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Dance Information

General Information

Our ballroom classes are held in a group setting where you will be with others who have a similar level of experience. We offer classes for beginners, intermediate and experienced dancers.  Each session consists of four 55 minute classes (one per week) and takes place within the calendar month with only a few exceptions to accommodate holidays.

Ballroom dancing is a couples activity.  You must have a partner to sign up for classes.  If you are single, we can take your contact information and notify you when another single is available for you to dance with.  If your partner needs to miss a class for any reason, we encourage you to come to class anyway and one of our instructors will dance with you.

Private lessons are also available by appointment.  Private lessons are appropriate under certain circumstances, such as preparing for a wedding dance or if you are struggling in class and need more dedicated attention from an instructor. We do not encourage private instruction as a substitute for group lessons, however.  Ballroom dancing is a social activity and it is important to learn to interact with others on the dance floor.

What dances are taught at RJBallroom?

At RJBallroom, we are all about dances that are performed as a couple.  Below is a list of all of the dances that we are able to teach.  Note, though, that not all of these dance styles are regularly taught in our group classes.  Some may require a private session.

Carolina Shag
Cha Cha
Country Two Step
East Coast Swing
3 Count Hustle
4 Count Hustle
Paso Doble
Slow Dance (Wedding dance)
Nightclub Two Step
Viennese Waltz
West Coast Swing

Dance shoes should be comfortable and allow your feet to slide easily on the floor.  Athletic sneakers are comfortable, but they are made to grip the floor.  Dancing in them could result in imbalance or even injury.  Shoes for ballroom dancing have either leather or suede soles.  It is acceptable to dance in dress shoes with leather soles, however they are not the same as dance shoes.  Dress shoes tend to be heavier and have thick soles.  The relatively thin soles on dance shoes are more flexible and allow you to actually feel the floor with your feet as you dance.  This ultimately gives you better control.  Dance shoes should never be worn outdoors as the soles will become marred and can collect debris that scratches the dance floor.

We do not expect beginning dancers to invest in dance shoes, but we also ask that you not use sneakers due to the potential risks.  One notable exception is “ballroom sneakers” which many people use for practice.  These look like conventional sneakers on top, but have a special hard rubber sole that doesn’t grip the floor like athletic shoes.  The sole is also disconnected at the arch for added flexibility.

If you have made a commitment to continue dancing, then you should consider purchasing dance shoes.  This is no different than buying personal gear for golf, tennis or any other activity that you regularly participate in.

Beginner Program

In the beginner classes, you will learn the proper way to hold your partner as well as to associate the music with a particular dance.  In partner dancing, figures are led by the gentleman and followed by the lady.  You will typically learn 5 or 6 figures in the beginning level of each dance but, more important, the gentleman learns how to lead those figures and the lady learns to recognize the gentleman’s lead and how to respond to it.  This basic concept applies to every dance at every level and ultimately makes learning easier for both partners.

Our beginner program consists of four sessions in a monthly rotation.  Each session covers two dances. For example:

  • Month 1 – Session “A”: Waltz and Swing
  • Month 2 – Session “B”: Foxtrot and Cha Cha
  • Month 3 – Session “C”: Rumba and Nightclub Two Step
  • Month 4 – Session “D”: Tango and Slow Dance

It is not necessary to begin with Session “A”.  You can start with any one of these sessions and continue the rotation from there.  New sessions begin the first week of every month.  In only four months, you can learn the basics of eight different dance styles.  This gives you the ability to dance to much of the music at nearly any social function.  After you have completed the four beginner sessions, we will evaluate your dance skills to see if you are ready to advance to the intermediate level. The key to retaining what you learn in class, however, is to practice regularly.  We hold at least one dance a month at the Troy Rec just for that purpose.  We realize that beginners may be hesitant to go to a dance, let alone pay to get in, when they haven’t yet learned much and may be self-conscious about their dancing ability.  This is the most important time to go dancing, however.  For encouragement, monthly dances (except New Years Eve) are free for those who are currently enrolled in our beginner classes.

Note that each dance listed above is covered in only two classes at the beginner level and the lessons are progressive.  In other words, the second class builds upon the material that was taught in the first class.  If you miss the first class of any dance, you will be at a disadvantage when you return unless you have taken the same class previously.  We understand that there are times when you cannot attend all classes.  If you do not wish to wait until the missed class is taught again (in 4 months) then you should consider scheduling a private lesson to stay current.

Intermediate Program

Prerequisite required:  You must have completed the entire beginner program at least one time to attend the intermediate classes.  We will approach those beginner students who we think are ready to advance.  Those who have trained elsewhere and can demonstrate a basic level of proficiency may also qualify.  We can schedule a private session with you to evaluate your capabilities.

In the intermediate classes, we focus on only one dance for the entire four week session.  Each of the dances that you learned in the beginner level will be expanded upon plus a few new dances will be introduced.  By this time, you have developed the ability to learn at a faster pace and to retain more of what you learn.  The intermediate classes begin with a review of the basic steps and figures in each dance, but with emphasis on combinations of figures to form small routines.  This helps you to transition between the different figures.

We continue to develop your skills in leading and following and pay more attention to posture and technique.  In the intermediate session, you will typically learn from 12 to 15 figures in each dance.

Once you reach the intermediate level, it is important to maintain the skills learned in the beginner classes.  When you are enrolled in one of our intermediate classes, we allow (and encourage) you to attend any beginner class that you have previously taken from us at no additional cost.  Free classes are subject to space available.

Note that each dance is covered in four classes at the intermediate level and the lessons are progressive.  In other words, each class builds upon the material that was taught in the previous class.  If you miss any class other than the last one, you will be at a disadvantage when you return unless you have taken the same class previously.  We understand that there are times when you cannot attend all classes.  If you do not wish to wait until the missed class is taught again (possibly a year) then you should consider scheduling a private lesson to stay current.

Advanced Program

We also offer classes for more advanced dancers.

Prerequisite required:  You must have completed the intermediate level course (or equivalent from another dance studio) AND demonstrate skills in lead/follow, timing and various types of movement to progress to the advanced class.  We will approach you when we think you are ready.  If you have previous experience with another dance studio, we can schedule a private session to evaluate your capabilities.

In these classes, you can expand your knowledge of dances that you are already familiar with or learn dances that are not offered to beginning or intermediate students.  Every dance has a beginning level, but not every dance is for beginning dancers.  The complexity of the figures, the timing or the tempo of some dances are easier to grasp once you have gained some experience.

The figures and dances taught in the advanced classes are generally more complex than those in the beginning and intermediate levels, however they are also more elegant and visually appealing.  The pace of the class is appropriate to the material being taught.

Advanced students also need to maintain the skills learned in the beginner and intermediate classes.  When you are enrolled in one of our advanced classes, you can also attend any beginner or intermediate class that you have previously taken from us at no additional cost.  Free classes are subject to space available.

Studio and Dance Location
Troy Rec 11 N. Market St. Troy, OH 45373
Cost and Registration

Group lessons are the most economical way to learn to dance.  A group session consists of four 55 minute lessons, taken once per week, in a class with others who have a similar skill level.  The cost for group lessons is only $20 per couple per class.  We reward those who pay for the month in advance.  When you pay for the month (all 4 lessons) at the time of your first lesson, you get free admission to our dances for that month.  That’s a savings of up to $40 per couple per month!  Otherwise, each group lesson and each dance is only $20 per couple.  Note, however that there will be no credit or refund for a missed class when purchased in advance.   Should we need to cancel a class that you have paid for in advance, you will receive a pro-rated credit toward your next session.

Please note that group classes are progressive in nature and each class builds upon the material that was taught during the previous lesson. If you were to miss any class other than the last in the series, you would be at a disadvantage the following week. Please keep this in mind if you have planned absences as only a few minutes of class time is dedicated to review of previously-taught material.

Private lessons are available by appointment for $50 per hour for up to four people.  A one-hour private lesson with a group of five or more costs $12.50 per person.  With private lessons, we teach the dances that you want to learn and we work at your pace.  There are no contracts or commitments required.  If you cannot make your appointed time for a private lesson, please notify us immediately.  No-shows or cancellations within four hours of your appointment will be billed for the entire lesson.  We will ask for your credit card information as a guarantee when you schedule your appointment.

Please register in advance. Class size is limited based on the space available. Signing up ahead of time helps to ensure that you get into the class you want. It also allows us to use the allotted class time teaching rather than taking registrations.

Registration is easy. Contact us by phone or email with the following information for each student or couple:

Mailing address,
email address,
class preference

We will confirm the availability of your preferred class and give you payment details.

Money Back Guarantee

Try your first group lesson at our risk. If, for any reason, you decide not to continue, just let us know and we’ll give you a full refund.


Rick & Judy Bowerman