How Long Does it Take to Learn Ballroom Dancing?

If you’re wondering how long it’ll take you to learn ballroom dancing, here’s a question for you. How long does it take to learn another language? Let’s say your friend wants to learn how to play guitar. How long would it take? The answer is simple. These things take time.

learning to dance takes time

What’s it like to learn a new skill?

In the beginning, the challenge is how clunky you feel.  

Your guitar playing friend will have to use her hands and fingers in new ways.  Because she’s concentrating on something new, each note she plays will be a celebration. Similar to learning an instrument, as you learn ballroom dancing you’ll put in a lot of thought and repetition. However, in the beginning, neither one of you will feel very smooth.

“Learning to dance is easier than I thought it would be.”

If you’re lucky enough to have found the right instructor, that’s what you’ll say after your first lesson.  It’s important that he or she has the skill to get the information to you in the way that you learn.

Confidence will come when you develop a physical habit.  

Your goal is to dance, play an instrument, or speak a new language naturally, without thinking, as if you’ve been doing it your whole life.

“I can’t remember what I’ve learned!”  

Studies show that we actually learn by forgetting. Each lesson you’ll remember more and more. When you pick up a new hobby, regardless of how badly you want to be good at it, it’s gonna take time.

How much time will it take, you ask?  

The answer is, it depends on what you put into it.  

  • As a beginning ballroom dancer, we recommend that you don’t try to practice without supervision. That means for the first few lessons you can just think about how much fun it is to go to the studio.  You get to laugh and learn with your instructor and your fellow students.
  • By the time you get to the third or fourth lesson, you’re probably eager for something to work on at home.  If you want to make decent progress in learning to dance, you practice.   Once you start practicing, you can’t stop.
  • Putting in 20-30 minutes 4-5 times per week should do the trick.  In the case of ballroom dancing, we certainly consider group classes and practice parties to be a part of that.  
  • As a matter of fact, it’s easy to get practice in, even with your busy schedule. (Gotcha…I said it before you did!)
  • Group classes and dance parties can be considered “supervised practice” which is great because if you’re struggling there’s sure to be someone who can help you out.
  • Coming in a bit early for your lesson to warm up is an excellent idea.  Or, you might prefer staying after your lesson to practice while the information is fresh in your mind.

So, what can you expect to accomplish when you do this?

Of course, some will learn faster and some will learn slower, but here’s a general outline of what to expect.  
learning to dance timeline

1-2 Months

You will be able to get by on the social dance floor.  That means you’ll have knowledge of 3-4 steps in 3-4 dances and you should be able to get through a complete song by repeating combinations of those steps.

3-6 Months

By including some basic technique, an additional 2-3 steps in 2-3 dances is possible by this point.  You’ll have more variety and will be more comfortable and confident in what you’re doing.

7 Months to 1 Year 

Introduction to more technique such as footwork, leg action, and style will create a more polished appearance on the dance floor.  You will be moving less mechanically.

1-3 Years

Most people can accomplish the Full Bronze level in this time period.  A Bronze dancer is an outstanding social dancer, able to dance with excellent dancers.  He or she is also very good with those not as experienced.  At the Bronze level, dancing is fun!

Stylish and easy to dance with, Bronze level dancers are sought-after partners with a large variety of dances and steps at their disposal.  Give yourself the gift of dance.  It’s a blessing in so many ways.

Copy of Dance Safari

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