Getting Started

Let’s be honest: attending classes at a studio for a senior isn’t as simple as just checking what’s nearby. There’s some important considerations – like how many stairs there are between you and the dance floor.

There’s also the challenges of protecting your body during a lesson from partners who don’t know better, as well as keeping up with the pace of the lesson.

It’s one thing to want to learn to dance, quite another to have the time and space necessary to practice. True, this is a BIG advantage of going to a dance studio, where the space is provided along with the lesson. But there’s plenty of options for a creative home-schooled dancer as well.

Novice dancers choose the first instructor a studio sticks in front of them, without knowing if another could have taught them in half the time. And many home-schooled dancers rely on YouTube for their information, then spend years unlearning the many bad habits they picked up along the way.

If you decide to learn, or at least supplement your learning from home, it’s important that you understand that YouTube isn’t your only option. It’s not even your only FREE option.

“What do you mean I need to buy dance clothes and shoes? Haven’t I spent enough money on lessons already??” I know, I know… Truth is, having clothing and especially shoes for dancing makes it a lot more enjoyable. And they don’t have to break the bank.

I didn’t always dress this snappy (my wife bought most of my clothes worth wearing), and I’ve always tended to buck the trend towards dance studio-themed clothing. Not only do many other clothing choices do the job just as well, they’re cheaper too.

Over time, I met others who felt the same way I did, who managed to cut costs on their dance wear, while still buying what looked good and felt comfortable. The tips I’m including in this blog are a combination of their advice and my own. Enjoy!

In the social jungle

making a good impression, or just having a good time can depend a lot on how well you make new connections. And of course, having a few tricks, like a sharp wit, dashing good looks, or ballroom dancing, can help you stand out from the crowd. In fact, knowing how to dance with others is like a superpower in the social arena. Here’s just a few ways it can transform you from a wallflower into a social butterfly.

Our first dancing experiences, much like the honeymoon phase of a relationship, are usually filled with excitement and exhilaration. After a few months however, many people start to drop off. They ask themselves ‘what am I doing this for anyway? Is it really worth all this money just to have some fun once or twice a week?’ In short, they lost sight of their dance goals.

Our dance goals are like sign posts on our dancing journey, giving us direction and reminding us why we dance in the first place. ‘But Ian’, I hear you say ‘I don’t want to be a world champion. I just want to dance and have some fun.’ Really? Is ‘some fun’ why you spend between $20-200+ a week? Is that why you come in after a tiring work day, and sometimes practice between classes? Continue reading “How to Set Some Dance Goals”

So you want to dance, but you don’t have a dance partner?  Fear not, fellow ballroom-lover, there’s hope to fulfil your dreams yet. 

Finding a ballroom dance studio you’ll be satisfied with for the months (and years) to come can be almost as challenging as dancing itself! Let’s start with some questions to keep in mind while doing your online homework and talking to their receptionists.

Ballroom dancing has been bringing adventurous folk together in bar-rooms and court halls for centuries. But it’s only in the last century that most of the dances we know and love have appeared in North American studios. Why is that? And how did it all get started?

Partner dancing is like going to a school where you have to take all the same classes, and your average score at the end determines whether you graduate. What if you had different interests? What if one of you learns faster than the other? Figuring out how to work together is the heart of partner dancing – the benefit of which, is that you will have new teamwork skills and a new romantic activity to bring you closer together. Here’s how to lay the foundation for fun and enjoyable partner dance lessons.

Most of us have a list of things we’d like to know when looking for a dance studio for the first time. Here’s a compilation of some of the most common questions I’ve heard, and the most common answers. 

If you’re dancing for fun, the answer to ‘how often should I practice my dancing?’ is really up to you. But say you’re not satisfied with that. Say you want to get the most out of your lessons and not risk lagging behind in class. For my private-lesson students, I always advise practicing between lessons, so when they come back they are more comfortable with the material and we can move on to more exciting steps and technique.

In this article, we look at the feasibility of practicing on a busy schedule, how long you should practice, and even how to practice more effectively. Continue reading “How Often To Practice Your Dancing (And Do You Have to?)”

So, you walk in, nervous and excited the day of your first set of dance lessons, and take in the breath-taking sight of talented dancers gliding across the floor. You secretly promise yourself you’ll be better than all of them in half the time. So naturally, when your instructor asks if you have any questions, the first thing that pops out is: ‘How long until I’m good?’ 
This depends on a number of factors, how much will you practice, how many hours of lessons with the right instructor can you afford, how quickly do you learn and how good is your physical co-ordination. Ballroom dancing is a “Marathon not a sprint”

Groups or privates: which is better? If your vision of great ballroom dance classes is learning while socializing with a like-minded community, group classes are probably best. Or, if you enjoy honing your skill with a personalized approach, private lessons are the way to go.