No matter how young or old you are, dancing is a fantastic and fun way of keeping fit and healthy. In fact, it barely feels like exercise — and having the skill of ballroom dancing under your belt is likely to be quite impressive for your partner! However, just like any other activity, the greatest barrier to getting started is making it to your very first class. If that's something you're worried about, then you can relax — starting ballroom dancing isn't intimidating in the least.
Check the Skill Level
Many classes will be specially advertised as 'for beginners', so you'll know from the get-go you're heading to the right session for your skill level. If the class you're looking at doesn't say 'beginner', 'intermediate' or 'advanced' — or anything like it — then call up and ask what kind of students tend to show up. It may be that the class separates off into separate groups, or it may be that the teacher simply forgot to state it on the advertisements. Either way, you'll be able to feel confident knowing that you aren't walking into a group of semi-pros.
You don't need specialised dancing shoes or clothing when you're first starting out. Instead, wear something comfortable and flexible. It need not be specialist workout gear if you don't already have any — just make sure that you can move freely and don't feel self-conscious. That's all that matters. Once you've taken a few classes and have a good idea whether ballroom dancing is for you or not, you may wish to purchase a pair of special shoes. Your tutor will be able to advise you on this.
Take a Friend
It's okay if you go alone, as many classes will teach you the steps of each dance without a partner — and there'll always be another student to pair up with if yours doesn't do this. However, having the company and emotional support of a classmate you already know could ease a lot of your nerves and keep you lighthearted as you start to learn. It's also a great way to bond with someone you don't get to see very often, so ask around and see who's interested! You may be surprised.
Whether you're learning to dance as a fun, casual hobby or would eventually be able to like to enter competitions and suchlike, you still need to take those same first steps. Being aware of what you're walking into, and being comfortable as you do so, will help you to make the best possible start. For more information, contact your local ballroom dance lessons instructor.