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, where the relevant venue is and that you've brought enough money for the class or practice fee (and also remembered to bring your club 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 formal classes to learn more.

At our classes, beginners are people who have not danced that style properly before and are in their first term of trying to learn it. Improvers is for those who have finished a beginners course (ie most of the 8 weeks) and are ready to progress further. People then typically remain at that level for a couple of terms (or even longer). 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.

Announcements


Wedding Waltz Crash Course and practice space

Apparently it's wedding season again. So there will be another set of wedding waltz crash-course classes compressed into just a couple of weeks. Each session will start as soon after 8pm as possible in the Main Dining Hall of the University Centre (ie when diners leave and tables can be moved).

The dates are Thursday 19th July, Friday 20th July (just before General Dancing), Saturday 21st July (following on after the timetabled classes), Tuesday 24th July, Thursday 26th July and finally Friday 27th July.

At these times there should also be space for a few more dancers just practising their own routines without tuition at £1 per session (except for Fridays which are always free!).

Saturday Workshop Classes and practice space

The Saturday classes in the Main Dining Hall of the University Centre are combined with the option for people to practise on their own. If you are solely practising, the fee is just £1 for using any part of the 4 hour time. If you are attending one of the £4 classes with instruction (or £8 for non-members), then the rest of the practice time is free to use.

* B+L Intermediates 4pm 21st July: rumba - natural top, reverse top and associated figures.
* B+L Improvers 5:15pm 21st July: slow waltz - chassés and locks in assorted contexts.
* B+L Beginners 6:30pm 21st July: waltz recap and turning corners of rooms plus a new dance - the cha-cha-cha.

At the moment, our only regular class option for beginners is 6:30pm Saturday. It's officially for the standard ballroom and latin dance styles but some salsa and rock'n'roll could also be included during the weeks of this long holiday period.

Social RnR Practice

There has been a change to the availability of a room for RnR practice. It will now be on Thursday evenings, from 8:30pm to 10pm, on 19th July until 20th September, and the new venue will be the Squash Court Room of the Cambridge Union Society (through the 1815 bar past the toilets and down the steps to the sub-basement). This is free for anyone to attend whether a CDC member or not. Even if you don't yet know how to dance rock'n'roll, the other attendees will be pleased to show you some steps.

Classes

Summer 2018 Outline

As usual, we have a much reduced summer schedule. Only Tuesday practices (payment by subscription), Friday socials (free to all) and Saturday classes (the usual £4 per class or £1 per practice only) will run throughout the summer. Russell had a few weeks of Thursday evening classes (from June into July) - now finished. Social RnR practices are now running on Thursdays (from mid July into September). Johnians should be able to hire the Palmerston Room if they want to practise at other times.

Revision Notes

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.

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 summer period is £30 (for 15 weeks of Tuesdays) 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 also because we 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 the organiser-for-the-evening 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 dancesport-beginners@cambridgedancers.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 dancesport@cambridgedancers.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 secretary@cambridgedancers.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 rnr@cambridgedancers.org.

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 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.

Follow Us

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

Elsewhere

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 and on Tuesday at Storey's Field Centre.
  • 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 19th September 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.