Learning to dance can be very rewarding. Not only will you be able to show off your dance moves with confidence when you attend parties and weddings, but you'll also get great exercise and feel more in tune with your body. One decision you'll need to make, however, is the type of dance classes you want to participate in. Some types of dancing are better suited for beginners than others; here are five that tend to be good choices.
You may assume that you can only take ballet when you are young and flexible, but ballet classes for adults are becoming a lot more common. You'll learn the basic positions, the principles of rhythm, and how to balance. Even if you do not ultimately want to dance ballet, you will benefit from taking a few months of ballet classes at the beginning of your dance journey.
Ballet classes typically include a lot of fitness moves that will get you in better shape, which will improve your ability in all types of dance. Expect to spend the first 20 minutes or so of class warming up with stretches, strengthening exercises at the barre, and so forth.
If you like the idea of ballroom dancing, it's good to start out with some waltzing lessons. The waltz does not require a lot of fitness in comparison to other types of dance, although it does get you up on your feet and moving around. You'll do some simple turns and twirls with a lot of side-to-side dancing in between.
The waltz can be traced back to Europe in the 16th century. It is a partner dance in which the two people move together in 3/4 time. Many people take waltz classes with a partner, but there are also classes intended for singles, which you can attend and be paired with a partner.
If you are most interested in using dance as a way to express yourself, then you might want to attend some modern dance classes. There's a lot of variety in modern dance. Some classes may be based on ballet but with fewer rules, while others may be more gymnastics-based. Before you attend a modern dance class at a certain studio, ask if you can sit in on a lesson and see if the style taught there is one you enjoy. Modern dance of all types does tend to require a lot of fitness, so it is a good choice if you're already an active runner, cyclist, or gym-goer who is looking for some cross-training.
What if you just want to have fun dancing without worrying too much about how you look doing it? Square dancing is a really fun type of dancing to learn. You'll dance with a "square" of eight people, trading partners throughout the song. Most people pick up on the basics pretty quickly within a few lessons, and then it's all about relaxing and having fun.
Many studios that offer square dancing lessons also offer line dancing lessons. The idea behind line dancing is the same — the steps are pretty basic and easy to learn. However, in line dancing, you dance alone rather than with a partner. You may swing with a person or two during certain moves, but this is not a partner dance, per se. Line dancing is great exercise but does not require a ton of flexibility or strength.
All five of the dance styles above are good choices for beginners. If you try one style and do not like it, then move on to another one. Dance is all about having fun, and that means different things for different people.
Contact a studio like Mercury Academy of Dance to find out what dance style is right for you.