DanceClass FAQs

Here's where we answer all your DanceClass FAQs, including those for individual dance styles as well as general questions. 

We'll add to this page often, so if your question isn't answered here, don't forget to
CONTACT US with your own queries and questions about learning dance.

DanceClass FAQs General

I have always done basic keep fit classes as my workout.  Which dance do you think would be most suitable for me to try?

I've done the DVD and now I'm ready to join a local class. How do I find where they are?

I've checked out my local telephone directory / dance school websites and I can't find any adult beginners classes in my area – they all seem to be for kids.

I would like my child to go to dance lessons.  What do you advise and how do I find a good one?


DanceClass FAQs Ballet

I did some ballet when I was much younger but gave it up. I remember the teacher being terrifying and I've always been nervous about taking it up again because of that bad experience…

I have just started an Adult Beginners' class in Ballet after doing your DVD. I'm in my late 20's.  Do you think that I'll ever dance in pointe shoes?

I'd love to have a go at dancing and have always been drawn to ballet. But at the age of 48, surely I'm too old to start or to get anything out of it?


DanceClass FAQs Modern Dance

What is Modern dance?

What are the benefits of Modern dance?

I've heard of modern dance classes where you make everything up yourself - is that true?

I'm not very coordinated - will I be able to do Modern dance?


DanceClass FAQs Salsa

Isn't Salsa a partner dance?

If I do the Salsa DVD, will I know enough moves to go and dance at my local Salsa club?



Dance Answers


I have always done basic keep fit classes as my workout.  Which dance do you think would be most suitable for me to try?

There's no hard and fast rule to this - different people get on better with different dances.  If you can, try out more than one.   Most dance classes will deliver stamina, strength, co-ordination, good posture and suppleness in varying degrees.
However, if it's more of an 'exercise' class that you are familiar with, then doing our Modern Dance Workout or Hip Hop class will probably feel the most natural to you.  If you want something a little different though, Ballet is excellent for lower body sculpting and posture, and most of the partner dances including Salsa and Swing are absolutely great for toning the legs.  If you want to work on your upper body too, try Pole Dancing!


I've done one of your dvd classes and now I'm ready to join a local class. How do I find where they are?

Danceclass.com doesn't currently have a database of teachers who offer adult dance classes.  When we do launch one, we'll let you know!  In the meantime, your local telephone directory or local websites are your best bet.  Read up on your dance of choice in each of our sections before contacting your local studio to get an idea of what to look for in a good teacher and some of the questions you should ask before joining up.


I've checked out my local telephone directory / dance school websites and I can't find any adult beginners classes in my area – they all seem to be for kids.

This may not be the case if you do a little more digging.  A great many dance teachers hold children's classes as their main service.  However, many of them are keen to hold adult classes but perhaps have not always received the necessary support.  Adults, it seems, are more shy (although no less keen) to learn to dance than kids. Many gifted, qualified, experienced and enthusiastic dance teachers would love to hold adult beginners classes.  It is always worth contacting your local teacher and ask them if they hold an adult beginners class or whether they would be interested in doing so – they'll generally be very glad to hear from you.


I would like my child to go to dance lessons.  What do you advise and how do I find a good one?

Danceclass.com was set up specifically to cater to adult beginners.  There is lots of information and choice out there for kids who want to learn dancing but not nearly enough for adults.  However, as people who have long been associated with the world of dance, we all appreciate how important it is to encourage kids to take an interest in dance.   Again, your local telephone directory or websites will provide you with the information you need.
Here are some good indicators of things you should look for in a class you wish your child to join:-

Check out teacher qualifications (they should have a professionally recognized qualification in their dance discipline and in anatomy & physiology).

Go along to a class and watch. The teacher should instruct the class using positive reinforcement, not negative.  Ask if the studio or school holds open days (sometimes called watching days) where you can go along, see the classes in action and talk to the teachers.

Ask the parents of the other children who go to the class for their opinion. Check that your child is not going to be expected to do anything or follow any advice which may be too physically demanding or may casue them embarrassment, for example, will them have to dance alone in front of the rest of the class?

And a big one; check out the fee structure and uniform requirements.  If a dance school expects each new pupil to turn up to the very first lesson fully kitted out in a complete uniform of dance wear and also fully paid up for a whole term of classes, that's an awful lot of money to shell out in one hit.  What if, after two lessons, your little ray of sunshine decides they'd like to ride horses instead and doens't like ballet any more?  Best way to avoid this is to make as sure as possible that the teacher and the class are suitable for your child.  As recommended above, watch classes in action, taking your child along to see them too, of course.  Quiz the teacher on the fee structure and if there are any refunds.  And get the teacher's help in tracking down cost effective options on the uniform.

And finally, provide your child with gentle support and encouragement and ensure that they are having fun learning to dance.


Ballet FAQs


I did some ballet when I was much younger but gave it up. I remember the teacher being terrifying and I've always been nervous about taking it up again because of that bad experience…

Deborah replies:-
Ballet used to be taught in a manner which was based on tradition. If you look at old photographs and paintings by artists such as Degas, you will see the figure of the teacher always carried a stick which was often used on the poor dancers' legs, backs and arms. Thankfully, we have moved on from that. A qualified teacher, who has been through a three year training course at one of the accredited colleges or ballet schools, will have been trained to teach properly and, please believe me, none of us uses any weaponry at all.

Certainly, I have never felt the need to risk giving a bad experience to anyone. Have courage! Look at the dvd, see the ethos being employed there and then have fun.  It is perfectly acceptable to speak to the teacher before signing up for a series of classes or to ask if you can sit in on a class before committing yourself to it.  This way you can reassure yourself that the teacher is someone you can get along with.


I have just started an Adult Beginners' class in Ballet after doing your dvd. I'm in my late 20's.  Do you think that I'll ever dance in pointe shoes?

Deborah replies:-
I know what you mean! There isn't any woman or girl who dances who doesn't have that vision of themselves as the sylph-like performer standing up on her toes.
I don't want to disappoint anyone, but trying to do that takes far more strength than you are ever going to gain by doing one class a week of adult beginners work. In fact, you should be dancing around three or four times a week, at least, to be sure that you're not risking life and limb, but don't be downhearted if you don't ever stand en pointe.
Just go to the ballet and take another look at the other elements of the performance which make it enjoyable.
Look at the jumps, the spins, the free-flowing arm movements and realize that all this could be yours. Then go and see some ballet choreographed for dancers who are not performing en pointe at all, and there is a lot of it around.
Lastly, look at the dvd and see how much fun the dancers in that are having.
I do hope that it inspires you.  Of course, the best person to talk to about this is your ballet teacher - now that you are taking regular lessons. Your teacher is the best placed person to look at your ability and strength and to advise you about your dancing future.


I'd love to have a go at dancing and have always been drawn to ballet. But at the age of 48, surely I'm too old to start or to get anything out of it?

Deborah replies:-
Now, an awful lot depends on what, exactly, you want to get out of your ballet class. I once found myself teaching a lovely old lady who was in her late 70's if not older. She did 6 classes and then came to me and said “Thank you so much. At last I've done it!”.  She'd carried that desire to dance all her life.

If you want to become a Prima Ballerina in a professional company, you are too late, I'm afraid, but I doubt whether you really need me to tell you that. What you will be able to acquire is a massive improvement in your fitness levels, your posture and suppleness, a more informed degree of appreciation of the ballet on television and on stage, and a whole lot of fun. You might
find that your social life is boosted too. The dvd will give you an idea of the type of approach you need to find in a class and I do hope that you will find something just like that near you.


Modern Dance FAQs


What is Modern dance?

Alexx replies:-
Ah ha!  The most common question I get asked!  The simplest way I can explain is that it is a mix of lots of different types of dance and movement.  Really, anything goes.  In a Modern or Contemporary Dance class (they mean the same thing), you might find that you dance routines that have a bit of ballet, tap, jazz, samba, tango or street dance in them.  Like I said, anything goes.  It means that, if you want to dance, but aren't sure of what dance style might suit you, it's a brilliant way of trying out a few different dance styles.  You might find yourself being drawn to certain parts of your lesson more than others, or finding out that you have a natural ability at a certain dance style.
Also bear in mind that in contrast to a lot of dances, modern dance moves also use the floor a lot - and I mean performing some moves whilst on your knees, flat on your back or belly, lying on your side.  There aren't many dances that use space and a full range of movements quite as much as modern does. 


What are the benefits of Modern dance?

Alexx replies:-
The main one is it's absolutely fantastic exercise for the whole body.  The other huge benefit is that the classes usually allow for you to interpret the routines yourself.  So if you find that you're not very coordinated, or that you love doing the leg movements but don't like doing the arm movements, you can adapt what you dance to suit yourself.  So it's not as structured and strict as other dance styles.  That's a great confidence booster if you're a little unsure of yourself. There are other benefits, such as being able to express yourself! Being aware of and utilizing your body's movement capabilities will improve flexibility, fitness levels, help to tone the body, improve co-ordination, and will hone your musicality skills, helping you feel 'in tune' with your body. Fabulous!


I've heard of modern dance classes where you make everything up yourself - is that true?

Alexx replies:-
Hmmm, yes, sometimes this can happen.  If you're confident and fancy just flinging yourself around a bit, then go for it.  But for a lot of beginners, a bit of structure works best.  So, I think you get the best results when your teacher will teach you a routine, showing you each step in detail, and leave you to add or leave out bits as you choose.  That framework gives you the guidance and encouragement you need when you're just starting out.  As your dancing and confidence progresses, then perhaps it's right to try a class that is much freer flowing.  Only you can know what suits you, but I always teach a fairly structured class to people with little or no dance experience to start off with.


I'm not very coordinated - will I be able to do Modern dance?

Alexx replies:-
I think that we all go to dance classes for the first time feeling like this...
Coordination is developed the more you dance and therefore it is only by going to a dance class that you can develop your coordination. We all have to start somewhere!  And because, as I've said above, you are usually free to dance your first modern dance routines the way that suits you, any initial lack of co-ordination you feel won't be noticed by the rest of the class, so just go for it and enjoy yourself.


Salsa Dance FAQs


Isn't Salsa a partner dance?

Larisa replies:-
Salsa is both a solo dance and a partner dance.

There are a wide variety of steps, turns and body movements that you can do on your own. These can also be done by two people facing each other, like partner dancing without touching each other. Salsa can also be done as a formation dance, where two or more people are doing the same footwork.

Another way of dancing salsa, usually called partner dancing, consists of two people dancing together who take on the roles of leader and follower. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for people to rush through the initial phase of learning salsa because they want to start doing partner moves but the end result is a dance that has very little relationship with the music; the dancer seems to be going through the motions rather than dancing to the rhythm. In order to stay synchronized with each other and in time with the music and to dance with feeling both the leader and the follower need to have a good understanding of the basic Salsa rhythms, steps and body movements.

So, it's always my advice (as you'll see in my dvd) that you learn to dance Salsa on your own, as an individual dance first.  Then, once you are comfortable with the basics and the counting patterns, it's time to take your partner in your arms.

Partner dancing tends to be the most popular type of dancing in most Salsa clubs.  However, you will see that, in addition to people dancing with each other, there are plenty of people who dance alone or who break away from dancing with their partner to do some footwork on their own before dancing in hold again.


If I do the Salsa DVD, will I know enough moves to go and dance at my local Salsa club?

Larisa replies :-
After learning even a few of the basic steps on the dvd you will already be dancing salsa and ready to enjoy an evening out at your local club.

The moves on the dvd will allow you to feel comfortable dancing on your own and if you'd like to dance with someone else just take both their hands in yours and combine the sets of steps however you like. 
That's the beauty of Salsa.  Even if you have only mastered the very basic forward, side and backward steps (which take only about the first 10 minutes of my programme to learn) that's enough to be able to dance a bit at a club.  Salsa clubs tend to be dark, crowed, noisy places full of movement and dancing couples and individuals, so once you're out the on a packed dance floor, you'll get by just fine by dancing the most simple steps.  And of course, a club is a fantastic way to pick up new moves!

Got a question for the DanceClass team?  Let us know...

› FAQs