Avant Garde Ballroom FAQ’s

What are some reasons why I should go to Avant Garde?

Our dance studio is first class with floor-to-ceiling beveled mirrors – the better to see and correct yourself. Our top of the line floor, also known as a “sprung floor”, is supported by a substructure of wood panels and thousands of rubber pads. This design removes a great deal of stress from your feet, muscles, and joints. This will enable you to enjoy dancing more and prevent injuries.

We have highly acclaimed dance instructors, many of whom have enjoyed success in the dance circuit. They are knowledgeable, patient, and truly care about your progress and success. They are well-versed in many styles of dances. Whether you are just a beginner or aim to compete at the highest level, we have a roster of teachers just for you.

We do not pressure you to sign any expensive, long-term contracts. We have faith in our facility and our teachers and know that you will be happy here and keep coming back of your volition, not because you signed a piece of paper.

Once you enter our studio, you will feel part of our dance “family”. Ours is an atmosphere of genuine warmth. No one is a stranger. Everyone is a friend.

What kind of dancers do you cater to?

There are all kinds of dancers that come to Avant Garde:

  • The New Dancer  – Is this your first time to learn? We will get you started on the right path. Just name the dance you want to learn.

  • The Social Dancer – Do you already know how to dance but just want to come dance the night away and have a blast? We have special evenings just for you.

  • The Competitive Dancer – Are you trying to improve your technique and prepare for your next competition? We have many qualified teachers to help you with this.

What kind of dances do you teach?

Some of the dances we teach include:

  • International Standard – Slow Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quick Step

  • International Latin – Cha cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive

  • American Smooth – Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Peabody

  • American Rhythm – Cha cha cha, Bolero, Rumba, Swing, Mambo

  • Others: Salsa, West Coast Swing, Merengue, Argentine Tango, Night Club, Bachata

  • Show Dance

  • Wedding Dance

For a brief description of some of the dances, click on  Lessons.

What do I wear?

We encourage dancers to always exude a sense of class and elegance even during practice. Gentlemen are asked to wear shirts and long pants, with suede soled or scored leather shoes. Dance sneakers are appropriate but athletic sneakers and shorts should not be worn. Ladies can come in skirts or pants and wear heels they are comfortable with. We discourage high platform shoes. Dance sneakers are permitted. For the serious dancer, there are appropriate ballroom dance shoes for sale in the DC area or on the internet.

Do I need a partner when I come for your group lesson or social night?

No, a partner is not needed. For the social night, we will introduce you to the others so you can mingle and have fun dancing. It is okay and not deemed inappropriate either for a lady to ask a gentleman to dance.

If I am just a beginner, what kind of dance should I learn first?

Every person has a different idea of what they want. Each dance has a simple, basic step which is its foundation. From there, it builds on to add other steps. Our teachers will be the best judge to guide you, depending on what style of dance you have a desire to learn.

If I already have a dance background but no ballroom experience, do I need to start from the beginning?

It is an asset to have a dance background. You will progress much quicker but will still need to start from the beginning to learn the correct basics and foundation.

How often should I take lessons?

This all depends on your goals for yourself. If you want to just learn to dance for social events, you may be happy with just a few months of lessons once you’ve learned the basics. If you are a serious dancer and want to work on technique and styling in the hopes of getting to a competition level, taking lessons at least twice a week would be ideal. As they say, practice makes perfect!

Do you take walk-ins to a lesson or do I have to make an appointment? What about to social dances?

You are welcome to drop in for our group lessons. However, to avoid disappointment that we may have reached our capacity, we suggest you contact us. Everyone is welcome to our social dances anytime. For private lessons, you will need to make an appointment with the teacher.

What is the least expensive way to learn?

Group lessons are usually the best route. Our calendar has a schedule of group lessons/workshops from beginner, intermediate, to advance.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards only, cash, and checks.