Teaching Ballroom Dance? Questions An Instructor Should Know How to Answer

As a ballroom dance pro, you understand the importance of having full and complete knowledge of your programs. On the other hand, your potential students haven’t a clue. If you’re teaching ballroom dance, these are the questions you’re probably going to get asked. Make sure you know the answers!

Students have the questions and ballroom dance teachers have the answers.

Before the lesson starts, you may be asked:

When will i be able to go out dancing?

This is a great question, but the answer depends on each individual’s abilities. Therefore, we look at things like comprehension, how much you retain from visit to visit, and how you use your lessons.

Here’s an article about learning new skills. It will shed some light on your question about how long it takes to learn to dance.

“Do I have to bring a partner?

You don’t need to bring a partner. As a matter of fact, your learning will go much faster if you don’t share the lesson with someone else.

As far as having a dance partner, when you take private lessons, your instructor will be dancing with you. In the group classes, the teacher will rotate partners so you get a chance to dance with many people. This means you’ll be paired with dancers of different levels, not just your personal instructor. As a result, you’ll be better prepared for social dancing at parties.

teaching ballroom dance

“What about dance shoes?

For beginners, we recommend wearing thin-soled street shoes so you can feel the floor better. Furthermore, it’s best to avoid sneakers, platforms, or sandals without a strap in the back.

As you get more into ballroom dancing you’ll want to get proper dance shoes. For help in choosing the right shoe, see this Dance Safari post, “Guide to Buying Ballroom Dance Shoes“.

About the Actual Instruction:

Why do I have to learn so many dances at the same time?  Isn’t it better to learn one dance well before moving on to the next?

We get asked that question all the time. The answer is, believe it or not, you can learn a number of dances in the same amount of time it takes to learn just one! So, although it may sound crazy, it’s the best way to teach. As a result, you’ll be up using your dancing at a much quicker pace.

“Do I really have to learn the Foxtrot?

Yes, you do. The reasons to learn the Foxtrot are all right here in this Dance Safari post, “Why Does My Instructor Insist That I Learn Foxtrot?“.

“Can I drag my lessons out to make them last longer?

Even though you think it’s a good idea, dragging your lessons out is only good for one thing – and that’s making it easy to forget what you learned. To avoid having to spend lots of time reviewing, get to the studio for your private lessons, group classes, and dance parties as often as possible. Factor in some time to practice what you’re being introduced to. This will set you on the path to ballroom dancing success in no time.

Personal Questions for the Social Dance Instructor:

How long have you been dancing?”

The only answer is, “All my life“. As a matter of fact, that is absolutely true. From the time you were a toddler bouncing along to a catchy rhythm, up to your first dance lesson, you’ve been moving to the music.

Now, if the question is, “How long have you been teaching ballroom dance?“, tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Would you like to join me for dinner this weekend?


Okay, that should be enough, but it’s awkward to turn a student’s invitation down. Most studios have a policy that prohibits fraternization. For this reason, it’s best to place a sign at the front desk where it can’t be missed. Or better yet, the supervisor or manager can mention it on the studio tour before the lesson.

If the student ignores or doesn’t understand the non-fraternization rule, another way to avoid embarrassment is to give the no-answer answer. Don’t acknowledge the question and immediately resume the lesson with a dance step or technique. In other words, get back to dancing. The student will undoubtedly get the message.

The reason we don’t mix business with pleasure is to avoid the appearance of an improper relationship with a student.

“Can I kiss you on the lips?

Aghhhh! What did you say?

In truth, I was never asked that when I was teaching ballroom dance. Actually, it’s a question my (very) senior neighbor asked my daughter. He’s so cheeky…Lol!

If you’re an instructor, be prepared for questions from the curious student. If the person reading this is a student or potential student, now you know the answers.

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