How long will it take?
The number of lessons you’ll need to reach your goal depends on several factors. Your goal itself, how quickly you learn, and how much you’ll practice. Everyone learns differently so that question can’t be answered as if we are all the same. After the explorer session, which tells me a lot about your goals, challenges, and how you learn, and the first lesson, which shows me the pace of your learning, I’ll have enough information to answer that question.
Can I learn to dance if I have no sense of rhythm?
Yes, you can! Rhythm CAN be learned. More than anything, loss of a sense of rhythm affects people in very different ways, so I work differently with everyone who needs help with it, but I haven’t lost a patient yet!
My partner is way better than I am. Should she/he come to all the lessons?
This depends on the people involved. If the better dancer is supportive and patient, it can be a help to have both partners there. However, if the better dancer gets easily frustrated, it’s better to come alone to most of the classes and have your partner join you as necessary.
Do I need a partner?
No. You can learn by yourself and then join a dance community in which the custom is to dance with the crowd rather than with your date. I can tell you which communities are supportive and that will be part of your decision as to which dance to start with. I’ll also tell you when you’re ready to start practicing with strangers.
Should I start with ballroom if I don’t know anything?
It’s a popular myth that ballroom dancing is “basic” and should be the first step. You should start with the dance you want to learn.
How do I know what’s the right dance to learn first?
If you don’t already have a dance in mind, it’s usually a good idea to start with a relatively easy dance like jitterbug or waltz. Choose a dance that goes with music you like. Look at the community with whom you’ll be dancing. If you’re single, go for a dance with the custom of dancing with the crowd, rather than as a couple. Are you planning to go dancing on a regular basis or just at weddings and bar mitzvahs? If your plan is to go out dancing, look for a community that fits your age and your style. Some communities are friendly, others are reserved. These are all things to take into consideration when choosing a dance.
Should we learn a choreographed routine if we want to do a dance for our wedding?
You can if you want, but I advise against it. If your dance is choreographed it’s very difficult to recover from mistakes. The follower has to decide on the spot whether to follow the routine or follow the leader. Instead, I recommend learning to lead and follow, Not only is it much more natural during your First Dance, but you then have a skill you can use for the rest of your life. If there are places in your music that call for something special, you can learn a move just for those places, but the leader still leads them, and the follower still follows the leader rather than the routine.
I’ve never been able to follow anyone. I’m a total klutz. Should I even bother trying to learn?
It’s a common myth (there are many!) that a woman is supposed to pop out of the womb knowing how to follow, or she’s a hopeless klutz. The reality is that while some are better at it than others, like any skill, following is a skill that can be learned like any other. If you’ve never been taught to follow, it’s unlikely you’ll be successful at it. Even if you have, it’s entirely possible that you did not resonate with the teaching style of your teacher. Anyone can learn it!