Trying out a small starter program at the ballroom dance studio? Then, your instructor and other staff members will soon encourage you to come to the ballroom dance parties. With this in mind, they’ll tell you, “Oh, you must come. You’ll have a blast“.
You say to yourself, “I’m not so sure. I don’t even know how to dance. How the heck do you go to a dance party when you don’t know how to dance?”
“What goes on at the ballroom dance parties anyway?”
Although individual dance studios may have slightly different agendas for the practice party, basically they have certain activities in common.
- Group Class
- Staff Introductions
- “What’s going to happen tonight is…”
- Dance Mixer
- General Dancing
- Dance Demonstrations
- Goodnight Dance
Some studios will do all these things at each party while others will have special party nights for different things, such as monthly acknowledgment of student or instructor accomplishments. But, in general, these are the kind of things that are happening during your practice party at a studio.
Let’s start with the pre-party Group Class.
This is usually pretty well-attended and, believe it or not, that’s terrific for you as a newcomer. The group classes rotate partners. As a result, you’ll get to dance with different people. This is a great way to improve partnership skills, i.e., leading and following.
The best thing about going to the group class is that you’ll meet a lot of people and when you get to the practice party you’ll already know a bunch of the others. You won’t feel so shy.
The staff member who runs the ballroom dance parties is called the Host and will do the Staff Introductions.
You will, of course, see your instructor who will seat you with other students so you aren’t on your own. Learn the names of the other staff members so that you can give a friendly hello when you dance. You’ll be dancing with your teacher, other teachers, and other students.
Yes, it’s a struggle in the beginning, but we’ve all been there. Staff and students will help and encourage you. It’s gonna be alright.
What in heaven’s name is a ‘Dance Mixer’?
Is that the studio bartender? No, silly, a Dance Mixer is a way to get everyone up and dancing around to start the practice party off.
A few of the mixers are ‘Waterfall’, ‘Snowball’, and ‘Line of Dance’. Your Host will choose one and explain how to do it. These are lots of fun and everyone enjoys themselves.
It’s called General Dancing when the music is played and everyone is free to choose a partner and dance.
Click and read Dance Safari’s post, “3 Dance Etiquette Blogs I Like” to learn about practice party do’s and don’ts.
What’s “new and exciting” at the studio?
After a bit, there will be a break in the dancing so the Host can do announcements to:
- Welcome new students
- Congratulate student and staff achievements
- Spread the word about specials and upcoming events, etc.
Many studios will set aside time at the practice party for Demonstrations.
These allow you to see different levels of dancing. Consequently, you’ll get a chance to project the future and see yourself becoming a better dancer. It’s important to remember that we all started the same way – no one is a born dancer!
Finally, a delightful bonus is a professional demonstration. To be sure, it’s always entertaining to watch the ballroom dance studio instructors strut their stuff at a practice party.
Usually, after sitting for a while, your Host will announce an activity for everyone.
This can be another Mixer or maybe a Line Dance. If it’s a line dance, it might be one that everyone knows or it could be a ballroom line dance that the instructor makes up on the spot. (They’re very clever like that!) In any case, all attendees are invited and you’re up and moving again.
For tips on choosing your dance studio, read this Dance Safari post, “How to Check Out a Ballroom Dance Studio“.
And, finally, the last dance of the evening is called the Goodnight Dance.
And, that’s about it. If you’ve done your homework in choosing the best ballroom dance studio for you, then just like Cinderella, soon you’ll be enjoying a new and exciting experience.
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