About Katherine Larsen

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Katherine Larsen has created 5 blog entries.

It takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something

I recently enjoyed a conversation with a good friend who was opening up to me about his personal dance evolution. This pearl of a man shared that since he began his dance journey, he has witnessed himself breaking out of his own shell, climbing out of his comfort zone, and enjoying the human experience a little more each day because of dance. He shared his experience with me, and his strategy to become a better dancer through group lessons, social practice and some private one on one coaching. By immersing himself in his passion, he has become a better-rounded person on and off the dance floor. While he was sharing his stories of glory (and guts), he turned to me, and admitted that he struggled with confidence, sometimes finding himself intimidated by a dance partner or even a dance floor. He looked me in the eyes, and asked me with such honesty and vulnerability, if I always felt confident. My knee jerk reaction was to laugh, and tell him “of course I struggle with confidence at times!” and that struggle is real. And it dawned on me: confidence is a work in progress. Something you can build, and that foundation is built on experience. I heard somewhere that when someone demonstrates a skill and makes it look effortless, that is a sign that the person has dedicated hours and hours to practicing and mastering this skill. According to the author of the book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” on average, it is found to take 10,000 hours to become a master of something- whether it be water skiing, flying a kite, coding, or dancing. 10,000 hours, or a rough equivalent of 10 years. In the [...]

By |2019-04-12T09:00:12-04:00April 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Diversity on the Dance Floor

If there is one thing that we all have in common, it is that we are unique. Each of us has our own essence; a personality, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, qualities and faults. Each person weaves his own tapestry throughout their lives based on experience which define us. It is art. And it is inspiring. When I walk into a dance class, I am warmly greeted by people from various walks of life, and all kinds of cultural backgrounds. There are singles, married people, young and old, all at different stages of their life. We all bring our own story to the dance floor, and when we come together, it is poetry in motion. It doesn’t matter how well you can dance- just that you want to try. In reflecting on this, it seems only natural that salsa would inspire such a melting pot.  First things first. What is a melting pot, you ask? According to Wikipedia, it is “a pot in which metals or other materials are melted and mixed.” Or, “a place where different peoples, styles, theories, etc., are mixed together "a melting pot of disparate rhythms and cultures". Salsa gets its roots from beautiful and complex Cuba, and it is a well-known fact that Canadians have a crush on Cuba.  But it goes even deeper than that. The essence of salsa was brought together byimmigrants who went to Latin America either searching for a better life or against their will (African slaves). The influences of Danzón, the dance of French and Haitian immigrants, orRumba from the African slaves, and the Són of the Cuban people, blended with troubadour music (mostly Flamenco) of the Spanish people as well as various musical instruments of Africa. [...]

By |2018-10-17T14:48:29-04:00October 17th, 2018|Non classé|0 Comments

Salsa Dancing Body Language

Salsa Dancing Body Language I thought it would be fun to go over some of the things we learn in dance class. Beyond teaching our feet to move to the beat of the music, there are other important lessons to be learned including body language. What is body language? It is an expression of a feeling, a desire, or even repulsion with our body. People rely on reading physical expressions every day. A smile conveys friendliness. An eye roll indicates when someone is perhaps not quite as receptive as they could be. Crossed arms are a sign that a person is closed off, and so on and so forth. But in social dance, body language is taken to a new level. Not only is your body communicating with the rhythm of the music and your surroundings, but it is also engaged in a kind of physical conversation with your partner. It is important to be sensitive to your partner’s cues, and to react with courtesy to ensure that everyone is having a good time. Dancing with a partner involves hand holding and touching. This is not the time to practice your death grip. If you feel your partner trying to shake your hand away, or spreading fingers apart to create distance, there is a good chance you are crushing their hands. This is a faux pas for a couple of reasons, including your partner’s comfort and the fact that you are inhibiting the ability to move freely. No need to twist your partner’s arm off while crushing their hand. When dancing, it is also important to respect the other person’s “bubble”. If you find yourself dancing with a space invader, a back off message is [...]

By |2018-05-23T14:53:32-04:00May 23rd, 2018|articles|0 Comments

Just Dance!

Just Dance! Salsa dancing is a melting pot of inspiration originating from the Caribbean. But it is so much more than that. Dancing bridges gaps between generation and gender, ethnicity and ability, while fostering kinship and a sense of community where all are welcome. It brings people out of their shells, challenging their feet, their fears and insecurities. As one student mentioned, it is nice to just feel a momentary connection to another person to share the enjoyment of a dance. For me, social dancing is an escape from the daily grind. It is a moment where I don’t have to think about anything but the music, and I can just enjoy the positive and infectious energy of the people in the room. Plug into the vibe and enjoy! Each person experiences dance in their own unique way. The creative and intuitive energy that is generated while dancing is very personal and I think that is the reason why we have that inexplicable “click” with some dance partners, while we lack the magic or clash with others. I actually make it a point to dance with my “awkward” dance partners as a way to challenge myself. Some of them are now my favourite partners on the floor! We all learn the same basic steps, but what we do with them is very personal. We all bring our own emotions to the dance floor, and from that, there is no escape. But why would you want to? If dance was meant to be mechanical, I suppose we could just call it aerobics. But it isn’t. It’s a form of expression, and it has no words; it is fueled by feeling. And everyone brings their own unique [...]

By |2017-12-04T11:02:27-05:00December 4th, 2017|Non classé|0 Comments