Getting Started with Your Ballroom Dance Lessons

happy couple danceTaking ballroom dance lessons will 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 started:  a ballroom dance studio, a series of group classes, online or video lessons, or lessons at a bar or dance club.

Whatever you choose, get out there and enjoy yourself!

Full-Service Ballroom Dance Studio

Craving structure and personalized instruction? A ballroom dance 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. They are usually held Mon-Fri afternoons and evenings by appointment to reserve an instructor for you.

Group classes have one instructor and a number of students. The leaders line up on one side, the followers on the other, with the teacher in the middle.

Group classes excel in teaching you steps. These classes are great for practice and, as you know, practice makes perfect.

There’s a lot of repetition as you dance on your own, with a partner, and finally, you’ll rotate partners giving you a chance to dance with someone other than your teacher. Group sessions give you what I would call ‘supervised practice’.

Dance Parties are weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly socials where you practice dancing with other students and instructors.

It’s like learning to drive – first, you practice in the parking lot before hit the highway.  Your dance studio is your parking lot!

Adult Education

If you’re not in a hurry to learn, you might do well to take some group classes. Some community-minded organizations offer group classes in ballroom dancing, usually a 4-8 week series.

These classes are designed to introduce the basics of social dancing, which could mean ballroom, salsa, or swing styles. Enter your weekly dance lesson in your calendar so that you can schedule other appointments around it.

Some places to check out would be:

  • YMCA
  • Community Centers
  • Elks or Moose Lodges
  • Colleges
  • 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 two instructors, a male, and a female, 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.

The benefits of this type of instruction are they are available 24/7 and you can repeat any part as much as you need to.

Bar or Dance Club

Another way to learn 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 money budget, there’s a place for you to learn to dance.  Definitely, give it a try.

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