Benefits of Group Classes At Fred Astaire Upper Montclair


Imagine your life of learning up until today.  You studied history in class, you went to college, took classes.  If you wanted to sing in school, you joined a group chorus. Karate?  You took group classes.  Yoga, kickboxing, art, photography, marketing – you probably studied them in a group. In fact,  most of your learning has been in the group class format.  At the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Upper Montclair, our entire system of teaching is based on the group dance class, the beginning of the 3-WAY SYSTEM of teaching.


Why Not?
     You’ve probably heard it around the studio water-cooler, and even discussed it with your friends, “I don’t take group classes because…….(I want the private attention), (they don’t have a group class my level), (I can’t learn in a group setting), (I don’t want to change partners).  I could write an essay on each category, but I’m only going to address the partner switch today.

Why you don’t want to change partners in a ballroom group class, and why you should.
     You might be shy.  You may have decided that you came to the studio to spend more time with your partner, or feel like you can’t learn as fast as the rest of the class. You may not want others to see you struggle.  The fact is, everyone has difficulty at some point in the learning process.  Rotating partners can actually give you confidence when you discover that Mr. Smith has trouble with timing, and you don’t, or that Ms. Cooper has trouble with directional movement and you don’t.  You’ll develop empathy for sure!
     Experience shows the couples who ROTATE partners in group classes tend to learn faster, have less difficulty dancing together and spend less time correcting each other.  Rotating partners allows you to feel what the step should feel like with a wider range of skill levels.   Changing partners can allow you to see that your leading/following skills may need improvement. You may discover that you aren’t a strong enough leader, or that you’re too strong.  You may discover that in fact, you’ve been back-leading your husband in every dance, and have finally decided to stop. 
     I’ve always noticed that when couples who came together dance together, they chit-chat about the step or try to help TEACH each other *gasp!   When you rotate away from your partner and dance with the 4, 5 or 6 other people in the class, you’ll come back to your partner having improved and you’ll BOTH BE HAPPIER!

Please remember, we do not INSIST that you take group classes. We simply encourage it.


The number one reason you should take group classes is MONEY.  You’ll save $$$ by learning in group classes.  We can teach groups for less money than private lessons.  By learning new steps in group dance class format, you enable your private lesson teacher to get right into the refining process, or the feel of the steps.  If you’re constantly learning new steps in your private lessons, you’ll end up spending twice as much, because learning new steps takes time!  If you come to a private lesson having already studied the step with a group,  your teacher can work out the bugs very quickly and start teaching you how to express the new material, how to make it feel authentic, how to relax while you’re dancing it, and how to present the step with (pardon us) your best foot forward.

*did you know some of our students take 3 to 1 (3:1) groups to every private lesson? – that’s a sure-fire way to save a lot of moolah!

Win new friends and score a new dance partner with
Group classes at Fred Astaire Upper Montclair!

MEETING NEW PEOPLE: Improve Your Real Live Social Network

Your group class is a chance for you to meet and mingle with other dancers with the same program as you.  As you’re learning new steps, you’ll also meet new people that have similar interests and go to all the swanky places you go.  When you come for our THURSDAY NIGHT PARTIES you’ll automatically have doubled, tripled or QUADRUPLED YOUR DANCE PARTNER OPTIONS.  Studies show (real important, scientific studies) that people who progress through programs together, people who take group classes seek out those new friends in practice sessions and say “hey, twinkle-toes, let’s try that jazzy new foxtrot step we learned Monday night.”  Rumor has it even relationships have BLOOMED because of group class friendships.  But that’s just rumor.
And speaking of SOCIAL NETWORKING BALLROOM STYLE, you can use our social networking sites to see if your friends are going to class tonight,  that you’re “going to get your groove on at Fred Astaire”  or  “big party at Freddy’s tonight – don’t miss it – all the cool people will be there”   You can also Instagram your pics and show off your new charm and confidence.  Then your friends will think you have a secret, think you’re cooler, and will sign up for our GUEST SPECIAL and CHA-CHA-CHING! $$$$$$ you get free lessons!!!!!!


If you have a competitive nature, group classes are for you!  Check out Sandy Samba – she started two months after you!  How come she’s so much better? This will reportedly make you work harder.   Bring out your inner rivalrous champion and aggressively learn that Tango.  Be better than her next week!


All the instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio are superior teachers.  Every one of us, all of us, all of them, have something brilliant they are DYING to tell you about your dancing.  Who knows, it just might be the key that you’ve been looking for, to unlock all your inner Astaire.  If you only take lessons from ONE TEACHER you are missing the amazing benefits of learning from a collective pool of knowledge. Also, your teacher might be insecure that you’ll like someone better and just try to keep you all to himself.  (That happens!  Beware the teacher who shelters you!)  Seriously, our teachers are fountains of ballroom information.  Shake it up, so you don’t get bored, boring, addicted, enabled or fizzle out with one teacher.


Face it, if you can’t dance a step by yourself, you’ll learn all the mechanics of HOW in a group class.  By learning in a group class setting you’ll learn your steps thoroughly by yourself — you’ll learn to twist, turn, spin, spot and trip the light fantastic without spilling over onto your partner.  Your partners will thank you for it.  You’ll be a partner-in- demand,  the one EVERYONE wants to dance with.


Once you know your steps, you know your steps.  You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll feel more comfortable and less shy about your dancing. You’ll feel better because you know some people at your school, and you may even get a graduation certificate when you and all your fancy new friends pass from social to bronze, from bronze to silver and more.  Can you say GRADUATION PARTY!