FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about Dance Classes
- I’m afraid of looking ridiculous…
The most important thing to remember is that everyone feels that way. Also, when you come in to our class, we’re going to take care of you – we’ll work to your level, and build your confidence and knowledge from there. Remember – once you have even ONE class, you’ll know more than most people! In that first class we’ll start giving you techniques to make you a more elegant dancer. And even with one class, you’ll feel more confident about hitting that dance floor!
- What if I sweat?
C’mon – live a little! Everyone glows at dance class!
- What about injury?
Dance classes aren’t obstacle courses – this is a relaxed, controlled atmosphere. If you can walk without injury, you can dance!
- What are group classes?
If you’re a beginner, we’re going to start you out in group class. This class will not be a mixture of all levels of dancers – it will be a class of peers. All of you will be at relatively the same level, and you will learn the basics, together. There’s comaraderie here that you will enjoy!
Group classes also give you the opportunity to dance with multiple partners. As your personal ‘style’ emerges, you’ll learn that not everyone dances the same way and it’s important to understand the range of heights and how that affects a couple’s dance.
And you’ll have FUN at your group classes. We’re not here to push you to the limit – that would be against the whole reason of learning to dance – having fun!
- What is private instruction?
Private dance lessons is one-on-one learning. You (or you and your partner) can learn in a private environment that is fun, anonymous, and responsive to your specific needs.
We always suggest that if you take private lessons, you also take group classes as well. This gives you rapid advancement combined with real world experience. Contact us for more information!
- What do I take – private or group lessons?
As stated above, a combination of both gives the best results. Call us and we’ll tell you about our Private/Group discounts!
- Should I learn one dance, or many?
There are advantages to both paths, but predominantly our group classes (with the exception of Salsa Series) focus on many types of dances – Foxtrot, Waltz, East Coast Swing, and more. Why? Learning multiple dances helps you in many ways to be a better dancer…
– You have more opportunities to dance when at a social event (and dance the right dance for each song)
– You will start to learn the overall theories that are so important in learning all types of dance; you’ll not only understand certain moves in each type of dance, but understand how to move like a dancer
– One dance will help you learn faster in another dance.
– Many times after learning one dance, you will find similar moves within another dance, making it easier to learn new moves. And many times our students have told us that by starting another dance and practicing for a while, they seem to ‘magically get’ moves that stumped them in previous dances.
- How many lessons do I need? What is the frequency of lessons?
Since you are starting, it is important to take one (or even two) lessons per week. This will allow you to rapidly build upon what you have already learned the previous week. You’ll ‘lock down’ what you have already learned and integrate it into future lessons. Also, we’ll show you how to practice at home, easily and effortlessly – this will build your confidence even more!
- Do I need a partner to learn Ballroom or Latin dancing?
No! You never need a partner for any group class, party, workshop, or lesson at Ballroom Dance Academy. We encourage all our students to learn to dance with a variety of partners. Everyone rotates in our group classes so you can experience dancing with many different people. This has been proven to be the best way to learn to dance, and it’s a lot of fun, as well!
We do try to balance the number of leaders and followers in our classes, so we encourage you to pre-register for the classes you are interested in taking.
- How do I sign up for the classes?
If you want to do it in the quickest way possible, just call Michael and Natalia
toll-free at 1-888-3-DANCE-NOW. Otherwise, go to the Registration page for more information.
- What should I wear to dance class?
Our dress code is fairly casual for our group classes. You might want to dress up a little for our Hollywood Parties, but again – make sure you wear something that you’ll be happy dancing in.
What is important right now for you is that you wear clothes that allow a freedom of movement. For men, loose slacks and a loose, comfortable shirt is the best. Jeans, by the way, tend to bind. For women, style vary, so just make sure you have something comfortable on, like a dress.
- Do I need to buy dance shoes for my beginning class?
Not at first. Just be sure you wear leather-soled shoes that fit well and stay on your feet. Sneakers or other rubber-soled shoes are not a good choice. They are very difficult to dance in and can put a lot of strain on your ankles and joints. Don’t wear clogs, wedges, slides, or any shoes with an open back – you’ll be thinking more about your shoes than your dancing!
For women, flexible heeled shoes that are not too high (what you would wear for a night on the town is best). Platform soles or stilettos come later! For men, flat-soled (dress) shoes are a good idea. This will allow you to spin without effort.
Bonus tip: when you go to get dance shoes someday, many of those stores have dance music, for whatever you’re learning!
Champion Dance Shoes:
3383 Barham Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
Worldtone Dance Shoes:
2138 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Very Fine Dancesport Shoes:
Other online options:
- I have no dance experience and two left feet. Will I be able to keep up in the beginning group class?
Yes! We have years of experience teaching students of all ability levels and our Level 1 group classes are designed to help everyone master the basic steps. We encourage you to come to our class and try it out. If you still feel uncomfortable, we are always available for private lessons to go over concepts that may have been confusing in class.
- What is the best way to learn to dance – group classes or private lessons?
We recommend both. Group classes will help you learn the steps and become comfortable dancing with a variety of dance partners. They are a lot of fun and a great place to meet potential dance and practice partners.
Private lessons are essential for anyone who is serious about dancing. They will really help your dance technique, and support you in any areas that you are having trouble with in the group classes. Your instructor will be able to work with you in detail on your frame, your balance, your ability to lead and follow figures, and will help you become a light and responsive dance partner. You’ll be able to work at your own pace on your own particular dance strengths and challenges. Regular private lessons will propel your dancing to a new level.
- I’ve never done ballroom dancing but I have a lot of other dance experience. What level group class should I sign up for?
We generally recommend that everyone new to Ballroom Dance Academy starts in our Level One classes, even people who’ve taken ballroom classes at other studios. It never hurts to review the basics, and we like to be sure all of our students have a strong beginning foundation with no gaps.
Sometimes we do get professional dancers from other genres who really want to jump start their ballroom experiences. In that case, for those with extensive dance experience in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, etc., then we recommend taking at least the last two classes of a four week series of Level One Ballroom and/or Level One Latin. You should be able to pick up the steps very quickly and then proceed into Level Two of your chosen class.
- How will I know when I can move into a Level Two class?
Learning to dance is not like learning Math or English in High School or College; each dancer progresses at his or her own pace. In Salsa, you should repeat the Beginner’s class until you can do the steps without thinking about them. The Ballroom program is designed so that after you complete one Level you may take the next one. As long as you practice all the steps taught to you, you will have no difficulty keeping up.
- I’d like to sign up for a four-week series, but I have to miss one of the classes. How do I make it up?
We definitely recommend that our students attend all four classes in the series. Each class builds on the previous one and we don’t want anyone to fall behind. Unfortunately, there are no group class make-ups.
If you must miss a class, the best thing to do is to schedule a private lesson to cover the material you missed. We can schedule a lesson at a time that is convenient for you.
- How do I find a dance partner to practice with and go out dancing?
You’ve already made a good start! The best way to meet people interested in dancing is by attending dance classes and parties. As you become friendly with our students, you can see if there is someone in the class who is also looking for a practice partner. There are also web sites with postings of dancers looking for partners. You could try a partner search at www.dancepartner.com
- What is the difference between American and International Style dances?
We teach primarily American Style dances at Ballroom Dance Academy. The American Style dances are generally easier for beginners to learn and much more conducive to social dancing. In the American Style Smooth dances (Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Viennese Waltz), the partners have more freedom to dance together (in ‘closed position’) or apart (in ‘open position’.) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced American Style.
International Style is a much more formalized, competitive style of dancing. In the International Style ‘Standard’ dances (Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango, and Quickstep) the partners never dance in open position. In the International Style Latin dances (Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba, Jive, and Paso Doble), the emphasis is on long lines and a straight leg. International Style is generally what you see on “Championship Ballroom” shows on television. It is danced around the world at major ballroom competitions.
We do teach a few International Style classes at our Sunday Specialty series, if you’d like to try them out.
- Where are your dance classes held?
Go to our Contact Page for all the locations where we dance
Everyone has to start somewhere when learning something new. The most important thing is to go to the FIRST class. And in three lessons, we’re confident that you’ll have more passion, confidence, and style on the dance floor – and everyone will know it!