Q. What’s the enrollment period/How long will it take to learn?
A. Every person learns at a different rate. Also, it depends on how many dances you want to learn, how many figures (steps) you want to know, and how good you want to look and feel to your partner. Perhaps the most important influence on your learning speed is how much you are able to practice.
Although we organize our group classes in four-week payment periods, you should plan to take at least two months (8 weeks) to reach the point where you will feel confident and comfortable with the beginning material.
If you can only take for four weeks, we understand, and you will still benefit from those four weeks, though your grasp will be less firm than if you take the 8 week cycle.
(Return to Class schedule)
Q. What’s involved in learning to dance?
A. The mechanics (the actual steps); how to lead and follow comfortably and naturally; technique (smoothness, fluidity, use of feet and legs and body); rhythm. From this you can see that you really can’t learn to dance in one lesson! If you take two 4-week group courses and if you practice, you will be able to function quite nicely when you go dancing. Then it’s up to you to take it further in terms of follow-up classes for more material and better technique. (For all of these reasons, we do not normally allow drop-ins in our group classes). In private lessons, you can take as many as you like, but plan on 4 to 10 hours to get what you need from the experience.
Q. What kind of shoes should I wear?
A. Comfortable, flexible shoes, preferably with a smooth sole. Flipflops, sneakers, backless shoes are difficult to dance in. You may want to buy dance shoes eventually, or have your own shoes re-soled by a local cobbler.
Q. How should I dress?
A. Casual dress is fine. For our dance parties, “dressy casual” is suggested. The right clothes will make you look and feel “like a dancer.”
Q: Which is better, group or private?
A. Private is the best way to learn to dance because the individual attention you get helps you with your technique, and allows you to learn at your own pace. Group is a nice way to get started, get the basics out of the way, and have fun with other people, and have the experience of leading and following a variety of people. Choose the approach that works to get you to your goal!
Q: What dances should I start with? Are some easier or harder than others?
A: It really doesn’t matter. You should start with the ones you most want to learn. We will start you off at the most basic level if you are a beginner, whether you do private or group lessons.
Q. Where can we practice?
A: We have a Saturday night dance from 8 to 11p.m. specifically for you to practice your moves and have fun. Admission is usually $15, with light refreshments provided. Staff will help out if you have questions. If you are taking private lessons, you may schedule practice time at no charge, subject to space availability.
Q. What is your make-up policy for group classes?
A. Makeups are usually not allowed, so be sure you have a clear schedule for the course you enroll in before you enroll. But tell the manager which week you are going to miss; if you know before you join that you must miss a particular week, we can sometimes prorate. Please ask when you enroll.
Q. What is the cancellation policy?
A. For private lesson students, we require 24 hours notice (unless it’s an illness or emergency) or the lesson fee will be charged. This is to protect our teacher’s time! In the event of snow, we sometimes have to cancel a group class, in which case we will add the missed class at the end. Please call the studio if the weather seems uncertain (410-828-6116)
Q. Can I join a class if I don’t have a partner?
A. Yes. Singles are very welcome, and we change partners in group classes. We do try to keep an eye on the balance of men and women so that the class is workable, so if you are coming as a single, it’s best to enroll sooner rather than later so that we don’t have to turn you away because of a severe imbalance.
Q. Do we have to change partners in group classes?
A. You don’t absolutely have to, but the teachers will ask you to, because it is of tremendous value to you, whether you are male or female. It helps you to be a positive and strong leader, or a responsive follower for your own partner, if you have this experience. People have an amazing way of solving problems they are having when they have danced with a variety of partners. We find that couples who do not change partners are not as good as their classmates!!! This is a real advantage in group lessons that you don’t have in private lessons, so take advantage of it!