Friday, May 21, 2010

What to Expect at Your First Ballroom Dance Lesson


by: Meg Sommers

If you're new to ballroom dancing, you might be a little apprehensive coming to your first lesson at a dance studio. Exactly what happens? How difficult will it be? Who will be your instructor? What should you wear? Many questions will run through your mind. Here's some information to help you prepare.

When you arrive at the studio you'll be greeted by the studio manager and introduced to your instructor. In any of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, teachers are experienced in teaching beginner students through advanced dancers. Your instructor will quickly make you feel at home in the studio environment.

You'll be asked if you have any short-term dance goals, such as an upcoming event or vacation, and what kind of music or dance styles you like. If you aren't sure which specific dances you want to try, your teacher will choose a few for you.

Don't worry if you haven't had prior dance experience; each figure will be broken down into very basic, natural movements. Under the guidance of your instructor, the lesson will never feel too fast or too slow and dull. It will go at your pace.

By the end of your first lesson, you'll probably be surprised just how easy it was to get started and you'll already be dancing a few steps in several different dances.

If you come alone, you'll get to dance the entire time with your “easy-to-dance-with” teacher. If you participate as a couple, your instructor will assign each of you your own responsibilities as the leader and follower so that you can succeed as a team on the dance floor.

You should wear comfortable clothes which allow easy movement. Dressing in layers is a good idea because as the session progresses, you'll get warm just as with any other exercise. You should wear shoes which fit securely on your feet – slingbacks and sandals are not good choices and rubber-soled shoes have a tendency to stick to the floor. So it's preferable to wear either a leather-soled shoe or, ideally, a ballroom dance shoe with suede sole. If you're a woman who normally wears a high heel when going out, we suggest you wear a similar heel height on your lesson.

Dance shoes aren't necessary for your first lesson, but if you'd like to shop ahead of time, we recommend you find and visit a local dance shoe store. They will help you select a pair of shoes appropriate for someone getting started in ballroom dancing.

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