Frequently Asked Questions

The information below will help put your mind to rest about the biggest fears of new dancers:

What should I expect during my first private dance lesson or group class?

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Help! I have two left feet!
Learning to dance well depends just as much on intelligent, well-paced instruction as a student’s capability. Your instructor is responsible for making sure that the speed of the class allows for you to enjoy the class, socialize with others, and also physically master the movements. If you can walk, you can dance. Two left feet and all. In addition, the class is repeated until you have full confidence in the material. If you want to learn at a more gentle pace, you can try our Monday evening "Intro to Ballroom for Two Left Feet" class to get started at the studio.

Is everyone going to laugh at me?
New dancers often worry that everyone will be looking at them, evaluating their every move. The truth is that other students in the class are completely focused on what they are doing and don’t have enough attention to give to anything else. No one will laugh at you-they probably won’t even notice what you are doing at all. Add to that our commitment to keeping our environment friendly and welcoming. We simply do not allow an environment that is not open and friendly to all students of any level.

What about these dance shoes I’m hearing about? Where do I get those?
Every sport or activity requires certain tools in order to perform it. One of the tools for dancing is dance shoes. They have a special sole that allows one to dance better, and they don’t scuff or mar the floor like “street shoes”. In your first class session you may dance in socks. Your instructor will give you all the information you need to purchase dance shoes. It’s best to wait until you have come to the first class before purchasing dance shoes. 
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What dances do you do in the Intro to Ballroom Class?
One ballroom dance and one Latin dance are the focus for each 4 week series class.

Do I need a partner?
You do not need a partner to take any of ADC’s ballroom dance classes. We do rotate in class frequently, which enhances not only the social aspect of the class, but it also has been shown to increase the dance skills of the students.

I have NO rhythm! Can I still attend?
Having good timing and musical skills are sometimes born, but most often learned. The Intro to Ballroom class begins by teaching these basic music skills: finding the beat, counting, and how to put those things to the movement of the body. Don’t worry if you have “no rhythm”, we teach that too!

I have prior dance experience or consider myself an intermediate / advanced dancer. Do I still start in the Intro to Ballroom Series?

Yes! We strongly encourage that all students new to our studio (regardless of prior dance experience) start in the Intro to Ballroom Series. We encourage you to think of Intro to Ballroom as an introduction to our studio, to the routines that we base all the higher level class material on, and to the technique and methods of our mentors, which should still be helpful to you even if you've danced before. Intro to Ballroom teaches two dances per month (waltz and cha cha, or tango and jive) and serves as a great equalizer, because people who are more advanced only take this series until they have the routines memorized and can dance them by themselves and to music, while newer dancers stay in the class for as long as it takes for them to complete these class goals in front of an instructor. People have completed Intro to Ballroom in as little as 2 months or as long as a year and a half. We regularly have advanced dancers and even professional ballet dancers who have taken this class, some of whom now actually teach for the studio! All of them were happy with the class content and continued on in the program we offer. The reason we start everyone in Intro to Ballroom is so that everyone who emerges from the course can count music, find a downbeat, understand alignments, know enough basic partnering concepts and skills, as well as knowing the choreography, so that when they test out into level 1, we have no need to review or discuss those elements and we can add more dances and advanced choreography straightaway. This prevents our intermediate class from becoming diluted with people joining at any time and essentially slowing the progress of the higher level classes down.

I'm not available on Wednesday nights! Are there other ways to get started other than the Intro to Ballroom Series?

Yes! If your schedule doesn't permit you to join us on Wednesdays, we have a few other ways for you to start participating at the studio:

  • We offer another introductory series of classes, called Introduction to Ballroom for Two Left Feet, which is available on Monday evenings. This class focuses on the same material as the regular Intro to Ballroom class, but goes through it at a more gentle pace.

  • If you aren't able to attend any of our Intro Series classes, we do offer a secondary option to just "test out" of the Intro Series via private lessons. You would need to dance the same four routines that are taught in the Intro Series, by yourself and to music. We still definitely encourage you to start in the group classes if at all possible, because they are more cost effective, allow you to meet more people, and give you a chance to meet a lot of the instructors here as well. But we do offer this alternative for people with scheduling conflicts.

  • Our themed workshop and parties every Friday evening are open to everyone, whether or not who have joined or graduated from Intro to Ballroom or if you're brand new to the studio. But if you want to advance into the higher level ballroom classes at the studio as well, you do eventually need to test out of the Intro Series using one of the methods above.

How do I keep on progressing after this beginning ballroom dance class?
The teachers here at Areté Dance Center can keep you improving and advancing from a beginning ballroom dancer all the way through advanced with the variety of ballroom dance classes and workshops we offer continually throughout the year. Learn more about our ballroom dance classes here.