Dancing is an activity that can be done just for fun, because you love it, or for a more meaningful reason.
Many people learn to dance as individuals, which makes the art of dance something much more personal to them. However, you will also find a range of couples’ classes which are designed to help you to share a wonderful experience and spend time together in a completely new environment. Plus, private classes for couples planning a wedding dance can enable them to choreograph a modern or classical first dance together.
Couples’ dancing lessons can be just as much about focusing on the two of you as a unit. Photo credit: Simon Blackley on Visual Hunt
Whether you decide to start dancing classes on your own or with your partner or spouse, sharing your passion for the styles of dancing is inevitable as you will be in the company of like-minded individuals who want to learn to dance too.
There are various types of dancing styles, some of which may share basic dance steps in common whereas others might incorporate their very own unique traits and techniques.
Generally speaking, the categories of dance which offer the fastest, most challenging dance moves and are usually performed to upbeat music (sometimes international music), are Latin, Street, Jazz, Swing or Freelance.
Latin is made up of dance styles like the Argentine Tango, Jive, Lambada, Mambo, Merengue, Rumba, Salsa and Samba. Zumba is also classed as a Latin dance and is an energetic keep fit style dance class that is offered by gyms and dance centres nationally. Salsacise is yet another contemporary dance class that is designed to act as a cardio workout, keeping elements of the popular dance.
However, Ballroom is a style that is predominantly emotional, sensual and classical and includes the Foxtrot, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Waltz. Quickstep is also classed as a style of Ballroom dance yet this does involve a much faster rhythm and therefore movement, hence the name!
Other types of choreography on offer at one dance studio or another are Hip Hop, Jazz Hip Hop, Modern Jazz, Flamenco, Bellydance, Ballet class, Folk dance, Country dance, Breakdancing, Pole dancing, Bhangra, Brazilian Cuban and West African, to name but a few.
It is important to check if the class you are looking at is age appropriate before you book or attend (many classes adapted for developing fine motor skills for children are named ‘kids classes’; likewise classes for the more mature student will be marked as being suitable for retirees).
If in any doubt about whether a class is right for you, then feel free to call the dance centre or the dance instructor to talk over your concerns regarding your footwork skill, fitness, flexibility or the pace at which you learn. You may find that private dance lessons are a better option for you because the choreographer teaches you dance programs based upon your previous dance experience (even if that means you have no experience at all in the discipline!).
With so many beginners wanting to learn about choreography, and numerous dance centres popping up all over the country, why is it that the art of dance has become so popular in recent years?
Admittedly dancing has always been a popular hobby in the United Kingdom and beyond, with many teens and young adults spending their evenings in the local ballrooms to hang out with their friends. But I can’t help thinking that modern dancing is something that offers a fresh appeal to modern society.
Going ballroom dancing was a favourite pastime for many last century. Photo credit: Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections on Visualhunt / No known copyright restrictions
In the stressful world, we live in, we must take the time to do things we enjoy and that benefit our well being and, for some, dancing offers just that. The feeling of escape that a dancer gets from performing on the dance floor can help to rectify or realign a lot of their negative emotions.
Along with the ability to help with mental health, dancing can also greatly benefit your physical health. See more information below on why enrolling in a dance workshop can benefit you.
Needless to say, taking part in active dances like the Samba, Street Dance, Tap Dance, Hip Hop, Disco or similar will work your body hard, leaving you with aches and pains from your cheekbones down to your toes (don’t forget, dancing is about being expressive with your facial features as well as your body!). But, in spite of how hard it may be to keep up in class, you will see an improvement in your stamina and muscle tone week on week.
Just like any fitness class, you will do a warm up at the beginning of the class and end with a cool down sequence.
While you may not think that slow dancing, like some Ballroom dances, could take up much energy, you may be surprised by how easily you can improve your general health thanks to the distance you travel whilst in hold during a rehearsal or performance.
If you have ever watched a couple dance the Foxtrot or even the Waltz, you will have seen that the pair makes use of every square inch of the available space on the huge dance floor and therefore adds a significant number of steps to their step count. Your pedometer will be racking up the numbers!
If you still don’t believe that dancing is a great weight shifter, then just take a look at some of the celebrity contestants that have taken part in Strictly Come Dancing over the years. Many leave the show pounds, or even stones, lighter than when they entered, even if they get knocked out as early as week two. The hours that you put into mastering techniques will really benefit your body and will have you wanting to showcase your new fitter abs and calves!
Furthermore, the visible and psychological effects of dancing classes will, sure enough, boost your self-esteem, making each rehearsal even more enjoyable than the last. Everybody knows that happiness is in part linked to confidence, and dance tuition can often give you that positive outlook that you need concerning your appearance, your skills and abilities, and even your approach to life in general.
It is not uncommon for people who are lonely to join a dance class to meet new people, often referred to as social dance. Regardless of whether you are interested in the history of dance or you just want to come along to meet like-minded individuals with a passion for dance (or to develop a much deeper connection with someone…), you will no doubt build new relationships through attending dancing workshops, encouraging more joy and happiness into your life.
Happiness has a different meaning for everyone, but if you want to be happy in love, then dancing could be the key to sparking a romance.
As previously touched upon, many people start a class as a singleton and wind up dancing into the arms of a fellow dancer.
You see, dancing is not just about the there and then, it also gives you common ground to talk about away from the dance floor, and shows from the offset that you share similarities and interests upon which you can build.
Glasgow is a multi-cultural city and, as such, offers a multitude of dance classes. Here are just some that might appeal to you.
Glasgow offers numerous venues at which you can learn to dance. Photo credit: cat_collector on Visual Hunt
Dance Glasgow (Ruthven Lane)
City Centre Studios
Monday 6.15-7.30pm with Dimitrios
West End Studios
Beginner Hip Hop
Tuesday 6.45-7.40pm with Marion
City Centre Studios
Beginner Plus Ballet Barre
Friday 5.15-6.15pm with Marion
Find out more at danceglasgow.com.
Dance HQ (near Glasgow Green)
Monday 8.30-9.30pm with a guest instructor
Wednesday 6.30-7.30pm with Susan Elena
Ballet For Men
Wednesday 7.30-8.30pm with Jamie Haughton
Dance Factory (Calder Street)
Academia de Salsa (covering the West End, City Centre and Paisley)
Absolute Beginners Salsa
Monday 6.30pm with William
Reggaeton with William!
Wednesday 7.30pm with William
Thursday 9.00pm with Sergio and Patricia
Don’t forget that, as well as signing up to a single class, you can often find packages with enticing pricing that allow you to save money and encourage you to keep at it for longer (drop-ins are usually priced higher than advance bookings). Some dance studios may be able to offer cut down prices because they benefit from cheap studio rental whilst others may have to charge more to cover the cost of hiring their very ballroom dance studio.
It may also be better on your purse strings by booking in blocks, booking with a friend or if you are a student who can benefit from concessions.
Furthermore, be reminded that you can be creative about where you practise in between classes. As an amateur or semi-professional, using nightclubs, your living space or even your garden to your advantage ahead of your next dance lesson is the best way to work on your skill level, especially when studio space is limited.