RollUpTheRug.com


Testimonials

"Ari Levitt - absolutely one of the finest dance teachers and dancers I know. His teaching style is clear and thoughtful, with a generous dash of humor. He is extremely creative and he teaches dancers how to take steps and styling from one dance form to other dances in interesting and fun ways. His blues dancing is sensational."

      --Kurt Reisser (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO


"I've enjoyed Ari's classes in blues, night-club two-step, partnering skills, and cross-step fusion at Stanford dance weeks for several years. He's a good-humored and intelligent teacher. I'm excited that he's coming to Colorado -- should be a great weekend."

 --Carol Osborne (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO



"I have studied under Ari at a couple of different Stanford dance weeks.  He is highly skilled, creative, humorous, innovative, and very accessible to his students. He delivers dynamite classes that not only encourage you to learn the material he is teaching, but also give you a most pleasurable experience while doing so. 


       I highly recommend him, and hope the Colorado dancers will take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from this fine teacher!  (It is Richard Powers who hired Ari for the Stanford dance weeks...that ought to be another fine indicator that you don't want to miss him!)"

   

    --Marilyn Chartrand (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO

"I would like to share my experience with you about taking lessons from Ari to help illustrate the significance of his teaching style and the material he covers. In the past year that I have been dancing with Ari, I have learned a great deal about what it takes to be a good follow and a good lead, and I believe my dancing has improved dramatically based on the techniques Ari has taught me.


My dancing has had an amazing transformation that has taught me to relax and trust my lead regardless of their skill level. My focus of learning fancy footwork has changed to trusting my lead and their placement of my body. The footwork now flows naturally. I hold this relaxed state of mind or connection while I maintain a solid frame. Ari has taught me this great lessen and has shown me how it transfers to more structured dances such as Waltz, Tango and the Latin Dances. It is truly magical.


Even more than the follow, I believe these lessons in close-connection are of fundamental importance to the lead.  When the lead understands how to read the level of the follow, they can tailor a dance that is connected and exciting. I have also been learning to lead and these skills have helped me to create wonderful dances with both female and male follows.


After understanding the importance of connection, Ari began teaching me how to have a conversation without words; to listen to the lead and to the music and to recognize opportunities for back-leading and interjecting my own expression. When done fluidly, the conversation goes back and forth and truly becomes a creation of two dancers.  This is why Ari’s lessons are so important for both leads and for follows.  It is this understanding of 'close-connection' that will not only make you a better dancer, but more importantly, a better dance-partner. For this reason, I highly encourage you to attend the his classes and experience this kind of connection for yourself."


-- Whitney Evans, Sept 2010


Ari and Whitney bring an exceptional amount of talent and enthusiasm to their classes. Not only is their dancing inspirational, but several critical components are presented in fun and concise exercises, explaining what could be very difficult to convey, with artful metaphors. Ari has a wonderful way of analyzing the nuances of this improvisational dance style, so that the learner can easily grasp and practice the form. Not only that – the two show such an obvious love of blues dancing with each other, that one cannot help but smile, enjoy and join the fun!

Thanks so much you two, for coming to our little town with your excellent teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and talking and socializing with both of you.  I love your fluid dancing style, and sense of humor and metaphor. I am so grateful that we might just get this kind of community going in our town, as a result of your workshop and future teachings!


The ball is rolling!!


Thanks again so very much!

Warmly, Laura Green (White Salmon, OR) Aug, 2010



"I've taken private lessons and classes from quite a few teachers, and I learned more from Ari about connection and partner dancing in one hour at the Bistro than I did in a hundred hours with the studios..."

-- P.K. (Seattle, WA) Aug 2010

Ari is a phenomenal dancer and instructor, a true master of the craft; one of the most versitile and well-rounded instructors that Seattle has to offer. I've thoroughly enjoyed his classes and workshops.

-- Debbie R. (Seattle, WA) Aug 2010  


My favorite thing about Ari as an instructor is that he does not hold anything back.  In a beginning lesson he can eloquently deliver everything a person needs to know to have months and months of fun with a dance.  He’s a great instructor, performer, host, historian and DJ all in one. And to top it all off he is incredibly fun to work with!  I confidently recommend Ari to every dance community I know and he always gets invited back for encore appearances. 

-- Gin Kirn (Seattle, WA) Dec 2009


Ari is a kind of luminary in the PNW and he is inspired, I see that. I love watching his YouTube videos. 

   --Jonquille (Portland, OR) Nov, 2010

Nobody teaches what you teach (-; mixture of dance techniques, body awareness of oneself and the partner, contact improvisation body awareness skills, and plain fun and soultry way of dancing in a SAFE environment!

-- Carola Stepper (Hood River, OR) Oct, 2010


Ari, I love your detailed and articulate feedback.  You do an excellent job of identifying the exact point of movement that can be isolated to be improved or corrected, and then you give really specific and clear instructions how to do that.   Whitney, you're so supportive, and I love how you just jump in there and pick up wherever anyone is.  You're really so personal and present, and you've kept me coming back.
      -- Sally (Hood River, OR) Aug, 2010

I'm loving these classes!  It's been exciting to discover a far more sophisticated kind of dance relationship than I imagined.  I can't wait to come to class, and I'm always sorry when the lesson ends.  I know I would enjoy any class you offer.    -- S.L. (Oct, 2010) 


Great material, wonderful personalities, nice strong energy, good pacing – this is key to good learning and for me the pacing was just right; not too slow, nor too fast.                                                     -- Laura (Aug, 2010)

    After all the years of lessons I've had, YOUR CLASS taught me how to be more receptive to my partners energy and intention in ways more subtle than I ever imagined.  The synch and flow with them is a real high..... and I'm dancing with top leads now.  Thanks so much!   

   You clearly know that moves alone don't make a dancer.  You show moves in a clear way I can easily absorb, but even more, you teach the secrets of real connection with one's partner that makes dancing with them feel so extraordinarily good.

    -- Julie Minns (Seattle, WA) Sept, 2010


Blues classes for me have been notoriously technique driven and far too dogmatic or rigid for the form. You two have allowed the improvisational quality of blues to come to the forefront and really emphasized the important aspects of listening to your partner and allowing that interchange to drive the action, instead of some footwork based system. This is a brilliant approach and I think you two pull it off very well with the progression you have developed.     -- L.G (Hood River, OR)

Your classes offer a great perspective on dancing: I'm learning that it's much more than memorizing dance steps and learning dance styles. Your introduction to the subtleties of communication and connection between dance partners is amazing.  All of a sudden the dancing just flows naturally and we are connected to the dance as well as to our partners.  The intimate setting of the salon allows for a lot of practice and personal attention.  Ari and Whitney, you create a casual, comfortable and fun environment for learning.  And it's been great to learn your original variations on some classic dance moves.   -- Sally Lawless (Seattle, WA) Oct, 2010


 I thought I knew a lot about connection but Ari taught me a thing or two about compression.  It was great!   --Stella DiToma (Seattle, WA) Sept, 2010

I love both your personality and Whitney’s. Having instructors with good senses of humor, good speaking abilities and a little performance flair helps to keep the classes lighter.  -- Mickey G. (White Salmon, OR) Oct, 2010


Ari is a tremendous teacher.  He is able to see what we don't understand and to 

verbalize and demonstrate with dance the problems we are encountering.  He can break 

down the movements into easily assimilable parts. My lead at one point asked him to 

evaluate why we weren't able to do a particular move smoothly. He watched us, gave 

the lead ideas, danced about 5 measures with me and gave me excellent criticisms 

about my dancing also.  Ari is genuinely interested in teaching, we all felt his 

lovely energy and his desire to impart his expertise to us. I'd take any dance 

class from Ari.   --Linda (Portland, OR) Aug, 2008



I thought this was really a great workshop.  It is the first time I have been in one of Ari’s classes and I can see why you wanted to have him come.  The pedagogical organization was great, both for amount of content and order.  His teaching experience was very clear also from the way he was able to assess the class’s progress and speed up, slow down or repeat as necessary.  I would certainly like to see another workshop with Ari.    -- Greg (Portland, OR) Aug, 2008

I thought Ari was one of the best instructors we've had yet! 

-- Bev (Portland, OR) Aug, 2008

In my 12 years of dancing I have never had a dance partner that is more versatile and dynamic than Ari.  -- V.K (Seattle, WA)  Dec, 2009


I have been taking private lessons with Ari. I have had six lessons now with a 7th happening soon. These private lessons are a highlight of my week. I have learned so much that is so basic - a slight shift in the movement of my body, a "tweaking" of where I put my weight. Things that are fundamental. I danced recently with a lead who is an excellent dancer. He noticed a difference in my dancing and sought me out in a way he hadn't in the past. The changes I've made are subtle, but they make a big difference. Also, I think I feel freer to express myself with my body now. I like this!   --Mary Lou Harris (Seattle, WA) Apr, 2009


Ari,
I just wanted to say again how much I (and all the dancers, I'm  sure) enjoyed having you up here this weekend. It was such great  fun and we now have a bunch of moves to work on. I love your  playful energy when you dance. You have such creativity. I could  only hope to come a fraction closer to that level. It's like your female friend you told us about when she watched one group of Lindy hoppers and said she didn't want to do that, but when she saw [Guy] she wanted to do it. Same dance, different style and energy. Yours is a style and energy I would like to imitate.

 Thanks again. I hope our paths cross again real soon.
 -- Paul Arneson (Anchorage, AK) Jan, 2008