You’ve been thinking about learning to dance and you’re finally ready to do something about it. But where do you start? You don’t know your Cha Cha from your Jitterbug!
Firstly, don’t panic. It’s very easy for a professional dance teacher to quickly establish which dance styles are best suited to you. This is based on 3 factors:
What sort of music you like
Where/when do you want to use your dancing
The key benefits you would like to get out of your dancing?
1. Let’s talk music. What do you like?
Each style of dance suits a particular style of dance or sometimes multiple dances. The dance styles are more flexible than most people think.
“I like Jazz and occasionally listen to big bands or crooners” – Try some swing or foxtrot.
“I like Classical music and romantic ballads” – You are going to love the waltz.
“I love top 40 music, anything pop is great!” – Excellent, you should dibble dabble in the Latin styles, starting with the basic rumba and progressing into salsa, cha cha, swing and samba.
“I like old school ’50s and ’60s, anything Elvis rocks my world!”– You are going to love rock ‘n roll and a bit of swing.
“I like instrumental music with a bit of drama to it. Lots of stops, starts and a heavy bass”– It’s tango for you!
“I love dance music, anything upbeat that you might hear on Fresh FM”– Cha cha is the dance for you.
“I love RnB music and a bit of pop”– Great! You are going to love samba, salsa and bachata.
“I like easy listening music”- Rumba and foxtrot are the dances for you to try first!
“I love Latin music with lots of percussion and upbeat rhythms”– Let’s get stuck into some salsa, bachata and merengue.
2. Where and when would you like to dance?
Weddings have a DJ or a cover band. Either way, you can guarantee that you will be dancing the rumba most of the time. This suits slow and medium-paced songs and is suited to crowded floor. A couple of fast dances will help too. Try dancing a rock ‘n roll, cha cha and swing and see which ones you enjoy the most.
Out and Around Adelaide
Salsa nights are popular in Adelaide at the moment – with Casablabla being a staple of the salsa scene for a few years.
If you want to dance at pubs with live bands such as the Lion, the Arkaba, Caledonian, The Highway and The Alma, then I would suggest starting with learning the rumba before adding some rock ‘n roll or swing into your mix.
Foxtrot and rumba are good dances to learn if you want to dance with people that may not have had lessons before. These are both great conversational dances as you are always facing your partner so it’s easy to chat and get to know them.You may want some basic rock ‘n roll for when the music gets goes upbeat later in the night (and it’s easy to show off a little).
On Cruise Ships or Holidays
Where are you going? Latin America – go Salsa. Argentina? Tango it is. If it’s neither of these, you can't go wrong learning some rumba, foxtrot, swing, cha cha, salsa and waltz as this will cover most styles of music. You’ll have no excuse not to go dancing every night! Why not come along on one of our famous QuickSteps Holidays and see for yourself! :)
3. What else do you want from your dancing?
Improved Aerobic Capacity and Weight Loss
You want to spend a lot of time on the basics of some of the fast tempo dances such as cha cha, salsa, samba, rock ‘n roll and swing. Once you become comfortable with these you may want to progress on to some of the more challenging fast-paced dances such as Viennese waltz and quickstep.
Improved Balance, Grace and Muscle Tone
Focus on dances that require a lot of slow, controlled actions such as Argentine tango, ballroom tango, waltz, foxtrot and bolero. If you’re doing them properly you will feel it the next day – just like the gym.
To Meet New People
Dancing is such a great way to meet people. You need to make sure that you are learning the dances that are most popular so you have the best chance of being able to dance with a wide variety of people. Rumba is a must! Rock ‘n roll, swing, salsa, cha cha and foxtrot are very useful in a social setting. We know it can be scary asking someone to dance for the first time but after that you’ll be unstoppable so get out there!
In Aid of Another Sport, Hobby or Profession
This all depends on what particular sport/hobby you are working. We have had everything from football players, boxers, horse riders and marriage counsellors come in for dance lessons to help them move forward with their special talents. Discuss the improvements you hope to make with your teacher and they can use the magic of dancing to help you achieve your goals.
Is there a particular song you have always dreamed of dancing to? I would love to help! Post in the comments below, and I can tell you exactly which style is best suited.
What Do The Dance Look Like?
Here are a few quick videos of teachers dancing through a few styles to music so you can get more of a feel of what each style is about.
Rock 'N Roll