Frequently asked questions
Can I join a beginner's class
We only take beginners at certain times. This is because we want our class to be happy with the rate they are learning and new beginners entering at different times will slow down the current class. If no new class is advertised at the moment please go to the New Classes page and register your interest using the contact form and we will let you know when a new class is starting. If you have missed the start of a course, you may be able to catch up by having a few private lessons.
What dances will I learn?
We start with the more common dances such as Waltz, Quickstep, Social Foxtrot (smooch), Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba and Rock'n'roll. As you progress we will then add in the Jive, Slow Foxtrot, Tango and eventually Paso Doble. Along side this we will introduce some of the more popular Sequence dances. If this seems a lot, don't panic. We start slowly with very basic steps in each dance, then build up at a pace you are comfortable with.
What if I only want to learn certain dances?
Then private lessons will be best for you. On a private lesson you can learn exactly what you want. These lessons will be arranged at a time to suit you and your teacher. They cost £15 per half hour. Please contact us to arrange.
Can I learn by private lessons rather than by joining a class?
Yes of course. That's your choice. Maybe you work awkward shifts or would just prefer to learn on your own. Also classes will teach all dances and the class will all learn at the same time whereas on a private lesson you can concentrate on what particularly interests you. Lessons are £15 per half hour and can be arranged at a time to suit you and your teacher. Please contact us to arrange.
What do I wear when joining a class or lesson?
When you come to a class just wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in and some comfotable shoes. (No tight skirts or tottery high heels.) If you find you are enjoying dancing and want to continue, it will be best to buy some dance shoes with special soles that reduce strain on feet and legs. An alternative to this would be to use a comfortable pair of your own shoes and purchase special soles to stick on them. Please ask your teacher for advice before purchasing.
What if I have to miss a class because of holidays or illness?
We always go over and practice what we have learned within the class, so missing one week shouldn't be too much of a problem. However if you are going to miss more than this, or are worried about missing a class, you could always arrange a private lesson with your teacher to catch up with what you have missed. Please keep in contact with your teacher if you are going to miss a class.
When can I practice what I have learnt?
When you join a beginner's class you will be given a 'crib sheet' to help you practice at home. This is recommended so you don't forget what you have learned before the next class and you can get comfortable with the basic steps. When you have a few dances 'under your belt', please join the practice session after your class in the main ballroom. Please don't worry about the other dancers knowing more than you. They were all beginners once, and will be very willing to welcome you and make you feel comfortable and part of the Atherton Dance Centre family.
Do I need a partner?
Ballroom and Latin dancing is partner dancing so it obvoiusly better if you have your own partner. See if you can persuade a friend to join you if you are on your own. Most of the people on our classes are in couples and we do not provide a service for singles looking for partners. Some schools specialise in this so it may be best to enquire around. However if you are prepared to dance on your own, you are welcome to join our classes and the teacher will dance with you when they can.
Who can come to the Saturday Social evenings?
Any social dancer is welcome, even if you don't attend one of our classes or have private lessons. If you are a beginner, when you have learned some steps in most of the dances, please come along to practice what you have learned and socialise with other dancers from your and other classes. As with the practice sessions after the classes, you will be made very welcome. It doesn't matter what level your at, the more you practice, the faster you will learn.
How do I/we progress.
Our classes are structured into levels, from Level one for beginners to Level five for more advanced. Level one lasts approximately 12 weeks and gives you basic steps in a number of dances, You will then continue on to Level 2 giving you more basic steps in each dance and one or two of the popular sequence dances. Level 3 gives you routines in each dance, introduces more dances and one or two more sequence dances. Levels 4 and 5 are the same but in increasing levels of complexity. Each level from 2 upwards cycles around certain steps and routines. When, and only when, you are happy with what you have learned at a particular level will you move up to the next level. See the 'Classes' page for days and times of our current classes and levels.
What if I/we have danced before?
As you can see we have classes at a variety of levels, so we should have a level to suit you. Please contact us so we can assess which class will be best for you.
What if I want to do more than just social dancing?
On Social classes we don't push technique at you, only sufficient to help you dance comfortably with each other. However if you want to learn more, and progress your technique to a higher level, then private lessons are advisable. You would then be able to take medal tests and maybe even enter competitons.
Can I park at the Dance Centre?
We do not have a dedicated car park. However there is space at the side of the Centre. If this is full look for spaces in the surrounding streets. Please don't park in front of someone's house, we like to keep on good terms with our neighbours. There is a stretch on Stanley Street (where you probably will be driving in), behind the sheltered bungalows, and further down Bullough Street next to the park, where you would not be inconveniencing anybody. I'm afraid there are a lot of one way streets around us, and you can't turn down Bullough Street from the main road through Atherton (which is pedestrianised during the day anyway). Google Maps will find us.
Do you have a licenced bar?
No, I'm afraid we don't sell alcoholic drinks. We have a soft driks and snacks bar (check this out on the 'About' page. If you feel the need for something stronger, please feel free to bring it with you.