Remember swaying to the music with your high school sweetheart when that certain song came on? Not a care in the world—just spending time in the moment and making memories. The creators of Embrace Kitchen Dancing want to bring that simplicity and joy back to the world of social dance.
You may call it a new product, a new style of dance, a new way of learning dance, or even a new vision for the role dance can play in a relationship. Embrace Kitchen Dancing is the brainchild of four people who have witnessed that dance doesn’t have to be complicated in order to be fun and rewarding. Not only that, it can also help couples with their interpersonal communication.
Best of All Worlds
Our story begins with two couples: Christy and Allen Eskridge, and Adam Shaw and Mady McKeown. The Eskridges have taught Latin and ballroom dance professionally at Sinclair Dance Studio in Peoria for a dozen years. A few years ago, two of their students—Adam and Mady—met there while taking classes. They soon fell in love… and became instructors themselves! Together, these two couples have joined forces to launch an innovative digital video product which shares their unique vision of dance.
Embrace Kitchen Dancing (EKD) takes a “best of all worlds” approach. They combined several social dance styles into a single, simplified version that is easy for anyone to learn. Beginners can enjoy success right away from the comfort of their own homes—without having to master the intricacies of traditional step sequences.
Brand-new dancers are up and running in minutes, whereas in typical courses, novices are not effective until the end of an hour-long lesson—or more. Thanks to extensive user testing, the creators of this new experience have reduced that time to as little as four minutes. “The idea is so simple,” Christy reflects, “We wondered why no one had thought of it earlier!”
Back to the Basics
Decades of combined experience have familiarized the two couples behind EKD with the trouble spots of different dance styles. Then they used that knowledge to reverse-engineer the difficult parts out and remove common sources of frustration. “This is a style of dance that doesn’t require any rhythm or timing,” Adam adds, which also makes it flexible for practically any kind of music. The result is that couples can dance together casually, at a moment’s notice—say, when you’re prepping dinner and your favorite song comes on.
EKD is focused on simple embraces and arm movements, not what the feet are doing. This is ideal in cases when there is one reluctant partner. Having fun is the goal, Mady emphasizes. “Dancing is not perfect,” she observes. “But it wouldn’t be fun if it were perfect!”
This move back to the basics is what drove its creators to innovate in the first place. Their goals for the future of Embrace Kitchen Dancing have as much to do with helping to nurture people’s relationships as with dancing itself. They’d like to see kitchen dancing take on a life of its own—a great way for couples to enrich their daily routine. PM
The couples behind Embrace Kitchen Dancing will demonstrate and teach the dance at Cyd’s in the Park on the second and fourth Tuesdays of July and August 2021. To learn more, visit embracekitchendancing.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram: @embracekitchendancing.
This article was sponsored by Big Picture Initiative. Learn more at bigpicturepeoria.org.