Take Up Dancing

Take Up Dancing

Looking for a New Years Resolution or something fun to do over summer? Well here is an idea……why not take up Dancing? Oh yes, it is the perfect way of keeping fit and great fun at the same time! It is a win win situation, you really can’t lose! Here at Dancemania dancewear we encourage you to go out and get dancing! But first you need to choose what style of dance you would like to do and a venue…..

What Dance styles are there to try?

Now there are hundreds of different styles of Dancing to try and if I list them all we will be here forever, so I picked out the most popular and the up and coming crazes. Here are a few definitions:-

Latin American – Latin American covers a wide range of ballroom style dances including salsa, tango, cha-cha-cha, rumba, jive and paso doble.  There is definitely something for everyone in this broad ranging category as the individual dances are as diverse as their origins mostly from South America.  One thing is guaranteed that you will certainly be moving and having fun when you discover the joys of Latin Ballroom dancing.

Ballet – ‘Ballet is a formalized kind of performance dance, which originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France, England, and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with most of the audience seated on tiers or galleries on three sides of the dancing floor. It has since become a highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. It is primarily performed with the accompaniment of classical music and has been influential as a form of dance globally. Ballet has been taught in ballet schools around the world, which use their own cultures and societies to inform the art. Ballet dance works (ballets) are choreographed and performed by trained artists, include mime and acting, and are set to music (usually orchestral but occasionally vocal). It is a poised style of dance that incorporates the foundational techniques for many other dance forms.’

Tap – ‘Tap dance is a form of dance characterized by a tapping sound that is created from metal plates attached to both the ball and heel of the dancer’s shoe. These metal plates, when tapped against a suitable surface, create a percussive sound and as such tap dance is both a form of dance as well as the act of playing a musical instrument.’

Ballroom Dancing – ‘Ballroom dance refers to a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television.’

Jazz/Modern – ‘Jazz dance is a classification shared by a broad range of dance styles. Before the 1950s, jazz dance referred to dance styles that originated from African American vernacular dance. In the 1950s, a new genre of jazz dance—modern jazz dance—emerged, with roots in Caribbean traditional dance. Every individual style of jazz dance has roots traceable to one of these two distinct origins.’

Hip Hop – ‘Hip-hop dance refers to social or choreographed dance styles primarily danced to hip-hop music or that have evolved as part of hip-hop culture. This includes a wide range of styles notably breaking, locking, and popping which were developed in the 1970s by Black and Latino Americans. What separates hip-hop dance from other forms of dance is that it is often freestyle (improvisational) in nature and hip-hop dancers frequently engage in battles—formal or informal freestyle dance competitions. Informal freestyle sessions and battles are usually performed in a cipher, a circular dance space that forms naturally once the dancing begins. These three elements—freestyling, battles, and ciphers—are key components of hip-hop dance.’

Salsa– ‘Salsa is a syncreticdance form with origins from Cuba, as the original meeting point of European and African cultures. Its movements originate in Cuban Son, with strong influences from Mambo, Guaguanco, and other Afro-Cuban music.
Salsa is normally a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms, line dancing (suelta), and Rueda deCasinowhere groups of couples exchange partners in a circle. Salsa can be improvised or performed with a set routine.’
And the latest craze is Zumba, which mixes fitness with dance to tone, tone and yes ladies you heard me tone.  Zumba is the name of a dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Beto in Colombia during the 1990s. Zumba was marketed by entrepreneur Alberto Perlman, who made the concept popular through dance classes as well as branded merchandise.The program combines Latin and international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun.

Where can I find a venue to start dancing classes and what can I expect from each class?

Now in your local area it will not be hard to find classes which do these dance styles. Since programs such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘So you think you can Dance’ and ‘Britain’s got Talent’, the dance world has come alive again with people of all different ages getting those dance shoes on! Depending on what you like to do, it changes where you need to start looking.

Taking up Salsa?

Salsa is a very popular dance style and is held in loads of venues around the world. For beginners it is best to go to the beginner level class and go up to the next level as you improve. Salsa is a great way of meeting new people too as you often swap partners several times throughout the class.  When you arrive at most Salsa classes the instructor will ask you to pair up and will then explain step by step each move, until you have a full routine. Between each new dance step you will rotate partners.

Salsa builds your confidence  and is a great way of meeting new people, whether you are looking for just friendship or maybe meeting a new love?  It can turn your two left feet into well performing dance tools, making you feel and look fantastic.  To find your local Salsa class, search on the internet or sometimes Nightclubs hold Salsa nights – which is brilliant, have a few drinks and salsa the night away!

Interested in Hip Hop/Break Dancing?

If you like a bit of popping and locking then Break Dancing and Hip Hop are the dance styles for you.  Now this isnt everyone’s cup of tea but it is a brilliant class to attend if you are looking to challenge yourself.

In most Hip Hop classes the instructor will start with a warm up and then will take you through a variety of exercises, including poppin’ and lockin’, isolations and other hip hop movements. Towards the end of the class the instructor will usually teach a short routine, which will be ‘snappy and sharp’, so if fast paced dancing is not really your thing, then Hip Hop isn’t for you.  To find a class near you, either go to your local dance centre, search on the Internet or usually at most Gym’s they hold Hip Hop/fitness classes which is a good mixture to bring your heart rate up without the movements being too complicated.

Latin American – Where can I learn?

Similar set up as Salsa, Latin American is usually danced with a partner and it’s a fabulous way to get fit and have fun by learning new routines. The instructor will usually show you the appropriate ‘holds’, guide you through the basic steps, teach you how to impress with all those cunning little dance moves and encourage real dance floor confidence.  You will learn such dances as The Cha-Cha, Rumba, Mambo, Samba and many more. Again it is a fantastic way of meeting new people and will keep you fit.

Where can I go to Ballroom classes?

If you are a lover of the classic styles that were once danced by the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers then Ballroom dancing is for you. The class runs similarly to the Latin American and Salsa classes, where it is usually partner work.  At the ballroom classes the instructor will teach you such dances as the Fox Trot, Waltz, Paso Doble, Tango etc.  How to hold your core position correctly and how to work as a team with your partner.

Both Ballroom and Latin American compliment each other, so it is quite a good idea to learn both styles.  In your local area classes can be found via the Internet or by word of mouth, also some dance schools offer private lessons which is a good way of having a go without other people watching if you get embarrasst easily!

I have heard about Zumba, where can I have a go myself?

Zumba classes are offered through licensed instructors in more than 90,000 fitness center locations in 110 countries with ten million participants. DVDs are also available for learning at home. Classes and instructional DVDs use music based on salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, samba and other international music styles and forms.  Check with your local gym for classes!

Taking up Ballet, Tap, Modern/Jazz?

Any local dance school will hold classes in these particular styles.  Depending on your age, depends on which level you should start at.  If you are looking for adult classes only certain dance schools actually offer this so it is best to ring round each dance school and speak to someone in charge.  Also the internet is a good place to search too.

In Ballet you will learn the basic technical way of standing and positioning.  In each class you will slowly build up an index of the ballet terms and moves.   Ballet is a good discipline to learn, but can be a strict form of dance.

Tap is a fantastic dance style which improves your rhythm, coordination and performance skills.  Like Ballet, on your first lesson you can expect the instructor to teach you a few basic rhythms, to get you used to making a ‘noise’ with your the tap shoes but in time with the music.  You will then learn basic steps as the ‘shuffle’ and ‘cramp rolls’.  As you improve, you will slowly build up a repertoire of steps which you can then pull together to learn routines.

Modern/Jazz again is a good dance style to do as it is great for keeping you fit, fleixable and is really fun. There are different types such as Lyrical Jazz, Trad Jazz, Modern Jazz, Commerical Jazz etc. Your insrtuctor will normally cover most of these styles and you will gradually learn the technical terms and moves as you go through each level.

Interested in taking Dance Examinations?

If you are looking to take examinations/competitions in the above dance styles it is possible to do so. When joining a dance school or dance centre it is worth checking that they do exams/compete in competitions as some dance schools don’t.  Zumba is more of a fitness class, but if you are interested in becoming an instructor you can complete various courses to do so.



If none of these dance styles interest you why not try these…..



Belly Dance



Historical Dance

Chinese Tango

Line Dancing

Country Dancing

Irish Dancing

Classical Greek Dancing

Barn Dance


Lindy Hop

Folk Dance



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