Beginners Only Social Ballroom Latin Dance Studios
5959 Westheimer Rd Ste 100, Houston, TX 77057
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Tanja is absolutely AMAZING! She was patient, enthusiastic and dedicated when it came to teaching us to dance! We picked a 2-step for our wedding song and she helped us choreograph it beautifully! Tanja is a WONDERFUL instructor, very wise, creative and passionate! We are so very grateful for everything Tanja taught us at Beginners Only! We highly recommend her to anyone!
David and Ashley
After 12 years of marriage we needed some fun and exercise, decided to try dancing. I did not think I could dance, but I was proven wrong. Enrique at Beginners Only is a great teacher. I enjoyed the lessons and he made it simple. He explained terminology and technique. He always kept our appointments. It was a great experience for us! I highly recomend this studio.
My husband and I started taking lessons at Beginners Only after seeing their promotion on Groupon. It was a great choice and we decided to continue our lessons after the Groupon deal ran out. Since then, we have learned the rumba, foxtrot, swing, and even some salsa and zydeco moves. I never thought I would be able to dance, but our instructor (Michael) made it happen! He is so patient, knowledgeable, and is truly a pleasure to be around. He never makes me feel embarrassed or frustrated when my two left feet take over. He always seems to help me get it right. The other instuctor, Enrique, is very friendly and always makes us feel comfortable. We havent taken lessons from Enrique, but a couple I spoke with said he is very creative and came up with some great moves for their wedding dance.
My husband enjoys our lessons too. Since learning to dance, he often suggests that we "go dancing" and grab dinner. Being able to dance has created a fun way for us to spend time together, get out of the house, and get some exercise. It's also really neat that we are usually some of the best dancers on the floor! Before we took our lessons at Beginners Only, I was usually too embarassed to even get on the floor.
Thanks Beginners Only!!!
06/10/2012Provided by Citysearch -
The Beginners Only Studio is a must for anyone who wants to learn to dance. Both Michael and Enrique were wonderful making the whole learning experience fun. With years of teaching experience behind them, they guided both me and my mother through the basics for the dances that we chose to do and then added a few extra really cool moves for good measure.
My mother had taken several years of ballroom instruction at a studio in PA but learned more solid techniques in a few short lessons with Michael than she did in all the years she spent at the other studio.
As for me... Enrique was both patient and funny while guiding me through the basics of Salsa. He would breakdown the basics with attention to technique and then put them to music which I found very helpful for getting comfortable with the moves.
I highly recommend this studio.
05/06/2012Provided by Citysearch -
I have been taking classes since April from Enrique and I love it! He has given me so much confidence in myself and has helped me to relax and get rid of alot of stress. He is a very patient instructor. The studio is beautiful with new hard wood floors and is newly redecorated. It is so much fun learning the dance steps and I look forward to going each time.
06/07/2011Provided by Citysearch -
I think shrlyd (commenter below) has completely misunderstood Mr. Darnell. Maam, he began his career in 1956! Lets do some math. How old do you think he is? Of course, he's loud on the phone. He's not ""yelling"" at anybody, he's just talkin'. Dont you have a grandpa? For 2 seconds, I thought the same thing--- then I realized he's just older. We started chatting, and I found him supremely interesting, and very warm, wonderful to talk to.
MY WIFE AND I LOVE OUR DANCE LESSONS with Mr. Darnell. It takes a ton of patience to teach me--- You could say Im an ""un-natural!"" Mr. Darnell has been SUPER NICE. Yes, he is boisterous, and passionate, but ""rude?"" Not in any way. And I was slightly more graceful than a bus. He teaches you the pure basics, the ""building blocks of dancing,"" I call them. You can actually learn to dance in one lesson. And I've had ZERO dance training in my life.
Another miracle he worked was getting my wife & I to work ""together."" Normally, we cant even agree on which lane the car should be in. Now we spend evenings, off the couch, off the tv, instead, in each others arms, dancing, laughing, and getting EXERCISE!
I work as a wedding DJ, and I can tell you doing a classic style first dance adds an AMAZING touch of elegance to your wedding, and it always gets a huge reaction from your guests.
DO THIS DO THIS DO THIS! Whether you are about to marry, or have been married for years, I strongly recommend Mr. Darnell's dance lessons. He teaches a beautiful, classic, lost art, and it is full of benefits to your health, marriage, and I even think your stress level. This is something you can do together the rest of your life. I think even experienced dancers could benefit from reviewing the basics from him. Remember, he was a world class competitor.
But you can be as serious, or as not serious as you like.
You will love him. Even when he isnt telling you a story, something about him, and something about his studio tells so many stories. I highly recommend you let Mr. Darnell teach you this classic, beautiful art. You'll have fun and likely be intrigued by the history.
05/12/2011Provided by Citysearch -
Your first dance is your introduction to friends and family on your wedding day. Learning to dance should be a time of fun, laughter, and smiles leading up to your big day. This was not the case for my fiance and I would booked an hour session with Allen at Beginners Only Social Ballroom. I should have known that our lesson would not have worked out based upon my first introduction with Allen. Our phone conversation lasted 10 minutes. 7 of those 10 minutes involved Allen raising his voice at me, questioning why I had to fly down to Houston for the lesson (I live in a different state that my fiance), and overall belittling me and making me feel horrible. Since I found him on citysearch and read the positive reviews on the company, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and continue with the lesson. How wrong I was. He was worse in person. He is not a patient person and does not do well with couples who do not have dance experience. He was continuously rude to us and brought up our phone conversation throughout the night when his temper flared. Additionally, I paid for an hours long lesson and he ended the night at 45 minutes. This was the worst decision I could have made.
03/12/2010Provided by Citysearch -
I took 3 dance lessons here and my partner and I learned several dances - 4 just the first day. I really enjoyed the breakdown of dances into pivots, balance steps, etc and that each dance had several individual components that could be interspersed.
Good luck Allen
Don and Daisy
02/07/2010Provided by Citysearch -
My wife and I had never danced before and we wanted to take dance lessons for our wedding. We found Beginners Only Dance Studio on the internet and Allen Darnell (owner of the studio and the instructor) offered us a free lesson. After the first lesson, we then signed up for the “wedding special” which was a great deal. We had unlimited lessons for up to three months before the wedding. During those months, we not only learned a wedding dance routine that was choreographed to a song that we picked, but Allen taught us the Swing, the Foxtrot, the Salsa, the Tango, and the Texas Two Step as well.
In the three months leading up to our wedding, we took nearly 50 lessons because we liked the experience so much. The audience at our wedding thought that my wife and I were professionals!
After the wedding, we signed up for a year of dance lessons. During these lessons, we fine tuned the dances that we had previously learned and practiced new steps as well.
We would highly recommend Beginners Only Dance Studio for anyone that is considering lessons. We have been extremely happy with the dance instructor as he is reliable and knowledgeable. His method of teaching is helpful and all of the lessons are conducted in his private studio. It is easy to schedule appointments as he keeps very flexible hours.
We look forward to taking many more lessons!
03/21/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My boyfriend and I wanted to take dance lessons for a while. We looked around and found the Beginners Only Dance Studio, which offered private lessons for a great rate! The teacher, Allen Darnel, offered a free 20 minute session to see if we would like it before we signed up for five lessons. After our short session we already knew that we could learn a lot from him and have fun doing it - so we signed up for five lessons. Throughout our five lessons Mr. Darnel taught us a range of everything - ballroom, swing, and latin. We enjoyed going so much, that we have signed on for 10 more lessons! My boyfriend had never taken a dance lesson before this, and now he really looks forward to going. I have taken some group dance classes and there is no comparison to doing private lessons, especially with Mr. Darnel. You learn so much faster and better than in a group class. If you are interested in taking any sort of partner-dance lesson, this is the place to go!!
03/08/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I never danced a step before taking lessons with Allen. My fiancee' and I took advantage of a special for wedding couples which included unlimited lessons. We took thirty and what a value. I really didn't think I was teachable, but Allen put me at ease after the first lesson. By the fifth lesson I had learned how to dance our fist dance together as a couple. The other lessons we spent learning new dances and perfecting what we had already learned. I don't think I could have learned at all if it wasn't for Allen?s' teaching technique. For someone who has never danced before I wouldn't recommend anyone else.
12/25/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I have had the great honor and privilege of being trained by Allen Darnel, founder and owner of Beginners Only USA Dance Studios in Houston Texas. Allen is a walking encyclopedia of Ballroom, Latin and Swing Dance History, Styling and Technique. I spent three days working with Mr. Darnel in his Houston Texas Studio in June 2006.
Mr. Darnel demonstrated strong work ethic, dedication and patience while working with me and other dance students. I observed Mr. Darnel teaching beginning Wedding Dance Choreography to Couples as well as beginning dance students wanting to learn to dance socially. Mr. Darnel took his time to explain and break down all the step patterns and demonstrated great knowledge and professionalism. He also maintained a wonderful sense of humor with the students making the learning experience fun.
Mr. Darnel is the hardest working man I know working 12 hour days, seven days a week. His teaching techniques are cutting edge and unique.. He is able to teach complete beginners how to dance socially in five dance lessons. His system is amazing and he works tirelessly to continually tweak and improve his teaching techniques so he can continue to be the best beginning dance instructor in Houston Texas.
His patience and dedication to his student?s success is evident when he?s teaching. Mr. Darnel puts beginner dancers at ease by making his lessons fun while breaking down the steps so even the most beginning student can move forward by gaining the skills and confidence necessary to get out on the dance floor in just five dance lessons.
Mr. Darnel is a phenomenal dance teacher and I would highly recommend him to any beginning dance student or Wedding Dance Couple needing to learn Wedding Dance Choreography for their First Dance.
Rebecca Black, Dance Instructor
10/01/2006Provided by Citysearch -
The introduction lession was really good, so we signed up with him. The deal was two month unlimited lessons for the wedding first dance. However, the routine can be learned easily in two less than an hour lessons. After the 3rd lesson, everytime we went back, he just rushed us out of the studio in half an hour. Sometimes, he made us leave after 15 minutes. We were not going there very frequent at all. For the two month period of time we only went for 7 lessons, and the total time we spent there were only about 5 hours.
He was knowledgable, but can be impatient and lazy sometimes.