You Could Be Dancing

Why Ballroom Dance is for everyone - including YOU!

Whenever I meet someone for the first time - the conversation undoubtedly comes around to what I do for a living: I teach Ballroom Dance and own a studio right here in North Asheville! In all my years as a professional dancer the reaction is always the same:

THEM: Oh my gosh, no way! That's so cool! I've always wanted to dance BUT (insert excuse here)

1. I have THREE left feet.

2. I have ZERO rhythm.

3. I can't convince my husband.

4. I've heard it's expensive.

5. I'm too busy!

And so on.

In the moment, I usually just smile and nod understandably. But today, my friends, I'm here to explain why all of these objections are not actually disqualifying factors in learning to dance.

1. I have THREE left feet.

Ok, well - I don't need to explain that this would be an extremely rare condition, if medically possible at all. But, I certainly understand the sentiment. Usually what people mean to say is they see themselves as clumsy or graceless. I have only found this to be true a handful of times over the past decade, and even in those instances, grace + poise can certainly be taught. Saying you can't learn to dance because of "three left feet" is like saying you can't fly a plane've never learned how to fly a plane. Like all things, you have to start somewhere! Whenever I teach a brand new person or couple, I always ask "is this easier than you thought?" to which 99.9% of the time they reply enthusiastically - "YES!". My personal teaching method (which my students could probably recite word for word) is that learning to dance grows from the floor upward. The very first step is simply learning where to place your feet on the floor. From there we develop foot work, leg actions, hip actions, frame, styling and etc. So no matter how many left feet you may have, you can learn to dance - in fact, isn't that the whole point?

2. I have ZERO rhythm.

This is a very popular one - but, I hate to tell you - it's just not true! Everyone has rhythm. Your heart beat, the way you breathe, these are all natural rhythms that every living thing experiences. The difficulty isn't in having rhythm - its in hearing the rhythm of a specific piece of music and making your body move along with it. And, just like dance steps - rhythm can be taught, mostly by listening. In my entire career, I've only had one student who just didn't hear it. We struggled for weeks in preparation for his wedding dance. Luckily, a fellow teacher of mine offered a brilliant suggestion: make him physically feel it. So, we blasted the bass and had him place his hand directly on the speaker and guess what? It worked. This is a really extreme and rare example - but the point is that at the end of the day, he did learn how to dance on time, and you can too!

3. I can't convince my husband / I don't have a partner.

I won't lie - it would be super nice if every husband on planet earth wanted to dance as badly as their wives do. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Now, I could write an entire speculative piece on why there aren't as many men in ballroom dance classes - but I'll save that for another day. My response to this objection: Come for yourself. You don't need a partner. That's what Jake is for! Any teacher worth your time will know both the Leading + Following roles equally and like the back of their hand. Learning to follow is a skill that is meant to be adaptable to many different kinds of leaders. Ultimately, the better an individual dancer you become, the better you will dance as a couple, whether your partner ever sets foot in the studio or not.

4. I've heard it's expensive.

Like all hobbies, there are certainly ways to make dancing expensive. Private lessons are a luxury, just like personal trainers, lessons with golf pros, or your own language tutor. One-on-one sessions are the fastest, most convenient, and easiest way to learn because the Instructor's attention is focused completely on you and your goals - and students do pay a higher rate for that convenience and ease. However, if private lessons aren't in your budget - that's where group activities come in. Our studio for instance, offers two Beginner group classes each week at a drop-in rate of only $10! Bored with Beginner? Great! Now you can go to Bronze Class - or Silver, or Gold! All for only $10.

5. I'm too busy.

One of my favorite quotes is this:

"If it's important to you, you will find a way. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse."

This couldn't be more true, and kind of goes to the heart of these objections in the first place. There are always going to be a million things we need to do. But, you also need to do some things for yourself. Dance checks so many boxes for so many people: exercise, entertainment, new skill, FUN, challenging oneself, social activity, meeting new people, and on and on. Most studios have group classes at least 5 days a week, and private lesson slots all day every day. If you want to learn, there is a class or a time at a studio somewhere that will work for you!

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