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Congratulations to all of our Daza Dance students and instructors for their success at the 2018 Sunburst Ball held at the beautiful Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona! ...I do believe dreams can, and continue to become reality. The experience in Scottsdale, was just one more proof of that. To be able to share such a wonderful experience with people you mutually care about is even better. Thank you so much to these awesome group of inspiring human beings that helped and contributed, one way or another, to make this dream come true. Bill BennettRegina Polk DavisHeidi Baltes-BraniffLucia GimenezMariella Volio, Lee Roberson, Tony BraniffMaximiliano Panesiand Mario Nicolas, sure are the protagonists of this fabulous episode that took us to the Top. We could not be happier and more proud of this great community called Daza Dance that we ALL have developed one step at a time... so Gracias! Without a doubt, this memory will forever have a special place in my heart! Many laughs, many dances, many awesome memories that will last for a lifetime. Together we (always) win!!! 




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Our #DazaDance 2018 fall Showcase is in the works and we would like to invite all of our friends, students, and family members to join us on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 6:00PM for a night of exciting dance performances, showcasing our students and instructor's favorite highschool prom tunes... welcome to "PROM NIGHT" SHOWCASE!

With this showcase, we mark the beginning of a new era on our professional journey. A more experienced, mature, and yet, eager-to-learn chapter in our development. 
Additionally, in an effort to keep bringing new and exciting ways to improve our services, and continue providing our clients with the most professional, caring, life-enriching, community-oriented, and mostly fun “dance” experience, we have decided to implement a few changes to the traditional Showcase event format. Although, these changes are minor and in most cases unnoticeable, they are intended to enhance the showcase experience not only for the performers, but also to the audience members.
Tickets are on sale now, so give us a call to (404)5375222, email us at info@dazadance.com, or simply vist us on any of our #SocialMedia channels to reserve yours today... 
$25 in Advance / $30 at the door.
More details to come... See you all soon!





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Congratulations to all of our students that participated in the Daza Dance "Medal Test" the past month of October. Everyone did a fantastic job showing, dancing and enjoying all the different dance steps and techniques they have been learning for the past six months. Also, thank you to our incomparable international coach, judge, adjudicator and examiner Chantal Leclerc for sharing with us all of her knowledge and expertise. We are so excited to continue growing our community and developing well-trained dancers. Last but not least, thank you to our amazing team of instructors: Maximiliano Panesi and Mario Recoba for their hard work, motivation and infinite willingness to always put their best and most effort in everything they do. I am just so proud of everyone that gives us the opportunity to come into their lives and help them along this dance journey. We are excited to begin getting ready for our next goal in 2019!

Students: Alison Glancz, Andrea & Curt Seidl, Azita Rezaei, Bill Bennett, Bonnie Emerson, Cara Daly Suarez, Chad Wallace & Nicole Hanna, Colet Falvey, Heidi Braniff, Julie Jacobson, Kamaria George, Kate Arnold, Kimi & Daveed Lift, Kymberlee Tysk, Lee Roberson, Leslie Partee, Lucia Gimenez, Regina Davis, and, Susan Black & Rob Kasbow.


          
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Wow… I say every time because it is true: This was the best Daza Dance Showcase ever!
The dancing, the audience, the decorations, the after party… everything was simply perfect.
I could not feel more thankful and grateful for having the opportunity to work with such amazing team of students and instructors. The “PROM NIGHT” Showcase was another opportunity to learn, to grow and to overcome challenges that surely produced the expected results. Thank you so much to everyone that helped making this event so successful: Our students for trusting our professional experience and allowing us to be part of their lives; our dance instructors, Mario Recoba and Maximiliano Panesi, for believing in my dream and putting all the hard work out there on the dance floor to make it come true; our family members and friends who support us along the way; our fabulous Production Team from Espeute Productions; our set and studio decoration team lead by Mr. Martin Giraldo; and our fabulous chef and caterer Kenia Calva for delighting us with the most delicious display of food, appetizers and refreshments. I can hardly wait unitl the next time we have an opportunity to perform with our students again. Everyone did a fabulous job performing their dance routines, but also everyone enjoyed it and that is what is all about… to have fun, to dance, to live more! 



 

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I was not expecting to become so emotional about getting this special award. After I went on stage trying to contain my tears of joy, I just simply could not hold them anymore. As soon as Anna Smart hugged me and told me a few words I let it go… no more protocol. 
I took the trophy and went ahead to hug the past recipients of the award. My eyes were red, swollen and very very bright. Therefore, it was a complicated moment for me to try to hide my feelings… so I just went with it. 
Honestly, it was sooooooo nice to feel all that love and companionship from everyone in the ballroom. My friends, my co-workers, all the students, the instructors, the judges, the performers, the stars and of course Sebastian... who has been there with me in Argentina since the beginning…. Everyone had something positive to say about me and that made me feel as if I was actually doing something good.
I finally had some time to think about “objectively” and I began to analyze a few things in my head. Soon I made a lot interesting discoveries that made me appreciate the moment even more.
I am so grateful to everyone involved in making the decision to honor me the 2018 recipient of the “HALL OF FAME AWARD” at the #SouthAmericanOpenCompetition in Buenos Aires. 
I welcome the universe’s opportunity It has given me to change the world. Through teaching dancing I try to deliver a positive, hopeful, honest, energetic, fulfilling, intelectual, philosophical, factual and objetive message, all at the same time… whichever is the need, in order to connect with people intersectionally through our in-common identities.
To know that other people around me, understand what I am genuinely doing and recognize it in such a space, during this special event, is definitely a caressing to my heart.
I am so excited to continue finding my purpose and open to many more chances to impact people, communities and even the world… Now I am more encourage than ever. THANK YOU! 


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Mabel Bustamante es la más nueva de mis estudiantes con las que compito en argentina. De hecho, este año ella fue la única participante del estudio de Sebastián Colavita con la que, por segunda vez, tuve la oportunidad de bailar en el South American Open. Desde el principio he admirado la atención al detalle que Mabel demuestra durante las clases.
Por supuesto que nos reímos, bailamos sus canciones favoritas, además de compartir conversaciones sobre arte, coloquialismos, cultura y el mundo. Sin embargo ella siempre está atenta a todos los detalles de cada movimiento para poder estudiarlos y luego ejecutarlos a perfección. Bailar con alguien como Mabel es una de esas experiencias que te hacen crecer como maestro ya que ella tiene ya tanto conocimiento sobre movimiento, música, baile y cuerpo que tienes que estar siempre preparado para las preguntas más específicas.... ella lo quiere aprender todo.... realmente es muy estimulante! 
Gracias Mabel por esta segunda oportunidad para conocerte más y trabajar juntos en pro de esta meta tan linda. Eres una parte muy importante de esta comunidad de bailarines en el estudio. Estoy muy orgulloso de tus logros y me emociona ver el crecimiento que has tenido. Felicitaciones por haber obtenido el Segundo lugar como la “Mejor Estudiante de Argentina”.
Te quiero mucho! 


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It is true that everyone comes to your life for a very special reason at the perfect time... no sooner, no later... only at the right moment. After dancing with Valeria Celano for the last four years, I’ve understood that she is in my life not to just pass by but to leave a stamp that will last forever. 
Every time I come to Argentina she continues to amaze me in every possible way... she listens, she studies, she works hard, she lives with passion and performs with her heart. She awoke something inside of me that I once considered dead... it wasn't for me anymore. 
Valeria has been there for me during my happiest times in Argentina as well as some of the darkest... from the beginning she knew that the road to success would be difficult, but that as long as we stay together we would hold each other up. I am extremely proud of you Valeria because we finally got to that point we once dreamed of... the sky is the limit for us and I know that the last four years were crucial to help you become the wonderful person you are today. 
Congratulations for winning the “2018 TOP LOCAL STUDENT AWARD” and thank you for allowing to be part of your journey!


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Kamaria George has truly being an example to me. She has demonstrated over and over again that nothing in the world is impossible enough to be reached. She has taught me that "Love" over powers everything in the world. She has shown me that dreams can come true though even if that very same world thinks you’re crazy. Kamaria S George Atlanta you are a real champion.... you’ve always been.

I thank you so much for all the wonderful experiences you have allowed me take you through. You’re a true example of perseverance.... YOU ARE THE REAL DANCER!
Congratulations Kamaria for all you have gained and become. Congratulations for winning the "2018 TOP INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AWARD". Thank you for representing me, our studio, our community, our country in such a beautiful manner at the South American Open Competition in Buenos Aires,Argentina. We love you!




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Today is a beautiful clear day! It seems almost surreal that last night I performed in the 10thAnniversary Gala for Daza Dance. What an amazing experience to be a part of this vision for the past 3 years and to grow into the person I have become. It was incredibly inspiring to learn how everything began and part of the history of the studio, also to see how things are positioned for the future. 
 I laugh when I think that I almost talked myself out of doing the first showcase 3 years ago, and am so grateful Antonio and Mario encouraged me to fully express what was in my heart. The first Song I danced to was “When You Believe” from the the Movie The Prince of Egypt, and since that I have experienced a miracle in the way I have transformed. I am not only a better dancer but a stronger person who is becoming more and more confident and secure every day. 
Now I that I have completed 6 showcases, I feel a special sense of accomplishment.  I feel fantastic about this showcase because I overcame several obstacles to once again dance the best I ever have. Dancing a Rumba to the song “Chandelier” by Sia became a symbol of the restlessness I feel, and how I want and need to continue to pursue the most out of my life, this caused growth to happen as I continued to learn my steps. My first challenge was difficulty with the timing, I knew the steps, but coordinating them with the Rhythm of Rumba required a lot more work from me. Then there was the step that gave me a fit – those chase turns!  After the fall showcase I would come to the studio and practice chase turns over and over for hours as they were one of my weakest steps.  I remember thinking I hope my choreography will include chase turns since I was practicing them so much, and boy did I get my wish. Every step of my routine was somehow connected or led into a Chase Turn, and while I may not have them perfect after 6 months of practicing them I can see marked improvement!
Another challenge was performing with 2 coaches. Performing with more than one coach makes you the focal point; when you are with two coaches you have to know where you are supposed to be, and who you are dancing with at every moment. There was also the challenge of learning tricks, such as the drag step where Antonio and Maxi drag me across the floor, and of the lift where I had to trust them to carry me over their head. Being able to get to the point where I could execute these moves made me feel incredible. 
The last and greatest obstacle for me was breaking through the limitations in my mind.  As I continued with the process of learning this piece I was encouraged to not be afraid of my voice, to always strive for to be greater and go one step further, and that I am enough. Once I put in the work, got to know my choreography, and built up my confidence I felt like a star with backup dancers! The fact that I was able to feel this way was truly a reflection of how good Antonio and Maxi really are. I was even able to learn from a mistake during my last rehearsal with Antonio and Maxi. I slipped because I was rushing through the Ronde with Antonio, so I came to the studio later that week going over my notes and corrections and polishing those steps. I made sure to focus my energy and listened to the song a few times to make sure I understood the timing. By the Thursday evening before the showcase I stopped rehearsing so I wouldn’t make the mistake of over rehearsing, and trust that I knew what I needed to know.  Anticipation continued to build, I was nervous for dress rehearsal Friday night, but after going through everything as I received encouragement from instructors and students telling me how much I had improved, I was stunned and filled with confidence. 
All of these elements came together last night at the Gala as I gave a performance I didn’t even know I was capable of. Hearing the cheers when Antonio and Maxi l lifted me up filled me with joy, and I felt so proud of that performance upon completion.  That moment symbolized to me that I am my only limitation in life, and as I continue to take steps to move forward the momentum will add people and circumstances that can help me achieve my goals.  I am looking forward to continuing to use the positive impact the Daza Dance has had on me to inspire and impact the world.
By: Kamaria George (05/13/2018)
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When I first mentioned to Maxi that I wanted to enter a dance competition, I had no idea what I was signing up for. Like most crazy ideas, it sounded like a good idea at the time. You see, as a teen I had taken a few lessons in my home country, South Africa. I had even entered a couple of competitions. It had been no big deal: there were no costumes or hair and make-up. You literally showed up at a town hall wearing a leotard and skirt, paid your entrance fee, and danced with about 50 other beginner couples in a social, amateur-amateur format. No one even asked if you had an instructor. It lasted a couple of hours, and you were on your way home again. No prizes or medals. If you made it to the top 4 of the competition, you might get a mention, but it was really just a chance to dance and meet other couples. The real experts showed up after all the novice sessions were over in their costumes and full make-up doing their amazingly technical routines, but I never even imagined ever doing that. Reflecting back, I realize that what I thought was a competition, was more of a social dance party than a competition at all. The competition I was about to enter was in an entirely different class to the one I had in mind.
Although, I am a decidedly social and outgoing person, I’ve never really loved being the center of attention. I’m happy being “at” the party, I just don’t want to “be” the party. I’m most comfortable supporting and cheering for the natural performers in the world from the sidelines. 
So why then would I sign up for this? Frankly, my drive for personal development and my competitive and impulsive spirit often overshadows my desire for anonymity. I love the fear and adrenalin of a challenge.  After years of being a lawyer routinely dealing with crisis after crisis daily, in a practiced, cool and calm demeanor, I need to find new (safe) ways to get my adrenalin fix and push my boundaries. 
When I made the decision to enter, I had just performed in my first ever dance showcase and it had been one of the best experiences of my life. There were so many firsts: my first real dance costume, my first time performing in front of an audience as an adult, and even my first set of false eyelashes  – ever. Mostly, I’d enjoyed the camaraderie and support of my fellow performers backstage at the showcase and the challenge of trying something new and overcoming my fears. My drive to constantly challenge my beliefs about what I think I can do, has this inexplicable habit of getting in the way of my rational thought process: kind of like the time I thought that bungee jumping would be a good way to overcome my fear of heights. So when I signed up to do my first competition here in the States, still reveling in the afterglow of the showcase and all the precious friendships I’d made, I simply didn’t think it through at all. By the time the reality of what I’d gotten myself into started to dawn, it was too late! Besides, quitting is even more scary to me than performing. 
To compete, I had to learn 3 new dances in 3 months: the Bolero, West Coast Swing, and the Hustle. I’d been dancing for less than a year, was only beginning to remember the basic steps of my other dances (and learning more steps at the same time), so it was definitely pushing me well beyond my comfort zone. I was dancing more often, too and an old knee injury started acting up, which eventually contributed to a foot injury which stopped me dancing for a while – all this at a time when the competition date was quickly approaching. In hindsight, the injury was a good thing for my mental state: I was under no illusion that I was as prepared as I should be, and didn’t expect to be a serious contender, so I decided to simply do my best, relax, and have fun.
I loved preparing for the competition. Until then, I had taken most of my lessons with Maxi. Maxi is not only a talented dancer and teacher, but he is so much fun to be around. My week doesn’t seem complete without a lesson with Maxi in it. Just 10 minutes dancing with him, and the stresses of life seem a million miles away.   Even on days when steps just don’t seem to come easily, I always leave my lessons much happier than when I arrived at the studio. 
Now that I was preparing for the competition, I needed a full time secondary instructor. Each instructor has a slightly different focus, so having two points of view really helps you improve more quickly. At that point I had taken a few lessons with Antonio in addition to my lessons with Maxi. Antonio is not only a great instructor, but as owner of the studio he oversees the business in addition to studying toward a degree. Getting our two busy schedules to synchronize was a challenge, so Mario became my secondary instructor. Mario is an experienced instructor with an eye for technique, so he is the perfect complement to Maxi’s artistic flair and passion. Mario has the patience of a saint, and can break steps down into movements that make sense to me.  Although he seems quiet at first, I’ve learned that he has a wicked sense of humor and we laugh all the time. Maxi and Mario both worked so hard to prepare me for my first real competition. I am so glad I had them along for the journey.
Before I knew it, the preparation was behind me and competition weekend had arrived. From the moment we arrived in Tampa, Florida for the competition, I didn’t stop having fun. Maxi and Mario treated me like royalty all weekend. They went above and beyond all expectations to ensure that my every need was taken care of. I didn’t have to think or plan. If I wanted anything, it would magically materialize – even when I asked for the seemingly impossible breakfast (cold, cooked oatmeal). Maxi and Mario even showed up at my room to escort me, unexpectedly serenading me with “We wish you a Merry Christmas”-- in March! They accompanied me to my hair and make-up appointment at the crack of dawn when every other instructor was probably still sound asleep. I haven’t felt so taken care of in years (if ever). I didn’t want the weekend to end! And I hadn’t even started dancing yet.
Not only were Maxi and Mario attentive and fun companions and hosts, but the event itself was fantastic. Flawlessly arranged.
Dinner the night before the competition, with our hosts Anna and Andrew Smart at an enchanting restaurant nearby (where we even ran into Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy  -- yes, he is as dreamy in real life!!!!) gave me the opportunity to get some advice from other more seasoned competitors. My favorite piece of admittedly terrifying advice was from Andrew. He said "Whatever you do, just don’t fall”. Until then, it had never occurred to me that I might. Eek!
Happily I managed to dance over 50 dances and stay on my feet. An achievement in itself when you consider it was my first time dancing in costume in front of a packed audience who were watching my every move.
Maxi is the consummate professional. He did an expert job of leading me, keeping me calm and quiet. I babble when I’m nervous and I was under strict instructions not to talk during the competition. Before I knew it, I relaxed and was loving it! I learned so much from watching other couples. The whole experience was fabulous, but it was also great getting recognized for all the practice and preparation at the awards ceremony. Maxi and I placed second in both the smooth and rhythm challenges we entered. 
I was also overwhelmed by all the support from our friends back at the studio. I loved reading the words of encouragement on the pictures and videos Mario posted.  Although I still find it slightly traumatic watching myself dance in videos, I’m glad I have a video record of all the things I want to work on and improve. The visions in my head of how I look are far more romantic, and I’ll cling to the memories of how I thought I looked for my next competition. Yes, that’s right – I’ve signed up for another competition in Scottsdale, Arizona in December. 
You should sign up too. Enjoy the ultimate dance experience at the same time as deflecting some of the attention from me. I can highly recommend it!
By: Heidi Braniff (04/18/2018)
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