Tips & Advice
How long does it take to become proficient in a dance style?
The time it takes to become proficient in a dance style really depends on the dancer and their goals. For a proficient dancer to pick up a new style well enough to dance it socially may only take a month or two. However, for a complete newcomer to pick up the same style might take six months or more. To become truly proficient in a first dance discipline, starting from beginner level, will take years--maybe five or six at minimum, but probably eight years of intense training to get to performance level. From there, however, to get to competition level in more disciplines might take only a couple more years per new discipline.
What is the proper clothes to wear to dance class?
Proper clothes depend on the dance class. The main consideration is ease of movement, although of course the attire should suit the environment. For ballet or contemporary classes, girls may be required to wear leotard and tights with proper dance shoes. Boys wear slim sweat pants with fitted tee-shirt. For hip-hop or street dance styles, the attire tends to be looser fitting and casual, with sneakers or dance trainers as footwear. Ballroom classes often encourage dress pants for the men and flowy mid-length skirts for women.
Are there age requirements for taking dance lessons?
The only age requirement for enrolling children in dance class is that they be toilet trained -- and even that isn’t a set rule. There are dance studios that have classes for toddlers. Typically, classes are divided by age, so for example, a large studio might have different classes for age 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. In many studios, there may be a lower age limit for teens to be allowed into advanced or performing groups -- this is typically 13 or 14.
There is no upper age limit for social dance lessons, especially in the ballroom world. However, for certain more rigorous styles of dance, such as ballet and contemporary, most people don’t come in as adult beginners. That being said, many adults pick up hip-hop, jazz, Latin, or other dance for exercise and social purposes.
What styles of dance are taught at dance studios?
Many styles of dance are taught at dance studios, the popular ones being ballet, hip-hop, contemporary and jazz/funk. Of the Latin styles, salsa and tango are two styles that are popular enough to be taught in studios nationally. Some people also consider Zumba, barre and pole dancing fitness classes to be dance, but they tend to focus more on fitness than learning routines.
Ballroom is its own universe within dance, and people who study ballroom will also learn ballroom versions of many other international dance styles, including rumba, samba, mambo and merengue. This is in addition to traditional ballroom dances like the foxtrot and the waltz.
How much do dance classes cost?
Most dance classes for children cost, on a monthly basis, anywhere between $50-$150, depending how many times a week they are, the class size, and how advanced they are. Typically children’s dance classes don’t allow pay-per-class. Some adult dance classes that are more for social activity than exercise allow people to drop in and pay per class, at a cost of $5-$25 per class. Typically the cost per class is less if you buy a monthly membership or a package of several classes. Private lessons cost significantly more, as do competitive classes.