A dancing blog chronicling ballroom, latin, swing, and other social dances in Michigan, best places for private and group lessons, and other dance resources for new and experienced dancers.
Competitive ballroom dancing; the competition of sport merged with the artistry of dance.
My name is Dan Totzkay and I am an amateur ballroom and latin dancer in Michigan. I love everything about dancing, from its athleticism to its ability to bring people from all walks of life together. Most of my experiences are in the competitive realm of dance, but I have lately (with the help of my wonderful coaches) started to explore the world of social dancing more and more.
To explain the title of this blog, “Doctor of DanceSport,” it’s worth noting that “DanceSport” is the official name of competitive Ballroom and Latin dancing, rebranded to highlight its athleticism and to push for its Olympic Games candidacy(!!). I am currently a Doctoral student at Michigan State University and probably spend more time dancing than I do on academic things (don’t tell my advisor…) so, while I will not actually going to be a “Doctor of DanceSport,” I think it’s safe to say it will be close enough.
When I started dancing at Michigan State University, I quickly assumed that ballroom (and other types of social partner dancing) was not really popular in Michigan. I made a lot of friends from other states through dance competitions and heard their stories of all of the coaches in their areas and how they would go out and dance every other day. I started to resent being in Lansing (and Michigan as a whole) since, as far as I knew, there were not many ballroom coaches in Michigan and the social dance scene was scant, if there at all. Not to mention, I am (and have been) working on a pretty low budget for all things dance, so traveling long distances for coaching and for social dancing was not much of a possibility.
As I grew as a dancer (and earned some more money), I realized that there were numerous dancing communities across the state… but they were just hiding! I now see that the dance community at MSU was just new and disconnected – we hadn’t branched out far enough. As a matter of fact, dancing, in all forms, is alive and well in the Mitten! From blues dancing in Lansing to Argentine Tango in Grand Rapids to Salsa in Royal Oak to all of the ballroom/latin studios scattered across the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. Michganders of all breeds are finding ways to express themselves and have fun through dance in all sorts of ways in all sorts of places.
It is my continued journey from feeling isolated to finding the vibrant community of dancers that inspired this blog. Through my posts on this site I highlight different venues for partner dancing (such as ballroom, latin, swing, etc.) from my own experiences (whether I know they exist at the time of writing this or if I find them in the meantime) and create a space where other dancers like myself can come to find new places to dance and know what to expect when they go there. Additionally, I will also intermittently post other dance-related thoughts and stories as I explore the world of dance on a shoe-string budget.
As ballroom and latin are my specialty, I will likely focus more on those but I will also do my best to give credit to the numerous other communities across the state. The pictures in my header will likely continue to be some photos of me dancing, but I will also likely incorporate other dance pictures that I find inspirational and beautiful.
I hope you find what I have to say informative and useful! Happy dancing!
If you know of a place for dancing that is particularly noteworthy or if you think I have misrepresented a space in any way, please notify me and I will do my best to integrate your suggestions!