Absolute Beginners Guide to Our Classes
Many people enter Ballroom Dancing thinking they need to buy a specific type of shoe. This is not the case. For our classes, as long as your shoe is comfortable, clean (no outdoor shoes please), and doesn't leave marks on the floor, it doesn't matter if it's a sneaker or a fancy dance shoe. Typically, it is suggested that you wear to class the type of shoe that you are most likely to wear to the dances. This is especially important if you plan to wear any type of heel (this goes for the gentlemen as much as it does the ladies). Learning a pattern in flats is one thing; doing the same pattern in heels changes many things, including your center of balance. The most important thing is that you are comfortable in your shoes.
If you are interested in purchasing dance shoes, there are multiple places to get them. During our speciality workshops, new shoes are for sale. You can try on different styles and get fitted. Dance Street (2 locations in Saskatoon) also has a small selection of dance shoes. Please ask your dance instructors or the executive if you are looking for used shoes or have questions.
Our classes are extremely informal; there is no dress code other than you need to come in clothing and have clean footware for the dance floor. As the class can be vigorous at times, depending on the dance, loose, comfortable clothing is recommended. There's no need to dress in your fanciest wear.
One of the unique aspects of learning a partner dance in the U of S Ballroom Dancing Club, is the suggestion that members switch partners during the class. This practice holds a few reasons: it enables our members to meet the other members of their class, and it helps reduce the possibility of developing 'bad habits' or 'partner anticipation'. Switching partners helps both the Lead and Follow improve on their respective skills and enables both partners to be able to lead or follow anyone else without prior knowledge of their specific quirks. As well, this allows even those that came to class without a regular dance partner an opportunity to practice and dance.
During classes, many instructors will encourage partner switching many times throughout the class and during each dance style lesson. They will also allow for the opportunity at the very beginning of each dance lesson and the very end of each dance lesson, for a 'scramble partner change' where they encourage you to find the one you came with to dance with.
Of course, with all that said, there is absolutely no requirement for partners to switch. We merely encourage it as both a great skill building opportunity, and a chance to build friendships and camaraderie among our members.
We understand, sometimes life happens and you end up missing a class. Don't fret! Missing one class does not mean you are suddenly hopelessly behind. In Beginners, with seven different dances to learn, and only two learned per week, missing one class only means you missed one pattern in two dances. It is highly likely that those dances won't be taught for a few more weeks. If you miss a week, come the next week! If you come a little bit before class, or even stay a little later, our instructors would be more than happy to show you what you've missed.