Frequently Asked Questions

These are our most common and frequently asked questions. Click on the titles below to expand the details. Have more questions? We have someone at the front desk to answer them all. Feel free to give us a call 617-492-2122.

What should I wear?

You should wear something that is comfortable, easy to move in, and not too warm because hopefully you'll be working up a little sweat burning up the dance floor! Extreme Dancesport does not have dress codes, and most dances are not formal. The Ballroom parties tend to be a little dressier, with the men in often in dress slacks and the women in dresses or nice slacks. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and can move freely!

Do I need to buy dancing shoes?

If this party is one of your first forays into the world of partner dancing you certainly do not need to buy special ballroom dancing shoes. You should wear comfortable shoes with leather or suede soles that stay on your feet well; shoes that lace up or have adjustable straps work very well. Sneakers, rubber-soled shoes (e.g. Doc Maarten's), and shoes that are too big are very difficult to dance in.

How much do dancing shoes cost?

Most of ballroom dancing shoes ca cost between $60 - $200. Like regular shoes, many brands vary in quality. Remember, you get what you pay for. Our favorites are brands like Ray Rose, Dance Naturals, Internationals, and Supadance.

Do I need to bring a partner?

Absolutely not. You do not need to bring a partner to any Extreme Dancesport party, class, or private lesson. During the class, the instructor will have you rotate partners every few minutes so you will have the opportunity to dance with everyone in the class. Dancing with a variety of people is the best way to learn social dancing and is also a great way to meet people.

Do we have to rotate?

Although we recommend rotating partners as it has been proven to help your dancing, rotating is not mandatory. You and your partner are free to stay with each other for the whole class; just be sure to stand slightly outside of the rotation so the people who are rotating will not be confused.

Are there more women or men at these parties?

Although it's impossible to predict the ratio for any given party, generally there are roughly the same number of leaders and followers. If there are extra leaders (or followers), the extra leader (or follower) should stand between two couples in the rotation so when the instructor has the students rotate, the extra leader (or follower) will get a partner in the next rotation.

What is the age range at the parties?

At the Extreme Dancesport, we have dancers of all ages from teenagers to people who are 50+. There are generally a large number of people in their twenties and thirties. Everyone should feel welcome at all parties.

Can I skip the lesson and just come to the party?

If you have never danced Swing (or Foxtrot, or Hustle, etc.), you should come to the lesson to learn the basic steps. This way, you will be able to dance with everyone at the party. Best of all, it's free! You can, of course, dance freestyle to our music, but most people come to the Extreme Dancesport parties to dance the specific dances with a partner. Unfortunately, partner dancing looks easier than it is, and you really need a bit of professional instruction in order to feel comfortable on the dance floor.

Can I join in a lesson late?

You should definitely join right in. The instructor will teach the remaining steps from scratch, and you will probably be able to pick up any steps you've missed from watching the other dancers and the instructor's review.

Should I take private or group classes?

We recommend both. Private lessons will provide you with individualized instruction and work on your technique, your leading (or following), and any specific difficulties you may be having. Private lessons are essential if you are interested in becoming a serious dancer or want to progress you learning at a faster rate.

Group classes are a great way to practice the steps until they become ingrained in your "muscle memory". Group classes also provide you with a great opportunity to practice dancing with a variety of partners and to meet new people and potential dance partners.

How will I know what dances to work on in my private lessons?

You will work out a plan with your individual instructor. You may prefer to concentrate on one individual dance, or you may prefer to get a general overview of all the dances. Your dance plan is flexible; you can start out focusing on one dance and then decide you'd rather have a bit more variety. All our instructors are qualified to teach you all the dances.

What hours are instructors available?

We have instructors teaching generally six days a week, weekends, and evenings. Your private lessons will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you.

How do I get a dance partner?

We have a book of practice partners. You can look for someone interested in the same dances and at the same level as you are, write down their number, and give them a call. You can also leave your name and phone number on the pages for the dances you want to practice.

Do I need a partner to compete in Ballroom Dancing?

Of course not. You don't need a partner to dance in any competition. You can enter in the Pro-Am (Professional-Amateur) division and dance with your teacher. Please check ask the front desk for more information.

What is the difference between International Style and American Style?

International Style is used in dance competitions and is based on strict, formalized patterns and foot positions. It is not generally used in social dancing.

American Style is freer, easier to learn, can be danced in open position, and is used for social dancing. Beginners should definitely start out learning American Style, and can then progress to International Style if they would like to compete or to push their dancing to a new level.

What dances should I work on if I want to go out dancing in the clubs?

Salsa and Swing (including Lindy Hop, East Coast Swing and City Swing) are the most popular dances in New England Area nightclubs right now. These dances are fun and easy to learn, and the clubs have a variety of live bands that will keep you hopping all night long.

Is there parking at Extreme Dancesport?

Yes. There is lot’s of parking in our parking lot but in case you can’t find one, please give us a call and we’ll find you a spot.

Is the area around the Extreme Dancesport studio safe?

Yes. However, Extreme Dancesport is located in an urban area and you should use the same caution you would in any urban setting at night--- for example, don't leave valuables in plain view in your car.

How come your studio doesn't offer free introductory lessons like some other studios?

While some dance studios may offer free introductory lessons, we feel that high quality lessons should be priced (even just a small amount) to get the best and most enjoyable learning experience. It's a promise to you that our highly experienced instructors will do everything they can to teach a great dance lesson. Our professional instructors are highly trained and are in-demand due to the high retention rate by our students. Those studios that offer free lesson may be desperate for business or have alternative motives other than providing good dance lessons.

There are a lot of dance studio in the area. Which one should I choose?

Well that's easy. Us of course! :) Ok, I'll be serious now. There are a lot of dance studios in the Boston and Cambridge area so choosing one may be difficult. So here are some tips on choosing the right one.

1. Do your homework by visiting the studio website. You can tell a lot about a dance studio by simply visiting their website. Does it look professional or home-grown? Look for complete and detailed information about the studio services and pricing. A well constructed website with detailed information tells you that's a studio you can trust.

2. Call the studio and ask lot's of questions. A friendly and professional staff should be pleasant and informative.

3. Look for established physical studios rather than independent teachers that rent space. Established physical studios are more reliable and provide the most flexibility in scheduling appointments and are not bound by rental schedules.

4. Most studios usually offer introductory private lesson. Take advantage of this so you can try out the studio for little cost and commitment. That's what it's for. Be wary of those that do not offer it or offer it for free.

5. Last but not least, choose a studio that you feel comfortable and can connect with the teacher, staff and other students. There's nothing like coming to a place where you feel right at home and everybody knows your name. Lalalalahhh....

Do private lessons mean private rooms?

No. This is a misconception by a few new students who think private lessons are held in a private room. A private lesson is a one-on-one dance lesson with one or two students with their dance instructor in a shared space. We have one large space and it is shared amongst all our instructors and students. This is standard practice with all dance studios as space is limited throughout the day and evening and it would be impossible to run a dance studio using private space for each dance lessons. Our instructors are trained in coordinating rooms and music to ensure students get the best possible dance experience.

Why are private lessons expensive?

Let's look at it this way. If you have taken personal training, private golf lessons, private cooking lessons, private tutoring, etc. you'll know the true value and benefit of one-on-one instruction. Each lesson specifically works on you and you only for maximum development efficiency. Taking group classes is a great to learn steps and patterns but private lessons ensure you execute with precise technique and styling like the pros. It also prevent you from developing bad habits early on that may take a long time to undo. Yikes!