GETTING STARTED - GROUP CLASSES

How do I get started?

You need to do a few things:
  1. Decide what style of dancing you want to learn.
  2. Check the class schedule to see which day your desired class is being taught.
  3. Get a Getting Started Package.
  4. Download our New Student Registration Sheet.
  5. Show up to class!
  6. Sign up for our weekly newsletter announcements.

What dance should I learn first?

My best advice is start with thinking about what music you like. For example, if you don't like Salsa/Latin music it doesn't make sense to start with something you'll never use. If you start with the music you like, you're more likely to use it with friends, practice more, and ultimately enjoy it more. Almost all music genres have a dance that goes with them. A lot of Baby Boomers grew up in the 50's,60's & 70's. The music of that generation was more rock than waltz. While there are hundreds of waltz songs (i.e., Journey's Open Arms, Jim Croce's Time in a Bottle), there are thousands of songs that would work to West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, Cha Cha or Hustle. If, on the other hand, you want to learn something new, then by all means pick whatever sounds like the most fun.


Music Genres and Dance Styles

Music Style Starts With And
Latin (Cuban, Puerto Rican) Salsa Cha Cha
Latin (Dominican) Bachata Merengue
50's Rock WC Swing EC Swing
60's Rock, Motown WC Swing, Cha Cha EC Swing
70's Rock, Pop WC Swing, EC Swing Cha Cha
80's (Disco, Funk, MJ, ABBA) West Coast, Hustle Cha Cha
90's Pop-Hip Hop WC Swing NC2Step
Jazz, Standards (Sinatra) Foxtrot, WC Swing Waltz
Country WC Swing, TwoStep Waltz
40's Big Band Foxtrot, Jive Lindy


How much are the classes?

An adult group class card starts at $70.00. This is good for six group classes. This can be used for any class in your level. Every time you take a class we punch a hole in the card. After six punches the card is used up and you simply purchase a new card. There are discount cards for students and now teachers.


What about private lessons?

Privates are booked on an appointment basis with individual teachers. On that lesson you can work on any of your particular problems. These cost $70.00 to $85.00 with a LDSP director. For a single, a private is equal to about four or five group lessons. If you want to get out there in a hurry, private lessons will accelerate your learning. For more information, please visit our private lessons page.


Do I need a partner?

No, you do not need a partner. 95% of our students are singles. When it comes to leaders and followers LDSP has very balanced classes. Every class has frequent rotations so you will have the opportunity to dance with many partners of various levels.


What if I have my own partner?

It is the unanimous opinion of the best teachers that rotation in group classes with out a doubt accelerates the learning process of everyone in the class. Since many of our upper level students take beginning level classes to improve their own basics or just to help out, by rotating you'll get to dance with them and improve faster. When couples choose not to rotate you have a case of the blind leading the blind. More often than not these couples get frustrated and give up after a few lessons! By dancing with various dancers of different levels you will get a better perspective of what a good lead will feel like. In large classes you may rotate through ten partners or so and then jump back to your partner over and over. Start up the rotation a few steps away from your partner and by the time you rotate to each other you will have an idea what you both need. Invariably, beginner couples that stay together get lost together!


What should I wear?

The most important thing is that you are cool and comfortable. Some people come straight from work and others are in shorts. The shoes you wear are more important. Comfortable shoes that stay securely on your feet are imperative. The soles should be thin and flexible if possible. Thong sandals, platform shoes, and shoes with sticky rubber soles will make your life harder.


What level should I take? / How long will I be in level 1?

New Dancers:
Definitely Level One. You will be in this level for approximately three cycles. Typically, your first cycle is just figuring out what your feet are doing, next time you are starting to focus on arms and lead/follow skills, the third time you are adding in rhythm and body action. At this point you will be starting to move somewhat naturally. Also those that stay after and practice or take private lessons will progress much faster than someone who just does this once a week.

Club Dancers New to Let's Dance LA:
Club dancers are sometimes very rhythmical with nice body action. What is missing are the partnering skills that allow them to dance with the good dancers. Also we have standardized names for the skills, elements and patterns. In level 2 we don't teach those things, we just say the name and expect you do what we request. Having the terminology makes everything quicker and easier. It is also unfair to those who have honestly acheived that level to have to wait while we reteach ONE person (who skipped level 1) something everybody else knows already.

Students from Other Schools:
Every school has a different system for determining the levels of the students and classes. One school's level 4 may be equal to another school's level 3 or a third schools level 2. A safe bet is always drop down a level AND to also take the beginners class. Understanding the foundations that the teacher is building upon is crucial to getting the most out of a class.

Advanced LDLA/LDSP Students:
The class you have been promoted to AND the Level one class. All advanced athletes and artists always spend time working on the basic skills of their trade. A golfer continuously works on his golf swing even after they've achieved the Masters Division. True Greats at anything can never be too meticulous in their basics.

"Soy Latino, ya se bailar":
Most Latinos grow up HEARING the music which means they may be more rhythmic- but knowing HOW to LEAD or FOLLOW is not genetic. Yes you probably will zip through level 1 but you will miss the secrets of spinning fast or how to lead which are taught in level 1. Be honest, you came to us because you wanted to get better. The experts at Let's Dance L.A. will make you better than you ever imagined. Tenga fe!


I'm scared. Will this be fun?

We promise!

IT'S SOOOOO EASY!

When should I start?

All Level One classes start at the beginning of each month; your first class will be the first week of the month. On the day of your first class, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before class is scheduled to begin. This will give you time to find parking, register as a new student, sign in for class, meet new friends, etc.


What if I miss the first class?

We allow people to start as late as the second week. After that we recommend that you wait the two weeks until the start of the next class. Every week the teachers builds upon what was taught the previous weeks. By week three the students have a head start and either you will get frustrated or hold back the rest of the class.


What's the best way to learn?

There are three ways to learn: Group lessons, private lessons, or a combination of both. If you are learning to dance for your wedding in 2 months, then privates are the way to go! If you just want to do something fun and are in no hurry to get out there, however, group lessons are fun and cheap (about the cost of a movie). You can make new friends and will have someone to practice with. But, like learning to speak a foreign language, do you really think you can learn anything WELL in 4-6 hours?

Learning to dance usually takes 3 months to progress beyond a novice level to a beginner level. Since classes are 60-90 minutes, at once a week you are doing a whole half a day at work in a month. Privates progress at a level 3-4 times faster than groups. So if you want to be out in the clubs next week, privates will do that.

But if you are on a limited budget, a combination is best. You learn the step patterns in a group, sharing the cost with a whole bunch of people, then you fix it, refine it, improve it or move ahead in a private lesson. A group class goes at a fixed speed based on the typical learning speed of the group. If you have some dance traing in another style and want to move faster, then the teacher can go your pace in a private lesson.


How do I know you're any good?

Great Question! Just because a dancer has won many titles doesn't necessarily mean that he or she can teach effectively. (Think of how many sports superstars have failed miserably at coaching.) While a dancer can compete successfully being self trained, the majority have thousands of hours training with experts. As instructors, the best get certified, take exams, study other dance forms and music, etc. A great instructor doesn't repeat something over and over if you can't get it; they have five different ways to get the idea across. Back to your question...

As students we were fortunate to have been taught by the absolute best in the business. (No joke! Read the bios.) As competitors we won the US Amateur Championship in Latin; the US Rising Star Professional Championship; and the US Formation Championship. We represented the US at two World Championships in London and Munich and made the British Open quarter finals in our first attempt. In the Swing world we won the Cabaret Division at the World Swing Open, and placed in the top 4 in the US Swing Open. In the Salsa World, we judged at the ESPN World Championships in Orlando, and were give a lifetime achievement award for service to Salsa. Besides owning one of L.A.'s most popular Salsa Clubs, we taught at most of the major Salsa Congresses in Europe.

As teachers we are certified by multiple teaching organizations (Imperial Society, US DanceTeachers, Fred Astaire and Arthur Murrays) and were on the National Dance Council and Professional Dancers Federation executive board. Our classes in Salsa were the biggest in L.A. for over 15 years, often averaging over 100 students per class.

As coaches we led our students to wins at the US Pro-Am Championship; the US Swing Open; the Mayan Salsa Championship; the US Formation Championship; and 2nd Place at the British Open. In the skating world we coached the elite of the Dance and Pairs divisions, choreographing for 8 couples who skated in the Olympics.

Does all that mean anything? Not if you don't have fun while you are learning. So you are the only one whose opinion matters.