, TX, I dance mostly at the Chandelier Ballroom, USADance-Houston Second Saturday Dance, and Eddie's Exclusive Dance Club, 2726 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77063, where I can usually be found on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8:00-11:00 PM.
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Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.