Frequently Asked Questions

Ballroom basics & benefits

Ballroom dance is a style of partner dance that combines elegance, grace, and rhythmic movement. It encompasses various dance forms including waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha-cha, and swing — each characterized by specific techniques and patterns.

Ballroom dance is celebrated for its ability to foster connection and communication between partners, making it both a social activity and a competitive sport. Whether performed in a social setting or on the competitive stage, ballroom dance offers a unique blend of artistry, athleticism, and cultural tradition.

The social side of ballroom dance offers a rich, communal experience that goes beyond the steps and techniques. In a social dance setting, the focus is on enjoying the music, connecting with your partner, and engaging with others in a relaxed and friendly environment. This aspect of ballroom dance fosters a sense of community, encourages communication, and builds social skills. It’s about having fun, expressing yourself, and making new friends — all while learning and practicing ballroom dance in a less formal atmosphere.

In contrast, performing and competing in ballroom dance emphasize precision, technique, and presentation. Dancers in this setting work intensely on choreography, styling, and execution to deliver polished and impressive routines. The goal of competitive ballroom dancing is to showcase skills and artistry to an audience or judges, often in a highly structured and determined environment.

Im short, while social dancing is about connection and enjoyment, competitive ballroom dancing focuses on performing and competing to achieve excellence and recognition in the dance world.

Taking partnership dance lessons offers a multitude of benefits beyond improving stamina, strength and poise. Check them out through this link and think about what you’d most like to get out of your dance lessons, so that we can tailor instruction to your specific goals.

No partner? No problem!

At Social Graces, you can jump right in solo. For private lessons, you’ll dance with our talented and friendly instructors. In our group classes, you’ll have the pleasure of dancing with fellow students — and our students are always eager to share the floor and welcome new faces. By the end of class, you’ll have plenty of new dance partners and a whole dance family ready to waltz, swing, and cha-cha with you.

Join us solo and leave with a host of new friends.

Dancing with a partner requires practice, patience, a keen sense of spatial awareness, and a host of other skills we are all capable of developing. And, while we could write an entire book to help answer this question, the best way to learn is, well, to learn! Ultimately, there is no substitute for doing, and we invite you to sign up for a complimentary private lesson with one of our expert instructors to experience the grace and beauty of partnership dance first-hand.

Over the years, we’ve collected a wide variety of sample songs for each ballroom dance style.

Click here to browse our diverse collection of ballroom dance music ➤

About our studio

At Social Graces Ballroom Dance Studio, we focus on American style ballroom, which is highly social, relatively easy to perform and always exciting. We do, however, teach many different styles including the well-known East Coast and West Coast Swing, foxtrot, and waltz, and it is our pleasure to help you explore and learn whichever style or styles truly speak to you.

Here’s a full list and explanation of the styles we teach! Read more…

The easy answer is to be open, accepting and respectful of everyone around you and to focus the most on your own personal dance journey. We have found that common courtesy goes a long way toward making everyone feel comfortable, inspired and excited. If you come to a group lesson or a Friday night dance, be prepared to be asked to dance, and go dance!

Even if you are new to the studio or dance as a whole, you’ll soon discover that our students enjoy dancing with other students of all skill levels. If you approach others with courtesy and humility, then we can assure you that everyone will enjoy the experience.

Read more…

All of our classes focus on partner dancing — from private and group lessons to our weekly group dances and events. That said, you certainly don’t need to bring a partner, as our instructors will gladly partner up with you or pair you up with another student. Either way, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and ready to put your best foot forward!

Yes, we offer children’s dance classes at Social Graces! Our fun and engaging classes are designed to teach kids the basics of ballroom dance while fostering coordination and social skills. Our experienced instructors create a supportive and encouraging environment where children can learn and grow through dance.

Check our schedule for class times and come join the fun!

Yes! We welcome students of all ages and teach to your unique goals – whether you’re fourteen, forty or ninety four. 

We’re located at 639 East Main St. in Berryville, Va., just off Harry Byrd Highway.

Get directions on our Contact Us page.

What to wear

For the best dancing experience, we recommend wearing dancing shoes with non-slip suede soles. These allow you to glide smoothly across the floor while providing just the right amount of grip. When it comes to clothing, choose something comfortable and non-restrictive to ensure you can move freely.

While we don’t enforce a strict dress code, we encourage footwear and outfits that support your dancing efforts without causing any complications.

More detailed information on this topic can be found here.

While it can be challenging to find local retailers that carry ballroom dancing shoes in-store, there are many options available online. Websites such as Amazon and danceshoesonline.com offer a wide selection of styles and sizes.

If you need assistance in choosing the right ballroom dance shoes, our instructors are always happy to provide recommendations and help you find the perfect pair to meet your dancing needs.

It’s best not to wear ballroom dance shoes outside. Their specialized suede soles are designed for indoor dance floors and can be damaged by rough surfaces, dirt, and moisture. Wearing them outside can reduce their lifespan and affect your performance on the dance floor.

Save them for indoor use to keep them in the best condition.

For your wedding dance lesson, it’s important to wear clothing and footwear that allow you to move comfortable and freely. Here are some specific recommendations:

  1. Clothing:
    • Comfortable and non-restrictive: Choose attire that is easy to move in. Avoid tight or restrictive clothing that might limit your range of motion.
    • Practice dress or skirt (optional): If you want to get a feel for dancing in your wedding attire, you can wear a practice dress or skirt that mimics the flow of your wedding dress. Just ensure it doesn’t hinder your movements.
    • Layers: Dress in layers so you can adjust if you get too warm during lessons.
  2. Footwear:
    • Dance shoes: If you have ballroom dance shoes, wear them. They provide the right amount of grip and glide for dancing.
    • Similar shoes to your wedding day: If you don’t have ballroom dance shoes, wear shoes similar to what you’ll wear on your wedding day. This helps you get used to the feel and movement.
    • Avoid sneakers and flip-flops: These types of shoes can be too grippy or unsupportive for dancing.
  3. Accessories:
    • Minimal jewelry: Keep accessories to a minimum to avoid distractions or potential snagging.
    • Hair tied back: If you have long hair, consider tying it back so it doesn’t get in your way.

By wearing comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and appropriate footwear, you’ll be able to focus on learning and enjoying your wedding dance lessons.


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Whether you’re curious about taking your very first ballroom dance lesson or reawakening your inner dancer, we can’t wait to meet you. Please tell us a little about yourself, and we’ll be in touch shortly to discuss next steps—literally!