All dancers new to The Ballroom Dance Center are invited to take a complimentary private lesson orientation with our owner, Emilie Tobias, who started our studio 27 years ago! Emilie wants to personally meet everyone who dances at the BDC, to welcome them and to discuss dance opportunities at The Ballroom Dance Center. On the orientation, she will address the building blocks of learning to dance with a partner as well as practical matters such as schedule, prices and planning,
The ideal way to learn combines private lessons, group lessons, parties, and practice. Each learning format offers different benefits. Private lessons are tailor-fit to each person’s interests and learning style; group lessons offer fellowship and affordability for all; parties provide a chance to dance in the “wild” or in other words, a real social setting; and finally, practice. Practice, usually within 24 hours of a lesson, reinforces mental and muscle memory.
One-on-one with a professional instructor, you will improve more quickly and get proper training in the use of good technique from the start. Beginner and social dancers get excellent value from private instruction. You do not have to be a “serious” or competitive dancer to take private lessons. For many, this is the most comfortable format. We recommend you set up standing appointments where you come in at a regular time each week.
Returning and new students to The Ballroom Dance Center will enjoy our new format for all group classes. The instructional week for adults offers Getting Started: An Introduction to Ballroom and Rhythm Dance, a beginner level class, and Social Plus: Continuing Ballroom and Rhythm Dance, an intermediate level class, on Monday. A beginner level Shag class will be offered on Thursday, as well as a class in club style dances. West Coast Swing, Argentine Tango, Hustle, and Salsa will be taught on a rotational basis.
The Ballroom Dance Center also offers group lessons for teens and youth. On Monday, teens can take advantage of the Advanced Teen Competitive Class and the Advanced Teen Performance Class. On Tuesday, a Teen Social Dance Class: Introduction to Ballroom and Rhythm Dance, as well as a Beginner Teen Performance Class are offered.
Partner Movement Skills – All classes will focus on movement skills, social dance combinations and leading/following. We often hear dancers say, “I just don’t want to look stupid!” All classes will help you develop ease and comfort in social dancing. You may ask if you should focus on just one dance. We have found it often doesn’t matter which dance you do, but rather that you learn fundamental movement skills in partner dancing.
More Dance Opportunities – Additional development of your dance skills will happen at the Fourth Friday Dance and on your private lesson.
Practice – Any time The BDC is open, you may practice here. Dance is physical as well as social. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become dancing, which will make you a better dancer and allow you to have more fun.
Dances – Dances are a fun way to socialize, exercise and practice what you are learning. In addition, you’ll have loads of fun and meet other students who share your love of dancing. This relaxed setting balances the structure of practice and lessons. You’ll also learn floorcraft, the skill of getting around the dance floor with other dancers on it.
Do I need a partner?
No, you do not. We welcome both singles and couples. Even though it is nice to have a somewhat even number of men and women in group classes, we do not require singles to find a partner for group classes. Also, we learn best and have more fun when we dance with more than one person. That is why we rotate partners during class. However, any couples who wish to stay together are welcome to do so. Just let the teacher know. In your private lesson, your teacher will be your partner.
What should I wear and do I need special shoes?
Wear comfortable shoes, preferably with leather soles, for ease in turning. Dress comfortably and casually for classes and the Second Friday Practice Social and Fourth Friday Dance. We will publicize dressier and/or themed events in advance. We have dance shoes available for sale at our studio store, which are well worth the investment. We have other dance accessories for sale in our studio store, Ballroom Bling! Ask for assistance at the front desk.
How long will it take me to learn to dance?
This varies based on a student’s goals, the number of lessons a student takes and how much a student practices. You will have fun from the start, but as with any sport or art form, you can spend hours or years getting really good at it. Most social dancers feel they have a good foundation in several dances within six months to a year.
Where can I use what I am learning?
The Fourth Friday Dance is a great way to practice what you are learning during group and private lessons. We also publicize other events, as well as clubs, in the community where you can go to dance.
How can I practice or learn without a partner?
There are many things you can work on by yourself, including patterns, posture and floorcraft.
What is line of dance?
Line of dance is a counterclockwise traffic circle around the dance floor that allows dancers to move on a crowded dance floor in one direction. Dancers should always follow line of dance – go with the “traffic” – and should move into the center or corners if they do stationary patterns.
Is there dance etiquette?
Yes, it is considered polite to say yes when asked to dance. Sometimes there are good reasons to say “no,” but try to be considerate and appropriate. In most cases, men do most of the asking, but it is acceptable for a lady to ask a man to dance. If asking a member of a couple to dance, it is polite to make sure the partner doesn’t mind. Try to rotate through as many partners as possible to have the most fun and to develop your leading and following skills.
May I dance with the teachers?
Yes, it is our pleasure to dance with all dancers at our parties. Our staff tries to dance with as many different people as possible. We generally rotate through all our guests before repeating a dance with one person.
What if someone is inappropriate with me?
The Ballroom Dance Center is meant to be a wholesome, safe and fun place to dance. Any inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated and should be brought to the attention of the staff.