FAQ

Dance classes and lessons in Toronto

How do I sign up for classes?

Click hear to send us an inquiry through an online form. We will confirm that the class you are interested in is available and you can join, and send you a full registration form to fill out, then you’ll make an e-transfer for the tuition, and you’re signed up. During your first class you will be asked to sign the enrollment form in person – which is the last administrative procedure.

Do I need a partner?

We insist on always having an even number of Leaders and Followers in our classes. If you want to register but don’t have a partner, we can help. There are other people in same boat as you. Contact Us by filling out the solo registration form here: when a partner becomes available, we will reach out to you and you’ll be able to join.

What does Leading and Following mean?

In couples dancing those terms could refer to either of two things:

  • one – refers to a dynamic support and receiving energy – we divide the roles into the Follower – a person that does “the thing”, and the Leader – the person that provides the “power, backing and logistics” and opens the pattern. When watching couples dancing on ice you might recall him lending a helping hand in having her fly in the air while doing multiple turns. He would be considered “the leader” and she would be considered “the follower”, what they do together determine their roles. His is to make her fly, without him she can’t, and it is all about her flying. In regular dancing iit s the same.
  • two – refers to decision making on what patterns to dance next – we divide the roles into the Leader who chooses which pattern to dance and how to make it work on the dance floor given the music, the space available and other couples that dance around, and Follower who’s action is focused on the remaining aspect of making the dance look and feel like the dance.

In either cases the role of the Leader is 100% subservient to the needs of the Follower. Leading does not mean controlling the other person, Leading is there to make Follower’s dance easy, effortless, flowy, supported, interesting and entertaining. Follower’s role is to interpret the patterns Leader offers with all their support, and to turn what has been lead into an actual dance. Leader builds an empty scaffold, Follower fills it and turns it into dancing.

Do I need special shoes?

To start dancing you do not need any special equipment, you’ll simply need a pair of comfortable shoes that fit well and have soles that allow you to turn easily.  Being able to turn is a key for safety. If you try to repeatedly turn while wearing sneakers that grip the floor for example, you’ll most likely strain or even more severely injure your ankle, hip or knee.

It is essential to change the shoes into something clean you have brought with you before the class, before you start dancing, as in any sensible place “no street shoes on the dance floor” policy is the norm. It has to do with not tracking sand and dirt onto the floor. Sand on the dance floor is probably biggest “pet-peeve” of all dancers.

As you progress in your dancing and turn it into a hobby, just like with any other form of physical activity, you most likely will choose to buy shoes more suitable for the style of dance you would like to excel in. Proper footwear make things easier, and for anybody who finally decided to take that step and buy a pair, universally and without exception the sentiment is: “Wow, I didn’t realize the difference proper shoes make, I wish I bought them earlier”.

I’ve worn flats most of my life, do I need to dance in heels?

No you do not. High heels offer a particular balance, magnify and exaggerate some aspects of the movement and make dancing fit the “look”, but is not a must. Dancing Argentine Tango as a follower in flats for example, will be as pleasurable and as rewarding even if you will not be able to do certain things due to flat shoes limitations. Furthermore sometimes trying to look like an “Argentine Tango Poster” star, by trying to dance on four inch stilettoes, will actually be unhealthy and end up injuring you. Health and safety first.

What should I wear to classes?

For lessons, it’s best to wear comfortable clothing that allow you to move easily. Good to be dressed inlayers as you will get warm.

What if I think I can’t dance or learn?

Everyone can dance and everyone can learn how to dance. Learning how to move is built into our brains, it is the ability to learn abstract concepts that define us as a specie. If your experience was you were made to feel like you can’t, chances are you had a misfortune of interacting with a teacher who does not know how to teach. One of the great things about learning to dance at Toronto Dance Spot, is the quality of instruction and individual attention you receive that will foster your learning.

What are the easiest dances to learn?

Single Swing, American Foxtrot, Slow Waltz, Merengue, Salsa, Rumba and ChaCha are all dances where after about 6-8 hours of group instruction in any of them you’ll be able to get out on the dance floor and enjoy yourself and look good doing it. You’ll be: dancing to the rhythm, knowing few patterns to lead and follow, and looking like “the dance” you are dancing – I mean to say after about 6-8 weeks of group classes in Waltz, your Waltz will look and feel like a Waltz, and you’ll have fun doing it. Same with all of the dances mentioned above.

What is the hardest dance to learn?

Some dances are hard because of their demanding technique and movement – like International Competitive Slow Foxtrot (Slowfox) requiring outstanding foot strength and balance, or Ballroom Samba requiring subtlety in hip movement and control of body support through the feet and knees. Some dances like Quickstep or Jive are hard because of their unforgiving tempo requiring endurance and speed of an athlete sprinter. Some dances like West Coast Swing are hard because of multitude of patterns and technical demand on leading and following. Those harder dances are better learned having tried something easier in their family first. Swing first – then Jive or West Coast Swing. Waltz and American Foxtrot before Slowfox and Quickstep. Rumba before Samba.

And then there is Argentine Tango which is a class of it’s own. Masters say when learning Argentine Tango, it takes one first three years to learn how to walk… then the rest is easy.

What is the best way to learn?

It depends on what your goal is. For leisure, for entertainment, for those who want to participate in a fun learning activity as something different to try and enjoy – once a week is perfect. One class per week will give you the information you need, but you need to understand you need to practice on your own in between classes to get proficient, or by the time a week pass between the sessions, you’ll only remember the fraction of what was taught during the previous class. If you would like to really “learn” learn, twice a week for most people is the happy medium, making them retain information and have a much faster progress without committing too big of a chunk of their life to it. For “serious learners” 3 and more groups per week plus regular dance outings and private classes every so often is a norm. In any case just like with learning languages, consistency and “stick-to-it-ism” is the way to go.

What if I’ve had an injury, can I still attend classes and learn to dance?

Unlike in most sports, higher, farther and stronger are not measures of success in dancing. Learning how to dance is learning how to move in a way that creates “similarity” of movement. A “subtle, gentle and toned down” version of Waltz will still look like a Waltz, and could give dancers as much pleasure as a “full out” competitive version. Therefore if your injury gives you at least some mobility without pain or discomfort, and as long as dancing will not risk further injury – there will be dances suitable for your capabilities. Furthermore most likely dancing will speed up your recovery by not letting you become idle.

I’m a senior, am I to old to learn how to dance?

Being as senior does not preclude you from learning, it is actually advisable as a great way to keep your activity level up, strengthen your core, improve your balance and endurance, and at he same time keep your mind sharp and spirits up. Couple dancing as a senior only twice a week has been shown to lower your chance of early onset of Alzheimer’s by 78%, not to mention all the other benefits to the rest of your body. Also, having had a life’s worth of experience, seniors learn better, and understand that the Turtle will often get farther then a Hare.

How early can someone start learning how to couple dance?

Couple dancing requires a bit more than just basic coordination, and a bit more of the social skills, so between 8 and 10 years of age would be the earliest one should start to learn. It is important not to overdo the training at that time though in order not to stifle the growth everybody undergoes in puberty.

How are lessons structured?

All of our lessons focus on learning good technique, so that you become the best dancer you can be and to minimize the risk of injury.

Group classes include demonstrations, practice, and individualized feedback.

Private classes focus entirely on what you, as an individual need, to take your dancing to the next level. They are completely customized to you and your dance journey.  

What level of lessons should I take?

We offer dance lessons for dancers at every stage. Following are the general guidelines when it comes to experience in your chosen dance style:

  • Level 1 – Novice: No previous experience
  • Level 2 – Beginner: Some basic knowledge: 2 to 12 months experience
  • Level 3 – Improver: Good basic knowledge: 1 to three years experience
  • Level 4 – Intermediate: Very good knowledge: 2 to 6 years of experience
  • Level 5  – Advanced: Extensive knowledge: 4 plus years of experience

Sometimes dancers have previous experience that can be helpful. If you’re not sure what level is best for you, we can help – Contact Us

Can I learn more than one dance at a time?

Many students like to focus on gaining a good understanding of one dance form before they trying other styles. Other students like to try different types of dance to see what works best for them. Some elect to discover the whole family of dances around one style – like Club Latin Dances for example. Your dance journey is unique to you, but we can offer guidance – Contact Us.

How much are classes? How do I pay?

Private classes are typically between $110 and $170 per hour depending on the size of the floor and if you are preparing a choreography for your wedding for example.

Group classes are usually between $20 and $25 per hour of instruction.

W prefer eTransfer. For more information, please Contact Us.

How long does it take to learn to dance?

How long it takes from your very first lesson to feeling confident on the dance floor depends on the individual measure of success, the goals you had when you were starting, and the style of dance. In general dancing is a lifelong journey, and there will always be more to discover and explore. What we teach will make a difference right away but it is hard to say when you personally will decide you have achieved what you have set as a goal for yourself. Plus the appetite grows as you learn. The sky is the limit.

What’s different about dance lessons at Toronto Dance Spot?

Toronto Dance Spot has a unique approach that focuses on body mechanics and technique, with personal feedback. Instead of over-crowded room and no individual attention from your instructor, we focus on your unique needs as a dancer. This means that you’ll get the most from your learning, and the best value from your lessons.

What about leaders and followers and gender?

Individuals are encouraged to chose what’s right for them, whether leader, follower, or both. The role of leader and follower is really only a way of describing the different but equal parts we play in partner dance. It may be easier to think of it as a conversation between two people: one person invites a certain movement, the other responds.

How do I contact you?

Click here to find our contact info or to fill out a form so we can reach back to you.

Where are you located?

Our group dance classes are hosted at either Swansea Town Hall, in Bloor West Village, located at 95 Lavinia Avenue, or at StOlave’s Anglican Church on Windermere corner of Ostend Ave. (360 Windermere Ave. 50m south of BloorStWest) Both locations are about a five-minute walk from Runnymede or Jane TTC Stations.

Private lessons are offered in our home studio, in Etobicoke, on Martin Grove Rd corner of Princess Margaret Blvd. For more information, Contact Us Here.