If you are a beginning dancer, or if you have recently relocated to a new area, you may be at a loss for where to find places to practice ballroom dancing. I've often had that problem myself, and have learned a few tips, over the years, to aid me in my search for dance venues. Now I will share them with you. If anyone has other tips or resources, feel free to suggest them!
Our Top Recommendation
If you live in the Columbus, Ohio area, check out the Emerald City Ballroom Dance Club(6759 Dublin Center Dr., Dublin, OH 43017). This newly-renovated studio offers one of the two largest dance floors in Columbus and vicinity! Fun classes, friendly faces, low prices, and a no-pressure atmosphere make this a favorite dance spot for many in the Columbus area! This is an independent dance club, offering fun group classes for all levels, and a weekly dance party every Friday night.
Club owner Jeff Stein has been dancing, teaching, and competing for over 15 years in the Columbus area, and has won many prestigious awards in several different areas of dance. That said, his philosophy of dancing is that dance should always be fun! You will not be overwhelmed with technical aspects and jargon in his group classes, but you will learn quickly through his fun and witty real-life analogies for dancing. Private lessons with a professional instructor are available on request, but you will never feel pressured or "sold" in this fun, relaxed atmosphere. Lesson rates are also much lower than through a franchise dance studio.
(If you are interested in private lessons for an upcoming cruise, wedding, or just for fun, please call Rose Hillbrand at (614) 791-4738. For group classes or parties, call (614) 946-3120.)
There are literally hundreds of ballroom dance clubs and associations in the United States, and even more abroad. Many have their own websites, which can be found on the World Wide Web by doing a search in any of the major search engines like Google, or Yahoo and typing in "ballroom dance," or "ballroom dancing." Many universities have ballroom dance clubs, and the United States Ballroom Dance Association has chapters all over the country, with a complete listing on their website. There are far too many to include on this website, but you will find links to some of the major listings on our Links page.
The Yellow Pages
Yes, I know it may seem old-fashioned, but sometimes the yellow pages in your local phone book may prove more targeted and less overwhelming than the results of a search on the Internet. Your yellow pages will also be more targeted for your specific area, so it is always worth a look, especially if you are new to the area and have no idea what kinds of dance opportunities might exist there. Look under "Dance" or "Dancing," and you should find a list of dance-related resources in the area. These may include dance supplies, costumes, etc., but should also list any local dance studios, many of which offer social opportunities for dancing, as well as formal dance instruction. Pick a few that look promising and give them a call to see if they have any "open" dance nights or parties that the public may attend. Once you have found even one place to dance, your chance of finding more resources improves immeasurably (see next two tips).
If you are taking dance lessons, your dance instructor can be an extremely valuable resource for finding places to dance. He or she will likely know of clubs in the area that feature different types of dancing (though they may be reluctant to "promote" such opportunities if they are a studio owner themselves). See if he or she is willing to give you any leads. Your dance instructor may also know of upcoming dance events in the area, where you may meet other area dancers who know of places to which dance you haven't yet discovered.
Although I have utilized all of the resources above at one time or another, I have found that the absolute best way to find places to dance is by talking to fellow ballroom dancers. Pick a place to dance using one of the resources above, and then talk to everyone you meet. Especially ask dancers who seem to be at a high level, as they are most likely to have danced in many different locations. If you find yourself dancing with someone who seems to be very confident and a good dancer, say "Hey, you're good! Where else do you dance?" Ask those who have taken lessons before, as they may have tips from previous instructors or dance partners. Ask people who have lived in the area for a long time. Ask any members of ballroom dance clubs or associations you may find to keep you up to date on upcoming dance opportunities. Inquire of those dancers who seem particularly avid and interested in dancing, if there is any kind of group resource for dancers in the area (for example, in the Houston area, there is an e-mail listserve for salsa dancers which has updates on new salsa clubs, events, and competitions in the city).
Finally, just dance! The more you dance, the more people you will meet, and the more tips you will pick up. Pick one or two places and start dancing there as often as you can. As you get to know people there, you may find yourself wanting to try out some of the other places you hear them talking about. Go for it! The more you dance, the more you learn, the more friends you make, and the more fun you have! Don't feel you have to stay tied to one club or studio just because you started out there. Branch out and experience new dance opportunities that sound interesting to you.
Oh, and Ladies -- if you're having trouble getting your man to dance, gently suggest he read this article!