About Us:  Our Study & Teaching of Dance

Photo by Laura Hayman
We're Rick Lightbody and Carol Johnson.  We began dancing and teaching together several years ago, after each of us had pursued our dance passions separately through a variety of styles for many years.  Rick had begun with musical theatre, jazz dance, and East Coast swing, while Carolalso well-versed in musical theatrehad studied tap, jazz, modern, and hip-hop.  Rick later added salsa to his repertoire, as well as other forms of Latin dance, West Coast swing, and various types of Anglo-American and international folk dance.  Carol got hooked on contra dancing and then quickly became intrigued with the myriad possibilities of partner dance.  Thanks to a series of workshop intensives with Richard Powers, a well-known dance historian and Stanford social dance instructor, Rick discovered the twin joys of cross-step waltz and rotary waltz, which to this day remain his favorite dances.  When Rick teamed up with Carol, he found an adept and enthusiastic companion in this triple-time passion, and she became his new teaching partner.  We also began our collaborative study of many other partner dances.  These include West Coast swing, Lindy hop, salsa and salsa rueda, several ballroom forms, nightclub two-step, hustle, blues dance, Scandinavian turning dances, and—most recently—Argentine tango.

We've taught cross-step and rotary waltz for groups such as Mostly Waltz in Philadelp
hia, Dance Lovers of Central New York, Ithaca Swing Dance Network, Hands Four Dancers of Ithaca, Country Dancers of Rochester, and Binghamton Community Dance.  We've also taught nightclub two-step, East Coast swing, and salsa for various groups in upstate New York.  Our wide-ranging studies with many dance instructors have afforded us exposure to a remarkable diversity of teaching styles, and our own pedagogy benefits greatly from our careful observation of what works well for different types of students and at different levels.  We'll often attend classes at proficiency levels we're well beyond, in order to learn from the performance of accomplished teachers how we might refine our own teaching techniques.  The hallmarks of our teaching include: Clarity of verbal expression; the use of relevant and well-structured exercises; excellent co-teacher rapport; and an inspiring and inclusive class vibe.  Plus, our skill at understanding and conveying both the essence of a dance and the subtleties of its lead/follow connection benefits from the fact that each of us can dance both the lead and the follow roles in almost every dance we do.

Photo by Laura Hayman
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

In case you're interested, here's a non-exhaustive list of the dance forms we actively study and/or do socially, grouped according to our sense of the relevant dance "families".

Cross-step waltz
Rotary waltz
Slow waltz (ballroom)
Country, Cajun, "contra", and other folk waltz forms
Misc. waltz forms (e.g., "Latin" waltz)

Swing Dances
West Coast swing
East Coast swing
Lindy hop
Blues dance
4-count swing

Latin Dances
Salsa rueda

Modern Social Ballroom Dances
Slow waltz
American tango

Vintage Ballroom Dances

Argentine tango
Nightclub two-step
Anglo-American Folk Dances
Contra dance
English country dance
Traditional square dance
Modern western square dance

Photo by Bob Cohen

Other Folk Dances
Scandinavian folk dances
Balkan & other international folk dances
European balfolk dances
Cajun two-step & waltz

Country-Western Dance
Country (Texas) two-step