Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Incidently, if you have any question that this page does not address. We will do our best to get an answer out to you. We have reference manuals up the ying-yang and look forward to the challenge.
How do I pay for classes and lessons?
Unlike the commercial, we have no problem with CHECKS… unless you have a problem with checks. CASH is King (and a great pugilist) and is also welcome. If CREDIT CARD is the way you roll, we accept card payments on this website.
How many classes do I have to take before I can show off my moves at a club?
It all depends on how much you practice. What you learn in class quickly dissipates into the nether world unless you practice and commit it to muscle memory. If you are serious about learning, we suggest you jot down the steps you have learned and then practice them on your own. A big part of the learning is in understanding what you’re doing; i.e., why is it called an “open left turn”? or what is the difference between a “Twinkle” and a “Spiral”? Our better students network with others and practice after class. They make time and come in to practice.
Do I need a partner for the group classes?
No, we switch partners every few minutes, and so everyone gets to dance with someone.
Do I have to switch partners?
No, however, you will learn faster if you switch partners. Ultimately, you will be a better dancer, because you will learn to adjust to the way other people dance.
What if I have two left feet?
That would be hilarious. I have to google it to see if that’s physically possible, but that would rock if a guy with two left feet walked into the studio. If you truly do have two left feet, please come to the studio. If you think you have two left feet, come in anyway. Worse case scenario, you’re only one foot off. We just have to make sure we fix the right left foot. Now that would be real funny.
Where can I dance what I learn from class?
You can check out Dancebuddies for a schedule of upcoming dances in your area. Contact James Woo, who runs Dancebuddies at [email protected]. You can obtain their application form by clicking on our “Dance Resources” page.
Should I learn one dance first before moving onto another style?
You can, but it’s better to open yourself up to all styles. Like food that complement one another, learning various styles will actually sharpen your dancing skills as you will begin to realize how basic steps relate to one another.
Can my dance teacher give me lessons at your studio?
Yes, floor rent is $12 per hour.
What other kinds of dance lessons are available at your studio?
We get a lot of calls for tap, belly, hip-hop, break and jazz dancing. We do not offer lessons in these styles (just Ballroom and Latin). However, here are a few references for places one can contact.
Belly Dancing – Zahra (323) 630-3586 or zahrazuhair.com.
Hip-hop/Break/Jazz – Eagle Rock Dance Center, which is up the street from us. Their web add is patsymetzger.com and their telephone number is (818) 769-0737. There is also The Vibe up in Montrose. Don’t have their contact info. but check 411 in the 818 area code.
I don’t live anywhere near Eagle Rock, are there any other studios you recommend?
NO! And I have photos of them with farm animals to prove it.
There are reputable studios all over town. Our friend Tom Hicks owns and operates the Regency Ballroom/South Bay Dance Center in Lomita. If that works better for you, give him a call (310) 534-8009. Check out his website regencyballroom.com.
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Wear what you normally wear to go dancing. We do recommend dance shoes or at least a pair of leather soled shoes. PLEASE, check the bottom of your shoes for any lodged debris, nails (yes, nails), or any other protrusions that would scratch and damage our floor. But to restate, we recommend dance shoes, and when you get a pair you’ll immediately feel the difference.
BUT I’m a guy, do I really have to get shoes?
Quit your sniveling, crybaby. Crack that wallet open and get some dance shoes. You wouldn’t hit the links in Converse. You wouldn’t shoot hoops in bowling shoes. Dancing is a sport which requires specific equipment, namely shoes.
What is the benefit of a private lesson?
Students taking private lessons have a better understanding of dance fundamentals: character, technique, style, rhythm, and body control. Private lessons teach “how to dance”; whereas, a group lesson will teach “what to dance.”
What is the easiest dance for a beginner to take?
The best way to answer this question is to ask where are you planning to dance? Salsa is a very popular style presently. In years past, everyone seemed to be swinging. If you love music from the 70’s, the Hustle and the Nightclub Two-Step may be the dances of choice. If you’re going to a wedding, you may want to consider the Foxtrot or the Waltz. Conversely, you may have always wanted to Tango. If this is the case, don’t take Salsa. Go with your heart and take Tango.
Most American dance styles are interrelated. For example, the Waltz and the American Rumba are both box steps and yet are two distinct dance styles. The American Foxtrot and the American Tango also have similar elements. Thus, one could learn several dances at the same time with very little difficulty.
Why do your rates differ greatly from other studios/teachers?
We know that other places charge much more than we do. Not to besmirch them in anyway, but it has always been our goal to make ballroom dancing accessible to everyone. Of course at the same time, we do have to make a living from the studio so we’re not going to give it away. We are in the business of teaching dancing not selling it. However, if the price of coffee keeps going up all bets are off.
What exactly is a professional ballroom dancer?
Susannah is a professional ballroom dancer as well as a ballroom dance teacher. She travels all over the country, competing against other professionals for prize money and national ranking.
Can I compete?
Sure. You don’t have to be a professional to participate.
There are three primary types of competitions: Professional, Amateur, and Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am). So if you and your partner are amateurs and want to compete, there is a forum wherein you are pitted against other amateurs. Additionally, amateurs can also dance with their teachers and compete against other teacher-student pairings in the Pro-Am’s.There are various dance styles and dance groupings one can compete in. For example, the American Smooth Division is made up of the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. Dancers are scored in each dance and then placed accordingly. I hope that makes sense.
What if I just want to watch?
You like to watch, eh? Kinky.
Okay, seriously, as mentioned earlier, we have traveled all over the country to compete. Competitions are usually held in the ballrooms of larger hotels. The Marriott usually holds a bunch of them. Tickets can run as cheap as $15 and go up to $70 (most expensive so far). The day events are the cheapies as they comprise the Amateur events. The big bucks (usually $35-$50) are for evening events on Friday and Saturday nights when the top professionals compete. These competitions will usually include a show. Seating is both assigned and festival. Kids are usually free, although recently, some comps have begun to charge a minimum. No comment! Oh, adults, who are “kids at heart” are still charged full fare. Don’t say I didn’t try.
Where do I find out about these events?
Check out the National Dance Council of America’s website (NDCA.COM) and open up “Events” to find out where and when the next comp is. There are three competitions in Las Vegas for those of you who need the excuse. The Vegas Showdown is in March, the Nevada Star Ball in August, and the Holiday Classic is in December. As of this writing, no comps are scheduled at either “Glitter Gulch” or “Buck Wild”. Don’t say I didn’t try.