Getting started with your ballroom dance lessons is sure to be an awesome experience. Just take a little time to get to know your options. We’re looking at four of the most popular ways to get moving: a ballroom dance studio, a series of group classes, online or video lessons, or lessons at a bar or dance club.
Whatever your choice is, get out there and enjoy yourself!
Full-Service Ballroom Dance Studio
Craving structure and personalized instruction? Private lessons are geared towards your individual abilities. For this reason, getting started with your ballroom dance lessons at a studio is the best way to go!
Whether a franchise studio like Arthur Murray or Fred Astaire or an independent ballroom dance studio, you’ll likely encounter a three-way system of teaching meaning private lessons, group classes, and dance parties.
A private lesson is one teacher and one student or one couple working together. They are usually held Mon-Fri afternoons and evenings by appointment to reserve an instructor for you.
A group class has one or two instructors and a number of students. The leaders line up on one side, the followers face them with the teacher in the middle.
Where group classes excel is in teaching steps. There’s a lot of repetition in a group session. First, you will dance on your own, then with a partner, and finally, you’ll rotate partners. This gives you a chance to dance with someone other than your teacher.
These classes are great for practice and, as you know, practice makes perfect. Group sessions give you what I would call ‘supervised practice’.
Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly socials are where you practice dancing with other students and instructors. It’s similar to how you learn to drive, practicing in the parking lot before hit the highway. Your studio dance party is your parking lot!
If you’re not in a hurry to learn, you might do well to take some group classes. Getting started with your ballroom dance lessons with a series of group classes will be fun and economical.
Some community-minded organizations offer group classes in ballroom dancing. Ideally, they would consist of a 4-8 week series.
These classes are designed to introduce the basics of social dancing, which could mean ballroom, latin, or swing styles. Enter your weekly dance lesson in your calendar so you can schedule your other appointments around it.
Some places to check out would be:
- Community Centers
- Elks or Moose Lodges
- County Parks Programs
Videos or Online Learning
If you are a visual learner and want to self-direct your dance education, then videos and online courses may be the thing for you.
You can expect a male and female instructor, each demonstrating their part. They will dance the step as a couple, then separately show the man’s part followed by the woman’s part. After every few steps, they will put together combinations so that you can see how they flow.
One benefit of this type of instruction is availability. Because you have access to these lessons 24/7, you can repeat any part whenever you need to.
Bar or Dance Club
Another way of getting started with your ballroom dance lessons would be at a local bar or dance club. Many times a venue that has live music will have a dance lesson before the music begins. Cost can be free to as much as $15 and will run for 30-60 minutes.
These classes tend to be more social than educational, but are a fun way to test the waters of learning to dance.
So there you have it. Depending on your time and budget, there’s a place for you to learn to dance. Don’t hesitate to give it a try.
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