Ballroom Dancing Misconceptions that Shouldn’t Stop You

A misconception or myth is defined as, “a widely held but false belief or idea“. When it comes to ballroom dancing, misconceptions are many.

Is it a myth or is it true that ballroom dancing is:

…old-fashioned?  Absolutely a myth.

I wouldn’t say old-fashioned, although many of the dances are classics.  But, if you make the effort to learn not only the steps but the characteristics of the dance, you’ll appreciate all the different layers. For example, here’s a ballroom dancing misconception for you. Waltz seems like a dance that would be good for your grandmother. Nice and slow with easy steps. In reality, it’s a flirty, sexy, and passionate dance that can really be pretty steamy. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a performance called “Fifty Shades of Ballroom Dancing“.

…too expensive?

In my experience, there’s a way to learn ballroom dancing that fits just about anyone’s budget. In addition to private instruction, there are group classes, video learning, or online lessons. Here’s the Dance Safari recommendation for a free online course, “Free Online Bachata Course That’s Great for Beginners“.

…only fun for show-offs?

Let’s not confuse social dancing with competition-style dancing. If you’re performing or competing, then everything you do has to be exaggerated and big.

ballroom dancing misconception #1 - it's too fancy
Show Dancing is fun to watch.

On the other hand, social dancing is done with smaller, more subtle movements. Showing off on the social dance floor is frowned upon…don’t do it!

…done to boring music?

Here’s another ballroom dancing misconception, that the music’s not good. Not so. You can ballroom dance to any music that you like. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to find a song labeled “Foxtrot” or “Tango” or “Cha Cha”. It’s easy to dance to popular music. Simply match the character of the dance to the feeling of the music. For example, if you love to dance Swing, you’ll listen for an uptempo or Jazzy piece of music to fit the style of the dance. A Waltz just won’t cut it.

…hard to do if you’re not in shape?

This is tricky. While it’s a myth that you have to be an athlete to dance, your level of fitness will, initially, dictate how much dancing you can do before you need a break. However, gradually you’ll get in the best shape of your life as you dance the night away.

Here’s a tip, wear your fitness tracker to see how much moving you’re doing as you dance. Keep in mind that it doesn’t record steps when you’re in a dance position. For this reason, if you want to know how many steps you’re taking, all you need to do is either wear it on your ankle or put it in your pocket. You’re welcome.

…extremely difficult to learn unless you have a dance background?

I’m not gonna lie, if you have trained in other styles of dance, like Ballet, Jazz, or Modern, you’ll be able to pick up ballroom dancing more quickly than newbies. By the way, the same is true for the Martial Arts. Any activity that requires excellent balance and posture will help you learn ballroom dancing with ease.

That said, it’s a big ballroom dance misconception that a history of dance training is needed for you to learn how to dance. Two left feet? C’mon in. Terrible timing? No problemo. Afraid you can’t learn? Seriously, no worries.

Don’t let myths and misconceptions about ballroom dancing get in your way.

Above all, we’ve got your back. To be sure, you’ll be dancing in no time. With this in mind, just take a chance. Get into a class and give it a try. In the words of the great Gene Kelly, “Gotta Dance!

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