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as @
9 Dec08
"but I have two left feet"

Forget it!  One of the amazing things about dance, is that no matter what your level of competence, the enjoyment is much the same — as participants of Strictly will surely agree, especially the Nationís hero John Sergeant !  If you make mistakes, so what?  Practice makes (a little more) perfect.

Which style of dance to choose ?

Probably the most useful advice on this subject is "donít have any pre-conceptions".  Start by looking for something local & on a convenient day of the week; then just give it a try.

Remember -
   The biggest hurdle is getting started, and allied to this is the job of finding somewhere to go within a convenient distance & on a free day of the week.  Being too choosey about what precisely to do just slows the process down & might stall it completely.
   One of the most commonly heard judgeís comment on Strictly Come Dancing is that a particular style of dance either suits or does not suit some people.  Without trying, itís difficult to know.


When can I start ?  Also, Iím a beginner & donít have a partner !

Now this definitely could affect which class to attend.  All classes have to make provision for beginners, but how this works in practice is extremely varied.

With Ballroom/Latin, a beginner's course typically runs for two or three terms, so timing is important.  The way it usually works is that a new class will attract a number of couples & singles.  Of the singles, there are usually more female, so some end up dancing together, unless there are "helpers" available.  Once "coupled", it is usual to keep with the same partner, although some changing between singles takes place as people canít attend on some weeks or drop out.  Certainly it is not critical to join on the first date of a new class, as there is a leeway of a month or two where late joiners can easily catch up.

At the other extreme, and to cite particular examples such as Salsa and Ceroc, it is usually possible to join at any time or within a few weeks as beginners' courses are short-lived & designed to be easy to engage with.  The partner issue is resolved by having a large number of helpers, & rotating partners frequently throughout the evening.  An obvious benefit is that this obviates the problem of having to get stuck with someone you donít fancy !  But seriously, the main purpose of rotation, is that it leads to a more relaxed atmosphere, & helps people adjust quickly as strong and less skilled dancers mingle together.

Some dance styles such as Line Dancing donít need a partner, so this tends to simplify things, & is especially attractive for females.  Usually one can join in straightaway, as during the evening the class works through a number of dance routines at different stages in the learning cycle.

In-between & beyond the situations described above, there is every conceivable variation, dictated in the main by the preference of the teacher.  This is especially true for the issue of keeping with the same partner or rotating.  The number of "helpers" available is also important.  So, if a particular class is not to your liking for whatever reason, donít get despondent - just write it off to experience & try another.