Ballroom & Latin American
Ballroom and Latin American dancing includes ten different dances, often divided into two groups: five 'modern', or 'standard', ballroom dances, and five Latin American dances:
- Viennese waltz
- Cha cha cha
- Paso doble
This variety makes Ballroom and Latin American a good place to start if you’d like to learn some dancing, but don't really know which style is for you yet. More than half of our membership dance Ballroom and Latin, and we offer a wider range of classes and events for these dances than any other.
The Ballroom and Latin described on the rest of this page is the traditional, social version. If you're looking for the competitive side of things, as seen on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, please see the DanceSport page.
All our Ballroom and Latin classes teach the International style rather than the American steps.
The information in this section describes the kinds of classes we usually offer for Ballroom and Latin dancers. For more general details or the specifics for the current season, please see:
If you haven't danced before, start with our Ballroom and Latin Beginners classes. (In Easter Term, these are known as 'May Ball Crash Course'.) These will teach you the first steps in several of the most popular Ballroom and Latin dances, including the waltz, quickstep, cha cha cha and jive.
If you've danced other styles before but are new to Ballroom and Latin, or if you're keen and pick things up easily, you could try a fast-track Beginners course, which covers similar material but at a quicker pace.
If you're more interested in competing and the technique and presentation side of Ballroom, we run separate DanceSport Beginners classes in some terms. For more information about these and details of later DanceSport classes, see the DanceSport style.
If you're keen to learn as much as you can as fast as possible, and have the time to go to several classes each week, then Ballroom Beginners (Fast Track) and DanceSport Beginners make a good combination.
If you went to Ballroom and Latin Beginners in one term, you'll normally want to go to Ballroom and Latin Improvers the next. The Improvers course builds on the material taught in Beginners, teaching more advanced choreography in the dances and introducing the other dances.
If you're coming back to ballroom after an extended break, taking a few Ballroom and Latin Improvers classes can also be a good way to refresh your memory.
For more experienced dancers
After completing a Ballroom and Latin Improvers course, you'll be ready to move up to our higher classes. There are usually several levels available here: A is the next class after Improvers, then B, and so on, with each level teaching progressively more challenging steps.
There are no set times to move up from one class to the next now, as different people will learn at different speeds. When one class starts to feel too easy, just try the next one to see if you.re ready for it. However, as a guideline for those coming to us with prior experience, the A class is usually suitable for those with around 6 months to 1 year of experience, and the B class is good for another year on top of that. When there is sufficient demand, we also run higher level classes.
On Friday nights we organise General Dancing, our weekly ballroom and Latin social dancing session. All are welcome, and entry is free.
GD runs almost every Friday of the year, 8:30pm - 10:30pm. There is usually no General Dancing on holidays like Good Friday, between Christmas and New Year, or on the day of an end-of-term ball.
GD is normally held in the main dining hall at the University Centre, Mill Lane.
We organise a variety of social events throughout the year for ballroom and Latin dancers.
The biggest and most spectacular are our end-of-season balls, which normally take place before Easter, before the summer break, and before Christmas. These are all-night, black-tie dances in a large venue, with a band and often demonstrations or other entertainment to accompany the dancing.
We also organise smaller social events such as dinner-dances from time to time.