The Answers To All Your Dance Questions!

Here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions concerning your dance instruction and private lessons.
How do I get started dancing?

You’ve already taken the first step by finding us. Now, just choose one of the selections below to discover the joy of dancing at Austin Uptown Dance. We love making new friends!

  • Free Introductory Private Consultation/Lesson:
    Just give us a call (512) 459-5678 to set up a free introductory private consultation. Meet one of our professional instructors who will give you a tour of the studio, get you started on the dances of your choice, and discuss your best dance options. If you’re an experienced dancer we will evaluate your dancing and help you decide what level of class and dance package meet your dancing needs.
  • Free Open House:
    Every 4 weeks we offer free mini-classes to give new students the opportunity to visit us and discover the joy of learning to dance in a group class environment. You can enjoy beginner and intermediate level classes and discounts on our already competitive pricing.
  • New Student Special:
    Can’t wait, want to get started right away? Get started on the right foot with our New Student Special.
  • Friday Class and Social Dancing:
    Each Friday at 6 & 6:45pm we offer beginner level group classes designed for first-time or occasional students. After class, stay for social dancing to practice what you just learned. No experience or partner is needed; this is a fun evening whether you come solo, with friends, or make it a date night.
When should I begin taking classes?

It’s best to start at the beginning of a 4-week session because our classes are progressive. For beginner classes, that means we present the basic step(s) of a dance and one or two additional patterns during weeks 1 through 3. In the final class, the instructor reviews all the patterns presented during the session.

How soon will I be able to dance?

You’ll be dancing and having fun during your very first class or lesson! How quickly you learn has a lot to do with your motivation and resources. As with any endeavor, what you put in to it affects what you get out of it. We have some tips below to help you progress more quickly below!

Do I need a partner for the group classes, workshops, or social dances?

No! In our group classes and workshops we switch partners every few minutes, so everyone gets to dance with someone. As for our social dances, we all love to dance here at Austin Uptown Dance. So ask someone to dance…if someone doesn’t ask you first!

Am I required to rotate partners?

No. If you come with a partner, you can dance together the entire class or workshop. However, you will advance faster if you rotate partners because you learn to adjust to the way other people dance.

Should I learn one dance first before moving onto another one?

You can, but it’s better to open yourself up to many dances. Learning various styles will actually sharpen your dancing skills. You will quickly notice how basic steps and techniques are applicable to many dances.

What is the best dance for a beginner to take?

The answers to this question are highly subjective because different people dance for different reasons. You may want to ask yourself where you plan to dance: a wedding, a night spot, an Austin Uptown Dance social? If you’re attending a wedding, consider the Foxtrot. Many night spots feature Country or Salsa music, so the Two Step or Salsa might be good. However, if you have always wanted to Tango, follow your heart and take Tango!

If you MUST have a more concrete answer, we suggest one of the following options:

  1. Use the New Student Special and take as many classes as you want during your first four-week session of classes. Treat it like a buffet and try a little bit of everything! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how fast you learn.
  2. Focus on one, two (or all) of the following: Salsa, Two Step, Foxtrot, or Swing. These dances are very popular and versatile. You can dance them at Austin Uptown Dance socials and many different dance spots in town.
What should I wear?

We’re casual here, so wear comfortable clothes that you can move in.

What kind of shoes should I wear?

The best shoes have hard, smooth soles that allow you to slide a little, so a leather or a suede sole is ideal. Avoid wearing tennis shoes and rubbery-soled shoes; they grab and stick on the floor hampering your movement. Do not wear open-backed shoes such as flip-flops, sandals without heel straps, or clogs; they fall off and trip you and other dancers.

Wearing appropriate shoes is important in any physical activity. Think how difficult it would be shooting hoops in bowling shoes or jogging in football cleats. To perform best; your shoes should complement and aid the activity. Dancing is no different than any other sport, the right shoes will help.

We sell the Comfort Dance Shoe line. If we don’t have your size or style in stock, we can special order for you. If we do not have what you need, Movin’ Easy may be able to help you.

What if I have two left feet?

No such thing! Remember the song “Put One Foot In Front of the Other” from Santa Claus is Coming to Town? Our instructors can get you walking…or dancing…across the floor in no time. That’s what we do! It starts with taking your first step!

How do I select an instructor for private lessons?

You can select an instructor or we can match you with an instructor based upon your dancing goals and the instructor’s area of expertise. Most students decide to take private lessons from an instructor from the group classes that they are taking. The benefit of taking from your group instructor is that the instructor is already familiar with how you dance and the patterns you know. Therefore, less time is spent in your lesson determining what you know.

What types of packages do you offer new students?

Most new students take advantage of our New Student Special (3 private lessons, 1 session of unlimited group classes, 3 social dance). We have a New Student Special for individuals and couples. These specials provide more than a 50% discount from the normal rates.

Students can also purchase classes and private lessons individually. However, you save money if you purchase your classes and private lessons in a package. Call or view our Rates page for more information.

Do you have any dance packages for wedding couples?

Yes, we have many wedding packages and our wedding dance professionals have helped countless couples prepare for their big day. Click here or call for information to help make your special day magical!

What's the minimum age to participate? / What options are available for youth?

Our group classes are open for ages 15 and above. Children under 15 may attend group classes if they come with a partner and do not rotate. Private lessons and private group classes are an affordable option for all ages. We also offer monthly teen dances with a corresponding teen-only group class. The music is clean and age-appropriate for a younger audience. Check our Saturday Night Classes and Socials for the next Teen Social Dance.

How do I schedule a private lesson?

Stop by, call (512) 459-5678, or email our reception desk to schedule a private lesson. Our doors are open seven days a week. We generally have availability in the afternoons and evenings on Monday through Friday, and in the afternoons on weekends.

What dances do you teach?

We teach all types of partner/social dances from Salsa to Country to Ballroom and more! Click here for a list and descriptions of our dances.

Is there paperwork to complete?

New students are required to complete a Registration/Liability Waiver. The parents of minors (students under 18) must complete a Child Registration/Liability Waiver on behalf of their child/children.

Class Structure, Tips, and Terminology FAQs:

What is a session of group classes?

Our group classes start every four weeks and last for the duration of that four-week session. That means that each group class generally meets 4 times during the session.

How is a 4-week class structured?

Our classes are progressive. For beginner classes, that means we present the basic step(s) of a dance and one or two additional patterns or steps during weeks 1 through 3. In the final week of the class, the instructor reviews all the patterns presented during the session.

How long is a group class or private lesson?

Each group class is 40 minutes. Each private lesson is 40 minutes.

What does unlimited mean?

Our “unlimited” group class package permits you to attend as many group classes in as many dance styles as you like at your level during one four-week session.

What level of class should I attend?

Austin Uptown Dance offers up to 4 levels of dance, depending on the type of dance. Your instructor can help you determine the appropriate level for you.

  • Level 1 – The fundamentals
    advanced dancers who wish to continue study of the basics. Clients can take Level 1 classes as many months as they feel necessary to master the fundamentals.
  • Level 2* – Late Beginners, Intermediate Classes
    Level 2 is a one-year program and is designed for clients who have taken the Level 1 prerequisite and are fully proficient in the fundamentals, but still fairly new to dancing.
  • Levels 3 – Late Intermediate, Early Advanced Classes
    Level 3 is a one-year program and is designed to challenge clients who have mastered the Level 2 material. These classes move faster and include more pattern variations and spins with focus on technique, connection, and styling in order to advance you to the ultimate level in social dancing.
  • Levels 4* – Advanced, Competitive Level
    Level 4 is generally a specialty program that prepares clients for the competitive aspects of dancing. Great emphasis is given to the highest level of technique and styling that is expected in the competition circuits or for those who are interested in achieving the highest level of dancing.

*Instructor approval is required to advance to level two, three and four classes.

What are the benefits of social dancing?

The benefits that Austin Uptown Dance students have received as a result of dancing are numerous. Our students regularly comment that dancing helps them:

  • Meet new people and make new friends.
  • Improve overall health and fitness.
  • Increase mental sharpness and improve problem solving skills.
  • Relieve stress and feel refreshed.
  • Feel more at ease in social situations.
  • Make their partner happy.
  • Acquire better poise and posture.
  • Stand out on the dance floor.
  • Discover recreation and entertainment in a new way.
Are there any tips to help me progress faster?

Definitely! The patterns and techniques you learn in class quickly dissipate unless you commit them to memory; muscle and cerebral. The more you practice, the faster you’ll learn. Here is a quick list of suggestions.

  1. Take Private Lessons to obtain a full understanding of the patterns you are learning and the technique required to properly lead/follow them.
  2. Attend our socials and outings. Never say “no” to a dance invitation. We have social dances every week and meet out-on-the-town at local dance spots several times a month.
  3. Jot down the steps you learn in classes and workshops. It helps jog your memory for practice and before the next time you attend the class.
  4. Practice on your own.
  5. Find a practice partner. An instructor may be albe to help you locate one.
  6. Rotate partners during group classes and workshops.

Finally, do you remember the first time you tried to write, throw a ball, or swing a tennis racket? It wasn’t perfect, but the more you practiced the better you got. Dancing is like that…except more fun!

What is the benefit of a private lesson? / What will I learn?

Private lessons offer you the opportunity to learn the finer points of dancing that help you advance faster. Students taking private lessons have a better understanding of technique, style, rhythm, character of the dance, and body control.

Miscellaneous FAQs:

What types of payment do you accept?

Cash, check, and credit cards (MC, Visa, and Discover). Purchases can be made in house and online with a credit card. Credit cards are not accepted for purchases under $15.

Would I have to commit to a contract?

No. You can pay-as-you-go by purchasing classes and lessons using monthly packages or on an individual basis. HINT: It’s cheaper if you purchase a package. Check out our Rates page or give us a call!

Can I get a refund for classes or other purchases?

All purchases are final.

Can I practice at the studio?

Yes, the cost is $15 per hour. There is generally at least one ballroom available for practice and private lessons. Check our schedule for availability or call us (512) 459-5678.

Can you help me prepare for a dance competition?

Of course! We have students who compete in all levels in many types of dance, Country, Ballroom, Swing, Salsa, etc.

Dance competitions have beginner through advanced levels. So you compete against other dancers at your level. Amateur dancers generally dance with their teachers and compete against other teacher-student pairings in the Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am) category. If you and your partner are amateurs and want to compete, there is a forum wherein you compete against other Amateur-Amateur (Am-Am) couples. Whether you’re interested in Pro-Am or Am-Am, we can help you achieve your competitive goals. Talk to an instructor for more information.

Do you have performance opportunities, like 'Dancing With Stars'?

Yes, we have student showcases (we call them “Austin Uptown Dance Performance and Social Affairs”) several times a year. Students can participate in spotlight performances, with a teacher, with an amateur partner, or with one of our performance teams. Performance teams offer an inexpensive and fun way to start performing.

Where can I find music for the dances I'm learning?

We maintain several iTunes playlists for several genres of dance. Check them out!