Getting involved with dance

Dance is a vibrant and popular part of many people's lives – there are classes and groups available whatever your experience, age or abilities. If you would like to find out more about ballet or other dance styles – about taking part as a hobby, an enjoyable form of exercise or a profession, or about watching some of the many professional and amateur performances that take place around the UK – the following should offer you a starting-point.

Dance styles
There are many different styles of dance that you can participate in, such as Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Street Dance, Ballroom (includes dances such as Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Tango), Latin American (includes dances such as Jive, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba and Paso Doble), Line Dancing, Salsa, Break Dancing, Irish Dance, Bhanghra, Contemporary and Belly Dancing.

Choosing the right dance school or class
Choosing a local dance school or class to attend can be a difficult decision, here are some useful tips on what to think about:

  • Think about what class (or classes) you would like to take. Do you want to study ballet, or would you like to have a go at other dance styles.
  • Think about what you want from a class – are you there just to have fun, to keep fit, or because you'd maybe like to take up dance as a career?
  • Don’t rush into joining a class – make sure that it's the right one for you
  • Make an appointment to go along and watch a class – this will allow you to meet the other students and the teachers, and also see what the rehearsal space is like. Think about whether you will be happy there – do they offer what you want?
  • Do you want to take dance examinations? If you do, then you'll need to make sure that the dance school offers these. You might also like to find out which syllabus the school uses for examinations, for example, RAD, IDTA or ISTD.
  • You may want to find out whether the dance teacher is qualified with a Dance Organisation, or what their dance background is, as well as their teaching experience.
  • You may want to find out about other things that are on offer, such as the opportunity to participate in dance shows or competitions.
  • Make sure that the class is suitable for your age, and your level of experience.

    When you have chosen a dance class:

  • Don’t be worried if you find it too difficult – speak to the teacher
  • Give yourself time to settle in and to learn new steps and exercises
  • Speak to other people in the class

    There are many local dance schools and classes around the United Kingdom. They offer a range of dance subjects, and many offer dance examinations from one of the organisations mentioned below.
    Dance organisations
    Dance agencies

    Other ways to get involved in dance
    Getting involved in dance is not only about participating. There are theatres and arts centres all over the country that offer a variety of performances ranging from ballet and contemporary, to musical theatre. Local libraries and Tourist Information centres, as well as the venues themselves, can usually provide details of what's on.

    Council for Dance, Education and Training
    The Council for Dance Education and Training sets national standards for the dance industry. They have a register containing details of the teaching societies whose syllabuses have been approved by the Council. The CDET have a service which offers free information on all aspects of dance.
    Website: www.cdet.org.uk
    Telephone: 0207 240 5703


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