Our beginners classes are aimed at people who have never danced before. Along with our teachers we have helpers who come to help everyone.
Wear clothes that you are comfortable in and allow you to move freely. Tight clothes can restrict your movement. At our Saturday dances some people like to dress up a bit others are more casual.
To start with you will not need dance shoes. What you will need is shoes that allow a little slip on a hard floor, trainers or shoes with rubber soles that grip the floor can stick and may hurt your knees. As you progress you may well want to progress to proper dance shoes.
You do not need a partner. In our classes we change partners frequently so that if we have odd numbers everyone dances the figures with a partner. This also means that everyone has the opportunity to dance with either their teacher or and experienced dancer. We believe this rotation of partners benefits everyone.
Regular attendance is beneficial, however, our classes are designed to allow an amount of missed lessons. The more lessons you attend, the better your chances of learning well.
It is best to call or email us first. You can just turn up for our beginners class. For our other class please call first so that select the best class for you.
Ballroom dances plus Samba and Paso Doble follow the "line of dance" anti-clockwise round the room. Always try to dance along the line of dance.
If you wish to get to the other side of the floor walk around the floor and give way to the dancers. Please never walk across the floor when people are dancing.
When things go wrong always apologise. It doesn't matter who is at fault.
Give way to other dancers. Like driving give room to those in front of you and consider those behind you. Try to make sure that you have room both in front and behind you for the figures that you dance.
Carry food and drink around the outside of the floor. Clean up your own spills.
If you want to chat move to the side of the floor.
It is considered polite not to refuse a dance, unless you have already promised that dance to someone else.
It is beneficial to dance with different people as it will help you learn to lead or follow better.
The Ballroom dances are all dances that travel around the floor. Often graceful and flowing like the Waltz and Foxtrot
The foxtrot is a smooth, progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. It is danced to big band (usually vocal) music. The dance is similar in its look to waltz, although the rhythm has 4 beats to every bar of music. Developed in the 1910s, the foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s and remains practiced today.
The quickstep is a light-hearted dance of the standard ballroom dances. The movement of the dance is fast and powerfully flowing and sprinkled with syncopations. The upbeat melodies that quickstep is danced to make it suitable for both formal and informal events. Its origins are in combination of slow foxtrot combined with the Charleston, a dance which was one of the precursors to what today is called swing dancing.
Oh what a fiery and dramatic dance. Tango evolved as a ballroom dance from the sultry Argentine Tango danced by gauchos and prostitutes in the brothels of Buenos Aires. Ballroom Tango features sharp movements, head snaps, and a cat-like and stealthy foot action. The music is in 4/4 time and has a marching rhythm.
The name Waltz came from the Italian word “volver” meaning to turn or revolve. It evolved from a German and Austrian peasant dance called the Landler in 3/4 (3 beats to each bar of music) time replacing the heavy hopping and jumping movements with more polished and graceful gliding. It was also the first widely popular dance to feature a closed position. The speed of the Waltz required intimate physical communication between partners, and thus Waltz was denounced as scandalous and immoral.
Waltz began to appear on the operatic stages of Vienna in 1787. As the popularity of the Waltz increased in Vienna, so did its tempo. Faster music required dancers to have greater technique and endurance and became known as Viennese Waltz. Like the Waltz, many considered the dance to be immoral. Despite such contentions, Viennese Waltz continued to be extremely popular in Europe and America until the First World War. Viennese Waltz is danced with a 1-2-3 rhythm and features a series of left and right turns as the couple whirls around the dance floor.
The Latin American dances are a mixture of club style dances that do not travel and travelling dances infused with Latin spirit
Cha Cha is a lively, fun, cheeky and playful dance fitting well with much modern music. This dance is similar in actions to the Rumba, however, it is distinguished by the chasses (cha-cha-cha) typically danced during the 4&1 counts of the music. Cha Cha Cha music has 4 beats to every bar, however, there are 5 steps so two steps are taken on the 4th beat to fit them all in
American soldiers brought Lindy Hop/Jitterbug to Europe around 1940, where this dance swiftly found a following among the young. In the United States Swing became the most common word used to describe the dance, and Jive was adopted in the UK. In 1968 it was adopted as the fifth Latin dance. The modern form of ballroom jive is a very happy and boppy dance, the lifting of knees and the bending or rocking of the hips often occurs.
Pasodoble (Spanish: double step) is a Spanish military march, and also a modern dance that emulates the movements of a bullfight. Paso Doble is a stirring and dramatic dance based on a Spanish bull fight. The leader in this dance represents the Matador and the lady symbolizes his red cape. Paso Doble features beautiful body shapes and sharp, flamenco-like footwork.
Rumba is universally recognized as the dance of love, the conversation between two lovers. It is danced to slow, sensual music with a Latin beat and features a strong hip action. Rumba is danced to music in 4/4 time 4 beats to each bar of music. It is complicated by the first step being taken either on the last beat of a bar and lasting into the first beat or by taking the first step on the second beat of music.
Samba is the national dance of Brazil, celebrated every year during Carnival where hundred of thousands of costumed revelers parade in the streets singing, drumming and dancing. The ballroom version of samba is a lively, rhythmical dance with elements from Brazilian samba. It differs considerably from the original samba styles of Brazil As a ballroom dance, the samba is a partner dance. Ballroom samba is very different from the music and dance that gives it its name.
© Dance Days 2016
Graphic images © Raja Lockey 2014