All dancers new to The Ballroom Dance Center are invited to take a complimentary orientation with our owner, Emilie Tobias, who started our studio over 30 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. During the orientation, she will address the building blocks of learning to dance with a partner as well as practical matters such as scheduling, pricing, 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.
The Ballroom Dance Center is open for in-person lessons. However, if you would like the convenience of on-line private lessons from your laptop, tablet, or phone, Zoom lessons are an available option. Our teaching staff and students have found these lessons very helpful in achieving certain dance goals.
The Zoom technology is simple, very much like Face Time or Skype. Call the studio at 706-854-8888, and we can help you begin to take advantage of this innovative learning format from the comfort of home.
We have a full line-up of group classes at the Ballroom Dance Center. On Monday, Ballroom Conditioning will be offered. This class is designed to increase your mobility and strength to enhance your dancing. The class well give you greater understanding of how to use your body well and improve alignment, balance, posture, and flexibility while educating you on how to reduce injury while dancing.
Social Dance for beginner and intermediate students is being offered on Tuesday at our Evans Campus and at our Aiken Campus on Wednesday and Thursday. These fun group classes are designed for adults who want to be well-rounded social dancers.
Students will learn all the major dance styles they will hear at a party or at one of our fun dance parties. Smooth style dances include the Waltz, Tango and Foxtrot. Rhythm style dances include the Rumba, Cha-cha, and Swing. Club style dances include the Hustle, Slow Rock, Salsa, Merengue, and West Coast Swing. In a year, students will usually learn one dance a month, rotating through all in a year, and ending with the Party Survival class to prepare for the Christmas season. No group classes are taught during the month of December.
Shag is being offered on Thursday. This fun group class is designed for adults who want to be well-rounded social Shag dancers. All levels are welcome, but the material will be focused on a foundation level appropriate for the social dance floor. West Coast Swing group classes are being taught on Thursday as well.
Couples have an option to rotate partners or stay with each other in all our group classes. Practice and private lessons help to reinforce the material learned in groups.
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 Friday dance parties and balls.
Practice – Any time The BDC is open, by appointment, 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 Fourth Friday Dances. 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 dances and balls, which are currently on hold because of COVID, are a great way to practice what you are learning during group and private lessons.
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.