New dancer and forum member.

I hope you all don't mind me continually using this personal thread for most my questions.

I'm still a beginner. Only a month into this whole thing. So my current plan of 1 group and 1 private class a week is definitely working.

Group is good especially since I haven't done half the other styles yet, but at what point will the group classes be something that isn't really pushing my growth anymore? It's definitely nice dancing with different people of varying skill levels though.

After getting those group classes down and having more experience with various people, should I just stop group classes all together and focus primarily on private lessons?

I'm interested in competing in the future. Sometimes the group classes show a variation that are probably meant more for social dancing (not totally sure on this, just something the instructor kind of mentioned).

I also don't have a partner. Just been dancing with random people during group and my instructor during private lessons. So I'm not sure what a good plan will be in the future after having exhausted what I can learn from group classes. Not quite sure what the normal path is for getting into competition.

I'm not really concerned about getting a partner for a while since I'm still very new, but in the future do I simply just rely on luck / posting on website classifieds / meeting people during group?? Do I have to let instructors know that I'm looking for a partner?? Is competing with a pro the way to go??

Does an instructor generally tell you when you're ready to compete and encourage it?

Not in a rush to put all this into motion, but it would be nice to know a proper path and plan to follow in the future.


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Group classes are great. How long you will benefit from them depends on how they are structured at your studio. And how you pay for them. At some studios you can pay a flat fee and attend as many classes as you want that are at an appropriate level for you.

Where are you located? (As in, what country?) Competitions vary somewhat by location.

You will certainly advance more quickly with private lessons at this point. Two beginners dancing together will not progress as quickly as a beginner dancing with a pro. To a certain extent, you might just reinforce each others errors. If you are in the US, male amateur partners are in short supply and you will benefit from that. There is a lot to be said for dancing and competing with another amateur, particularly in cost savings.

I hope others will weigh in as to when it makes sense to start looking for a practice and/or competition partner. I knew that in my demographic I wasn't going to find one, so I didn't even try. How much help your studio would be in finding an amateur partner will depend somewhat what their focus in.
The adult group classes are weekly. It rotates on the different styles per weekend. There are level 1 and level 2 classes for each style. You pay for a set number of classes at a time that can be used however you choose. From what I've seen so far, level 1 is a great introduction to the style and by the end of the class you can use it in social dancing. Level 2 teaches more difficult patterns. So I believe it's more so for people that want to learn quickly to use it for an event of some sort or just to start exploring a style. I got a lot more out of 1 private lesson than taking a level 1 and 2 for the same style though. The benefit of the group class was mostly for exploring a new style and experiencing different partners. I've only done one level 2 class so far, so I could be wrong. That's just what I experienced so far. My private instructor is quick to notice small details by dancing with me.

I'm located in Canada.

I've done a little research on pro-am and am-am. So I know a little bit about the difference in expenses. Ideally I'd like an amateur partner, but If one can't be found, then I won't let that stop me from having a pro partner.

For now, exploring the group classes is good for me. Especially with the styles I haven't experienced yet. I still have a lot to work on with my private instructor before even worrying about a partner. Eventually a path will unfold itself as I delve deeper into all this. I'm sure as time passes the instructors will make me aware of my options.


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I think that the combination of groups and privates is likely to work well for you for a while yet. I understand the urge to plan ahead, but ultimately there's no need to anticipate the group classes becoming less useful for you; if and when they do, you'll notice. As you noted, a good part of the usefulness of group classes is in learning to dance with different people. They're also good for making/keeping you part of a dance community (in combination with social dancing), which can be socially fulfilling. Being part of the community will also be very helpful in finding a competition partner when the time comes. Although partnerships form in different ways and at different times, in my experience, earlier is easier. The pool of beginner dancers is just bigger than the pool of more advanced dancers, and beginners often haven't developed the more specific preferences that many dancers do later on. Given that you're interested in am-am competition, I'd say to keep your eye out for someone you get along with well in your group classes and see if she'd like to get together outside of class to practice the group class material. (But don't leap to exclusivity: still dance with everyone else as well when at the group classes and social dances). If nothing else, it will help both of you improve faster and learn how to practice with a partner. If it goes well and develops into a regular practice partnership, then eventually you can discuss trying out competition together and start doing some privates together to prepare for it. There's no rush on this, but it's also not too early to try it if you've met someone plausible.
Thank you both for the advice.

I'll definitely keep going to groups. So far I've noticed that there's a shortage of women. I assumed it would be the other way around. It's mostly couples and people there to learn short term for a specific event. There's still partner switching going on though and I don't mind practicing on my own when I have to. The other women that I've noticed around are all very advanced and practice outside of the group classes. So I haven't really run into anybody that could potentially be a partner, but I'll continue participating, contributing, and being part of the community for sure. I've only been around a short time and it's end of the year. So I'm sure there will be more people coming in or coming back in the new year. For now I'll just focus on learning.

Now when the term "social dancing" is used... does that mean anywhere that has dancing? Like a wedding / bar / club... or is it a place / event specific to an actual style / styles of dancing? I've seen salsa clubs around town... but I'm not too sure where I would use some of the other styles. Maybe I just have to be able to recognize certain songs when they come on?
edit = Never mind. A simple google search gave me a list of events specific to ballroom / latin social dances lol.
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Now when the term "social dancing" is used... does that mean anywhere that has dancing? Like a wedding / bar / club... or is it a place / event specific to an actual style / styles of dancing. I've seen salsa clubs around town... but I'm not too sure where I would use some of the other styles. Maybe I just have to be able to recognize certain songs when they come on?
Those kinds of venues certainly count as social dancing, but I was referring more to studio socials and other ballroom-focused events, where you'll be more likely to encounter the dances you've been working on and dance partners who know them. Lots of studios run practice parties and other social dances -- does yours? Maybe a Christmas party with a combination of showcase performances and social dancing? If so, you should start going. You can also look into whether your town has a community ballroom club that runs weekly or monthly dances: as a start, google "town-name ballroom dance club" or "town-name ballroom dancers." These are the environments that will really help you develop your leading skills and grow your social network of dancers.
Thanks for the info bia.

So I watched some videos on "dancesport" for the first time. I got to see the potential of what each style looks like at a world class level. So awesome.

I'm like "what!? I'm going to try to learn that?" haha. Every style looks so fun and amazing.

Better get to work on my basic steps.

Samba is the next new style I'm being introduced to.

I think of myself as a clumsy and awkward guy. So to be able to express myself through the standard and latin styles would be quite the transformation.

One technique at a time!


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So I watched some videos on "dancesport" for the first time. I got to see the potential of what each style looks like at a world class level. So awesome.



PLEASE do NOT compare or emulate salsa dancers ,in the BR division. Club styles are much closer to indigenous roots. I speak as a long time Prof who realised after many years of BR teaching, that my "latin " did not sit or fit well with the club scene. It took me years of research to really understand the complexity of the genre .

As to comps. that is something that the majority of social dancers avoid like the plague !!. Reason ?, it does not relate to the social dance strata. Now, if you wish to eventually enter into that arena, fine.

It takes many moons to develop ones personal style, and you are on a good lesson pathway.

Canada has some great dancers ; go to salsa forums ( our sister site ) where you can indulge yourself with 1000s of opinions of ,videos and musical expertise , also several Canadian posters are on that site .

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