Too Left Feet FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions, and a few answers...

Everything you always wanted to know about dancing, but were afraid to ask...

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  • How do I get my [husband, boyfriend, significant other] to dance? 
  • Hoo, boy.  Try reading my Make Him Dance page. 
  • How long will it take to learn how to dance? 
  • It depends on your goal. You'll be dancing something in 30 minutes or less (no kidding). If you're learning a special dance (like the first dance at a wedding) it'll take 2-4 private lessons (assuming you're willing to practice).  If you want to dance on an ongoing basis, you'll never stop learning, but you'll start dancing the first day.
  • Do I need to have a partner?
  • Bringing a partner is never required.  Bringing your own partner to a group class is handy sometimes, but not necessary, since you'll be encouraged to switch around and dance with other students, anyway.  If you have no partner for a private lesson, you can dance with me (or my wife, or step-daughter, if they're available).
  • Where's your studio? 
  • A long answer may be required. Read this.  The short answer is: 6255 Alrojo St., Worthington, OH 43085-3472.
  • Will I be required to dance with someone, other than the person I come to class with? 
  • No, but I'll suggest it, encourage it, and advise that it will help you learn faster and better if you do.
  • What should I wear to class? 
  • Dress comfortably, expecting to be mildly exercising. Jeans, shorts, sweats, and tees are OK. Style of dress is irrelevant except to your comfort both socially and physically.
  • Do I need special shoes? 
  • No, probably not, but SHOES ARE IMPORTANT! Shoes with fairly smooth soles are recommended. You need to be able to stand on a smooth wood floor, put all your weight on one foot and then twist that foot on the floor without sticking. Standard sneakers, gym shoes, tennis shoes, and running shoes DON'T USUALLY WORK! Most "dress" shoes work fine.. You also need a shoe that won’t fall/fly off your foot: slip-flops, mules, and other backless styles don’t work. Of course, after you learn a bit about dancing, you may want a special pair of shoes. If so, there are stores where you can spend as much as you want on ballroom dance shoes (with purple rhinestones, if that's your preference; I love mine!). Check our Shoes page for some suppliers.
  • Are same-gender partners welcome in your classes and lessons? 
  • Yes, I welcome same-gender partners.  I have LGBTQ friends (you do too, whether you know it or not).  Also, I occasionally dance with men when teaching, and always accept dance invitations from male partners (lead or follow) when asked at social events... 'cause I can!

       Are Muslims welcome in your classes and lessons? 

    As-salam alaykum (السلام عليكم). (OK, I got that from wikipedia; I hope it's right!)  Yes, Muslims are welcome. I even accept Christians, druids, and atheists.
    • Don't men have to "lead" and women "follow?" 
    • No. That's tradition, not a rule. I encourage all dancers to at least sample the non-traditional role now and then. I switch back and forth, as needed, when I'm teaching or asked socially.
    • How do I know if I'm a "Beginner" or an "Intermediate" dancer? 
    • It's up to you; I want you to be as comfortable or challenged as you want. Look at the description of the classes in the other questions. And here's a famous quote (I say it all the time): "Non-dancers don't want lessons, beginners want intermediate lessons, intermediate dancers want advanced lessons, and advanced dancers want to study the basics."  Human nature, go figure.
    • What's the difference between a "Group Class" and a "Private Lesson"? 
    • Read this page.
    • What's the difference between "Beginner" and "Intermediate" classes? 
    • The difference is how fast I throw new stuff at you. In a month of beginner group classes you'll learn 4-8 steps (simple patterns) in that month's dance, learn what it means to "Lead and Follow" and "Hold a Frame". In the intermediate class you'll learn 2-4 more elaborate dance patterns and learn to look and feel better as you dance. If you're still undecided, come for the beginner lesson; if you're bored, stay for the intermediate lesson at no charge.
    • Can you coach me on specific dancing problems? 
    • I'll always try, and I've always been successful so far. Questions about dance are encouraged during group lessons, and I give everyone as much personal attention as the class size that day permits.  In a private lesson I'll do whatever you want.  I have students that bring in videos and say "teach me that!"  OK, no problem.
    • Is there an age limit? Will you teach my kids?  My Mom? 
    • There's no upper or lower age limit. My stepdaughter started at age 12; I've taught kids as young as nine; I once had a waltz partner who was 82. Anyone who can pay attention, take simple directions, and truly participate is welcome in my group classes. In a private lesson, I'll work with anyone.  On the other hand, see the next question.
    • Can I bring my kids, parents, etc and let them watch? 
    • There are no childcare facilities at any of my classes, and seating is often limited and very close to the dancing area. For safety reasons, children and visitors cannot wander about the room during class. However, anyone who can stay out of the way, and be reasonably quiet, is welcome to watch.  
    • Can I bring my own water/etc to class? 
    • Sure. I usually have cool water on hand (especially in the summer), but feel free to bring your own beverage of choice.  Beware: if I think anyone's drunk it becomes my legal responsibility to assure you don't drive home, so I'll just dial the Sharon Tonship police when you're not looking, and ask a sheriff's deputy to drive you home.  Bring your own snacks, too, but be prepared to share.  Everybody here loves chocolate and/or cashews (hint).
    • Do I need to sign up in advance? 
    • Not for group classes, no; just show up.  Private lessons must be scheduled in advance, but "pre-registration" is not required. On your first visit please come a few minutes early, because I'll ask for some basic contact information and ask that you sign an accident/injury waiver. By the way: I won't sell or give your personal information to anyone else, and I won't use it to harass you with sales calls.
    • What can you tell me about Dance Etiquette?  Are there rules, customs, special things I should know about interacting with people at dances? 
    • Check out the Dance Etiquette page.