Cambridge Dancers' Club

The Cambridge Dancers' Club is a non-profit town & gown society. 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.

If you want to dance with us, make sure you check: what's on the current timetable (and term outline below), where the relevant venue is and that you've brought enough money for the class or practice fee (and also remembered your membership card if you want the member rate).

Friday's "General Dancing" session is free for anyone to attend but does not include any formal tuition. It's a social dancing occasion. However, it's by far the cheapest way of finding out if dancing might be your thing and hence help you decide whether you want to start going to classes to learn more.


Zero Steps Challenge

In response to Sport Relief's Billion Steps Challenge and to test the BBC's claim that it doesn't matter how you do the steps, attempt the DanceSport zero steps challenge over the holidays. Since much of dancing is about isolating the upper body, it should be possible for a good dancer to take steps so smoothly that a typical step counting gadget or mobile phone app fails to register them.

The obvious choice of dance to try would be the rumba but, to make things fair across any dance style you prefer, choreograph a sequence with 100 real steps in it (ie just over 33 bars of standard rumba) and your test score will then be 100 minus the number of steps counted by the activity monitor while executing it.


We are currently in the 5 week Easter holiday period with only a very limited timetable of classes and practices. We return for the Easter 2018 Term on Sunday 22nd April.

Easter Holidays 2018

Tuesday DanceSport practice continues, from 7pm to 9pm in Parkside school gym, at the £5 singleton rate or £10 for the set of 5 weeks.

Friday *free* General Dancing continues (apart from Easter Friday 30th March) in the Main Dining Hall of the University Centre. Friday 13th April has a high probability of silly music.

Saturday classes continue (apart from Easter Saturday 31st March) on the flexible basis of covering a different dance each week (including beginners) rather than carrying through any long choreography from week to week. This enables people to drop in and out more easily but does mean new beginners won't cover all the styles unless they attend regularly.

Additionally, Nadia has booked St.John's Palmerston Room from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday 5th April and Wednesday 11th April. There is enough space for a few couples to practise but you may need to bring your own music devices (especially on the Thursday when Paul Walker isn't around with his!) and everyone needs to be sensible about sharing the dance floor safely. These practices are free to use but Nadia, as your host, is in charge.

Easter Term 2018 Outline

The timetable for this is still in the planning stages but we expect to be able to run about 5 full weeks of classes with various items then winding up over subsequent weeks as the student attendees become too busy with exams.

Week 1 (Monday Apr.23 to Friday Apr.27):

Week 2 (Monday Apr.30 to Friday May 04):
Fri. May 04 = "May the fourth be with you" - high danger of silly GD tracks

Week 3 (Monday May 07 to Friday May 11):
Mon. May 07 = Bank Holiday - no classes in St.Columba's
Sat. May 12 = expected date of Varsity in Oxford

Week 4 (Monday May 14 to Friday May 18):

Week 5 (Monday May 21 to Friday May 25):
Tue. May 22 = last social RnR classes

Week 6 (Monday May 28 to Friday Jun.01) is school half-term week:
Mon. May 28 = Bank Holiday - no classes in St.Columba's

Week 7 (Monday Jun.04 to Friday Jun.08):

Week 8 (Monday Jun.11 to Friday Jun.15):

Revision Notes

Revision notes are available for a few of our 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 also have a (slightly more interactive) twitter feed. This week's beginners dance style on twitter is merengue. Previously introduced were: samba, (ballroom) tango, rumba, cha-cha, salsa, quickstep, RnR and Jive, slow English waltz and social foxtrot with some general dance information.

General Dancing

Our General Dancing sessions on Friday evenings, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm in the Main Dining Hall of the University Centre (grad.pad), are intended to be for everyone to practise dancing together in a friendly social environment. It's completely free to attend GD, whether you want to dance or merely to watch. You don't need a fixed practice partner and you don't need CDC membership either. Eg some ex-members return from time to time and people also bring visitors and family along - including children.

It's not as formal as a ball or even a tea dance. Most people wear very casual clothes; but a few do prefer to dress up a little - or simply come as they are from other events. Sometimes there's a special seasonal theme to the music with matching decorations etc and the option of wearing appropriate fancy-dress costume for a more party-like atmosphere.

There's normally no official tuition at these social events (ie any teachers present are usually just there to have fun themselves) but there are typically several experienced dancers around who are willing to show beginners (or improvers) a few steps. Although you'll obviously gain far more benefit by attending proper classes too! You can try dancing with different people during the evening or stick with your one special partner as you wish. So do come along and introduce yourself to the regulars.

During normal term-time, the first half hour will concentrate on beginners dances (pairs of waltz, quickstep, cha-cha and jive tracks with some rumba and social foxtrot) to allow new students to start to integrate fully in the social side of the club and/or practise their routines outside the class situation. However, GD also continues outside academic term times into the holidays - apart from national holidays when the building itself is closed or when booked by rival events.

DanceSport Practice Sessions

These practices are for people who already know what they want to practise as there is 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).

The DS practice subscription price for the 2018 Easter Holidays is £10 with a singleton practice attendance being £5. Note that these are the rates for *members* of the Cambridge Dancers' Club because practices are typically subsidised somewhat by the rest of the club's funds, to ensure that students can afford the necessary practice space, and because we also want people to register and agree to the health and safety rules for insurance purposes. If you don't have a valid club membership for the relevant academic year, then you should be able to purchase one from committee members at the venue.

Music will be played as appropriate during the sessions - typically favouring latin american in the smaller venues and modern ballroom in the larger ones. That doesn't mean you can't practise different dances at a particular session. You just need to be considerate of other users of the space. Any RnR (or salsa!) people attending a public practice may prefer to bring their own tracks and co-ordinate with Reggie, Sofiya or Nina etc for these to be played when they want a complete run-through of a dance. Many people these days wear headphones to have their own music.

Emergency DS practice sessions are also running alongside some of the quieter classes where there is expected to be spare space available on a large dance floor. These are usable by club members only at £1 per session (separate from normal practice subs). Please try not to disrupt the ongoing classes if you do need to use these sessions to practise but you can still ask for the occasional run-through of a dance you've been rehearsing.

Private Lessons

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.

Club Organisation

CDC Committee

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

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

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

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

CDC T-shirts

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 (ideally at St.Columba's) to purchase one.

Mailing Lists

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 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.

Follow Us

CDC : CDC on Twitter CDC on FaceBook
CUDT : CUDT on Twitter CUDT on FaceBook CUDT on Instagram
CURnR : CURnR on FaceBook (private group)


Sport Psychology Research

Researchers at the University of Stirling are interested in "the dynamics of dance partnership with a focus on the relationship between personality and conflict within a dance couple". They've created a 20 minute online questionnaire but need responses from both members of the dance partnership and both also need to be at least 18 years old. From the title, they appear to be assuming that dance partners are mixed sex rather than same sex.

See our links page for other dance groups (with their own classes and events), private teachers and suppliers of dance equipment etc.

Regular non-CDC activities in the immediate space-time vicinity include:

  • Ceroc is on Monday evenings at the University Sports & Social Club on Mill Lane.
  • The LindyHoppers have classes and social events on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
  • CamTango run Argentine Tango classes and socials (though not currently their former Wednesday class in St.C's Gibson Hall).
  • Cambridge Cuban Salsa is operating the Thursday Salsa Social Club and the Sunday Salsa Lounge.
  • Wolfson college has cross-body salsa on Thursdays and Argentine Tango on Saturdays (7pm to 11pm).
  • There is more cross-body salsa on Mondays at St.Paul's, Wednesdays & Fridays at the USC and Thursdays at OLEM Parish Centre.
  • There is English, Scottish, Irish and American folk/country dancing in town plus morris and molly dancing.
  • The next Tea Dance at the Guildhall will be on Wednesday 18th April from 1pm to 4pm. This features a mixture of standard ballroom and latin dances and sequence dancing.
  • Tea Dances of a similar nature occur regularly in many villages around Cambridge (eg out at Prickwillow).
  • More local dance events can be found via meetup.

If you are intending to take your dancing more seriously at any point, then you may need to be fitted for specialist shoes. The best options are usually men's ballroom or ladies' latin shoes for DanceSport B+L (although you'll need heel protectors too for stiletto heels!) and jazz-ballet shoes for coping with *any* dance style, especially salsa or RnR (although light trainers / sneakers are the preferred choice of some salsa and RnR dancers).

Our local supplier, Attitude Dancewear, has recently moved a little further out from the centre of Cambridge to Level 1, 182 Histon Road CB4 3JP (ie towards Arbury, near the Aldi shop). The advantages are better parking and more space to keep more stock in store. They offer a 10% discount to anyone presenting their CDC membership card.