Cambridge Dancers' Club
The Cambridge Dancers' Club is a non-profit town & gown society, 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.
This year 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 that you've pre-booked to attend the class or practice, because we simply can't accommodate random arrivals the way we normally do. Numbers allowed at venues are severely limited and we need everyone's contact details anyway. We're also going to have to require prepayment for classes using online banking rather than handling cash on the day. Use our new membership registration and sign-up form to start this process. Competitive dancers may also want to fill in the practice sign-up form.
We have classes for individual dancers and for couples from the same household and also online classes for those who can't attend in person. We offer both social and competitive dancing styles in levels running from complete beginners to very advanced. We won't be able to hold big public taster sessions this year but you can still see our dancesport team in action from previous years - and they will be training hard this year too, in the hope of being able to compete again soon.
Advanced Ballroom Workshops with Ben & Stef
DanceSport ballroom specialists Ben & Stefanie Taylor are running another set of live interactive workshops on Saturday evenings via Zoom. This time there are 4 in the set for £20, spread across November and December:
• November 7th 8-9pm = form and function of the hold
• November 14th 8-9pm = the "Golden Variation" in foxtrot
• December 5th 8-9pm = advanced quickstep
• December 12th 8-9pm = the fallaways
You'll need a little bit of clear space around you to be safe but not your own ballroom. You only need the free basic Zoom account with online link and passcode to participate and session recordings will be available for anyone who can't attend the live version.
To enter and reserve your place please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The level of these workshops will be suitable for intermediate to advanced dancers. The content won't make much sense to complete beginners and will be rather challenging for improvers.
Cambridge University has produced its own general guidelines but they also approved our new risk assessment and precautions for continuing with dancing.
* facemasks are mandatory
* avoid touching surfaces (or sanitise both yourself and the surface again)
* no partner swapping allowed (only singletons or household-bubble couples)
* 2m distancing outdoors and 3m or more indoors
* no chatting so the teacher doesn't need to shout
* no sweat towels (to avoid sprinkling droplets around)
* in-person spaces are extremely limited and at a premium. So class or practice attendees need to pre-book, pay online and give their contact details. It won't be possible to accommodate unexpected random arrivals at an event.
* We don't have the same economies of scale as normal, which means our in-person fees are having to be increased. We very much hope this is temporary! Meanwhile, we'll be keeping the online version of our classes as cheap as possible, given the additional costs of operating those too.
Remember that our ability to offer in-person dancing opportunities at all depends upon people avoiding infecting each other. If you want to help with scientific medical research and infection tracking, try Zoe.
Contact Data: phone + email
This year we're going to have to store people's telephone numbers as well as their names and email addresses - for contact tracing if the worst happens. As usual, we'll be doing our very best not to let anyone else obtain your personal data through us.
Our preferred means of keeping everyone aware of activities remains email, though; and we're going to have to maintain individual class contact lists this term. Not everything will be publicly announced on the website homepage and/or you may not remember to check and see class or practice changes in time.
Unfortunately, hotmail has decided to block all bulk mailings. If you are among the subset of members who suddenly found you were no longer receiving club emails over the past year then this is most likely why. There may also be a similar problem with other providers but Cambridge University CRSID emails appear to be working normally, as do gmail ones. You may need to register with a different email address from usual if you are one of the people who has been disconnected from receiving club emails.
2019-20 Academic Year vs 2020-21 Academic Year
CDC membership matches UK academic years, not any other form of calendar. You will need to renew membership from October 2020 onwards.
Each term there are some classes for completely new beginners. Last term's beginners should mostly be (new) improvers in their second term - unless they started late, skipped a lot of classes or struggled for other reasons and hence want to repeat the beginners level.
Michaelmas 2020 Term
We have a rather different timetable this term - combining online and in-person classes and practices. But you don't need to do both. Pick whichever suits your circumstances best. Please use our new membership registration and sign-up form.
If you are joining us late in the term for ballroom & latin and don't have past experience of these styles then the beginners dancesport may be the best entry option; because you can review the online videos right back to the start of term and catch up with the rest of the group in your own time.
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 unable to offer any social dancing at this time.
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 (use the membership sign-up form).
Practice spaces are now very limited and hence more expensive than usual. We're capping the cost for students and accepting that the club makes a loss this term but that does mean you only get 1 regular weekly slot instead of random access to slots. We require people to sign-up in advance so we can allocate time-slots fairly and also have contact details for each sub-group if anyone does become infected. Use our new practice sign-up form to start this process.
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 roles).
Competitive DanceSport Ballroom & Latin Team
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 the CUDT Beginners' Captain at email@example.com.
If you're a student but not a beginner then you can still trial for the Cambridge University DanceSport Team - by far the most successful university team in the country last year! The main auditions are at the start of the Michaelmas term for places on several teams. For more information, please contact the CUDT Captain(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CDC also has members competing very successfully on the open circuit (in which non-students may compete). To learn about competitive opportunities for non-students, including out-of-term practice spaces or to seek a partner, please join the "CDC Competes on the Open Circuit" Facebook group. For more information contact our club Secretary at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.