Amy Lawrence Ballroom Dance
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Group Classes

General questions

Wedding Dances

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frequently asked questions

Do you have Wedding Packages?
Yes! We offer wedding dance packages of 6, 10 or 15 private lessons. Each package is discounted and includes one free group class. 

Should we take private lessons or group classes for our wedding?
Take both! For many reasons, couples prefer to take just the private lessons and not join the group class experience. The benefit here is that our instruction is geared specifically for them and the final product is a choreographed dance to a chosen song. Additionally, group classes are a great way to hone your skills but do not offer personalized instruction.  


Can we just take group classes and design our own wedding dance?
Yes, you may forgo private lessons and just take group classes to prepare for your wedding dance. Keep in mind that private lessons teach “how to dance”; whereas, a group lesson will teach “what to dance.”

How far in advance of our wedding should we start our dance lessons?
Time is the major obstacle to deal with when it comes to getting a dance ready. We can make you better, but we can’t give you more time. Keep in mind that your lives will get more hectic as your wedding day approaches, so set aside more time for lessons knowing some weeks will just be impossible to come in to dance.
We recommend that couples start dancing months before the wedding day. It is not uncommon for couples to have a prenotion of their dance only to come in to the studio and realize that performing the number from Dirty Dancing may require more than two lessons. 
We know that sometimes in this perfect world there are imperfect moments and hectic schedules dictated by unforeseen events. If you are one of these couples, no worries. Give us a call and we can decide on a plan of attack that will get you onto the dance floor with very little bloodshed. 

Do private lessons include our wedding choreography?
Yes. Our approach to your wedding dance is to get you onto the floor, give you choreography to navigate around the floor, work you back to the center for your dip, and then get you off the floor with a grand exit (to the bar).

Which song should we dance to?
Your wedding song should be special to both of you. Make a list of songs you both like and have meaning for you. We can narrow down that list on your first lesson and then pick a dance style that fits it. 

Can we dance to any song?
Not all songs are composed with dancing in mind. Some have irregular tempos and beat distributions. More often than not, we can find a style of dance style that best fits a song. However, you may want to nix that song with the 10-minute drum solo.
Two popular songs are “At Last” by Etta James or “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Couples pick them, because they appear slow and so should be easy to dance to. In actuality, they have quick 6/8 timings and so are best tackled in a 3-2-1 fashion (1st step in 3 beats, 2nd step in 2 beats, and 3rd step in 1 beat). That’s a lot of stuff going in in a single measure! Is it impossible to dance to? No, but not as easy as a more user-friendly Waltz or Foxtrot. 

What are some good dance styles for wedding couples?
Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Bolero, and Rumba look good danced in a suit and wedding gown. However, don’t let me talk you out of a Swing if that is what your heart’s desire.

Do we need to dance to the entire song?
You entire routine could conceivably include a walk-on, the actual dancing, a picture line dip, and the walk-off. All this is going to chew up a lot of time. Plus, the deejay can always fade out the music as you walk off the floor. We suggest your dance, walk-on to walk-off, be roughly 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. If you have your heart set on dancing to “American Pie” from start to finish, we suggest snacks and nudity be involved. 


Do I need a partner for the group classes?
No, we switch partners every few minutes, and so everyone gets to dance with someone.

Do I have to switch partners?
No, however, you will learn faster if you switch partners. Ultimately, you will be a better dancer, because you will learn to adjust to the way other people dance.

Can I practice at your studio?
Yes, the cost is $10 per couple per hour. 

Where can I dance what I learn from class?
Ballroom is making a comeback. Slowly but surely, you can find places to dance. The Cicada Club in downtown L.A. is a great place to strut your Foxtrot and Swing. Pasadena Ballroom Society holds weekly dances where you can exercise your ballroom demons. Argentine Tango is probably much more accessible than International Tango, so surf the web for Milongas and Congrejo your heart out.

Should I learn one dance first before moving onto another style?
You can, but it's better to open yourself up to all styles. Like food that complement one another, learning various styles will actually sharpen your dancing skills as you will begin to realize how basic steps relate to one another.

What other kinds of dance lessons are available at your studio?
We specialize in Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz) and Latin (Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, Samba, International & American Rumba, Mambo, Bolero) dances. We also offer lessons in East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Triple-Time Swing, Jive, Lindy Hop, and Argentine Tango. Yeah, we’re busy!

What should I wear to dance at your studio?
We are super casual here. However, common sense and the rules of etiquette apply. Dancing is a close contact exercise. You will get warm and break into a sweat, so dress comfortably. If you just won a garlic eating competition or just put in a 72-hour shift on a pig farm, you may want to take some measures before coming to class.

What kind of shoes should I wear?
Wear what you normally wear to go dancing. We do recommend dance shoes or at least a pair of leather soled shoes. PLEASE, check the bottom of your shoes for any lodged debris, nails (yes, nails), or any other protrusions that would scratch and damage our floor. But to restate, we recommend dance shoes, and when you get a pair you'll immediately feel the difference.

Where can I get a pair of dance shoes?
Champion Dance Shoes and Elegance are local and have great selections. And we have to say that the quality is superior. However, for the money, Very Fine Dance Shoes in El Monte can't be beat. They have a "2 for 1" special.. 
Click here for the coupon. We have bought shoes from all of the above  mentioned places and found them all to be great. Also check out The Red Shoes located in South Pasadena. They carry a wide selection of shoes and dancewear. Their number is (626)-799-8615. We've recently had an opportunity to try Capezio's ballroom and latin line and were impressed. They were well made and competitively priced.

BUT I'm a guy, do I really have to get shoes?
Quit your sniveling, crybaby. Crack that wallet open and get some dance shoes. You wouldn't hit the links in Converse. You wouldn't shoot hoops in bowling shoes. Dancing is a sport which requires specific equipment, namely shoes.

What is the easiest dance for a beginner to take?
The best way to answer this question is to ask where are you planning to dance? Salsa is a very popular style presently. In years past, everyone seemed to be swinging. If you love music from the 70’s, the Hustle and the Nightclub Two-Step may be the dances of choice. If you’re going to a wedding, you may want to consider the Foxtrot or the Waltz. Conversely, you may have always wanted to Tango. If this is the case, don’t take Salsa. Go with your heart and take Tango.

Are there Ballroom and Latin Dance competitions?
There are three primary types of competitions: Professional, Amateur, and Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am). Professionals dance for purses and rankings, which in turn improves their teaching demand. Almost all professional Ballroom/Latin dancers teach. Their students include amateurs and lower ranked professionals. The broadest category is the Amateur level. The entry level Amateur competitions might include dancers with only a few months under their belt. So if you and your partner are amateurs and want to compete, there is a forum wherein you are pitted against other amateurs. Additionally, amateurs can also dance with their teachers and compete against other teacher-student pairings in the Pro-Am's. There are various dance styles and dance groupings one can compete in. For example, the American Smooth Division is made up of the Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. Dancers are scored in each dance and then placed accordingly. Competitions are held all over the country and the season for the most part is year round. 

Where do I find out about these events?
Check out the National Dance Council of America's website (NDCA.COM) and open up "Events" to find out where and when the next competition is going to be held. Competitions are held all over the country. At any given time if willing to travel, you can find a dance competition.


What is the benefit of a private lesson?
Students taking private lessons have a better understanding of dance fundamentals: character, technique, style, rhythm, and body control. Private lessons teach “how to dance”; whereas, a group lesson will teach “what to dance.”

How do I pay for classes and lessons?
We have no problem with CHECKS... unless you have a problem with checks. CASH is King (and a great pugilist) and is most welcome. If a CREDIT CARD is the way you roll, we accept card payments with a 3% fee. We have also accepted Paypal and Venmo (no fee) payments.

Is there a discount available if I buy a lot of lessons?
Yes. A discount is applied when purchasing a package and even more when paid in full.

Lots and lots of lessons?
Our group classes and private lessons are priced so most people can afford them. We cannot offer additional discount when lessons are bought in bulk but special circumstances are offered on a case-by-case basis.

How many classes do I have to take before I can debut my moves on the dance floor?
It all depends on how much you practice. On average it takes 4-5 weeks to get past the "beginner" level if you are taking at least 1 lesson a week. What you learn in class quickly dissipates into the nether world unless you practice and commit it to muscle memory. If you are serious about learning, we suggest you jot down the steps you have learned and then practice them on your own. A big part of the learning is in understanding what you're doing; i.e., why is it called an "open left turn"? or what is the difference between a "Twinkle" and a "Spiral"? Our better students network with others and practice after class. They make time and come in to practice on their own.