This article is a Dance Lessons San Diego Guide for getting started learning to dance for newcomers. It covers the most common questions people ask before starting dance lessons in San Diego. First, if you already know what you want, here are some links for my dance lessons in San Diego. The article continues with links to additional helpful dance resources in San Diego.
Getting started with dance lessons in San Diego?
It is a good idea to think about which type of dance you want to learn, e.g. swing, tango, salsa or ballroom? We include what to look for when choosing a dance studio and/or a dance instructor. Also, we also cover the differences between group dance classes and private dance lessons?
- Type of Dance: Give some thought to the types of dance genres/styles you are interested in learning, e.g. ballroom, swing, salsa or tango.
- Time: Determine how much time you are willing to put into the process of learning. The more time you put into lessons, practice, etc. the faster you learn. Also, after you have learned a minimum of movements and feel comfortable, you might add practice dance parties.
- Location: Contact several dance studios by email/phone to ask a questions. Check out their website and ratings on Google. Also, visit the dance studio to see if it looks like a comfortable environment for you to take your lessons.
What are the most popular dances styles for lessons?
- Dance Genre: There are a few dance genres/styles that have been popular for a long time. Other dance genres seem to come and go throughout the history of dance. In recent years, several types of dance seem to attract more people.
- Swing dances (West Coast swing, Lindy hop, East Coast swing)
- Club Latin dances (salsa, bachata, merengue).
- Ballroom dance: It is useful to learn the classic ballroom dance genres since they come in handy for weddings, cruises, company parties and are a good foundation for all of the dances, they include: waltz, foxtrot, rumba, cha cha and swing.
- Tango (American or Argentine tango): It is better to start tango after learning some basics in the dance styles above.
- West Coast Swing: This swing is more specialized and better for more accomplished dancers.
What is the difference between group & private dance lessons?
- A combination of both is best. I recommend you start with private dance lessons to work get the foundation for the dances and to learn about lead/follow techniques and dance connection.
- Group Classes: After a few lessons or even a month later start a class to practice what you are learning and to get some tips on technique and learn a few new patterns (see Review Dance Pattern Videos).
(A Salsa Basic Step Dance Lesson Review Video)
- Dance Party: Also, eventually try a practice dance party at a dance studio for more practice with a variety of people.
- Social Dance Venue: Finally, when you feel you have a good connection, lead/follow, adequate number of patterns for the person doing the lead part, then it is time to try your dancing at a nightclub or specific dance venue, e.g. swing dance venues around town, see more social dance venues below!
What are the benefits of learning to dance?
Reasons: Social activity, improve fitness, perform or compete in a Dance Sport competition. Whatever the reason, everyone should start with the fundamentals of dancing and acquire a solid foundation for the dance genre they are learning.
About FREE nightclub dance lessons in San Diego
People do not learn to dance by attending free dance lessons at nightclubs or halls in San Diego or anywhere else, with the exception of line dancing in Country Western clubs. One might learn a few tricks, routines of patterns but not the fundamentals of dance. The saying “you get what you pay for,” applies here.
Listening to samples of social dance music?
Types of Music: It is a good idea to listen to some different types of dance music to figure out which dance genres you might like to learn. There are a variety of dance websites that have sample music playlists.
What type of dance lessons should I take first?
Dance Genres: The answer to this question depends on why you are learning to dance. Are you learning for a wedding first dance? Or to dance on a cruise ship? To go to nightclubs? To meet new people? For fitness? Or maybe you have a favorite type of music that you enjoy and would like to learn how to dance to that music. Here are a few categories of dances.
- Newcomer info for Intro dance classes in San Diego
- Complete Guide to a Perfect Wedding Dance!
- Club Latin music: salsa, bachata, merengue
- Swing: East Coast/West Coast swing, Jitterbug, Lindy, Balboa, Charleston
- Ballroom Smooth/Standard: Waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, Quickstep
- Ballroom Rhythm/Latin: cha cha, rumba, bolero, mambo, swing, samba
- Tango: American tango, International tango or Argentine tango
- Country Western Club: Two Step, Waltz, Nightclub Two Step, Swing
- Nightclub Dancing: Hustle, Nightclub Two Step, Salsa, Slow dance, Freestyle
- Cajun Dancing: Jig, Zydeco, waltz
- Afro-Cuban: Kizomba, zouk,
- Regional: Irish step dance
- Solo or group dance: ballet, jazz, modern, tap,
- Contemporary styles: hip hop, dubstep, animation, popping, locking
- Other forms: belly dance, pole dance, flamenco
What to look for in a Dance Studio?
- Hardwood floors & Mirrors
- Ventilation, Air Conditioning
- Clean bathrooms
- Location, location, location
- Parking: adequate, close and safe
- Facilities: spacious, clean and safe
- Lighting: interior and exterior well lit
- Teaching Staff:
- Qualified dance instructors
- Friendly environment
- Helpful, knowledgeable receptionist
- Other Amenities:
- Social activities: group classes, practice parties and events
- A Professional Business
- Professional: Check ratings on Google, Yelp, etc.
- Resources: Professional Website
- Easy to get in touch: business phone, email, etc
- Calendar of Events: accessable, available on website, emailed
- Professional Business:
- Fees: competitive, reasonable, clearly stated
- Cancellation Policy: Stated, clear, reasonable
- Quality of the dance students
What to look for in a dance instructor?
A Professional dance instructor’s credentials consists of:
- Who they mentored or taught
- Ask if it is their full-time job
- How many hours do they teach weekly
- How many years have they been teaching
- What do they specialize in
- Where have they taught before
- Any videos of their dancing or teaching
- Written biographies,
- Social Media: Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn page
- Have they taught in the schools, colleges or Universities?
- Where were they trained and by whom?
- Who mentored them?
- Professional performances?
- Professional competitions?
- How and when did they learn to teach?
- What is the dance teachers background/experience?
Evaluating group classes & dance lessons?
First watch a class then maybe take drop in for one class before taking the whole course. Ask about refunds or cancellations. Does the class offer lead/follow/connection instruction? Timing? Movement study? Or is it just patterns and sequence routines? Pattern dancers seldom become accomplished dancers.
How many dance lessons will I need?
It depends on the number of dances, which dance genres and how accomplished you wish to become. For instance, getting good at East Coast single-rhythm swing (sometimes called Jitterbug) is easier than getting good at West Coast swing. I recommend starting with these dance genres:
Later, start these dance genres:
How much time will I spend weekly?
A minimum of 45 -55 minutes, three or four times a week, e.g. two private lessons, one class and two 30 minute practice sessions or more is a great. If you do less, it will take longer, so the more quickly you improve!
What are the average fees for dance lessons in San Diego?
Private lessons average $85/one lesson, group dance classes average $10/one hour and dance parties average $10/evening.
How can I remember what I learned?
Practice, practice, practice and take group classes, video tape your lessons, write notes and ask your instructor if they offer, “video reviews of lessons,” or check out our online FREE Dance Videos (clips) and/or surf dance channels on YouTube, (click picture).
What are the different types of group dance classes?
Yes, look for classes that feature concepts versus patterns: connection, lead/follow, timing, body movement, elements of the dance genre you are learning rather than just patterns or routine sequences.
Where are can I find social dancing to practice?
Yes, there are places to social dance in San Diego almost every night of the week. Here are some links to specific dance genres at various SD locations!