Frequently Asked Questions About
Ballroom and Social Dance Classes
DanceWell welcomes you to the exciting, fun and rewarding hobby of ballroom dancing. To start you off on your dancing journey here’s some insights and answers to the most common questions asked by new students.
There are 4 stages to the learning process:
- Unconsciously Incompetent (a blissful state);
- Consciously Incompetent (very uncomfortable);
- Consciously Competent (Progress!); and
- Unconsciously Competent (WooHoo! Definitely worth the work!)
- A newer dancer struggling with a pattern or concept benefits from dancing with a stronger partner on an occasional basis.
- Couples who always dance together develop “shortcuts”, leading to often incorrect or inadequate leads, or to the woman leading the man. Changing partners can help break developing bad habits.
- Women improve their ability to follow by adapting to different styles of movement and lead from a variety of partners.
- Men develop better lead skills by recognizing that some women require more precise timing, clearer signals, a firmer or gentler lead than others.
- In many social dancing situations, it is normal to meet and dance with others so the skills learned on the classroom floor will apply in real life.
- Miss Manners on the topic: “Dancing with different partners at parties and celebrations (as opposed to public nightclubs) is such a perfectly standard form of socializing!” In some areas, the etiquette is that a gentleman should dance at least once with each lady seated at his table (while never leaving a woman to sit alone) to give everyone a chance to dance.
If for one reason or another an established couple insists on always dancing together, it is very appropriate to withdraw from the class. Private lessons will obviously be the preferred choice.
The DanceWell Ballroom Program also has weekly Dances every Thursday so students can practice their dancing; we also have monthly Socials. The parties give you the chance to dance in a “nightclub” atmosphere that will help you recognize one dance from another, dance with multiple partners, and learn to maneuver on a crowded dance floor. You needn’t wait until you think you are good enough to attend a party. Though sometimes confusing at first, going to these sessions will help you eventually build your confidence and become better, faster. I’m sure Yoda meant to say!” The might oak was once a little nut who held it’s ground. Continuity and perseverance are keys to success”.
Dance Floor Etiquette:
One of the most common customs since the 1500’s is the traditional direction of movement around a dance floor. The floor is visualized as center space and outside circles, like a race track. “Moving” or “traveling” dances such as Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango rotate anti-clockwise around the ballroom on the outside circles. The faster-moving the dance couple the farther to the outside.
- At Social Dance Parties there usually is a small “mixer” dance lesson where people meet and greet potential dance partners for the evening.
- Both men and women commonly ask each other for dances.
- During the evening a “2-dance custom” (of dancing up to 2 dances with one person before changing partners) is the general way.
- Many times there are one or two “mixer” dances, where partners are quickly changed throughout one dance song (this is usually a Waltz, Swing or Foxtrot mixer).
Special Note: Though it’s much more fun to dance with men (leaders) and women (followers) who have made the effort to learn good partnering and movement skills, “unasked-for” advice is not appropriate in a social venue.
The same as in college programs, missed group classes are not refundable. You can either catch up the next week or make up the lost class material through a private lesson.
Please see our Policies page for more info.
Points to consider before moving to a new class level:
- Have I evaluated where I may need improvement?
- Am I consistently with the rhythm of the music?
- Am I clearly leading/following my partners?
If not…any class will help improve your general partnering skills and understanding. Is there another DanceWell class in the same general style (of Smooth, Latin or Swing) available? Will a couple of private lessons prepare me for the next level?
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