Beginners Read This First
AMOUNT OF TIME REQUIRED
The first thing you need to know is that learning to partner dance well will take some time and commitment on your part. If you just watch YouTube “how to dance” videos or take one dance class per week and never go social dancing you’ll forget everything you learned pretty quickly.
30 years of teaching, inspiring and sharing what works in dance with people from all walks of life has convinced us that experienced and knowledgeable teachers can take a student only so far. To excel in your social dancing and really begin to see exciting results you’ll need to commit yourself to a minimum of one or two dance classes (group or private lessons) per week and to go out social dancing at least once a week.
The Triangle, NC area has a number of wonderful and knowledgeable dance instructors to study with. Find one you feel comfortable with and has classes that works with your time schedule. If you continue to take classes and attend social dances you’ll really improve. The benefits are great – you’ll meet lots of new people, have fun and maybe find that dancing has changed your life!
WHICH DANCES TO LEARN
What music do you like to listen to? Tropical Latin, Big Band, Jazz, R&B, Top 40, Beach? Let the music help guide you. If you like Big Band, 50-60’s Rock & Roll, Jazz then Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and Balboa styles of swing are probably for you. Prefer the slower groove of R&B, Blues, Top 40 or Beach Music? Then West Coast Swing or Carolina Shag maybe more to your liking.
Swing Dancing: We recommend starting with East Coast Swing. Why? It’s the easiest Swing style to learn (in our opinion) and it is one of the most popular locally. From their move up to Lindy Hop or West Coast Swing. If you decide to start with Lindy or West Coast Swing that’s OK too. Upcoming Group Classes. Private Lessons
Latin Dancing: We recommend starting with Salsa. It’s not the easiest Latin style to learn but it certainly has the largest following. You’ll find dancing every night of the week and lots of people to dance with. Other Latin styles are generally broken down into “Club Styles” – Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia and “Ballroom Styles” – Cha Cha, Rumba, American and Argentine Tango. Note: Salsa is taught on what is referred to as the ON1 and ON2 here in the Triangle. Both are very popular. Upcoming Group Classes. Private Lessons
WHERE TO GO DANCING AND ABOUT INTRODUCTORY LESSONS
We are very fortunate to have a very active dance community with some very knowledgeable and passionate dance instructors in the Triangle, NC area. When attending one of the local dances (Swing, Salsa, Ballroom) you will often have an opportunity to participate in a 30 – 60 minute “Beginners Lesson”, it’s a wonderful way to experience a teachers presentation style and their grasp of dance knowledge. If you rely solely on these quick Beginner – Introductory Lessons to learn your dancing you will be short-changing yourself. Even if you take these lessons over and over again without committing to ongoing group classes, it will be difficult to “get good”.
If you really want to improve quickly think about private dance lessons and make plans to attend a regional or national dance event. If you go to one of these regional or national events and attend all of the classes, your dancing level will definitely go up a few notches! There are so many talented and dedicated dancers at these events, you’ll be improve by osmosis (or more accurately, watching good dancers will challenge and improve your own dancing).
As we mentioned before, you need to go social dancing a couple of times a week in order to practice what you have learned or else you tend to forget the all important foundation moves and technique that makes you a good dancer. Finding a dance venue that is generally non-intimidating for beginners and comfortable for your personal preferences does take some time. Keep at it and soon you will be hooked on dancing and all the wonderful benefits it will bring you. Every Sunday at the Raleigh Elks Lodge we have a very friendly, non-intimidating swing dance at 6:15 pm.
HERE’S A LIST OF LOCAL DANCE VENUES.
Please check with local organizers to make sure venue, times and scheduling is current before attending. Local dance venues.