I always wanted to learn to dance, but it took until my mid-30s before I made it to a dance class. Since then I've been pretty much hooked and now dance five-night a week and compete.
When I started I only wanted to surprise an out-of-town boyfriend by learning to waltz for a dance we were invited to. I thought the waltz would be an easy dance - a few weeks I'd be flying around the room. Hmm, well not quite, my waltz has improved and a social dancer would say I was good. But I know there are many, many others who are much better than I!
@Shelia - I started in social class and got hooked! Initially I didn't have a partner so spent a couple of years doing social classes over a large variety of styles. By the time I met my partner, decided to compete and started doing private lessons - I had some bad habits to correct!
I say to people if on day 1 they know they want to compete - get private lessons - for the other 99% of people just want to dance socially - well taking classes is much more social! I'd say get out to as many dances as you can, and also try to dance with other people - if you only ever dance with the same person you will each learn to subconsciously compensate for the other's faults
Hi Lissie, thanks so much for this article! My husband and I plan to go to one class a week (time permitting) and practice at home... Do you think social lessons are enough or should we plan to get private lessons (ouch - expensive!) occasionally? With social dancing I've found that you have to pick things up yourself, the instructor usually doesn't have the ability to correct you when they're teaching 30 people at once! But that's ok for us at this stage (still beginners!) How did you get into competitive dancing? :)
I used to dance a different style every night of the week! Rock&Roll, ballroom, salsa, ceroc, tango - the lot! It wasn't a bad way to reinvent a social life when I'd recently moved back to town!
In the end I met my partner via dancing - and now we dance every night of the week- but only ballroom and with each other!
All great advice for learning to dance. I danced salsa and argentine tango for several years and would add to get out to social events and dance with as many partners as possible. Even if it is daunting it is a great way to develop your skills and confidence quickly and is also a LOT of fun.