Do I need a dance partner?
Category: Dance Lessons / Date: 14th April / Written By: Michelle Robinson
So you want to learn to partner dance but you don't have a partner? No problems! It's very common for people to ask us if they are still able to join when they are 'solo'. Our answer: Absolutely!
Although we teach partner dancing you don't need a dance partner to dance at QuickSteps and some other studios will be the same. In fact we have many students that come into dance solo and they learn very quickly because of it. There are many benefits to learning on your own. We generally encourage couples to occasionally have lessons solo as well because the benefits of that one on one tuition are so great. You are free to go over things as many times as you need to and you can ask any questions you have at any time.
You learn what you want at your pace and have the teachers 100% undivided attention.
What happens in a one-on-one private lesson?
Private Lessons: During your private lesson you are dancing with your teacher. This is 45 minutes of your teacher's undivided attention. We find that students that come and dance by themselves learn very fast and see their dancing improve in leaps and bounds!
Group Classes: During group classes you spend time dancing on your own to learn the step (all students do- both couples and singles).
The teacher(s) will position themselves in the middle of the group so everyone can see what they are doing as they demonstrate the step pattern. All of the women are in a straight line on one side and the men in a line on the other. You are facing each other but about 2 meters apart.
Once the teacher is confident that the whole class is doing the step well by themselves they will ask you get into dance position with one of the dancers across from you and try it the step together.
As a pair you dance this step through to music a few times.
The teacher will then ask everyone to switch partners and dance with the other single students in the group. This is generally done by asking all of the ladies/men to move one partner to the right/left.
Remember, dancing is also a great way to meet new, like minded people.
What if there are uneven numbers in the group class?
It's true, there will not always be 100% even numbers of the opposite sex in each class although at Quicksteps we are pretty lucky and it is usually very close particularly in our Beginner levels. :)
Our teachers have multiple ways they can teach an uneven class so that everyone still gets great tuition and has fun.
We still believe that practising steps by yourself is the fastest way to improve your dancing. There are classes that can be designed so that both the ladies and men are all standing on the same side going through the same exercises completely solo. This is particularly true for some of the Latin styles such as cha cha, bachata and salsa. When you next dance these steps with your teacher they will feel the difference! Your technique will be more sound and your balance will be better making you more light to dance with.
By rotating partners regularly everyone has a chance to practise the steps by themselves and with a partner. This also give the teacher an opportunity to dance with many class participants and give them personal pointers.
Technique time! Uneven classes are the perfect opportunity for teachers to spend a class focusing on technique drills. This often involves the whole group moving up and down the floor in a straight line side by side or practising movements and body positions on the spot. These classes are fabulous!
Pro Tips: How can I get the most out of my time as a single dancer?
Regular privates. Ensure you are having regular private lessons and attending group classes between each one to practise what you have learnt.
Be present. The more you turn up, the more people you will know and the more practise you will get. If you're sitting in the cafe (yes, we have our own fully licensed cafe/bar in the studio) and a song comes on that you like, why not invite someone up for a dance. You will only need to do it a few times before you start getting invited up yourself.
Ask for the teachers help. Teachers want you to feel comfortable and have a good time. At QuickSteps our teachers are trained to remember names, strike up conversation and act as a social go between for student. If you are unsure of another student's name or whether they dance the same styles as you just ask! Your teacher can subtly help you and even introduce you to the other students and help to get conversation flowing.
Be bold! The more people you know and the more people you have danced with in the past will directly impact the number of dances you have in the future. Talk to people, attend social events and introduce yourself to people in the group classes. We are very lucky at QuickSteps to have a very, very friendly bunch of teachers and students, you will very quickly feel at home.
Equal Opportunities. The days of men asking women to dance are over. It is a completely even playing field out there now with men inviting women and women inviting men. The more you ask the more you will be asked so go for it! Once again if you are nervous or unsure get your teacher to help you, they are very good at it :)