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.
This year if you want to dance with us, make sure you check: what's on the termly timetable (also on Google), 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. Use our new registration form for post-Easter options.
We have in-person classes for individual dancers and for couples from the same household whenever it's possible 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.
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 but that then lasts through to the next October.
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.
We now have a range of outdoor and indoor classes and practices on our ongoing timetable. We're insisting on facemasks as an additional precaution again at most events and the ban on any couples or partner-swapping beyond own household remains but we won't have to restrict people to only joining one class group. Our outdoor venue this term is the various paved platforms of the David Attenborough building in the New Museums Site where there's some cover in case it rains.
On Mondays, we have ballroom & latin classes outdoors with Clive Hurt at the improvers and intermediates levels. On Tuesdays, we have outdoor social RnR classes with Guido & Cristina. On Wednesdays, Kath is teaching an ongoing beginners ballroom & latin class. On Thursdays, Russell's classes are returning indoors at the Stoneyard Centre. On Fridays, we have line dancing via Zoom - the ultimate safe option for those isolating. Dancesport practices are returning to the Kelsey Kerridge on Tuesday and Sunday evenings.
Videos from Michaelmas and Lent terms are still available for late joiners who want to catch up in their own time and be ready when we're finally able to meet up in-person again.
Use our new registration form for these post-Easter options. Don't just turn up unannounced at a venue or you probably won't be allowed in.
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
We are currently unable to offer in-person practice spaces.
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
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.