Q. I want to learn several different dances. Should I just learn one at a time and then move on to the next?
A. When the goal is to learn several dances, we actually advise working on all of them at the same time. Dances tend to have things in common like certain patterns or some of the technique. At first it can seem a bit confusing, but after a few short weeks students usually start to see similarities that help them to learn the dances faster. And you get the benefit of being able to do a variety of dances at parties instead of just one.
Q. Should I take private lessons or do group classes?
A. Private lessons are always the best since you can get one on one attention from a teacher who can teach you at your own pace. You can also spend more time on technique in private lessons so that you learn more than just steps but how to make them look good. If you would like to compete or perform, private lessons are a must. They do cost more than group classes so your budget may determine which one is for you. Group classes are a great place to meet people and try out some different dances, but the focus is mainly on steps, not so much on technique, and the teacher must spend time with all the students, not just one.
Q. I want to join a group class, but I can’t make every class session. What should I do?
A. There is a discount if you pay for the entire month of a class. Of course if you miss a class, there is no refund or make up. If you know you can’t make every class just pay for the individual classes you do come to. The price is a bit more, but you’ll still save money in the end.
Q. What if I don’t have a partner?
A. No problem. If you’re taking private lessons, you will dance with your teacher. If you’re in a group class, we will rotate partners regularly so you will get to dance with a variety of people.
Q. I have two left feet! Can I still learn how to dance?
A. Absolutely! Your teacher knows just how to present things to you so you can be successful at dancing. This is why we’re here, to teach you. If you already knew how to dance, you wouldn’t need us, right?
Q. How often should I come in for a private lesson?
A. Like any skill, the more often you do it the faster you will learn. We recommend you come in as many times as your schedule and budget will allow. You can come in anywhere from 1 to 5 times a week! Some people do 2 sessions in a row when they come in to have more time with the teacher when they are there.
Q. How far ahead do I need to schedule a lesson?
A. We do sometimes have cancellations or open hours that we can schedule last minute, but it’s usually best to schedule about a week in advance to make sure you get a time that is convenient for you.
Q. What should I wear to my lesson?
A. For men we recommend dress slacks or jeans and a polo or buttoned shirt. For women, dress slacks and a blouse or a skirt or dress. You should be able to move in your clothes and not be restricted.
Q. What kind of shoes do I need?
A. Shoes specifically made for ballroom dancing are, of course, the best. They do not stick to the floor but allow you to turn and slide your feet as necessary. We can advise you on where to get these shoes at some shops close to the studio. If you’re just trying a lesson for the first time and don’t want to invest in shoes, just wear a pair of dress shoes that do not have a rubber sole, and ladies, please wear shoes that will stay on your feet and are not too high heeled.
Q. How long will it take me to learn how to dance?
A. This does depend somewhat on your natural ability, the time you spend on it, and on your overall goal. If you plan to perform or compete or just have a high standard for the quality of dancing you want to do, it can take longer. Most people can achieve at least a basic understanding of 4-6 dances in about 2 months if they come in once a week. If they come in more than once a week and practice outside of their lessons, they will learn faster.
Q. What if I don’t want to compete or perform?
A. Competitions and performances are strictly voluntary. They are fun and challenging to people who choose to do them, but the majority of people are only interested in social dancing. Our group classes are focused on social dancing mainly unless it is a specific technique class. Private lessons focus on whatever the student wants to learn and for whatever purpose. We tailor our lessons to you and your needs and goals.
Q. I’m getting married and need to learn how to dance for our 1st dance. What do I need to do?
A. We usually advise couples to start scheduling their lessons 2-3 months before the wedding. Things get pretty hectic as the day approaches which can make it hard to concentrate on learning dance steps and relax and have fun if you wait until the last minute. Just call us to schedule your first lesson. It’s best if you have a song picked out that you’d like to dance to and let us know what it is so when you come in we can have some choreography worked out for you. Bring the song with you on a CD, iPod, iPhone, or something we can plug into our stereo. If you’re debating between a couple of songs and can’t decide, tell us what they are and we can advise you on what dance styles may or may not work with those songs, how easy or difficult it may be to dance to, and hopefully we can help you make your decision. If you want to keep it super simple and just learn a couple of steps and no actual choreography, you probably only need around 3 lessons. If you want to learn a few more steps and maybe some simple routine, you will need at least 5 lessons or more. Most couples do between 5 and 10 lessons, some more, some less.