I started taking lessons with Isaiah Meders at IM Dance Happy last November when we were paired together for a Dancing With The South Bay Stars competition. Previously, I had taken group classes on-and-off for about a year from 5 different instructors and really had not progressed much in my musicality, confidence, or dance ability.
Isaiah reduced my dance phobia, was always patient with my clumsiness and missteps, and used the right blend of techniques to teach both my mind and my body how to enjoy dance. His group lessons are small enough for him to gently work with each student on the next steps needed to improve their foundation, mechanics, style, and expression. Surprisingly, Isaiah is equally adept at demonstrating and performing both the leaders' and followers' parts, which is extremely helpful for both partners to feel the correct lead and follow movements. His passion for teaching is obvious in the joy he displays when his students have an AHA! moment that progresses their dance abilities.
In about 3 months, Isaiah brought me from being a too-rigid, beat-missing, over analytical, energizer bunny, cowgirl, wall flower, to being able to perform a reasonably complicated routine confidently in front of 500 people and earn a 10-9-9 from three dance judges.
In addition to teaching dance, Isaiah educates you on the history, cultures, techniques, and evolution of dance sport. He coaches you to build core and ankle strength, and to realize the importance of breathing and yoga for flexibility. Unlike other dance instructors, Isaiah also arranges group outings for his students to go to dance clubs together and enjoys dancing with them socially.
I can honestly say that thanks to IM Dance Happy Studios, I am enthusiastically learning to move easier, feel and express the music, develop new athletic and artistic skills, and now "I am Dance Happy"' too!
Rebecca Foo, Ph.D.
"... Meders ... dissatisfied with the sales tactics they were required to employ and frustrated that actual skill in dance was one of the lowest priorities for teachers and students alike in this environment, ... maintains a vision of providing a service to the community -- educating, uplifting, and improving society through dance... Meders appear to have maintained a healthy emotional environment for their students.... They do suggest possibilities for teaching ballroom dancing in environments that are more psychologically and socially healthy for the participants and the communities in which they are situated." [excerpt from Glamour Addiction: Inside the American Ballroom Dance Industry, p. 196-197] Juliet McMains
I've been coming here with my husband for over a month now, and the instructors have been nothing but helpful. Very friendly and welcoming, too, especially when teaching beginners... The regulars here are also very nice, like one big family
They teach more about the fundamentals and Musicality (Isaiah's favorite word), and less about just learning patterns. They teach dancing as a vessel for expression, like an instrument to play a song, not just a series of motions to look cool.