HOW DO I GET STARTED?


The Orientation
New students are invited to call The Ballroom Dance Center to schedule a free private lesson with Emilie Tobias, the owner of The Ballroom Dance Center. She will help you plan your next step. Whether you would like to be a confidant social dancer, a competitive dancer or your dream is to be the best dancer you can be, Emilie, along with our talented instructors, have the expertise to help you achieve your goals.

What’s next?
To make the most progress, we generally recommend combining the following four methods of learning.

 

Private Lessons
One-on-one with a professional instructor, you will improve more quickly and get proper training in the use of good technique form 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.

Group Lessons
Returning and new students to The Ballroom Dance Center will enjoy our new two-month format for all group classes. The instructional week will offer Shag on Mondays, Intro to Ballroom and Rhythm on Tuesdays and West Coast Swing and Argentine Tango on Thursdays. The specialty classes like Shag, Argentine Tango, and West Coast Swing will all consist of a two-month Beginner Class which dancers are encouraged to repeat two to three times (4 – 6 months) to develop essential, building block muscle memory.

The Tuesday Intro to Ballroom and Rhythm Iand II will give dancers an overview of 12 – 14 dances at a beginner level over 12 months. Our newly designed Tuesday night Smooth and Rhythm Technique class will be a drill oriented, movement-to- music based class with some conceptual material as well. It is recommended that dancers have a foundation before beginning Technique class.

Dancers move on from the Beginner Level to the Intermediate Level with the teacher’s permission. All Intermediate classes will consist of three or more, two-month modules that are stand alone and element based so that new dancers when ready and teacher approved may join those classes. To rotate through most intermediate class essential material will take six to 12 months. As all athletes and musicians do, we practice essential elements repetitively as dancers, so it would be beneficial to stay in Intermediate Class long term.

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 floor craft, the skill of getting around the dance floor with other dancers on it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 Every 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 out 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 that 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?
Our Fourth Friday Dance is a great place to practice. 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 floor craft.

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.