Dance Lessons San Diego

Dance Lessons San Diego 2017-05-31T21:31:22+00:00

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.

List of 14 Major San Diego dance studios

What are the most popular dances styles for lessons?

Dance Lessons San Diego couple

  • 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.

All the dance styles from A to Z

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?

  • Facility:
    • 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
  • Reception:
    • 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?

dancing couple

A Professional dance instructor’s credentials consists of:

  • Who they mentored or taught
  • Certifications
  • Rankings
  • Experience
  • 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,
  • Website,
  • Social Media: Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn page
  • Testimonials
  • 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!

More Dance Resources in San Diego here!

Ballroom Dance Lessons San Diego coupleBallroom Dance Lessons San Diego

American ballroom dance has two catergories: American style smooth dance and American style rhythm dance. Smooth includes waltz, foxtrot, tango and Viennese waltz. Rhythm includes rumba, cha cha, bolero, mambo and East Coast swing. We recommend starting with waltz, foxtrot, cha cha, rumba and East Coast swing dance lessons. These dances are perfect for wedding first dances, company parties, social dance venues in San Diego like nightclubs, receptions and ballroom dance parties.

After learning these classic dances continue with the Viennese waltz, bolero, mambo, samba, hustle, nightclub two-step, West Coast swing, Argentine tango, Swing Era dances like Lindy hop & Balboa and Latin club style dances like salsa, bachata and the kizomba. Learn more about dance lessons San Diego here:

Swing Dance Lessons, San Diego

(East Coast Swing, Jitterbug, Lindy hop, Balboa)

Swing dance is one of the easiest and fun dances to learn! Swing dance lessons cover the fundamentals of swing. Swing dancing has evolved since it started in the 1920’s and uses a variety of music including jazz, big band, soul, rockabilly, doo-wop, neo-swing, country western, blues, pop, ballads and R&B. The Jitterbug dance (aka East Coast swing single rhythm) is a great swing dance style to prepare for more complex swing related dances like West Coast swing, Lindy hop, Charleston, Balboa, St. Louis & Carolina shag, Country Western two-step, nightclub two-step and New York or L.A. hustle dancing! Because swing dancing is so popular, you can usually find a place to swing dance most nights of the week in most major cities in the United States. Check out more recommendations for dance lessons San Diego here:

Salsa Dance Lessons, San Diego

(And other Club Afro/Latin dances: merengue, bachata, kizomba)

We recommend Latin dancing. The most popular dances in the United States and globally are the Latin club dances like the salsa, merengue, bachata and kizomba. Group and private dance lessons focus on the basic elements of the Latin club dances. There are places to go dancing virtually every night of the week across the U.S. and in San Diego. Salsa dance lessons prepares the student for continuing in merengue, bachata, cha cha, mambo, bolero, kizomba, samba, rumba and other dances. Here are some additional recommendations for dance lessons San Diego:

Ready to start dance lessons in San Diego?

We suggest you start with the dances described above as they are easier for newcomers to learn. The two dances below are generally considered more challenging. However, if you have some dance experience or are driven to learn West Coast Swing or Argentine Tango, these dance genres are the dancers dances!

Argentine Tango Dance Lessons San Diego

We recommend starting tango after a dancer has become more accomplished. Tango is a specialized dance designed for dancing mostly at Tango Milongas (a Tango social dance party) and other tango dance venues. Learning to dance requires more dance fundamentals and is a more difficult dance due to the use of the close embrace (partners use body contact in the tango dance position). Techniques taught in private dance lessons and group classes prepare the student for tango dancing but also prepare the student for other dance genres since the focus is on lead/follow techniques and the fact that there isn’t a basic rhythm unit like most other partner dances. Additional dance lessons San Diego recommendations:

West Coast Swing Dance Lessons San Diego

Dance Lessons San Diego highly recommends all dancers try the West Coast Swing! The West Coast Swing dance genre is the Cadillac of partner dance genres and is referred to as a Living Dance, since it evolves along with contemporary music. This dance genre requires a better understanding of dance fundamentals than the first three listed above. It is a slot dance (slot = the space between you and your partner when in a one hand hold), it used 6 and 8 count patterns generally. It is popular around the world and can be found in many different countries. Proficiency in West Coast swing aids in learning and performing most of the other dances but particularly the swing and rhythm dances like East Coast swing, Lindy hop, cha cha, hustle dance, nightclub two-step, Balboa and country western two-step.

Learn more about dance lessons San Diego and West Coast Swing dance venues WCS lessons and San Diego WCS conventions at: West Coast Swing San Diego.

Dancing in San Diego, California (Resources)