Cambridge Dancers' Club
The Cambridge Dancers' Club is a non-profit town & gown society, founded in 1950, rather than a conventional commercial dance school. In addition to serving students in the region (from Cambridge University but also Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge Regional College and the Open University), our classes and practices are open for other adult members of the local population who want to dance - and we even have a few non-resident members from further afield.
You don't need to have your own partner to join our classes. Although many people do have one or more preferred dance partners by the time they've left beginners and improvers and reached the intermediates or advanced levels. Similarly, you don't need specialist clothes or shoes when you start learning to dance.
If you want to dance with us, make sure you check: what's on the termly timetable, where the relevant venue is (if it's not an online course) and the membership, class and practice fees. We hire various locations and teachers around town instead of owning a studio and fixed staff, so our cheaper rates come from block bookings for large groups of people but that also means there are exceptions to the regularity of the timetable in some weeks. Mobile phone users might prefer to try the Google calendar version.
Most competitive dancers need to attend a matched pair of dancesport classes per week; whereas social dancers are more likely to attend just one regular weekly class in their chosen style. The untaught practice sessions are really only suitable for advanced dancers to train.
Easter/Exam 2022 term
Our Easter/Exam term timetable started on Monday 25th April 2022. It's a bit complicated for some groups because we have to dodge bank holidays, elections and exams affecting lots of venues on different days.
We're mostly expecting this to be a continuation of last term's classes. Eg Lent beginners will be in a new improvers class while Michaelmas beginners will already have moved up to improvers last term and some improvers should be ready to move up to intermediates level now.
There will still be a couple of classes suitable for complete beginners to join - viz Kath's 8pm class on Wednesday and 6pm Friday. We're also trialling a new specialist teacher for Argentine Tango. The possible return of salsa is still a work in progress at present.
For the advanced dancers we have a range of DanceSport practices. These are the items which are unfortunately the most nomadic this term. You're going to have to stay on your toes metaphorically as well as literally.
Note that we are hoping people will continue to wear facemasks at our in-person classes. If you infect the teacher then it's game over for everyone for an entire set of classes. The venues also don't have limitless numbers of staff able to keep them open. However, we *are* now being permitted to return cautiously for our social dance event of General Dancing on Fridays.
At our classes (timetable and general information), beginners are people who have not covered that particular style before and are in their first term of trying to learn it. Improvers classes are for those who finished a beginners course (ie most of the 7 to 9 weeks of a term) and are ready to progress further. People then typically remain at improvers level for a couple of terms (or even longer). Sometimes we have a New Improvers class for people only just leaving beginners and/or an Easy Intermediates class for people only just moving up from improvers. Intermediates is for anyone who has danced a given style seriously for a year or more. Advanced dancers mostly seek private coaching rather than group classes. There are also occasional specialist workshops, eg at dancesport training camp weekends.
Revision notes are available for a few of our classes, including the basic figures featured in most beginners classes. If you've danced before, these may help you work out what level of class is suitable for you - ie if you recognise the names of some of the figures and already know how to do them. This page also includes some examples of music suitable for the various dance styles, so that you can practise away from classes.
We are bringing back regular social dancing - albeit cautiously. Our usual venue for this is reopening but at a new timeslot - Friday evenings from a 6pm (set up and optional workshop class) to an 8:50pm finish for a 9pm lock up of the whole building.
The floor space of the (ex) Main Dining Hall (MDH) of the University Centre (grad.pad) is much improved without the counter, excess tables and food debris.
See the ongoing schedule.
We're still experimenting with holding occasional tea dances too but no big ball dates have been planned yet.
DanceSport Practice Sessions
These practices are for people who already know what they want to practise as there is normally no formal dance tuition provided. You do not have to be on the competitive team to attend these sessions (although Tuesday sessions during term time will typically be dominated by CUDT members) but you do have to be a CDC member and then pay a termly subscription (or single session fee). If you attend practices at Kelsey Kerridge, you'll also need to pay KK's own day/membership fee.
See the ongoing practice list.
The CDC as a whole does not arrange private lessons for people. Those teachers who are willing to have their details made public are included on our links page (and, if you already attend CDC lessons, you may approach them there too). However, if you are already on the DanceSport teams or are hoping to be selected, you may be able to arrange for a private lesson with one of the team coaches. Contact the CUDT Secretary to book a specific time slot. Non-team people should contact the new CDC competitive group to find out if there are any spare private lesson slots available with the coaches.
The Cambridge Dancers' Club is a non-profit, combined town & gown, community organisation run by unpaid volunteers - ie those people you see everywhere helping out at classes. To keep costs down as far as possible for all our club members, only the professional teachers and venues we hire get paid (beyond absolutely essential expenses such as some printing costs and performance licence fees!). This means we really do need your help to keep the club going - especially as we have a high turnover among the student volunteers.
If you regularly attend more than one class per week and are committed to dancing, you might want to consider joining the CDC committee. Email the club or ask any door-duty person what this involves. There are a few perks, such as cheaper classes, too. This is obviously particularly relevant to people who attend more than one class per week (from the financial point of view alone!) and for those who want to improve their dancing, learn more things and progress more quickly (as you'll be exposed to more styles, more figures/steps and probably try out both leading and following roles).
Competitive DanceSport Ballroom & Latin Team
The CUDT competes on behalf of all Cambridge, against other UK universities, in the modern ballroom & latin american partner dance styles. If you're a student in the Cambridge area who might be eligible to compete for Cambridge, or if you'd simply like to try the competitive side of dancing for fun, then come along to our DanceSport classes.
Students who have not had formal lessons in ballroom and latin before can join the Cambridge University Beginners' DanceSport Team - where there's no fixed limit on places and you'll only be competing against other beginners. Note that, for dancesport purposes, Anglia Ruskin students count as Cambridge students. If you're interested in competing but have other questions about eligibility etc then contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're a student but not a beginner you can trial for the Cambridge University DanceSport Team. The main auditions are at the start of the Michaelmas term for places on several teams, with the team's coaches then attempting to form the most compatible partnerships. For more information, please contact the CUDT Captain(s) at email@example.com.
The CDC also has members competing very successfully on the open circuit (in which non-students may compete too). Our dancesport practice sessions are available for use by advanced dancers beyond just the team. To learn about competitive opportunities for non-students or to seek a partner, please join the "CDC Competes on the Open Circuit" Facebook group. For more information contact our club Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competitive Rock'n'Roll Team
Another dance style featured in the inter-varsity competitions is rock and roll. This has evolved from its authentic social dancing roots to encompass continental-style high kicks as well as showy acrobatics. If this sounds and looks like your sort of thing then anyone is welcome to join and train with the Cambridge University Rock'n'Roll Team. For more information contact the CURnR Captains at email@example.com.
Promotions and Contacts
The competitive teams have their own "stash" items but we are now able to offer CDC logo T-shirts again. The price is £8 each. The sizes range from adult small to extra-large (with most women being small or medium and most men being medium upwards). The new batch have red print on a black T-shirt and include some which are printed on the back instead for people who want to wear them while partner dancing; but we do also have a few other colour combinations left from the previous batch. See a committee member or email to arrange to purchase one.
If you don't want to join the CDC at the moment but do want to receive emailed announcements of our events during the year, you can subscribe yourself to our mailing list for interested non-members (by clicking on that link). You will then have to reply to the confirmation email you receive.
If you want to unsubscribe from our lists you *must* use the exact form of your email address which you originally used to subscribe to them, not some forwarded or modified version (eg gmail is not the same as googlemail and academic sub-department addresses are not the same as generic cam.ac.uk ones). Our system can only recognise automatically the information you gave it. If you no longer have access to your originally specified email address then you'll need to request a manual removal.
See our links page for other dance groups (with their own classes and events), private teachers and suppliers of dance equipment etc.