Saturday, 22 June 2019

Daytime Dance Launch

Daytime Dance Launch
Well it's up and running - Daytime dance is go!

We had a fun 90min class at the Three Compasses in Hornsey High Street with ten participants.
Many thanks to Kimberly and friends from her class in Hornsey Vale who came and supported.

The room was great and I think the pace was about right. The more experienced dancers could go faster but the less experienced were supported.
It was a friendly group and everyone connected with each other.

My concern now is building the group to a sustainable level.
It was very nice to have a coffee and a chat after. And so different from an evening class.
I loved getting everyone to lead and follow from the outset. No one seemed to mind we all just got on with it. Some great music used.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Fun at the University of the Arts

It was a fun session presenting Mambalsa in ninety minutes to dance students at the University of the Arts in Holborn.
I enjoyed connecting to a group of young, talented and brilliant dancers eager to learn and try something new.
I condensed a heap of Mambalsa and dance psychology into one session, introducing Flow, Proximetrics, empathy and respect.

I used the 'use a track from your phone' exercise to communicate the Mambalsa to any music USP.
It also starts a dialaouge about Mambalsa's connection to the music.

After the basics in grid and partner work, we split into groups to create new grid patterns and combos. Much hilarity ensured but I'm happy to convey the 'learn it, do it, show it and grow it' part of the Mambalsa ethos.

What did I learn?
I still hate mirrored studios! I'm fat and that's why I'm at the back of the pic :-) 
Ninety mins is a good length of session.
Getting people to create is fun and engaging and respectful and confidence building.
Mambalsa works for this generation.

Many thanks to Samia for organising everything :-)

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Tons of Mambalsa

It's starting to happen!

Today I'm teaching Mambalsa to Kim's daytime dance group in Stationers Park.
I've sat in on her class before to gauge the pace of the group. They're fun and friendly, mainly 40+ so exactly the target group for Daytime Dance with starts next Wednesday!

This Wednesday by contrast I'm teaching a group of ballet dancers at a university in Holborn.

Friday I'm at a talk about social prescribing where doctors give a prescription for dance classes.

The week end I'm on my psychotherapy course learning addiction and adult issues.

Then next Wednesday Daytime Dance launches. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

2018 the Ethos

So what have I been doing about Mambalsa in the last year?
To tell the truth not much!

I did a new logo!
The old one was looking like a VW Golf c.1984 - stylish but square, a bit like two magnifying glasses.

 The new one is curvy and I've got rid of the awful font.

Hold on a minute! There's not been much out there in the public domain but I've spent a year learning psychotherapy and got a bucket load of psychology and people skills from it. I've also been to talks an discussions about isolation in our communities and decided to do something about it.
Mambalsa has also proved very successful at corporate events and parties. And I hear that one couple used Mambalsa for their first dance at their wedding.

What has changed is that I've developed a detailed ethos at Mambalsa's core.
Basically I've built in well-being through empathy and confidence.
This gives Mambalsa a purpose. Through practising confidence and empathy we become happier and better at being us. I'm sure all dances have that effect but if we place it at Mambalsa's core, we'll stay on track and have yet another unique selling point.

There's now three main tenants that guide my dance teaching (Salsa and Mambalsa)

1) Natural Mechanics- working with our bodies to move in a natural pre-learnt way. e.g. The vast majority of people are more comfortable spinning in the direction they are stepping onto, so if they're placing their weight onto their left foot, they're more comfortable spinning to their left. Many will recognise this as my Salsa Rapido rule No.5 and of course it's also a rule for Mambalsa. Now ballet dancers often spin the opposite way but most people arn't ballet dancers and spotting an ex ballet dancer twenty years down the line can be a bit tricky, so I stick to the rule which is an extension of consideration which in turn may be described as empathy in action.

Natural mechanics also covers the footwork sequence and mirroring, both of which come from the need to synchronise (Salsa Rapido rule 2)  to satisfy our mirror neurons. The effect is we can dance very slowly and very close if we choose.

2) Confidence and Consideration. Now that's been in Salsa Rapido since dot! Confidence inspires confidence in your partner, which in turn inspires your own self confidence. An upward spiralling tornado of confidence.
Confidence allows us to find the edge of our abilities and the thrill of being the best we can, which in turn leads to 'Flow' or Peak State as it's sometimes know. This is a state of mind that gives us a continual hit of happy brain juice (dopamine).
Consideration is empathy which sets us up for the deepest human to human connection possible.

3) Presence and Participation - Presence is the here and now. Most of our errors can be seen as a distraction from presence. Future based errors e.g. anticipation and pat based 'inner critic' errors abound. Presence allows us to focus in on the moment of inspiration and read move through action /reaction cycles. Participation is community. Our partners, the group, the space, the scene and the world.

Much of my ideas are on the  Salsa Rapido Blog including many short detailed video clips on Youtube's Salsa Rapido play list.
check it out and pleases subscribe. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Dancing Squares first at Kings Cross

Today was the second attempt at Dancing Squares, this time at Pancreas Sq. Kings Cross...
and it worked! Mainly thanks to Thomas who supported me at Euston yesterday and works in an office overlooking St Pancreas Sq. He brought a wonderful bunch of co-workers along and we did an intro to Mambalsa session.  We were joined by a man who worked on the building site, which shows how the group can grow.
The equipment worked fine after I switched to flight mode and the sun shone.
Most importantly, many people stopped and watched and took note as we had fun. Fingers crossed for next week :-)

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Thursday, 31 December 2015

New Years Eve 2015

Ok it's New Year's Eve 2015 and the end of a very challenging year.
Challenging in the sense that it hasn't been easy but I feel I've finally got myself motivated and moving and have achieved quite a lot of things.

Running two shows at Edinburgh was the best thing by far. It gave me a goal to focus on and a real sense of achievement. Preparing for Edinburgh meant training and loosing three stone which really boosted my self esteem and sense of self control.
Fringe shows are one hell of a learning curve where, if you get it wrong, you have to stand up in front of the public for twenty five days on the trot and explain! Fortunately I got them right-ish.
Edinburgh showed me I can do it, whatever the 'it' is.  

Post Edinburgh was very tough. No goal, no plan, no strategy. So I floundered for a couple of months.
I also turned fifty, which isn't as depressing as it sounds, but brings with it a reality check.
DO it now or shut up about it! Or in other words get organized get the skills and above all get in with it!
A younger me would never ask for help but I had my first session with a NLP business coach/ Jedi called Lynne Copper. Just the preparation for the meeting was fantastic and I've used the techniques for tackling procrastination daily.

So Mambalsa 2016
My basic boiled down plan is to prove it's viability for a jobbing small scale dance teacher. Then invest in building a team of teachers who roll it out in the Autumn.
Along side this is making the brand quirky, fun, and adventurous. That means finding new ways to get it out there. Watch this space!!!

.... and happy new year


This week has proved a difficult one.
The planned Mambalsa 1Day Challenge isn't looking good. Simply not enough interest, or to put it more accurately, not enough lead time, or to put it more honestly, not enough action in the lead time!
Time to be brutally honest and as Helen says, 'have a wee chat with myself.'
Time switch on mr Negative and play devils advocate....
It could be lack of an appealing message:
It could be lack of demand:
Demand is driven by 'needs', I need therefore I want. So what 'needs' does Mambalsa fulfil? Pleasure? Entertainment? Company?
The current message is 'try this its new'. So what? Try tango you'll look like this! Try jive you'll have cool retro chic. Try salsa and you'll be able go clubbing.
Try Mambalsa and .....
It could be lack of reach:
Its a numbers game stupid! If one in a 10,000 who hear about it try it, I need to reach 1,000,000 then I'll have a hundred.
It could be lack of penetration:
Are they reading it? Have we grabbed them? Do we have a call to action? What is the action?

On the up side I'm having this wee chat with myself. Getting it right is the goal, not getting it right first time. So I've screwed up, that doesn't mean Mambalsa is bad, just my first marketing guesses. Thomas Edison said "I have not failed, I've just found a thousand ways not to invent a light bulb"Shit! Another 999 to go!

This week I had a telephone chat with Lynne Cooper who's a super star business coach. Hopefully she'll take me on as a client and I'll get an experience sounding board with the skills to tease out my mashed up to do list.