Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a partner?
Definitely not! One of the best things about ballroom dancing is that, while it is a partner activity, you can come in alone! We’ll take care of finding you a dance partner. If you are interested in one-on-one private instruction, we’ll pair you with a professional instructor who will also be your dance partner. In a group class setting, you will constantly change partners as you learn the steps to different dances. This helps the gents to develop their leads while the ladies learn to adjust their sensitivity to many different kinds of leaders. Our dance parties allow you to dance with a wide variety of dance enthusiasts from beginners to more advanced. Partners are selected dance by dance and we include many “mixers” (partners are mixed and matched up for the group) so there is no need to worry about coming by yourself to any Tempo activity or event.
How do I get started?
Simple! Call or visit the studio and one of our staff members will ask you a few questions about your interest and motivation for beginning (or continuing) your dance training. In most cases, we will schedule you for our Introductory Plan, which includes three private lessons, a group class, and a dance party. At the start of or before your first lesson, you will be given a studio tour and interviewed about what you would like to learn, your timeline, and your dancing goals. If you aren’t sure, we will help you to identify how and where you will use your dancing so we can create a dance plan that is personalized for you, fits your budget and lifestyle, and gets you the most out of your experience and time at Tempo.
How do I choose my instructor?
All of our teachers, introductory and advanced, are skilled dancers and have been trained a minimum of 100 hours by Tempo’s owner and Artistic Director, John Abrams. Beginning students will work with teachers who specialize in getting brand new dancers off to a great start while advanced dancers will be placed with one of our advanced instructors. While you may work primarily with one instructor, we operate as a team and you can schedule lessons with any of our instructors at any time. Additionally, throughout your training we will schedule exchange lessons with other instructors and progress checks with advanced teachers to be sure that your dance training is thorough, balanced, and progressing as it should.
What should I wear when I dance?
Something comfortable! If you are coming for a private lesson or group class, wear something that is not too restrictive so you won’t have trouble taking long strides or lifting your arms to at least shoulder height. If you are coming from work or elsewhere and would like to change your clothes, we have a changing room in the pro shop.
Those leaning toward competition, more serious training, or simply like the look of dancewear, can find a wide range of practice clothes that are designed to show body shapes and movement in our pro shop.
Do I need special shoes?
Our pro shop offers a large range of men’s and ladies’ shoes specifically designed for ballroom and latin dancing. If you’re just getting started, we recommend that you wear comfortable shoes that will not stick to the floor (no rubber soles) and will not slip off your feet. If you are learning for a wedding or other occasion, we suggest you practice in the shoes that you will be dancing in at the event to get used to how they feel while you dance.
We take special care of our dance floor, which spans the entire main area of the studio, and ask that you change out of your street shoes immediately when you enter the studio.
Which group classes are right for me?
All of our beginner and fundamentals classes are appropriate for all levels of dancers, even if you’ve never danced a step before your first class. These classes are “drop-in” so you can attend one at a time as your schedule allows. For some of the speciality classes, you can ask any staff or instructor and they can give you more information and will be able to tell you if it is a good fit for your experience level and your dance goals.
How many lessons will it take for me to be a good dancer?
Since everyone has a different learning style, abilities, and goals, everyone’s progression as a dancer varies. Additionally, every dancer’s definition of “good” is not necessarily the same. Your instructor will have a better idea of what you can expect to achieve your goals after working with you for a bit. Some students take several private lessons a week, some take one private lesson and attend group classes throughout the week and some take as many group classes as possible and work in private lessons every month or so. There is no right or wrong way to get you to your personal definition of “good.” What is most important to us is that you understand the expectations and goals you have set, that you are seeing the results you want to see and that you are enjoying and finding value in your experience at Tempo.
What if I can’t learn?
Impossible! We’ve heard it all and have never met anyone who couldn’t learn. “Two left feet” and “no rhythm” are the biggest myths about dancing. Everyone can learn. Our instructors spend hours finding many different ways of explaining the same idea to ensure that every student at Tempo not only learns to dance, but enjoys the experience.
How much does it cost?
The financial aspect of your dance training, like any specialized hobby requiring professional instruction, varies significantly based on your goals. For beginners who simply want to learn a variety of dances that they can dance socially, a combination of group classes and private lessons is often the most balanced approach. Group classes are by far the most economical way to learn. At $10 per class, you will learn beginner through advanced steps and techniques. Dance parties are $15 (or $20 if you attend the one-hour group class that precedes the party) and offer students an exceptional opportunity to learn and to practice for at least three solid hours in an encouraging, relaxed and fun setting. Private lessons are focused on you and your training and are scheduled in 45-minute lesson blocks. You will find that your dancing will progress significantly faster when you incorporate one-on-one training. The cost of private lessons varies based on the skill level of your instructor, your dance goals and your timeline. As a private lesson student, you can expect a personalized plan that incorporates all that Tempo has to offer and works within your budget.
What kinds of dances do you teach?
Tempo offers instruction in all of the ballroom and latin dances as well as a number of nightclub and specialty social dances. The list is long, but includes: American tango, waltz, rumba, cha cha, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, quickstep, paso doble, East and West coast swing, Argentine tango, salsa, hustle, jive, bolero and mambo.
DanceSport competitors can take private lessons in both American and International style.
All of the dances we teach are partner dances; however, you do not need to have a partner to learn or to participate in any of the activities Tempo offers.
Do you offer payment plans for private lessons?
We are a no-contract studio, so your only up-front commitment is to show up and pay as you go! If you decide that you want to purchase your lessons in bulk, however, we can certainly create a payment arrangement that is convenient for you.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes! We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover (but not AMEX)
What are your hours and group class times?
Our normal business hours are Mondays from 3 to 10 pm, Friday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. Private lessons can be scheduled any time that is convenient for you during those hours or before or after hours by special arrangement. Most group classes are held in the evenings and on Saturday mornings; however, we are open to adding other times to the schedule if there is demand.
The best way to learn about class and event updates is to subscribe to our email list or to check our dance calendar on our home page as it will change often.
How long are private lessons, group classes and dance parties?
Private lessons are scheduled in 45-minute blocks and you can generally expect to be on the floor dancing about 35 to 40 minutes of that time. Group classes are one hour and dance parties are three hours (a one-hour group class is offered at $5 before each dance party).
How do I learn which music goes with which dance?
Practice! Your “ear” will develop with your dance skills. As part of your training, your instructor will introduce you to the style and rhythm of the music for the dances you are learning. He or she will also give you helpful exercises to do on your own time to help you develop your ability to hear “the beat” and to recognize the dance that goes with a piece of music.
How much will it cost for us to be prepared for our wedding dance?
That all depends on your goal and your timeline. Simply getting comfortable on the dance floor and learning the basic steps of dances to go with a variety of music can easily be accomplished through group classes and maybe one or two private lessons with an instructor who specializes in working with wedding couples. If you and your partner want to have a dance choreographed to a specific song, it will probably take a greater number of private lessons to give you what you want. The best thing is to meet with us to talk about what you want and we come up with a plan that not only gives you a great pre-wedding day experience with your spouse-to-be, but also stays within your budget.
Do you have gift certificates?
Certainly! Gift certificates can be purchased in any dollar amount for any of the activities we offer.
Do I have to sign a contract?