Never Too Late to Dance

Health, Home & Family
on October 3, 2011

It is never too late to learn to dance. Dancing is a great way to meet new people and stay physically active. Sitting on the couch watching dance shows is fine, but participating in a beginning dance class is a great way to get moving, learn something new and have fun.

Before taking a dance class, you need to decide what type of dancing you would like to learn. Some dance styles require a partner, some are fast and upbeat, while others require a level of coordination. Beginning dancers can learn a variety of dance styles including country line dancing, hip-hop, salsa, tap, jazz, ballroom and contra.

Country line dancing. Country line dancing is a great option for fans of country music or those that are nervous about strutting their moves with a partner. Line dancing involves a group of dancers performing repetitive movements while moving in rows on the dance floor. A new dancer needs only to learn a few basic steps and can usually be guided through the dances by the more experienced dancers.

Hip-hop. Hip-hop requires a lot of energy and flexibility. When taking even a basic hip-hop class, be sure the physicality of the moves will not cause you any injury. A 60-minute hip-hop class can be a challenging cardio workout.

Salsa. Salsa is another energetic dance, but does not require the same type of physical range of motion that hip-hop does. Salsa is a Latin dance similar to the mambo and the rumba. It is a partner dance, but beginner salsa classes are offered for singles as well. If you’re taking the class solo, you simply will be assigned a partner.

Tap. Tap dancing can be done with or without partners. Even a beginning tap dance class can challenge a person’s physical fitness. There are several small but energetic movements when learning tap. It is a good cardio workout as well.

Jazz. Jazz dancing combines several different dance techniques. From footwork to turns and even leaps, jazz dancing is often exuberant and artistic.

Ballroom. A favorite beginning dance class for many bridal couples, ballroom dancing is elegant, yet the basics are easy to learn. Popular ballroom dances include the foxtrot, waltz and tango.

Contra. According to, contra dancing originated in Scotland, Ireland and England. It is an ideal group dance for beginners. Contra dancing has similarities to square dancing. The dances are “called” like a square dance, but the music is usually Celtic-styled. The dancers form lines instead of squares.

Online dance classes. If you have never learned any dance basics, it may seem intimidating to join even a beginner dance class. Before enrolling in a dance class, consider online dance instruction. Sites like and offer many dance styles, broken down into easy-to-follow instructions via video and text.

Most YMCAs, health clubs and community centers also offer beginning dance classes. It is never too late to learn to dance. Get out there and dance!