Frequently Asked QuestionsEmail us (using our contact page) with any other questions you have or think would be good for this FAQ.
- Can anybody learn to dance?
- Do I need a partner?
- How long does it take to learn?
- How do people usually learn to dance?
- How much do dance lessons cost?
Can anybody learn to dance?
Yes! Countless absolute beginners have learned how to dance, many of whom felt they had no rhythm, could never learn, or were somehow otherwise "dance-challenged". If you can walk, you can learn to dance. Still need more convincing? Watch this dance video of a man with one leg
Do I need a partner?
No, you do not need a partner to learn to dance. The majority of students who learn to dance do not have dance partners. If you happen to have a partner that is great, but it is absolutely not necessary. Either with a partner or without, you can learn to dance.
How long does it take to learn?
The short answer is: it depends. Usually after your very first lesson you will be able to dance some basic steps. Beyond that, it really all depends on you and your goals. Several factors influence how long it will take you to learn to dance including:
- How good of a dancer you want to be
- Which dances you want to learn
- How often you take lessons
- How often you put into use what you have learned
- Your existing dance ability
Given these variables it is difficult to give an answer to this question that would have any meaning without one essential factor, namely: you.
One thing that can help to give you perspective is to ask someone whose dancing you admire how long it took them to learn to dance. This might give you a rough idea of how long it would take you to reach the same level. However, remember the variables mentioned above that affect this. For instance, if they dance two times a week and you only dance once a week, it might take you twice as long to reach the same level. On the other hand if you dance four times a week you may reach the same level in half the time.
The bottom line is that how long it takes to learn to dance all depends on you.
How do people usually learn to dance?
Good dancers are made, not born; each "natural" movement has taken training and practice. There are four main tools people use to learn to dance:
- private dance lessons
- group classes
- practice parties
Students learn to dance by using some combination of these tools one or more times a week. The ideal way to learn is use all the tools available to you. That is the ideal, however, and you can choose what works best for you. Each tool offers something different:
Private Lessons: In the beginning private lessons are where you learn the fundamentals of dancing that you can apply in all your classes. As you progress you will learn how to make your dancing look and feel good through private instruction. It's where you get the style. In private lessons, because you are dancing with a professional, you get instant feedback as to what you are doing right and also what needs improvement.
If you have ever watched two different people do the same steps and one looks beautiful and smooth and the other looks awkward then you have already seen the difference private lessons can make. Remember this: dancing is not just about steps, it's how you dance those steps. It's the "how" that makes dancing feel wonderful and look great.
Group Classes: are a great way to learn some new steps. As mentioned above, although dancing is not just about the steps, you do need to know them in order to have something to do when the music comes on. Another benefit is that group classes allow you to test your leading skills (if you are a man) and following skills (if you are a lady) with a variety of partners. As a man you want to be able to lead any woman and as a woman you want to be able to follow any man.
Group classes also incorporate repetition which gives you a chance to practice your steps. Learning to dance is about training the muscles in your body through repetition. Repetition is the mother of skill. This "muscle memory" will eventually allow you to dance without thinking--to dance naturally.
Practice Parties: give you an opportunity to put what you have learned to use. You cannot just learn about dancing, you must actually dance to truly learn. They also help you to learn to identify the music of the various dances--you'll eventually begin to recognize (often without knowing how) the patterns that distinguish one kind of music from another.
Competitions: provide you with a concrete goal to work towards. The main value in competition is not in being compared with other dancers but in the improvement in your dancing that leads up to the competition and the confidence you gain from having done it. It is a dancing reality that students who compete not only progress faster but ultimately become better dancers than students who don't. Like a magnet, a concrete goal, by its very existence, draws you closer to its achievement. Having a goal usually encourages you to work harder than you would without one. Students don't compete because they are better dancers, they are better dancers because they compete.
As for how often to do it, some people take lessons once a week and some people take lessons five days a week; it's up to you. You can choose what works best for you depending on your schedule, budget, and preference.
Also remember: your teacher cannot make you a good dancer. Only you can make yourself a good dancer. It's up to you to use the resources available and to take the effort to become a good dancer.
How much do dance lessons cost?
Everyone wants to know "how much do lessons cost?". Generally lessons are about the same ballpark cost from studio to studio (with a few exceptions) so don't count on price being the deciding factor.
In the beginning of your acquaintance, many studios offer introductory specials which may include private lessons, group classes, practice parties, or all three. These are either free or offered at a substantially reduced cost to make it easy for you to try out the studio.
Group classes usually range from $5 to $15, with $10 being the most common price. Practice parties are similar also ranging from $5 to $15, with $10 again being the most common price. Some studios may include "free" group classes and parties if you are taking private lessons but this usually means you will pay a premium private lesson price.
Private lessons are the most expensive component of dance lessons. Prices are inline with prices for other individual services such as massage or personal training. Private lessons range from about $50 to $125 an hour. One thing that can complicate price comparisons is that some studios/teachers offer 1 hour lessons while others offer 45 minute lessons. It used to be that one hour lessons were the standard but now 45 minute lessons are becoming the norm. Many studios offer discounts for paying for several lessons (e.g., 10, 20, or 50) upfront.
Competitions, besides being a lot of fun, can also be a part of learning to dance. Prices for ballroom competitions can range from the low hundreds to several thousands of dollars depending on the pricing structure of the studio and the particular events you and your teacher chose to do.