Frequently Asked Questions
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How do I get started?
We suggest new students start with our Get Started Special. The special will allow you to get to know one of our instructors and our studio and learn some basic steps in a very safe, friendly environment. We will then make recommendations on which classes you should join. You can purchase here or call us at 609-375-8468. Once purchased, you can just walk in to class #1 of any group series. You should also call us to schedule your first private lesson (609-375-8468). The classes are highlighted on our calendar.
Why did you start Jersey Dance?
Jennifer was an instructor at Arthur Murray. Jeff was a student there. The two of us became disgruntled at an industry that was more interested in making as much money as possible per student rather than actually teaching anyone to dance. We decided the Princeton area needed a professionally run studio where anyone can learn to dance and experience the joy we get out of dancing at a reasonable cost.
Can anyone learn to dance?
Almost everyone who starts dancing is a little nervous. We understand that it is hard putting yourself out there with something new you haven't done before. The reality is that most people feel quickly at ease once they take a class and realize how much fun it is and how easy it is to learn. Dancing is not hard to learn and has huge physical and emotional benefits. It just takes a little time and practice. Note that the beginner classes are on new students so everyone is in the same place.
Do I need private lessons?
You can learn to dance to a degree without private lessons. However, private lessons prevent you from building habits that will get in your way down the road. They will also teach you technique that is critical for learning steps as the levels get higher. It is very hard for our instructors to teach individual technique in group classes and to address personal challenges. Do you have to take private lessons? No. You can become an Ok social dancer taking just classes. Should you take private lessons? If you can, you will do much better in the long run with private instruction. You will also get to experience the joy that comes out of dancing really well. All of our instructors take private lessons on a regular basis to improve their own dancing.
Can I date your instructors?
Our instructors are professionals who will go to great lengths to help you learn to dance and make sure you have a positive experience at the studio It is natural for a close bond to grow between instructor and student. However, I assure you that our teachers have no interest in dating our students and only look at it is a professional relationship (it is their livelihood). Once you leave, they put that same effort into the next student. Note that teachers are also expressly forbidden from dating students or socializing with them outside of the studio. Breaking of that rule is grounds for immediate dismissal.
Can my teacher attend an event with me as my date/partner?
While the concept of "dance hosts" or "gentlemen dancers" is popular in the ballroom dance world, our instructors are not escorts and are not allowed to attend private functions with you in that capacity. It devalues who they are and the work they put into their dancing and their teaching skills. Please focus on them as professional instructors at our studio only.
Will you teach private groups?
Yes. We can design private classes based around your group of friends or co-workers. This makes a great night out and a great bonding experience.
Will you do private events?
Yes. We have taught at corporate events, private parties and fund raisers.
What goes into the cost of a dance lesson?
Here are just some of the items that go into the cost of a single dance lesson
1) Space rental fees for a space that can mostly be used only at night
2) Liability Insurance
3) Marketing to find you as a student
4) Teacher pay
5) Workers Compensation Insurance
6) Teacher training cost
7) Operational costs such as scheduling/accounting/etc.
Will there be other students in the studio at the time of my lesson?
Due to the high cost of renting studio space, time during prime evening hours is at a premium. Therefore, while you will have one on one attention from your instructor, other things may be going on in the ballroom such as group classes or other lessons. This generally is not an issue for students. However, if you find this distracting, please consider scheduling your lessons earlier in the evening or late in the afternoon.
Can you meet your perfect mate with dancing?
While we don't guarantee love, we will say that we personally have met some of the most amazing people in our lives through dance.
How does Jersey Dance compare to franchise studios?
Jersey Dance provides more options, higher quality teachers and lower cost than Franchise studios. Franchise studios in the area use high pressure sales tactics to push their prices up 50% or more over what Jersey Dance charges.
Franchise studios teach dances randomly. One week, you may be learning Foxtrot and the next week Swing. Since you won't learn the same dance for weeks at a time, it become hard to remember steps and to progress. (which makes more money for them) Our program runs in 5 week cycles so you get intensive learning while focusing on a small number of dances at a time.
Franchise studios force teachers to teach only for them. This limits their availability to see what is happening in the real dance world. With over 100 years of combined dance experience, our instructors are some of the best dancers you will find anywhere. They have experience teaching, competing, and dancing all over the world. They pick up new steps and ideas they can bring back to our studio on a regular basis.
What do you mean in your tagline "Contemporary Ballroom & Latin Dancing"?
We like to say that we are not your grandparent's dance studio. While Fred Estaire and Arthur Murray were dance leaders of their time, we like to think their time is over. We teach steps that you will see if you go out dancing today and our programs are led by some of the best dancers of today. We don't base our teaching on steps that were written in a syllabus 70 years ago.
What do I wear?
The dress at Jersey Dance is smart casual. While we discourage wearing jeans or shorts (except in maybe specialty dances that are a little more casual such as Country or West Coast Swing), you can pretty much dress how you want. Jersey Dance also has special formal events you can dress to the max for!
Do I have time to learn to dance?
We have options so you can pretty much learn to dance at your own pace and with the amount of time you have. If you start dancing today even with limited time, you will thank yourself down the road.
How do your series classes work?
Our series classes are 5 week cycles where you are expected to come every week. You must start at the first class of the series. Classes build upon each other week to week so you learn as quickly as possible. Jersey Dance at first followed a class organization that gave more flexibility for start any week or to skip weeks but we found students were not learning at the pace we were happy with. While this method requires 5 week commitments, you will be much happier with the results!
Are there many places I can go and dance?
Once you become part of the dance world, you realize how many places you can really go to dance. Whether you love ballroom, latin, swing, salsa or all of the above, there are literally places you can go dancing any night of the week. Please talk to Jen or Jeff if you want suggestions.
What are the benefits of dance?
Dance has many tangible benefits that we see every day in students:
⁃Increased Happiness ⁃Improved Physical Fitness ⁃New Friendships ⁃Increased Social Opportunities ⁃Reduced Stress ⁃Increased Confidence ⁃Improved Relationships ⁃Fun-Filled Evenings!
Why should I learn more than one dance at a time?
Wherever you go out dancing, the music played will be for more than one type of dance. The salsa club, for instance, will play everything from salsa to bachata, merengue and cha cha. Dances have many of the same underlying concepts and technique involved so there are great benefits to learning more than one dance at a time. We also find students often fall in love with different dances than they originally came in for.
Tell me about your ballroom
Jersey Dance offers the largest ballroom in the area and features a regular changing artwork on the walls. The floor is by far the largest and best dance floor of any studio in the Princeton area. The space has plenty of room to sit back and relax and have conversation and wine or to dance without running into the person next to you.
Jersey dance is LGBT friendly. Anyone is welcome in our studio.
Do I need dance shoes?
As long as your shoes are comfortable, don’t stick to the floor and you can't walk out of them, they’ll be fine in the beginning. However, when you decide that you really do want to continue dancing, you will want to purchase shoes designed for dancing and will see the difference immediately. When you are ready to get a pair of dance shoes, we can help you do that! Dance shoes made for ballroom have suede soles for the right amount of grip & slip on the dance floor. When you are ready to get dance shoes, let us know & we’ll point you in the right direction!
Do I need to change partners during group class?
Not at all! If you and your partner are more comfortable dancing with each other, then let the teacher know that you will be sticking together. We do recommend you consider changing partners as it is hard to learn to lead and follow correctly if you are always dancing with the same person. When you only dance with one person, you learn to compensate for each other instead of dancing correctly. Don't feel embarrassed to dance with someone else. Everyone in in your class is learning so we don't expect anyone to be perfect.
Why are the parties important?
This is where you will get “real world” experience with your dancing. Our parties are designed to allow students to apply what they are learning in a safe, fun environment with other students & instructors. Our trained professionals will be there to help you work out your moves. This ensures that when you use your dancing outside of our studio, everything goes smoothly. You don't have to fear our parties if you are a new dancer. You might not be able to dance every song in the beginning but we will help you out and we all love having new people to chat with and dance with.
Why is it better to keep my lessons close together (from a time perspective)
Although we teach at your pace, there are certainly benefits to keeping your lessons close together. You will not only learn faster because the dancing will be fresh in your mind, but you’ll also be able to spend more time learning new material.
What if I need to cancel my lesson?
No problem! We have an 24 hour cancellation policy so that the teachers are able to give that valuable time to another student. If you cancel within 24 hours, you must pay half of the lesson cost. Our instructors get paid by the lesson so you if you cancel too late for them to fill the slot, they literally lose compensation.