Leaders and followers hold in close dance position in American Smooth or International standard

Once the partners have achieved good posture together (refer to my previous blog on posture).

Man and lady should have the feeling of stretching the upper body outward – the elbows should continue that stretch. Man’s left arm should be raised on a 45 degree angle with the elbow facing the floor behind him, taking the lady’s right hand into his left and holding her firmly with the two middle fingers and with the heel of the hands firmly together.

The lady should pull and stretch her left side of the upper body while directing her heart towards her partner. She will stretch and pull the left elbow while at the same time inclining her head to the left. She should experience the feeling of opposition from the left back moving forward around the spine and to the right and her head inclining to the left in opposition.

Stay safe.


Stanley is a United States Official National Adjudicator and highly sought-after Coach. He has been on the Fred Astaire National Dance Board since 1997. He visits Fred Astaire Dance Studios throughout the United States, and helps develop the quality of their staff’s and students’ dancing to the highest level. Stanley’s passion and expertise is to train professionals and amateurs alike, so they achieve the highest level of competitive dancing. He regularly trains in Smooth, Rhythm, Standard and Latin. Stanley is the Co-Owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Mamaroneck, New York where he serves as Dance Director. As a Professional, he was a principal dancer for American Ballroom Theater, directed by Pierre Dulaine, for 7 Years. He, together with his wife Jennifer Ford McCalla, choreographed the Tango scene for Adam’s Family II. They were also Ballroom Consultants for The Stepford Wives (2004), where they choreographed the group waltz in the movie.


  • 2-Time Fred Astaire National Dance Champion (Smooth)
  • United States Finalist (Smooth)
  • Ten-Dance United States Finalist
  • United States Championships Semi-Finalist (Latin)
  • Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Champion (Smooth)
  • Fred Astaire National Rising Star Champion (Smooth)
  • Fred Astaire National Syllabi Champion (Standard, Smooth)
  • Breakers and Texas Challenge Rising Star Champion (Standard, Smooth and Latin)
  • North American Rising Star Champion (Standard, Latin and Smooth)
  • Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Finalist (Standard and Latin)
  • United States Championships Rising Star Finalist (Latin, Standard and Smooth)
  • 4-Time United States Amateur Champion (Latin, Standard and Ten Dances)
  • 2-Time United States Amateur Champion (Rhythm and Smooth)

Stanley McCalla is part of the prestigious Fred Astaire Dance Studios International Dance Council, which oversees Dance Instructor training and certification, judges (Professional, Amateur, Pro/Am) at Regional, National & International Fred Astaire Dance Studio Dance Competition events, actively coaches our Students & Instructors in dance studio locations across our network, and continuously reviews our proprietary dance curriculum to ensure only the finest, most up-to-date programs for our Students. For more information on the Fred Astaire International Dance Council or any of its members, please contact us.

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