So far, I’ve largely advocated the Blues Union’s $5 lessons as a way to learn how to blues dance. These lessons are great, but they certainly aren’t the only game in town. So if you’re interested in learning how to get your groove on, here are some other great ways to do just that!
College Dance Classes
At many colleges and universities, there are dance clubs and/or classes for beginners. So if you are currently a college or graduate student, you’re in luck! Often times, these college experiences for beginners are labeled as “Ballroom Dancing” clubs or classes. This may sound a bit formal, but don’t let the name throw you! These classes usually cover a variety of dance forms, from latin to swing. Best of all, they’re free (or rather, part of your tuition…you get the idea). And in joining a dance class or club, you might even make some friends to check out social dancing with! As a matter of fact, that’s how I first started: through some “free” classes at grad school. Even if you’re not a student, if you have a friend who is a student and is taking one of the classes at a local college or university, depending on the instructor, they might let you join in!
One thing that’s great about college dance classes is that because the same people show up every time, they’re compounding; each class builds on what you’ve already learned. You’ll get to learn more advanced moves, so you can impress all your friends! This is an advantage over generic crash courses (great as they are), where the same basics are taught every time.
Group or Individual?
Dance classes and lessons often come in two forms: group or individual. Obviously, both of these have their pros and cons. Individual lessons are addressed more to your specific skill level and needs. Group lessons allow you to practice with others, but don’t cater to your style, level, etc.
Personally, I’ve found that group lessons are the way to go. After all, the goal is to be able to dance with people socially, right? The best way to do that is to practice it, which is basically what happens during group lessons. Group lessons allow you to get a feel for various people’s dance styles, which is what happens during social dances. Not to mention, group lessons can be a great way to meet some fun new people.
Just Jumping In
All that being said about lessons, they aren’t necessary to start doing some social dancing. As I’ve said before, most people will be happy to dance with you, even if you’re new to it. They’ll probably even teach you a move or two! In fact, just last week I danced with someone who was new to blues dancing.
I was delighted to meet someone who was just discovering the fun of blues dancing. I showed her a couple of turns she could use, which she seemed to really appreciate. And her being a beginner didn’t detract from the experience at all; we both had fun dancing with each other! 🙂
If you have any thoughts, questions, or experiences of your own you’d like to share, feel free to post a comment! I’d love to hear what you have to say!