Frequently Asked QuestionsDo I need a partner?
Not at all. We teach both singles and couples. If you don't come with a partner, your instructor will be your partner. At least half of our students take lessons without a partner.
What do I wear for my lessons?
Comfortable clothing that allows you to move your arms and legs easily is best. We ask that you do not wear jeans, shorts, or sweat pants. For footwear, a leather-soled shoe will allow you to slide your feet on the dance floor. Sneakers and rubber-soled shoes tend to stick and stop your movement.
What dances do you teach?
We teach all the Latin and smooth dances. Latin dances include salsa, mambo, cha-cha, samba, rumba, swing, meringue, hustle, west coast swing, bolero and jive. The smooth dances include foxtrot, tango, waltz, Viennese waltz.
What if I have never danced before? How difficult will I find it to learn?
Learning will not be difficult. We are experienced at teaching everyone from those with no dance background at all, to those who have had extensive previous training. We have four different levels: beginner social (a simple foundation geared to making you look smooth on the dance floor), intermediate social (which includes style and technique with some showier moves), dancesport (a higher level that includes more advanced technique and powerful movement), and performance (includes learning solo dances to perform at studio showcases or competitions).
What dances will I learn when I begin?
That's up to you. We recommend that beginners start with swing, cha-cha, rumba, foxtrot, waltz, and tango. Learning these dances gives you an excellent foundation for all the other dances. However, if you don't want some of these basic dances, we will teach you what you want to learn.
How many lessons will I need to learn to dance?
That depends on your dancing goal. Some people want to become excellent social dancers. Others decide they would like to learn even more so they can join in the fun of dance competitions. How many lessons you take is completely up to you. Most of our students are so pleased with their progress they choose to continue after completing their first group of lessons. I'm afraid to embarrass myself learning to dance in front of other people.
Will I be in a dance class?
No. At Fred Astaire all lessons are private lessons. We will design a dance program specifically for you that suits your individual needs and ability.
What do the lessons cost?
That depends on how many lessons you decide to take. Everyone's program is worked out separately. We suggest you begin with our introductory special of 2 half-hour private lessons and one practice party for $33 per person.
What is a practice party?
A practice party is a party for our students held every other Friday evening for the purpose of trying out the new steps being learned in the lessons. It's an opportunity to meet other students and work on steps without the pressure of trying out new material for the first time in a public place. At our parties we dim the lights, serve refreshments, and have a great time. Students have the opportunity to dance socially with their instructors and with other students.
What is a Studio Showcase?
We produce shows of students and professionals in showcase numbers. These numbers allow our students to throw away the rule book and incorporate ballroom dance elements with stage dance elements. Theater arts routines can include beautiful lifts and tricks. And there's always a party on the night of the show—fun, food, drink, and more dancing, of course!
What is Pro/Am Competition?
Competition can be an important part of the ballroom dance experience. It provides a wonderful tool through which all students can challenge themselves regardless of their level of dancing.
Pro/Am Competition consists of a professional instructor dancing with an amateur student. This is a great opportunity for the student to experience the thrill of competitive dancing with the safety net of a professional's experience to guide them.
Competitive categories are broken down into age categories, levels of proficiency, and hours of instruction taken. New students may compete after only 25 lessons in the Novice division! Some people compete for fun and others for the challenge. In the end, the result is the same—their dancing improves.
Competitions also offer a wide array of social settings from casual breakfasts through formal banquets. Best of all, they encourage camaraderie between individuals with a common interest. Each competition is a new learning experience and a fascinating opportunity to expose oneself to great dancing.
Should you be more seriously interested in competition, we also offer coaching and workshops with the best coaches and choreographers in the United States and Europe. These individuals also work with the best competitive professionals from the Metropolitan area.