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Special Topics

Dance Descriptions
Dance History
Dance Attire and Shoes
Dance Etiquette
Dance Practice

Dance History

For a general description of each dance and a little history, visit Definition of Ballroom Dance (wikipedia) or History of Dance.

For a history of Ballroom/Standard dances, visit History of Modern Ballroom dance.
or History of Modern Ballroom Dance.
For a history of Latin dances, visit History of Latin-American dance.
For a history of Salsa dancing, visit History of Salsa dance.
For a history of Merengue dancing, visit History of Merengue dance. For a history of Lindy Hop dancing, visit History of Lindy Hop dance.

Dance Attire and Shoes

For all dance classes

When attending the classes, wear comfortable clothing. Try not to wear shoes with rubber soles since they stick to the floor when doing turns. You may click on class photos to see what our students typically wear.

Please don't wear street shoes on the dance floor especially when the shoes are dirty or wet (eg, due to rain or snow). Please don't wear flip-flops since they tend to slip off.

For places to buy dance shoes, click here for the dance shoes links.

For Tap dance classes

Shoes: Here are some recommended shoes (see above link for store locations):

  • Capezio Premier #CG09: available for $131 at Malabar or $110 at Toronto Dancewear
  • Non-leather "Boy Style": available for $50 at Malabar

If you mention you are taking classes from Toronto Dance and Swing and Tap Academy, you get 10% off. Tap shoes that have a flexible sole are not recommended for beginners since they give very little support.

For Irish Step dance classes

Shoes: Wear shoes that don't stick and without a high heel. If you already have taps with a low heel (these can be purchased at Malabar), you may use these. The official shoes are Irish Jig shoes with a fiberglass tip (these can be purchased at Gold and Shamrock). See the above link for store locations.

Clothing: You can wear exercise clothing, T-shirts, shorts, or leggings.

Dance Etiquette

Read about Dance Etiquette. Topics covered are:

  • What to Wear
  • Personal Grooming
  • Asking for a Dance
  • Whom to Ask
  • Declining a Dance
  • Being Declined
  • On the Floor
  • No-Fault Dancing
  • Did Your Partner Enjoy the Dance?
  • Teaching on the Floor

Practice Tips

It is very important that you practice at least once a week, even if it is just for 5 minutes. It will help you to remember what you've learnt. Our group classes are progressive meaning that it builds on top of the previous week's class.

Here are some tips:

  • Practice within 24 hours of your class. After 24 hours, most people forget 80% of what they learnt.
  • You don't need a partner to practice with. The more you practice on your own, the better you will be (so no more excuses of "I don't have a partner to practice with"!).
  • Practicing 5 minutes every day is better than 30 minutes once a week.
  • Even if you don't physically practice, thinking about the steps and the timing in your head is better than not practicing at all.
  • If you can't move at the speed of the music, practice slower.
  • Make sure you stand up straight, rather than bending down to look at your feet. This is extremely important when you are turning. You will actually learn faster by not looking at your feet (believe it or not!).


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