FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Basic Questions

How do I sign up for classes?

You can register for all of our social dance classes online. In addition you may call us at (888) 332-6236 or email us at info@ballroomdanceacademy.com. You may also register at the studio prior to the class…just give us a call to check our class availability! If you have any further questions about enrolling in our social dance lessons, just contact us. We’ll be happy to help!

If you purchase through a discount site, call us to coordinate details.

Do I need a partner to learn ballroom dancing?

No! You don’t need a partner for any group class, party, workshop, or lesson at Ballroom Dance Academy. We encourage all of our students to learn to dance with a variety of partners. Everyone rotates in our group classes so you can experience dancing with many different people. This has been proven to be the best way to learn to dance, and it’s a lot of fun, as well!

We do try to balance the number of leaders and followers in all of our social dance lessons, so we encourage you to pre-register for the classes you are interested in taking!

What should I wear to dance class?

Our dress code is fairly casual for our group classes. You should wear something that is comfortable, that you can move easily in, and that won’t be too hot. You may want to dress up a little for our ballroom & latin dance or salsa dance outings, but again, make sure you wear something that you’ll be happy dancing in.

Do I need to buy dance shoes for my beginning class?

Buying dance shoes for your first social dance class is recommended but not necessary. We suggest you wear smooth or leather-soled shoes that fit well and stay on your feet. Sneakers, rubber-soled shoes, or anything with a heavy tread are not recommended, as they are difficult to dance in and can put a lot of strain on your ankles and joints. Avoid stilettos, clogs, wedges, slides, or any shoes with an open back—you’ll be thinking more about your shoes than your dancing!

Where do I buy dance shoes?

As you progress in your training, we strongly suggest you invest in a pair of ballroom dance shoes. They are mandatory for anyone who is serious about ballroom dancing. The right shoes will make a world of difference to you. Here are some good places to buy dance shoes in Los Angeles and online:

Champion Dance Shoes:
3383 Barham Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90068
Online:www.championdanceshoes.com

Worldtone Dance Shoes:
2138 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
www.worldtonedance.com

Very Fine Dancesport Shoes:  (ATTACH COUPON)
www.veryfineshoes.com

Elegance Shoe
14014 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
United States
https://www.dancehappy.com

Other online options:
www.danceshoesonline.com
www.dancedresser.net

What are your hygiene recommendations for the dance floor?

Whether you’re taking a social dance lesson, or you’re out at a ballroom dance party or Salsa club, you will be dancing in close proximity to a partner. It’s important to be considerate, so make sure you attend to your hygiene basics, such as deodorant or mints if necessary. Perfume or cologne is nice, but can be overwhelming to your partner if applied too heavily, so use moderation. If you’re concerned about perspiration, you can bring a towel, or even a spare shirt to change into if necessary.

What if I have no dance experience, two left feet or no rhythm?

Congratulations: If you can walk, you can dance! We have years of experience teaching students from all different backgrounds, and our Level I group classes are designed to help everyone master the basic steps. Rhythm is a general concern for many students, but don’t worry: Even the most natural dancers have worked hard to improve their musicality. Rhythm can absolutely be learned and developed, and we’re here to help you do just that!

We encourage you to come to our class and try it out. If you still feel uncomfortable, we are always available for private lessons to go over concepts that may have been confusing in class.

What if I’m self-conscious and afraid of looking bad?

The most important thing to remember is that everyone feels the same way. We’ll start from the ground up, and build your confidence and knowledge from there. Remember – once you have even ONE class, you’ll know more than most people! In that first class we’ll start giving you techniques to make you a more elegant dancer. And even with one class, you’ll feel more confident about hitting the dance floor!

I’ve never done ballroom dancing but I have a lot of other dance experience.  What level group class should I sign up for?

We generally recommend that everyone new to Ballroom Dance Academy starts in our Level I classes, even people who’ve taken ballroom classes at other studios. It never hurts to review the basics, and we like to be sure that all of our students have a strong beginning foundation with no gaps.

Sometimes we do get professional dancers from other styles who really want to jump start their ballroom experiences. In that case, for those with extensive dance experience in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, etc., then we recommend taking at least the last two classes of a four week series of Level I Ballroom & Latin or Level I Salsa. You should be able to pick up the steps very quickly and then proceed into Level II of your chosen class.

If you’re still unsure which class would be the best fit for you, feel free to call us to consult. If you would like us to assess your dancing in person, we would be happy to meet with you for a private consultation!

How long will it take to learn to dance?

Everyone learns at a different pace. How rapidly you progress depends on your most comfortable learning speed and the consistency of your practice! Regardless, as you build your foundation in our group classes, we strongly recommend adding private lessons to truly unlock your potential as a dancer.

Take a look at our roadmap for more details:

How athletic do I need to be? What if I have an old injury?

Partner dancing is perfect way to exercise, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an athlete! Ballroom dancing is suited to people of all ages, and it can be as relaxed as you would like it to be—we call it “ social” dancing for a reason! Stunts and aerials are reserved for performances, not for the social dance floor.

If you do have an old injury or specific physical limitation, let your instructor know beforehand, so he or she can adjust any patterns or movements to suit your needs.

Class Questions

What are group classes?

Our group classes are a fun, highly effective way to learn patterns and start to build your technique among a community of other students. Our classes are separated by difficulty, so you’ll be at roughly the same level as everyone else in each lesson, and you’ll build camaraderie with your fellow dancers as you rise through the “ranks” together.

Group classes also give you the opportunity to dance with multiple people. As your personal ‘style’ emerges, you’ll discover that dancing feels different with different partners! To become a skilled social dancer, you’ll need to feel comfortable no matter whom you’re dancing with.

We do strongly recommend that you supplement your group classes with periodic private lessons to maximize your learning experience. Check out our new student packages to combine private and group lessons! [LINK TO PACKAGES]

What is private instruction?

Private dance lessons provide the opportunity for focused, one-on-one learning and immediate personalized feedback from your instructor. You (or you and your partner) can learn in a comfortable, private environment, with lessons fine-tuned to your specific interests and needs.

No matter your starting point, there is no better way to accelerate your learning than private lessons, but as you grow as a dancer, private lessons become essential for refining your skills.  However, we do strongly recommend that you combine your private lessons with group classes! This gives you rapid advancement combined with real world experience.

Contact us to schedule your trial private lesson!

How do I find a dance partner to practice with and go out dancing?

The best way to meet other people interested in dancing is by attending dance classes and parties. As you get to know your classmates you can see if there is someone else who is also looking for a practice partner!

In addition, we host regular Ballroom & Latin and Salsa outings. These nights are a great way to expand your social dance circle and meet potential partners!

There are also some websites designed for dancers looking for partners. You can try a partner search at www.dancepartner.com

How will I know when I can move into the next level of class?

Beginning level classes are the foundation of your dance skills. In Level I you will learn basic patterns and technique which will allow you to excel in our more advanced classes. For this reason, we strongly suggest you take our Level I series multiple times for each style of dance.

Once you have a month or two of training under your belt, consult with your instructor to see if you’re ready for Level II!  We generally recommend that when students are ready to challenge themselves in Level II that they continue to take Level I simultaneously (at a heavily discounted rate) to further solidify their understanding.

In Salsa, you should repeat our Level I class until you can do the steps without thinking about them. In our Ballroom & Latin classes— while we still strongly recommend that you repeat Level I for each style of dance at least once, as our curriculum rotates—the program is designed so that after you complete Level I you may immediately begin Level II the following month. Level II is more challenging, but as long as you practice all the steps you learned in Level I, you will have no difficulty keeping up!

Our Level III classes are very advanced, so after you’ve been taking Level II for a while in any of our programs, talk to your instructors to assess whether Level III would be a good fit or whether further training is required.

I’d like to sign up for a four-week series, but I have to miss one of the classes. How do I make it up?

We strongly recommend that our students attend all four classes in the series if possible, as we teach with a progressive system and each lesson builds on the last. If you must miss a class, the best thing to do is to schedule a private lesson to cover the material you missed. We can schedule a lesson at a time that is convenient for you.

If your schedule is inconsistent, we would suggest you sign up for a six-class punch card, which will allow you to drop into the group classes when your schedule allows.

Should I learn one dance, or many?

There are advantages to both approaches, but our group classes cover multiple styles, from Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango to Rumba and Cha Cha, as well as Swing and various club styles, such as Salsa and Argentine Tango. We believe that learning multiple dances is usually the fastest way to become an accomplished dancer, for the following reasons:

  • All styles of partner dance share common elements of technique, movement, partner connection and posture. As you build your repertoire, you will begin to understand the connection between dances. Imagine becoming fluent in Italian and then beginning to study Spanish…wouldn’t you immediately have a huge advantage? In the same way, one dance builds on the next, and your learning becomes easier and easier. Ultimately, not only will you have many dances at your fingertips, but you will also start to speak the language of dance.
  • Each dance has something unique and special to offer you. Cha Cha improves speed of movement, Waltz cultivates elegance and posture, Foxtrot cultures smooth movement, Tango creates a strong lead and follow connection, Rumba builds cuban motion, and so on. All of these skills will help you tremendously in your learning process.
  • Dance parties rarely play just one genre of music. If you are proficient in many different styles, you will have far more fun on the dance floor no matter the event, whether a ballroom party, wedding reception, or Latin night club! You’ll know the correct style for each song and become the person everyone wants to dance with.
  • Of course, if there is a specific event you’re preparing for, whether it’s a wedding, performance, or party, then it may make sense to focus on one style. In this case, private lessons would be the ideal option for you. Contact us to schedule your trial private lesson!

What’s the difference between International and American Style?

Both the International Standard and American Smooth feature “traveling dances,” which progress counterclockwise around the floor. The American Rhythm and International Latin styles, with two exceptions (Samba and Paso Doble), are “spot dances”, meaning couples generally dance in the same place on the floor.

The International and American divisions include many dances with the same names; however, these counterparts typically differ in technique, style and rhythmical interpretation.

What are the club styles?

The club styles are popular street dances that constantly change and evolve. The Los Angeles club scene offers countless venues for these dances any night of the week.

Where are your dance classes held?

The Hollywood Dance Center
817 N. Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90038
(1 Block North of Melrose Blvd)