Frequently Asked Questions

Whatever dance style you have chosen, you will be made to feel welcome at a Dance Matrix venue. Here are some frequently asked questions and comments. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

Do I need a partner?

This varies according to the style of dancing:

Salsa, Merengue, Tango, Swing
No, partners are rotated during the classes and it is rarely necessary for girls to dance with girls. During the Club dancing, everyone dances with everyone else.

Ballroom & Latin American
Check with your local Dance Matrix venue. While many go dancing as a couple, dancers without a regular partner will also often attend and there is usually plenty of opportunity to change partners during mixer dances.

What should I wear?

Generally, casual, cool and comfortable are a good guide but no trainers or flip flops! Initially, light shoes with a non-grip sole are fine but, as you settle down to enjoy your dancing, you'll quickly find that professional shoes will make a tremendous difference.

Salsa and Merengue
No trainers. Low heeled or flat shoes with a non-grip sole are fine. Guys get rid of the ties! Girls, skirts and crop-tops or bodies are fine. Avoid fussy tops as it is easy for them to get caught during turns. Avoid wearing wrist or finger jewellery that can easily come off in the heat of dancing. Also avoid heavy earrings. You can dress up for weekend events.

Tango
Tango is a moody dance so dark colours are safest. No trainers. Closed in shoes with a non-grip sole. For girls, a high heel adds style. You can dress up for weekend events.

Swing
No trainers. Low heeled or flat shoes with a non-grip sole are fine. Girls look great in full skirts but trousers are practical for a start.

Ballroom & Latin American
Smart casual is normally the order of the day. For the girls, a low heel shoe and a non-grip sole and, for the guys, light shoes with a non-grip sole. Avoid trainers, sandals or heavy shoes.

What is the age group? Am I too old?

Dancing is for everyone and, whatever your age, you will be welcomed and will be able to enjoy the company of a surprisingly wide age group.

Will it be too much for me?

Dancing is great aerobic exercise. It is no more energetic though than a brisk walk. As you go through an introductory course, you will find your stamina gradually building up so don't overdo it too soon.

I have a medical condition. Will I be able to dance?

If you have a medical condition that would prevent you from taking a brisk walk, talk first to your doctor or medical advisor.

If you are reasonably healthy but use a wheelchair, you can contact the Wheelchair Dance Association for specialist advice and opportunities - Eileen Dwyer, 8 Redward Road, Rownhams, Southampton, SO16 8JE, United Kingdom Tel. 01703 362114

I've got two left feet. Will I cope?

Make sure you book yourself on to an introductory course at your local Dance Matrix venue. Stick at the course and practice as much as possible. The teachers or dance presenters will be there to help you through the first few weeks, which are always the most difficult.

Try and get as much practice as possible and you'll soon settle down to enjoy dancing at whatever level you feel comfortable. You don't have to be a World Champion to enjoy the dancing, the music, the atmosphere and the company of friends.

If you need extra help, book a personal lesson so that you can concentrate on your individual requirements at your own pace. If you've got the interest, you'll get there.

I don't want people to stare at me if I make a mistake.

It is a common misconception that everyone is looking at you. With the greatest of respect, spectators might take a look at "good" dancers but will hardly be focusing their attention on those still learning.

If they happen to glimpse you, more often than not the reaction is one of support as they remember that they went through just the same process. In any case, mistakes during a class are part of the learning process and the FUN! Laugh it off and have another go. You'll get there.

I'm a slow learner.

Relax. If you've joined a class and everyone seems to be picking it up very quickly, remember that those who pick things up quickly often forget them just as quickly. A slower learner often retains things for longer.

If you need extra help, book a personal lesson so that you can concentrate on your individual requirements at your own pace. Chat things over with your teacher, he/she is on your side.

I do shift work. Is there any point in me joining a course?

Of course. Attend the classes that you can and supplement them with planned personal "catch-up" lessons, which can be arranged on days and at times convenient to your schedule and lifestyle.

Once you have completed the course, you will be able to join in the dance events that your schedule permits. You might even choose to have occasional personal lessons to top up with a new move and keep you on form.