15 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.

Ignite Performance Workshop students and instructor Paul Webb III practice their choreo for the upcoming concert DanceLAB: Ignite. We can't wait to see the final product, July 28-29! ... See MoreSee Less

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21 hours ago

Danceworks, Inc.

The weather might be slightly cooler outside but things are going to get HOT in the studio tonight! Our World Dance Series continues with Bachata taught by Arturo de la Mesa! ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

Danceworks, Inc.

THANK YOU to everyone who supported Danceworks through our Danceworkers Benefit Concert this past weekend! You helped us raise almost $2,800 in support of our mission. Your talent, commitment and love of the arts are deeply appreciated by all of us at Danceworks. ❤️
#Repost @dpcmke: What a fabulous @danceworksmke 25th Anniversary Benefit Concert! ❤️🎉🎂Loved sharing the space with so many awesome artists and patrons! Thank you to all those that attended and donated. 😘 #danceworksmke #danceworks #milwaukeedance #danceperformance #dancetransforms
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How Learning to Tango is Like Building a Nonprofit

Posted on by Deborah Wenzler Farris

A Tango lesson is about timing, taking it a step at a time, building strong relationships, taking risks, being resilient, believing in yourself and finding the joy. Read on to learn how observing faculty and students inspires my continued appreciation of dance, work and Danceworks.

Lesson 1: Pay attention to timing

You have to jump in or you might miss an opportunity. Know when to hold back a beat or two—quick quick slow slow—or you might take on too much too soon and lose the flow.

Lesson 2: Take it a step at a time

Start small, listen to the music. In Tango you start with the basic step which gets you headed in the right direction. Work within your means. Lack of assets can promote even greater creativity and resourcefulness.

Lesson 3: Build strong partnerships

Be flexible. Value your relationships above all else. Know when it’s your role to lead and when to follow.

Lesson 4: Be resilient

Argentina and Uruguay are divided by the La Plata River. During the 19th century, as part of a plan for development, immigrants flocked there hoping for work and prosperity. Dreams didn’t come true for many and they had to live with a lot of  poverty and crime. The strength of the human spirit rose above the situation as people turned to music and dancing to distract themselves from disappointment. But with all the different backgrounds, African and South American styles started to blend with the polka and waltz of the European styles. Tango slowly began to form.

Lesson 5:  Learn to face rejection

The tango was first rejected by the conservative 19th Century upper class. They found its passion and fire inappropriate for their lifestyle. But in France, it attracted enthusiastic fans and before long all of Paris was dancing. It spread and slowly the upper class joined in. In the end, the Tango became a standard dance around the world.

Lesson 6: Believe in yourself

If you don’t have confidence right away, pretend that you do until you gain the experience and tools necessary to make it real. Think dancer posture–stand tall, straight spine, chin up, and lift your eyes off the floor. Steady your torso and keep moving, even if you screw up. In the end, it’s about overcoming fear, about courage.

Lesson 7: Find the joy

Photo credit: Christal Wagner

Passion and fire are your fuel.

The dance is within us all, helping us overcome adversity, connecting us to each other and to the rhythm of life.

The dance comes to life with inspiration, enthusiasm, commitment, discipline and patience. The dance improves our quality of life, provides healthy social interaction, reduces conflict, improves health. Dance works.

5 6 7 8! Join us for the 11th Annual Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Competition.


What: Students from 45 Milwaukee area schools come together to compete in Salsa, Tango, and Swing!
When: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 1:30pm | Finals & Awards 4pm
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center | 1001 N. 4th St. Milwaukee

Students from 45 participating schools will perform in front of an audience of thousands of friends, family and community members, sharing the new dance steps they learned over the course of the Mad Hot program. The experience for the young people to perform on the floor of the BMO Harris Bradley Center is immeasurable!

*This event is FREE and open to the public!

Volunteers Needed!

This is the program’s 11th year, and we couldn’t have come this far without all our wonderful volunteers! Please consider joining the fun and giving us a few hours of your time. Volunteers not only have the rewarding experience of being part of this amazing event, they also receive 2 free Danceworks class cards and a volunteer t-shirt.

To see the volunteer descriptions, click here.