Dance Information and FAQ's
Ballroom Swing Latin Classes
Ballroom Swing Latin Classes
Spinning Poi Classes
Dances - Pearce Ballroom
Wedding Dance Preparation
NW Area Events & Comps
Local Dance Scene
the Studio -
Goals & Philosophy
Meet the Instructors
Studio News- What's Happening
Event Planning Services
Healthy Tips Page
I Need a Partner?
Does the Guy
Colds & Personal Hygiene
Actual Class Cretique
You a Good Student?
Can't I Just
Learn from Videos?
I have my Own
I Just Want to to Have Fun!
|| The above
catagories are included here, not to put down or offend, but because
they have come up during classes or dances throughout the year. Common
sense and good manners will usually address most issues.
I need my own Partner?
RJ Dance Studio never requires partners for classes,
workshops or dances. Although there are usually more ladies than men
interested in classes/dances, both single men and women do show up.
While we cannot guarantee partners will be available, we welcome and
encourage singles to participate. We don't insist but do recommend
changing partners during classes to give everyone a chance to work with
While dancing is an excellent forum in which to socialize and meet
people, a single partner, needs to evaluate the reason(s) for attending
dances and classes in the first place. Is it because you enjoy dancing
and want to learn how to do it well, or are you attending to "find"
or "meet" someone? The answer to that question will make a big
different on how well you do and your commitment to "sticking with
Dances Go with What Kind of Music?
Music recognition and finding the basic beat is a
stumbling block for many beginning dancers. First off, not all music is
danceable. Being able to identify dance rhythms and tempos is only part
of learning to dance. It's also important to understand the distinctions
between various dances and why they should be danced differently.
Understanding the differences between the dances as well as their
similarities is what blends music and dancer together.
- Always wear clean, fresh, well maintained
- For class - clothing should be comfortable.
Dress in layers, so you can peel as you get warmed up.
- For dances - Some are more formal than others,
but usually nice/casual will do. Ask if you're not sure.
- If you perspire a lot, bring a towel to dry off.
An extra, fresh clean shirt/top to change into might be appropriate.
Wear a t-shirt or other light weight, absorbent garnet beneath your
- Your cologne or perfume should not
announce your arrival. A little bit goes a long way, so please don't
over do it. Excess cologn/perfume does not cover body odor or bad
breath, and for those who have allergies or are otherwise sensitive,
it can cause skin rashes and problems breathing.
- Avoid excessive jewelry (watches, bracelets,
rings) that could catch or cut.
Shoes are the most important piece of equipment for
your dance attire. Of course, dance shoes are the best
shoes to dance in. However, they are a little spendy. If you are not
ready to make an investment in proper dance shoes, here are some tips
for dancing in regular street shoes:
- Avoid tennis shoes or other rubber soles. They
are ment to stick, and they do.
- Avoid wet soled shoes. They really
stick. When it rains, bring a pair of dry "dance" shoes
and change into them for classes or dances.
- Select shoes that are comfortable and will stay
on your feet. Use this pair of shoes as your "dance shoes".
Carry them with you, and change into them for classes and dances.
- Leather soled dress shoes usually work well for
- Flats or low heeled pumps, work for most ladies.
- Wing Tips for the Men? ........ No, they're
like strapping boards to your feet.
- Five Inch Spikes or Platforms for the Ladies?
...... Not! Remember this is a dance floor, not a Runway.
You need to be able to move quickly in any direction. Overly high
heels compromise your balance and put you at risk for a twisted
- Sandals/Burkenstocks? ......... Not a good idea.
Its difficult to keep these shoes from flopping around on your
- Combat boots, hiking boots and the like? Really,
what do you think.....?
- Slip-ons........... Just make sure they dont
Dancing requires you to be physically close to others.
Your personal hygiene is very important if you are not to offend your
partner. Remember, in many classes, partners exchange and rotate. Here
are some common-sense points to remember:
- Always wear clean, fresh clothes.
- Shower before class or dances if you need to.
(You know if you need to.)
This is a must, especially if your job requires physical labor, or
if you overly perspire.
- A little cologne/perfume goes a long way. It
does not cover body odor, and for those who have allergies or are
otherwise sensitive, excessive colones/perfumes can cause skin
rashes and problems breathing.
- Please brush your teeth before attending class
or dances. Cigarette, stale coffee, garlic or alcohol breath are not
very attractive. Neither is having to look at, or avoid looking at,
pieces of your last meal hanging off your teeth or corners of your
- Carry, and use, breath mints. However, chewing
gum can be distracting and annoying to your partner.
- Dances and classes are a great place to catch
colds, the flu and other bugs. Wash you hands often - before, during
and after dances and classes.
- If you wear long hair, make sure it doesn't
become a hazard (or a weapon) to your partner or others around you
on the floor.
(On the other hand, it can be a great tool to keep others who
deliberately encroach on your dance space! Just be sensible.)
- Be on time or a little early.
- The music is playing before class for you to
warm up and practice. So, dont sit around. Get up and Dance!
- Remember, classes and workshops are meant to be
fun as well as informative. Develop the ability to laugh at yourself
and with your partner. Life is too short. Lighten up! Enjoy!
- We all learn at different speeds. Don't get
discouraged if you feel slower than the rest of the class.
You probably won't get everything the first time. Be patient, and
stay with it.
- If it hurts, STOP! Find out what you need to do
- Speak up if you can't see, hear or understand
- The instructor(s) is human, too. Sometimes they
space out. Let him/her know if you're confused or they forget to
- If you have questions during class, please ask
the instructor for clarification, not another student to
"show" you. You are probably not the only one with that
question, and others could benefit from the answer. The other
student is just that, another student.
- Bring a note pad and takes notes in class or
immediately after class is finished.
Believe it or not, you'll forget up to 70% by the time you get
- Don't feel threatened or discouraged by
correction. It's not personal. Take advantage of it.
It's like having a little mini private lesson right there in class,
which is rare because of the next point.....
- There is usually not enough time in classes or
workshops to give much personal, one-on-one attention.
Personal attention is otherwise known as "private lessons".
Invest in some.
Importance of Practice
- You are given time in class to practice to music
the steps being taught. Use it.
- Practice! Class time is for review and moving
You need to practice outside of class if
you are going to reatain the information and progress.
- Attend dances - lots of them. Dancing is a skill.
Practice is how you get better.
- Practice in class and at home, even if you don't
have a partner.
- Don't try to avoid your partner's feet. And,
don't look down. Your feet follow your body and will take care of
themselves. Think about it..... you don't look down when you
walk.... do you?
you a Good Student?
- If changing partners, don't try to "teach"
or impress that partner with other material you know or think
Beginners can become confused, intimated and discouraged.
- There are no stupid questions. Dancing should
make sense to you.
You should understand why you are doing something a certain way,
not just because the teacher told you to do it that way.
- Whispering is rude and distracting to the class.
- Teaching in someone else's class is even more
rude, even if you are a teacher, already know the material, or dont
agree with whats being taught. It's rude, disruptive and
distractive. If you want to teach, and think you are qualified, rent
your own space, pay for printing and advertising and, put together
your own class.
- If you have questions, please ask the teacher,
not another student in class.
- If you really don't want feedback or correction,
buy a video, stay home and try to figure it out yourself.
- Be open minded. Every instructor has something
to offer - some good, some not so good.
- You may have learned a different style or way of
doing a step somewhere else. Try to incorporate what's being taught
into what you already know. Hey, you might even find a better way of
- Don't get a big head if you pick up the moves
more quickly. As soon as you think you know it all, you stop
learning and are no longer teachable. (For example: I'm and
advanced dancer or I already know the basics"
or "I dance on a performance team" )
- No one is beyond the basics.
Even "advanced" students can improve the most basic steps
Take a que from the top pros.
- If you are on the dance floor, you should be
dancing. Move it!
- Don't stand on the floor visiting or "teaching".
It's rude to your partner, and you're in the way.
- No matter how much you push, pull, throw, jerk,
shove or flip your partner around, you ain't dancin' if your feet
aren't moving in a consistent rhythm than can be recognized and
followed. You may think it's fun, until you get hurt or hurt someone
else, which is just a matter of time.
You Easily Offended?
- If you think the class isn't moving at the speed
for you, or the instructor talks too much, or doesn't explain (talk)
enough, try to consider this: In a group class, a good instructor
trys to find the "middle ground" with the group. You might
an actual class critique
interesting and enlightening.
- There are bad apples in all groups. This is also
true with dancers and dance instructors. Unfortunately, there are
many instructors out there who should not be
teaching. Don't judge every instructor by a bad experience with one
- Give the instructor the same benefit of the
doubt that they give you when you enter the class.
- Everyone has bad hair days, even your
instructors. Lighten up! Life is too short!
- Classes and workshops are meant to be fun as
well as informative, and the instructor is there for teaching as
well as entertaining. Good, conscientious instructors do not do
things to purposefully offend you.
- We all all different. What may have offended
you, may be funny to someone else. You are not the only person in
- Teachers who teach as a couple often joke around
with one another. It's just that.
- Teachers who teach alone will sometimes joke
with students in the class. Again, it's just that.
- If you feel you have been genuinely offended by
something the instructor has said or done, talk with the instructor
about it. Exercise tack when confronting the instructor about it.
- There is a reason (good or not) for why an
instructor teaches the way they do. If you don't agree, ask about
their approach, motiviation, and why. Their answer should make
sense. If not, ask again (don't challenge). "Just because"
is not an answer. Good teachers want you to learn and
understand for yourself, not just copy them.