Big Thanks to Becky Larson (Worlds best Dance Video Specialist) www.momentsofdance.com
About The Intensive
The success and popularity of the “Intensive Dance Training” weekends can not be understated. Learn how to progress from just repeating moves and patterns, to actually dancing. Learn the fine points of leading, following, syncopations, pattern selection, connection, musical Interpretation, music theory, music interpretation and other techniques that will separate you from the majority of dancers on the dance floor.
These three-day seminars are complete with hand-outs, video evaluation, and practical applications covering advanced topics in depth.
This weekend is for Men, Ladies, social dancers, competitors and teachers!!!!
- Attendance will be limited to 20 couples
- Prerequisite: Intermediate level dancer and/or above; Must plan on attending the entire weekend.
It is best to already have a partner when signing up but not necessary. If you sign up as a single we can do our best to partner you with someone.
Brent and I were fortunate enough to take Mario’s intensive and let me just tell you how INTENSE it was…This is positively the BEST class that Brent and I have EVER taken. Mario broke down this dance to it’s complete purity.
Every year, Brent and I are amazed when Mario puts our routines together. We sit in awe… After his intensive, we understood where his thought process was and understood how he hears EVERYTHING in the music. Everyone in the country makes reference to his unbelievable routines and how he misses NOTHING in the music… well, he explained exactly how he does that and it was truly amazing to see and understand.
Before we went into the seminar on Friday night, Brent was extremely worried because those of you who know Brent, know he is SEVERE Attention Deficit. So, he was panicking because he was afraid he would not be able to listen long enough to catch everything he needed to catch. By the end of the intensive, Brent and I were on our way to the last day of the class and we had to stop and get gas… Brent and I were literally out by the pump practicing what we were learning. For Brent, this is UNHEARD OF!! Brent would NEVER dance outside a Gas Station… Hell, I can barely get him to practice our routines for a competition in a DANCE ROOM!!! Hahaha!! (She’s telling the truth BK).
If anyone ever gets the chance to take this intensive, it’s WORTH IT!! People in town were asking Brent and I why we would take the class when we have won the Open multiple times… Our answer to that is this… No matter how many titles, you can NEVER be your BEST and you can NEVER stop LEARNING… Mario has been our choreographer for 7 years and we couldn’t do it without him… What a great opportunity to truly learn how he does it…!!!
Thank you Mario for preserving “The Dance” and giving credit to those who gave it to YOU!!! You ARE “The King of Swing” and always will be. We love you not just for your talent but for your friendship.
Brent and Kellese Key
I too would like to comment on Mario’s Intensive. Somehow, Mario was able to explain so that even a 2 year old could understand. I so appreciated all of the time and effort Mario has taken over the years to study his craft. Sharing what has taken him so long, so freely, and giving credit to his mentors, is highly commendable and highly respected. Basics, it’s all about the basics. sure wish I had this information and teaching when I first got started. I recommend that all teachers consider taking this Intensive. I didn’t get it all, but I promise when offered again, I will. Not only do I feel it will make me a better dancer, but also a better judge. Thank you Mario.
You truly are the “KING OF SWING”.
Mario’s Intensive is the most professional dance seminar I have ever attended. I have been so impressed by his informative and entertaining presentation that I have hosted several in the San Francisco Bay Area. All the Intensives I have hosted have been filled to capacity, and many attendees have opted to re-take the event in order to more fully absorb the material. Mario’s straightforward and humorous presentation is great for both beginning students and advanced professionals. Many of my novice students who were told that it would be “too advanced for beginners” have told me how much they appreciate having the information available to them at the early stage of their dance training; they now feel that they know what to work on, and more importantly how to achieve the progress they want.
Although beginners and advance dancers alike are able to integrate some of the material immediately, most attendees have told me that what has been most valuable was the insight into what they didn’t know and can’t yet do, but are filled with optimism by the roadmap that Mario laid out for their continued dance progress. If everyone practiced what Mario suggests, then our dance would be more fulfilling and creative for both partners on both the social and competitive dance floors. All anyone has to do to verify the success of Mario’s advice is to look at his record-he’s still placing first in the highest levels of competition and, more importantly, is the most sought after partner at any dance he attends!
-Kelly (Buckwalter) Casanova
Santa Rosa, Ca
All musicians converse with respect to a master.
Bravo to you! Your enlightenment sessions in New Jersey will have a long lasting effect. I have studied with all the “name brands” and have become a certified teacher with Skippy’s GSDTA. Your presentation of west coast swing is the most user friendly approach to the dynamics of the dance that I have EVER seen, bar none.
I really hope that you hang out for a very, very long time.
You have started a revolution that needed to be ignited in the WCS world.
A trombonist in your orchestra.
What shall we play now?
New York, Ny
To put Mario’s Intensive course in perspective; if my dancing were an ant, Mario would be the magnifying glass and the information presented in his intensive would be the sun that fried me. Taking this 3-day workshop made me acutely aware that I have only scratched the surface of beginning to marry my dancing with both of my partners; the music and the lady I’m dancing with. Mario’s method of instruction will show you how to break down the music and the dance to completely understand it while providing you with the tools to rebuild it from the ground up while flavoring it with your own personal style. This course is well worth the time and money invested for those who are truly interested in improving their dancing.
San Diego, CA
After thinking on the ride home about what length “disseration” I was going to write about this weekend’s events, its all stuff you’ve heard before and I don’t want this message to be a chore to have to read. –>Boil it down, Steve!
Ok, in my opinion, you are the best swing dance instructor anywhere, not by a little, by a LOT. I hope you don’t change a thing in your approach. Man, you give a lot. There is NOBODY who comes close, not that I’ve been involved with anyway. For your students, the clarity and real-time illustration of everything you say, and your own social dancing ALL put forth a coherent depiction of great swing dancing. One main differentiator between you and most of the others is you never contradict your own self in either what’s said or what you dance. You make me think (deluded as I may be) that I can really do this!
I guess I got 5 years left to learn everything else I can from you. And based on my body movements and leg lines on that video, i gotta get on the stick!
Last note, but this is the real stuff:
About half an hour before you and Reisa danced at the front of the room, my cute little friend, Jen and you danced a swing’in blues ( don’t know what song) right near the bar. It was solid dance, great to watch. A good illustration of how to lead a pleasant dance – and it moved right along. You matched the level of what you led precisely to her following skill so that she always knew where she was going and was moving smoothly without strain or worry. She was smiling from ear to ear constantly, man.
She was glowing afterward. Making the woman feel like that is my dancing goal. I am going to accomplish this! (and I’ve gotten better at it).
Truthfully, I really don’t care that much about points or catering my dancing to any particular judges. And then, get this, when you got through with her, she felt so good about herself she asked me to do a strictly at the next event with her! She never would have even thought like that before. She’ll still be petrified, but at least she got this far so far!
Because you are immersed in so many student-dancers pulling at you all at once and busy, you might not have the opportunity to be aware of this stuff, but I know Jen fairly well, and I witnessed it. 3 minutes… You just should know – the good you do. Your dances with Reisa and Anne – awesome, granted. You and Anne had me and Jim Guglielmo’s jaws on the floor during “Texas” friday night. That ride was beautiful.
But when you nurture the delicate little heart of a newbie girl and melt her fear into joy…
I care about people, y’know?
You -changed -Jens -life.
In my definition of dancing, humanity, and everything else, thats the stuff that matters.
With all due respect, I am proud to call you my friend.
And its gotta continue a long time.
After taking Mario’s intensive this year I can say that I know a lot more about WCS and a lot more about myself as well. Mario’s intensive was an amazing weekend adventure that I’d hands down take again any day. The subjects and lessons I learned are things that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my dancing career and life. The information was presented in a clear and understandable format that any level of dancer or age group could pick up. The covered topics we’re so dialed in to what this community needs to hear. Mario’s ability to connect with his audience and group makes him a great teacher, which he loves to do. William Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” And Mario did exactly that. He inspired my dancing and I feel that I will reach new levels of confidence, joy, and success from the knowledge I have gained out of Mario’s intensive.
Thank you, thank you again!
You’re a babe!
I just returned from my first ‘Mario Intensive’ and am attempting to put it in perspective. Over the course of a 35 year career teaching Social Dance, I have taken or given thousands of classes, workshops, and intensives, and would rank my recent intensive as the pinnacle of my learning experience. In my opinion, Mario is without peer as a teacher, historian, and great ambassador for West Coast Swing.
p.s. (on a personal note)
Mario, This weekend was amazing! I am just seeing, with great clarity, that you have provided me with the opportunity to strive to reach a new level in my teaching West Coast Swing and to realize that I have the potential with this new, improved ‘Toolbox” to get a lot better as a dancer. Who knew?
It is difficult to express in words my appreciation of your hosting of the Mario intensive in Cleveland. Even so, I will do my best to do so. As a dancer, this one weekend has forever changed my dancing and how I practice with a partner. Splitting the time 50/50 with a partner will foster success in any dance partnership. What a great idea – simple, and fair. She gets to focus on what she is interested in for her time, and I get to focus on what I’m interested in for my time. Mario presented a incredibly generous amount of dance knowledge in a very understandable fashion and also gave us methods in which to master and develop the knowledge over time. As a teacher, I am looking forward to, and excited about, sharing my new found knowledge with students. As a DJ, in addition to gaining several new song titles to buy for my collection, I’ve also learned more about music that will help me better select social music, competition music, and routine music. As a bystander, I now have greater appreciation for the dancing I watch. Being aware of the elements of dance helps me to enjoy them so much more. As a person, the Mario intensive has enriched my life. It is a wise man who seeks wisdom and a fool who believes he has it. For over 10 years now, I have been dancing. For over 10 years I have sought to be a good dancer and never expected to reach that ideal. Similarly, and as time went on, I sought to be a good teacher, a good partner, and a DJ. During the Mario intensive my goals have changed. Never expecting to reach these ideals, I now seek to be a great dancer, a great teacher, a great DJ, and a great partner!
One thousand thanks,
This is Lee from Connecticut. Over the past few years my wife Ginger and I have attended several of your weekend workshops and recently attended your Intensive in Windsor, Connecticut, May 2007.
We both agree that what we learned during the intensive was more than we expected. Your insights into the West Coast Swing dance, along with your “Real World” analogies really helped to cement, in our minds, that this is one terrific dance. Your teaching was clear, and the workshop was well organized. We heard no complaints that the class was either too slow or too fast, even thought there were varying levels of dance ability in attendance.
In our “non-dance” careers, both Ginger and I are professional trainers and as such, we appreciate mastery when we see it. You are truly a master of dance and a master teacher of dance as well. We only wish we lived closer to your area so that we could continue to benefit from your knowledge on a regular basis.
I hope you realize and take pride in the fact that when you do what you did for us in Connecticut, and other parts of the country (presenting information professionally, clearly, sequentially and enthusiastically), you really make significant impacts on lives of every dancer in the room, whether they realize it or not.
Thank you again for a great experience and we look forward to the next time you visit Connecticut.
Lee Lowery & Ginger Blume
Professor Lee Lowery,
Ginger Blume, Ph. D.
You are unlikely to ever find such profound information about the dance expressed in a way that is to easy to understand. Leaders and followers both get invaluable information to improve their dancing. The thought, “Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this before?” occurred to me over and over throughout the weekend as hour after hour was packed with information that completely revolutionized the way I view the dance. As a judge, I feel better able to evaluate a competitor’s dancing. As a teacher, my understanding of the dance and ability to pass that information along to my students has improved immensely. As an All Star competitor, I feel more confident in my ability to get out on the floor and show everyone just what my partner and I are truly capable of. As a social dancer, I appreciate the myriad ways I have to make every dance the best it can be. If you want to improve your dance by leaps and bounds, this intensive is the way to do it. Thank you Mario!
Los Angeles, Ca
As a long timer coming back into Swing after nearly a decade away, I was having real trouble trying to figure out how to lead the “new” swing. Mario’s First Rule of Social Dancing really put things into perspective for me and gave me the mental space to change how I approach the dance.. now, I enjoy social dancing a ton more than I ever have – and the smiles on my partner’s faces is proof that Mario’s teaching works wonders for anyone, even an old fossil like me.
- Tom Paderna
San Francisco, Ca
-Sally Poor (a.k.a forever love)
Lord, I don’t even know where to start! I know we weren’t supposed to do homework at last night’s dance, but I couldn’t help myself, being not only a teacher’s pet (:-)) but a bit of an enlightenment junkee, which is I’m sure why I ended up teaching for a living myself. So, whenever I wasn’t following, I tried to lead and practice the phrasing of the 32-beat phrase song, mostly with Keri, the fun red-head hustle dancer in our class, and everytime we hit a phrase right, we were whooping it up (making total fools of ourselves). Buy by the end of the evening, I was phrasing whole songs and even managing to vary the type of tuck or whip or pass a bit, but still staying with the formula and she started putting in little things on her anchors at just the right times and, by the way, it’s probably a good thing you went home when you did, because if I was vaguely thinking about jumping you on Saturday night, I probably wouldn’t have been able to hold myself back on Sunday. Honey, you were not kidding about the crack! And my best lucky oh-my-god dance before was NOTHING like the thrill of this. Wow. Pant pant….
I can see that with following, all these principals and layers will take longer to get integrated and also, since when following, I don’t get to control the phrasing, it will be more of a challenge (and I do love a challenge). But being CONSCIOUS of all this new stuff, some of which I was already instinctively doing, is PHENOMENAL. It’s just a whole new world. I haven’t felt this transformed by a learning experience in a while. This is way up there and a tribute to you and your teaching ability.
So once again, THANK YOU.
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of German
Don’t worry, I haven’t become the equivalent of an Amway salesperson or a Pat Robertson evangelist for Mario’s intensive, but now that I’ve taken the class I have to say I think it was absolutely worth it, enough so that I wanted to reraise the subject with local dancers and see if perhaps with a strong recommendation enough folks might be sufficiently interested to try again for a local session. The best way I can think of to describe the intensive is that it’s an eye-opening experience that focuses on theory and gives you many, very specific things to work on that will keep you busy for months if not years – and if you’re ever in the doldrums of feeling stale and needing to learn something new & cool (i.e., a pattern – I’ll admit to it), it will definitely take your mind off that. It’s more about learning primitives that allow you to have tremendous variability in your dancing without having to learn 500 new patterns. It is absolutely not for beginners or the faint of heart. For all of us fervent strictly/J&Jers, I’m willing to bet we’ll all do dramatically better if the material can be incorporated into our dancing. Some of you may know Mario pretty well already and know that he has some pretty strong opinions about how WCS is losing its identity in the midst of the current free-form, don’t lead patterns, don’t hardly lead at all, intepretation-centric style of dance that is becoming very prevalent. (He is really, really big on leadable social dancing.) All I can say is hear him out. He makes a very compelling case. He doesn’t say not to do your own thing, but he places a strong emphasis on creativity within the patterns (principally on the 1 & 2 and anchor). Lots of insights into how judges score. And although you’ll hear a lot more blues from him than what is becoming more common, he’s not trying to eradicate non-blues music at all – and his material about how blues and contemporary/pop music are danced in very different ways is very illuminating and could seriously help you kick butt in a J&J. I bet it will also increase your interest in blues. Incidentally, this generally isn’t a rotation kind of class setting and one pretty much works on everything with the “partner” they come with – but it really doesn’t matter who your partner is.
I wanted to extend a huge thank you for this weekend’s workshop. I am very new to dance (4 months). I left your workshop with a new attitude. You inspired me soooooo much! Rather than then normal thinking…I can’t do this…I now think..yes..I can do this. I can become a dancer and I can even become a very good dancer. Thank you again. You are a true gift to the dance community.
How are you? The weekend was fabulous as usual. Every time I do the intensive I get all jacked up and excited all over again, and inspires me to work harder and learn more. I started learning chord progression, I got a great book and I have a piano at work, so I’m psyched.
So thank you again, I love it!!!
I hope you are doing well…
All I can say is “Thank you, thank you, thank you”! What an amazing experience. Although I have been ‘dancing’ for about 20 years; until Barry Douglas I had never taken a lesson. (Single mom, 5 kids to raise). Dancing with Barry for the past 6 months and now listening and watching you, has opened my eyes to the amazing possibilities of the dance. You are truly inspirational. Breaking down the dance the way you do helped me to better understand my body movements and allowed me to go back to videos and actually ‘see’ what the pros are doing and work to achieve that level. (I’ve already begun my spreadsheet!) It’s such a different approach from what is the standard dance lesson/workshop format. I LIKE IT!
Thanks again for a wonderful weekend.
I’m so thankful that I was able to attend the Intensive. I’m a fairly new dancer and was unsure if I would be able to understand the material being covered. You are able to explain concepts in ways that make sense (even to a math geek) and you give us all things we can work on both with a partner and on our own.
I learned more about the dance in three days than I ever thought possible. Your weekend has given me not only the tools I can use to work on my dance but also the inspiration to do so.
There’s a bungee cord tied to the closet door and a bowl full of pieces of paper on the counter and I can’t wait to go dancing.
Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge.
I just wanted to send you a note saying how much I enjoyed the intensive this past weekend. Now that I’ve looked at the handout material for a couple of days, I’m realizing even more what a wealth of information you provide. While you may have gathered from my questions that I’d been exposed to some of the musicality concepts by other instructors, none of those went into the detail that you do in your class and handout. Much of the material was absolutely brand new to me. Learning about Texture, Shading, Depth – way, way beyond my expectations. What fertile ground to dance on!
It’s interesting that I’ve always had this desire to just kind of sit down and have someone explain West Coast Swing dance; the history, the evolution, what’s authentic and what is not. It’s great that you include all of that background and context. I’ve only been dancing for a couple and a half years (with six months out for a blown meniscus) and after this weekend I feel like I’ve finally been ‘brought up to speed’ a bit with the state of the dance. Hey – is this like getting out of Kindergarten? I know I’ve never had this much DANCE HOMEWORK before!
San Rafael, Ca
Your workshop this last weekend was one of those incredible opportunities for growth, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to be there. It was inspiring, filled with extremely valuable information, and provided definite ways to become a better dancer. For anyone who truly loves music and truly loves to dance, your intensive workshop is a MUST!
Sometimes it is hard to know who is teaching what is “real” about this dance. You are straight forward and direct about your philosophy, and you back it up with a knowledge of music and dance that shows depth and experience. The dance about which you taught is the dance that captivated me. The dance about which you taught can be danced by a 15 year old and a 70 year old person. I hope the influence you have can effect a re-balancing of the content of WCS.
You are a master, and deserve the title. Thank you for sharing a lifetime of knowledge.
I have a framed poster that says, “I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.” Obviously He does know how…how else could we know the wonderful rhythms our body can make?! He has blessed us.
Thank you again!
I started practicing at 6am.
It is like the skies have opened up and the light is pouring in.
In less than one minute, you shed light on a major issue that has been restricting and confining
My swing dancing ever since the beginning – and I am talking also Lindy, Balboa, Jumpswing, WCS, everything swing.
Wow! I am a musician, composer, and instructor. Whereas I had previously been confused, and in doubt for MANY years of workshops, classes, private lessons and dancing, now I feel that I finally know exactly (and without yet more delusions) what to do in order to really rock this WCS dance for my own enjoyment, AND exactly how to place much higher in the next J&J. I feel that I have had a look not only under the hood, but that we have ripped apart the whole engine of the Ferrari that is WCS, studied it in detail, and put it back to together again. And even more than that, I know in detail how to customize the dance to my peculiar temperament, adapt to other temperaments, and still be well within leadability, and the rules of the game.
Thank you Mario for patiently and clearly answering my many questions – questions that came from years of bafflement, questions relating to my own dancing, and teaching my own students.
It is a whole new ballgame for me.
thank you so very much.
Mario’s intensive was the best WCS learning experience that I had so far. Attending a dancing convention, or taking workshops, or privates could not even compare. It helped me build understanding of the dance and its essentials. It gave me simple tools to use in understanding music and expressing it through the dance. WCS is such a dynamic dance, constantly evolving and changing. It is a dance where it is very difficult to see difference between technique and styling, and be creative while still maintaining the dance character and fundamentals. It is a dance where it is very hard to tell right from wrong. Even though Mario is very direct, he is not a cookie-cutter teacher who would sacrifice your individuality – on the contrary, he has an eye for your strengths that you might not even be aware of – and he helps you recognize and develop them. His advise was very methodical, but still clear and simple – a good sign of a very seasoned teacher, not just an amazing dancer. I learned a great deal of time-proven concepts and it was great to be able to not only hear but also see how they apply. I had a great time, learned a lot, and would definitely do it again!
Mario Robau visited Jacksonville Florida last weekend, April 3-5, 2009! When he arrived, we visited a local Cuban restaurant where he enjoyed true authentic cuisine, like he had growing up! At 3:30 pm, his Intensive began with 21 couples. His depth and knowledge of West Coast Swing was taught over the next 21 hours. We had a 12 hour intensive planned, with 2 bonus hours shared with the local dancers, plus 7 hours of social open dancing. What more could a WCS student ask for!! Students and guests of Club Savoy asked Mario to dance, in order to experience the dance with a true champion. He never turned anyone down, even though he suffers with bad knees. Mario is honorable and compassionate man who shares his 25 years experience in WCS with enthusiasm, no matter what level of dance you may be. All dancers walked away from this Intensive with broadened knowledge, a bowl full of projects on how to improve their dance and gratitude to the man who shared his time and dance with them over the weekend! Mario will be back to Jacksonville . The date is not set as of yet, but will be decided soon. As a family we will welcome Mario back for not just his great knowledge but his Zest for life and the good friend we find in him!
The Dillow Family