West Coast Swing Party, November 2014

October 23, 2014

Party for All Levels

7pm-10pm or later

     Join us Saturday, November 15th for an evening full of some of the best West Coast Swing dancing around!  Featuring the talents of Travis & Kylie Herman, this is your opportunity to get your West Coast Swing fix!  At 7pm, we will kick the evening off with a special class followed by food and open social dancing.  Although the playlist will prominently feature West coast swing music, other requests are welcome!


  • Dance Lesson
  • Pizza
  • Social Dancing Until You Drop!

BYOB, If desired


$15 Per Person at The Door
$13 if Registered on or Before 11/10

To RSVP, call 4172347511 or CLICK HERE


Yoga Arm Balancing Workshop

October 21, 2014
Yoga Arm Balancing Workshop

All levels Welcome
Saturday Nov.15th 10am - 12pm
Hosted by: Mandi Kay & Abby Webster

     Are you looking to push your core strength to the next level?  Whether you are a professional athlete or a couch potato looking for a unique way to exercise, this class will teach you movements & poses specially crafted to build upper body strength by developing effective body control.  This workshop is perfect for individuals desiring to enhance their performance across a multitude of sports and hobbies including: hip hop dancers, break dancers, ballerinas, ballroom dancers, climbers, yogis, weight lifters, and other athletes.  

In this work shop, participants will learn how to: 
  • Distribute energy in a sustainable manner to maximize yoga practice and various other activities.
  • Enhance mind-body connection by using breath work
  • Use special poses to cultivate core strength
  • Build better balance and spatial awareness

     The workshop will begin with a light warm up sequence including meditation.  Following the warmup, participants will learn basic concepts and poses including Down Dog, core work, hand placements, and upper body work.  Mandi and Abby will both provide step by step instruction regarding various arm balancing poses.  The class will conclude with a restorative cool down.     ?yola-link-is-coming=true


What level is this workshop?
     - This is an all level workshop.  Mandi and Abby will provide hands on "spotting" to help you get in and out of poses safely.

What should I bring?
     - Bring water, yoga mat, towel, and eat a light breakfast

What if I am unable to do all of the poses?
     - Not a problem! Modifications for each pose will be demonstrated so you can work to your comfort level.

$85 at the door
$75 if registered on or before 11/08/2014

To Register: Call 4172347511 or CLICK HERE


Special Workshop Weekend with Shane & Keri!

September 17, 2014

Our dear fiends Shane & Keri will be visiting Springfield Oct. 10th-12th.  They are offering several amazing workshops designed to take your dancing to the next level.  CLICK HERE to read about these two and their achievements in many different styles of dance world wide!

You can find the schedule of offered workshops by CLICKING HERE  

If you would like to register for any of these workshops please call 4172347511, or CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

Work Shops are on a first come basis with limited room. There is an early-bird discount if you register in advanced!

A la Carte: $15 at the door | $13 if preregistered
Weekend Pass: $80 at the door | $70 if preregistered

Friday Night Mixed Social Dance : $10
Saturday Night WCS Dance: $10

Additionally, join us Friday and Saturday night for two awesome dance parties! Friday will be a mixed social dance including all of your favorite Ballroom, Country, Latin, and Swing while Saturday is your night to feed your need for West Coast Swing!  The Weekend Pass also includes Friday and Saturday Parties FOR FREE!


Dancing and Your Brain!

July 15, 2014
Dancing was proven to increase intelligence more than any other exercise included in this study...so get to a dance class, future geniuses!

Mental And Cognitive Benefits Of Dancing Makes You Smarter

SUNDAY, 11 NOV 2012, 1:07:00 AM
By Mark Underwood

If you’ve ever watched ABC’s hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” then you know that dancing is hard work. Dance has long been known as being an excellent way to stay physically fit. But could there be mental and cognitive benefits to dancing as well?

Recently, a major study from Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that dance can be a powerful way to improve brain health. Research focused on the effect of dancing on the brain. It measured factors such as memory, sense of well-being, serotonin, and stress levels.

The study showed that while exercise is good for your overall health, only one exercise (the study included other exercise like swimming and biking and cognitive exercise like crossword puzzles) had the biggest impact when it came to improving overall cognitive skills. That exercise – you guessed it – is frequent dancing.

Your Brain Should Tango!

Scientists found that dancing combines many beneficial facets as we age including recreational benefits and creative thinking. Dancing holds clues to health benefits such as stress reduction, increased serotonin level, and a love of life.

It turns out dancing incorporates several simultaneous brain functions like rational thinking (keep in step with your partner), music, and an emotional sense of well being.

How does dancing actually improve brain health? Dr. Joseph Coyle, a Harvard Medical School physiatrist who commented on the new study said the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of our brains are very elastic which means they “rewire” themselves after each use. Dancing helps rewire the brain.

Other studies have shown that areas of the brain most affected by aging can be engaged, rewired and utilized before they are lost. We know that many areas of brain tissue exhibit plasticity, which means these areas are not set in stone. The stimulation resulting from dancing can engage these areas in a positive way.

If you try new things like dancing, researchers say you are opening up new pathways in the brain that improve mental capabilities. If you keep many brain pathways active and simultaneously generate new pathways, this will help maintain your brain’s health and fitness.

Play-Doh Or Plato?

No matter what brain activity you engage in – simple art projects with kids or grandkids or studying ancient philosophers like Plato, your brain will benefit.

Put dancing on the docket too. It’s fun and it opens new pathways in your brain.

The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. Novelty stimulation, like a learning a new type of dance, is essential to exercising the brain.

The point is to challenge the brain and stimulate those pathways for long-term better brain health.

We are creatures of habit – and there is nothing wrong with doing what we are good at doing. If you’re a passionate chess player, don’t stop, but try something new, too.

When you memorize new dance steps, you stimulate seemingly unconnected neural pathways – important for good health as you age.

So dust off those dancing shoes and get going!


10 Benefits Gained Through Social Dance

July 11, 2014
10 Benefits Gained Through Social Dance

Why should you learn to dance? 

I don't think there is a way to overstate the benefits of social dance.  More than just a fun new activity, learning to dance improves people in many different ways, both on and off of the dance floor.  From physical fitness to enhancing relationships, social dancing is perhaps the most fun and fulfilling method of self improvement!

 Here are some of my favorite benefits of social dance:

  • Improves overall health and physical fitness
Whether you are looking to lose weight or feel the burn, there is no doubt that dancing is exercise.  The best part is that because you are having fun, dancing tends to not feel like traditional cardiovascular exercise.  Numerous studies have discovered that dancing frequently has positive health impacts such as improved circulation, increases in overall lung capacity, slowing the aging process, assisting in joint lubrication, better control over blood sugar levels, increased calorie burn, and improves stamina.  

  • Coordination, Balance, Posture - Oh My!
In addition to the already mentioned physical benefits, learning dance also has other intrinsnic benefits for the body.  Such benefits include strengthening and toning the stabilization muscles responsible for good balance and proper posture, while developing movements feet and arms lead to better coordination.  More so, these abilities follow dancers off of the floor and can transfer to any other sport, skill, or hobby that benefits from hand-eye coordination.

  • Strengthens Mental Abilities and Reflexes
As any social dancer has already experienced, dancing in a room with other people requires us to make quick decisions from both the leader and the follower.  At any given moment in a dance, leads and follows are engaged in the current moment while determining what happens next using dance patterns, styling, and musicality.  This type of split-second decision making in addition to dealing with many different situation actually sharpens the reflexes, improves reaction time, and helps keep our brain young.  It is never too late to reap the mental benefits of dance.  In fact, in a fairly recent study, dancing frequently was shown to not only assist in preventing Alzheimer's and Dementia, but in some cases even had success in reversing these types of mental decay.  In other words, dancing just makes you smarter!

  • Improves Emotional Health such as Stress Management and Self Confidence
Dancing assists in healing depression and lowering stress levels by the natural process of raising endorphin levels and has the added benefit of elevating your mood!  All dances including Ballroom, Country, Latin, and Swing also builds individual body awareness which helps individuals feel more comfortable in their own skin, which in turn builds confidence.  This confidence is useful in a variety of different situations that can greatly influence how someone approaches life's problems, deals with pressure, and even can improve the way you look while walking.

  • Meeting New People
You are sure to meet new people whether you go out and dance, or even just stick to group classes.  The best thing about meeting people via dance is that dancers tend to more friendly than any other group on the planet!  As a community, almost every dancer realizes that style depends on continually inviting more people to take part and learn the magic of dance.  If you are looking for a safe way to meet others for romantic reasons or just to have more friends, learning to dance is vastly superior to both bars and online dating.

  • Improvement in all Social Settings
In the age of technology, we are perpetually more connected to the internet, but less connected each other.  At its heart, social dancing is applied relationship skills disguised as movement to music.  There is absolutely no better way to improve your social skills or to conquer shyness than learning a new dance.  Developing solid social skills is especially for teenagers in that awkward stage in their life and even for people with special needs such as Aspergers.  Social dancing is hands down one of the beast ways to get over the fear of social situations.

  • Romance
In addition to the general social benefits mentioned above, social dancing can also improve the romantic end of the spectrum.  While there is a chance to meet someone special on the dance floor, the real benefit is for couples.  Both new couples and those who have been together for many years enjoy the improved connection and trust that dancing builds.  Whether you choose anything from Ballroom, Latin, or Swing, all forms of dance can help bond significant others in a unique romantic fashion. 

  • Outlet for Self Expression and Creativity
Many aspects of our society, including our jobs, tend to not value creativity and self expression in order to simply "fit in."  This trend makes it even more important to have a creative outlet.  With the extreme focus of having a "9 to 5," many people do not even realize that we need to exercise our artistic side!  Learning to dance helps us to find music we enjoy and incorporate it into artistic self discovery, even for those with no musical background.

  • Connection to Other Cultures
Dance is one of the few activities in the world without any barriers imposed by age, gender, language, ideology, or even culture.  Being such, learning a new dance allows people to explore new cultures in many different aspects including movements and music.  Additionally, dancers tend to be a very diverse group comprised of many different cultural heritages and backgrounds.  You can meet almost any type of person on the dance floor!  

  • Dancers Are Just Plain Sexy!
Not only do dancers look better by standing tall and not tripping over their feet, but over time dancers learn to carry themselves in a manner that conveys confidence and self assurance.  It is like Sophia Loren said, "Sexiness is fifty percent what you have got, and fifty percent what people think you have got."  Additionally, dancing socially encourages positive grooming habits – after all, everyone likes to look their best when they go out dancing!

If you dance and enjoy any additional benefits, but sure to let us know what you appreciate about dance in the comments section below. For more benefits for dance CLICK HERE  

If you do not currently dance, but would like to CLICK HERE to learn about our dance classes in Springfield Missouri.

West Coast Swing Music (May 2014)

May 6, 2014
It is no secret that one of our favorite social dances here at Take The Lead is West Coast Swing.  This particular dance is most interesting when paired with awesome music.  So, here are a few of my favorite songs that have been making their way into our dance classes and dance parties.

"On The Rocks" - Grieves

Everything from the slow build in the beginning, the vocals, and the hard hitting beat, this song is just dripping with cool.  In fact, it even leaves a residue of awesome around the the speaker system every time the song is played.  
Clocking in at around 90 beats per minute, On The Rocks has a slower groove to it that is perfect for strutting your stuff on the dance floor.

"Showstopper" - Brandon & Leah

A little faster than the last song, Showstopper is in that ideal range that doesn't feel too fast or too slow for any level on the dance floor.  The song is full of little nuances that make this song a treat to dance to every time it is played.  It has all sorts of fun things to hit in the music that takes more than one dance to fully appreciate.  Even if it gets a little crazy at the end, Showstopper is sure to bring a smile to practically any West Coast Swing dancer.  

"Feisty" - Jhameel

Another slower one, this time channeling the spirit of Michael Jackson.  Although the song doesn't specifically call for moon walking, Feisty has cool distortion effects that practically demand you don a single white glove and move like you are the king of pop.  Delivering progressively changing tracks with a variety of distortions, this is a song that deserves to played at any West Coast Swing dance.

Thanks for reading!
-Obi Simpson


2014 Tulsa Spring Swing

April 22, 2014
2014 Tulsa Spring Swing

Another great weekend at this year's Tulsa Spring Swing!  Our Springfield Dancers made quite a splash: we had several make it to the final round, and even a first place win!  Go Springfield!  The hotel was great, the music was fantastic, and the dancing was amazing.  You simply cannot ask for a better way to spend a weekend!

Anyway, below are a few videos of the final round in the novice Jack and Jill.  As I find time, I will upload some more of the videos we shot from the competition.



2014 Mad Jam

March 12, 2014

Social dancing until 4am, dancing in the competition, and meeting new friends, wow, what a weekend! If it wasn't for caffeine and midday naps, I don't think I would have made it! Here a few videos of the Novice Final round Jack and Jill. 


Take The Lead on Live TV!

February 24, 2014

In Case you missed it, Take The Lead was featured on Ozarks Live on Valentine's Day!  We had to opportunity to teach Tom and Shannon the basic step to Rumba!

We always have so much fun being on this program.  I love how they are up for anything!


Take The Lead Dance Classes in Springfield Mo

October 11, 2013
What Styles of Dance Classes Are Offered at Take The Lead?

Our Adult Fitness Dance Classes consist of many different styles across a diverse group of dance genres.  Currently, our program includes:

Adult Hip Hop Fitness:  Primarily a cardio-workout class, this class focuses specifically on fresh, fun choreography each week.  Hip Hop Fitness is a high energy fitness class that will have you moving, grooving, sweating, and laughing!

Adult Hip Hop Technique:  Incorporating more street dancing and breakdancing than HipHop Fitness,  this class is not as sweat inducing, instead focusing more on precise elements that will sometimes have you spinning and moving on the floor.  This class is recommended for anyone who wants to look like they belong in the next "Step Up" movie.

Zumba:  The hottest and most successful Latin based danced class in the nation finds its way into the hearts of fitness and dance fanatics alike!  Offering a superb workout for everyone from beginner to pro, classes with our amazing instructors leave students sweaty, sore, and looking forward to the next time they get to attend a Zumba class!

Adult Ballet:  Focusing on core strength, muscle control, and learning to lengthen the spine, our ballet classes are a fantastic place for brand new dancers to learn skills that will open their bodies to movement across all other forms of dance.

Adult Jazz:  This is a class that combines excellent choreography and diverse movements while teaching isolated muscle control.  This class is addicting.  The only complaints are limited to, "why isn't this class offered every day?"

Dance Springfield, MO

Obi Simpson This blog is designed to educate people on the benefits of dancing in Springfield MO.


© 2016 Our mission is to be the Best Dance Studio for Line Dance, Hip hop, Zumba, Yoga, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Wedding, and Social Dance lessons & Classes in Springfield MO Take The Lead - 4235 South Charleston, Springfield Missouri, 65804 - Contact Us - (417) 234-7511

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