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.
Tea Dance on Saturday 2nd October 2021
Our new VP Events, Ania, is organising a tea dance on Saturday 2nd October from 3pm to 5pm in Parkside Community College gym, Cambridge CB1 1EH. It's the same place we use for dancesport classes and is the best large space with some on-site parking we can currently find. However, there are no cafe facilities at the venue; so it's a "bring your own" situation.
Dress code is casual - whatever people feel comfortable dancing in other than gym clothes. Heel protectors are required by the venue if you have stiletto heels on your shoes.
We won't be insisting upon facemasks. We would prefer people take a lateral flow test on the day. We may decide that we want to see a negative LFT result before admitting adults (which could be a picture of the test taken on the day or the email/text confirmation reporting a negative result to Test'n'Trace) but this will depend on case numbers closer to the time. If we do, this will be communicated and spare LFTs will be available on the door.
You will be allowed to swap partners between dances. While we know people are already careful, we feel it doesn't hurt to spell it out: please be understanding where people do not wish to swap partners or to dance with those without masks or even to dance with anyone else at all.
Entrance fee is just £2 on the door for adults (anyone over 18), regardless of membership status. Ania will be experimenting with contactless payment options but payment in cash will also be accepted.
If you want to dance with us, make sure you check: what's on the termly timetable and where the relevant venue is (if it's not an online course). We're still in our minimalistic summer term at the moment but you can look ahead via the Google spreadsheet or calendar).
This year, we will have a mixture of in-person classes and practices again and a few online class options for those who can't attend in person. We'll be offering a mixture of online and in-person sign-up and payment methods. See our prices page.
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.
We offer social and competitive partner dancing styles in levels running from complete beginners to very advanced. We might not 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, as will the acrobatic RnR team.
If you want to try out our styles of dancing before committing to classes / membership,
we will be running free taster sessions online via
all through September and into October at 6pm on each Friday evening
(or at a different time only by special request):
Meeting ID: 792 6968 3350
We can't cope with lots of people turning up at in-person classes who are just wanting to watch or to ask questions when we're trying to get people safely into venues. So please don't treat regular classes as if they were free taster sessions or try to join a course once we're several weeks into term, disrupting everyone else's learning by attempting to catch up while they are wanting to progress further. After the first couple of weeks have passed it's usually better to wait until next term.
You can drop in to chat with us or representatives from the competitive teams at the university's sports fair on Monday 4th October and CUSU's freshers fair on Tuesday 5th or Wednesday 6th October from 10am to 4pm.
2020-21 Academic Year vs 2021-22 Academic Year
CDC membership matches UK academic years, not any other form of calendar. You will need to renew membership from October 2021 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. Improvers move up to intermediates whenever they feel ready (usually after about a year).
Michaelmas Term 2021 (ie from October)
The university is reopening cautiously - which means our classes will be too.
For the risk-taking subset, we will have maskless DanceSport classes and practices in the larger venues (unless the university reimposes the facemask rule). For the risk-averse subset, we will be insisting upon facemasks at social classes. Everyone must be even more careful than usual about obtaining consent before swapping partners. It is reasonable to suppose that a lot of people won't be happy about taking that extra risk. For the isolating or remotely-attending subset, we will still have some online options.
We won't be able to cope with people who turn up to a class without already knowing that they definitely want to join (ie registration paperwork & payment) because every extra body standing around is an additional viral risk to everyone else. Similarly, our usual large group free taster sessions may be impossible to stage. So online free taster sessions for beginners will start in September 2021 and run throughout the term to give everyone ample opportunity to make their mind up about the different dance styles and/or catch up with the basics if they miss the crucial first few weeks of term.
- In-person competitive DanceSport options:
- Monday 6pm DS ballroom beginners (Parkside school)
- Monday 7:15pm DS ballroom intermediates (Parkside school)
- Tuesday 6pm DS ballroom practice (Parkside school)
- Tuesday 7:45pm DS latin intermediates (Parkside school)
- Tuesday 8:45pm DS latin beginners (Parkside school)
- Tuesday 9pm-11pm DS latin practice (in KK Studio)
- Wednesday 8pm-10pm DS rock'n'roll (CURnR)
- Friday 9pm-11pm DS open practice (in KK Fenners)
- Saturday 2:30pm-4:25pm DS rock'n'roll (CURnR)
- Saturday 1:30pm-3pm-5pm DS open practice + CUDT (Parkside school)
- Sunday 10am-12-2pm? CUDT practice + lessons (Parkside school)
- Sunday 9pm-11pm DS open practice (in KK Studio)
- In-person social class options:
- Monday 6pm ballroom & latin intermediates (Gibson hall)
- Monday 7pm ballroom & latin improvers (Gibson hall)
- Monday 8pm ballroom & latin beginners (Gibson hall)
- Tuesday 7:15pm authentic rock'n'roll (Stoneyard Centre)
- Wednesday 6pm ballroom & latin nervous improvers (Gibson hall)
- Wednesday 7pm ballroom & latin social practice (Gibson hall)
- Wednesday 8pm ballroom & latin beginners (Gibson hall)
- Thursday 6pm ballroom & latin beginners (Stoneyard Centre)
- Thursday 7pm ballroom & latin robust improvers (Stoneyard Centre)
- Thursday 8:30pm ballroom & latin intermediates (Stoneyard Centre)
- Online class options (via Zoom):
- Friday 6pm free taster session (ongoing for late joiners)
- Friday 7pm line dancing (ie solo dance routines)
- Friday 8pm ballroom & latin beginners
- YouTube recordings of previous DS classes also available
You can attend the dancesport sessions without intending or even being eligible to compete at intervarsity events. But those sessions are more likely to have a larger proportion of highly competitive students than our social classes. Similarly, you can be a student and still choose to attend social classes - where there is less pressure to perform and typically a much wider demographic. It's all about picking the learning environment which is most suitable for *you*.
The live online B&L session will cover some slightly different dance styles and figures than the in-person classes in order to fit safely into most people's homes. So there will definitely be no travelling viennese waltz but there could be some RnR, salsa, merengue, bachata, lambada, bossa nova, charleston or argentine tango mixed in. Note that it's still open to singletons wanting to learn the steps as well as couples.
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 and then pay a termly subscription (or singleton fee). If you attend practices at Kelsey Kerridge, you'll also need to pay KK's own day/membership fee.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 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.