Frequently Asked Questions – I haven’t danced in a while, what can I expect from a Latin and Ballroom Club dance lesson?

Here is what you can expect: you will gain confidence on the dance floor, a sense of accomplishment, new friends, a winning Powerball ticket… woops, JUST KIDDING!

This is what you do

Decide what you want to dance for …do you want to do social dancing or do you want to compete? Do you want to go out each weekend or do you just need to look good at a wedding?

Your reason might require that you learn only a few styles but you’ll want to learn them in depth. If you want a night of casual social dancing, learn basic steps for a number of dance styles (you will pick up more moves as you go out dancing, practice and the basics become familiar).

Complicated dances such as the Bolero and paso doble can be attempted later, but you probably want to start with the rumba, cha-cha, tango, waltz, and fox trot to learn a few core steps.

Go to class. This may seem obvious but it is amazing how often people skip class. It doesn’t matter how good the teacher or dance studio, every time you miss a class, you won’t benefit.

Listen to ballroom music. Get a list of songs in the rhythm you’re working on and listen to them in the background while counting it aloud as the music plays. Many beginning dancers benefit from clapping the beat with the music. Also watch the dancers moving to the music. Feel the style of the dance, in addition to its rhythm.

Practice is an important part. We have practice sessions along with our lessons. GO! Don’t be afraid to ask the more experienced dancers for help. Everyone is excited to help you enjoy dancing to the fullest. You may meet new friends for life.

Dance! You’re in this to learn how to dance so go dancing. Even after your first lesson you can “dance” in your mind as you listen to the music or even to try some steps in a safe corner. If you learn two moves a lesson then by your third lesson you know six moves. That’s enough to go dancing and look like you truly belong on the dance floor

Read More

Frequently Asked Question: What are Ballroom Dances?

“Ballroom dance” refers most often to the ten dances of International Ballroom (or Standard) and International Latin, though the term is also often used interchangeably with the five International Ballroom dances. Sequence dancing, which is danced predominantly in the United Kingdom, is also sometimes included as a type of Ballroom dancing.

In the United States and Canada, the American Style (American Smooth and American Rhythm) also exists. The dance technique used for both International and American styles is similar, but International Ballroom allows only closed dance positions, whereas American Smooth allows closed, open and separated dance movements.

Others dances sometimes placed under the umbrella “ballroom dance” include Nightclub Dances such as Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, Nightclub Two Step, Hustle, Salsa, and Merengue. The categorization of dances as “ballroom dances” has always been fluid, with new dances or folk dances being added to or removed from the ballroom repertoire from time to time, so no list of subcategories or dances is any more than a description of current practices. There are other dances historically accepted as ballroom dances too,

Ballroom/Smooth dances are normally danced to Western music (often from the mid-twentieth century), and couples dance counter-clockwise around a rectangular floor following the line of dance. In competitions, competitors are costumed as would be appropriate for a white tie affair, with full gowns for the ladies and bow tie and tail coats for the men; though in American Smooth it is now conventional for the men to abandon the tailsuit in favor of shorter tuxedos, vests, and other creative outfits.

Latin/Rhythm dances are commonly danced to contemporary Latin American music, and, with the exception of a few traveling dances (e.g., Samba and Paso Doble), couples do not follow the line of dance but perform their routines more or less in one

International Ballroom Dances

  1. Waltz 28–30 bars per minute, 3/4 time also known as Slow Waltz or English Waltz depending on locality
  2. Tango 31–33 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  3. Viennese Waltz 58–60 bars per minute, 3/4 time In some countries (for example, Austria) Viennese is known as the Waltz, while Waltz is recognized as Slow Waltz.
  4. Foxtrot 28–30 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  5. Quickstep 50–52 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  6. Samba 50–52 bars per minute, 2/4 time
  7. Cha-cha-cha 30–32 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  8. Rumba 25–27 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  9. Paso Doble 60–62 bars per minute, 2/4 time
  10. Sequence dancing

Other dances occasionally categorized as ballroom include these Latin or Nightclub or Country Western Categories:

  1. Jive 42–44 bars per minute, 4/4 time
  2. East Coast Swing 36 bars per minute 34–36 bars per minute for Bronze
  3. West Coast Swing  / Lindy Hop / Carolina Shag / Collegiate Shag
  4. Bolero 24 bars per minute 24–26 bars per minute for Bronze
  5. Mambo 47 bars per minute 48–51 bars per minute for Bronze
  6. Nightclub Two-step
  7. Hustle
  8. Salsa – Cumbia
  9. Merengue – Porro
  10. Brazilian Dances – Forró – Pagode – Samba de Gafieira – Lambada – Zouk
  11. Country/Western C/W Polka – C/W Cha-cha – C/W Two-step – C/W Waltz
  12. Polka – Schottische
Read More