Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ballroom dancing?
Ballroom dancing refers to a set of ten dances, further categorised into five ‘Latin’ and five ‘Ballroom’ dances. When talking about Ballroom dancing, people also are often referring to the Latin dances, although competitive couples tend to choose one of the two disciplines to specialise in. The courses featured on this website cover both Ballroom, and Latin dances.
Waltz: Recognisable by its tempo, Waltz is danced in 3/4 time and is a very beautiful and romantic dance. It’s a great dance which many beginners enjoy as the basic steps can be learnt very quickly.
Foxtrot: This dance is what many people think of when they hear the words ‘ballroom dancing’, and the Foxtrot in particular was made recognisable by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Typically the Foxtrot is danced to ‘Big Band’ types of music and is a very popular social dance.
Quickstep: This is an exciting and energetic Ballroom dance which feature fast-paced hops, gallops, kicks and sometimes jumps! Similarly to Foxtrot, it is often danced to more swing-style, Big Band music and requires high-energy and nimble footwork.
Tango: The Ballroom Tango is a passionate dance, with its origins in Argentina. Not to be confused with the Argentine Tango, the Ballroom Tango can feature some of the intricate footwork associated with this dance, but is mainly danced in a closed position. The dramatic music accompanying this dance makes it a popular choice with beginners and more advanced dancers alike.
Viennese Waltz: A faster version of the traditional Waltz featuring many turns and spins, the Viennese Waltz is probably most easily recognised from the music of Johann Strauss, in particular the Strauss Waltzes.
Rumba: The Rumba is a beautiful, slow and sensual dance with lots of emotion. This dance provides the basis for many of the other Latin dances, in particular the Cha-Cha-Cha.
Cha-Cha-Cha: This is a cheeky, flirty dance characterised by the syncopated ‘Cha-Cha-Cha’ timing. It can be danced to traditional Latin music as well as fitting to many popular songs, and is a fun dance for beginners to learn.
Samba: With its influences coming from Brazil, the Samba is a party dance featuring lots of different rhythms. Often danced to ‘Carnival’ style music, the Samba is very popular amongst beginners with the music really encouraging the style of the dance.
Jive: The fastest of the Latin dances, the Jive as it’s danced today has combined influences from many different styles including Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Swing, and Rock and Roll. Competitive Jive now features many kicks, flicks and fast turns and requires a lot of energy. It’s a fun dance which is easy to dance socially.
Paso Doble: A passionate and dramatic dance designed to emote the drama of the Spanish bull fights. Danced to traditional music which featuring flamenco influences, this is a character dance where the man usually plays the role of the Matador, whilst the lady depicts the cape.
Do I need to bring a partner to attend a course?
You don’t need to bring a partner to attend any course, although Gemma is unable to guarantee an equal number of men and women. Those who attend without a partner will be asked to change partners during the classes, and Gemma also dances with anyone who does not have a partner. In order to develop your partner dancing skills, if you have attended with someone, you will also be asked to dance with other people from time-to-time once you are confident with the steps, as this is how we dance socially!
Can I join a course part-way through?
You can join any course no later than week three, since you will still be able to catch up with what you have missed in the previous weeks at this point. In order to get the full benefit from the course, and to keep students learning at the correct pace, it is not possible to attend only part of the course.
What should I wear to classes?
Please wear smart casual clothes that are comfortable and allow you to move freely. In terms of footwear, I recommend that ladies wear a shoe with a small heel if possible, and men wear smart shoes. It is not advisable to wear trainers since they provide too much grip to the floor and may result in injury. If you have been dancing for a little while then it’s a good idea to buy proper dance shoes. Gemma is happy to advise you if you are unsure of what you need.
What is your cancellation policy?
Private classes (including wedding dance classes) are subject to a 7-day cancellation or re-schedule policy. Outside of this time, it is not possible to offer a refund of any kind. All group courses, classes and workshops are non-refundable unless cancelled by Ballroom London.
What happens to my data?
When you book a class or course through this website, your e-mail address and name are automatically added to our mailing list. This is to aid us to send e-mails which we think may be of interest to you from time-to-time. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the relevant e-mail link. Your e-mail address will never be passed on, or sold to any third party.
Can I buy a Ballroom course or lesson for a friend or relative?
Absolutely! Ballroom dance classes make lovely gifts, and you will receive a personalised gift voucher once you have made your purchase. If you would like to buy a course for a friend, then please follow the relevant links on the website to book, and then send an e-mail with the person’s name and e-mail address that you have paid for. If you are purchasing private lessons or wedding dance lessons for someone, then please contact Gemma directly to arrange payment.
I really love dancing and want to push myself further. What can I do?
The best way to help improve your dancing further is by having private lessons in addition to attending group Ballroom classes. Each complements the other and to get the best out of your dancing it’s advisable to do both if you are able. Group classes are great for learning at a set pace, dancing with different people and having fun with several styles. Private lessons will allow you to focus on a certain style in much more detail, with personal attention to accelerate your learning. If you would like to go further, then Gemma also offers training for I.S.T.D Medal Tests and Pro-Am competitions. Please contact Gemma for more information.