How Long Does it Take to Learn Partner Dancing?

That’s a very good question and one that’s asked by almost every student as they begin to learn partner dancing. It’s natural to be curious because you’re eager to start using your dancing. We get it. In any case, the answer is, it depends on the individual.

If you’d like to know more about how we learn, I recommend this post, “The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills“.

And, for some more things to consider, check out these Dance Safari posts, “A Small Dance Studio in Your Home” and “Learn Ballroom Dancing? Let Me Wave My Magic Wand“.

“Are there any general tips for newcomers just beginning to learn partner dancing?”

  • It takes time and practice to become a social dancer. However, as a beginner struggling to remember what you’ve been taught, we recommend that you don’t try to practice without supervision. That means for the first few lessons it’s best to reflect on how much fun it is at the studio where you laugh and learn with your instructor and fellow students.
  • By the time you get to the third or fourth lesson, you’re probably eager to get something to practice.  And that’s great because if you want to make good progress in learning partner dancing, you’ve got to do your homework.
  • 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 are considered “supervised practice” for social dancers. In addition, if you’re unsure about something, there’s bound to be someone there who can help you out.
  • Arriving early and warming up before your lesson is an excellent idea.  Or, you might prefer to stay after to practice while it is still fresh in your mind.

“That seems reasonable. What can I expect if I follow those tips?”

Generally speaking, the following timeline is not unrealistic.

Here's a timeline that reflects what to expect when you learn partner dancing.

1-2 Months

You’ll be able to get by on a 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

As you continue to learn partner dancing, by including some basic technique, at this point an additional 2-3 steps in 2-3 dances are possible.  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’ll be moving more naturally.

1-3 Years

Most people can accomplish the Full Bronze level in this time period.  Bronze dancers are outstanding social dancers who are able to make all of their partners feel good. At the Bronze level, dancing is fun!

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

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