excerpted from an article by Jean Krupa
in a publication by USA Dance
Before you start taking lessons, you should decide what your goal is in learning to ballroom dance. You also need to decide what your budget is.
There are three types of lessons from which to choose: group, semi-private and private. Choosing the right lesson depends on your learning style or level of experience. With the right type of lesson, cancers can improve dramatically over a relative short period of time.
Two of the best things about group lessons are that they are affordable and you will have the chance to dance with several different partners and, hopefully, to make new friends. Group lessons are a good way to learn patterns/steps/moves, with the added benefit of practicing (and improving!) your leading or following. They are also extremely fun, so beginners benefit from an entertaining, semi-social group environment.
The downside to group lessons is that you are sharing the teacher with many other students. You will get little individual attention if you are having trouble and the pace of the class might be too fast or too slow for your liking. Also, it is difficult for the instructor to teach advanced techniques.
Group lessons are an excellent introduction to dances of all types and the social experience of partner dancing that allows you to concentrate on a single dance. You probably should take group lessons before you take private lesson. The cost-benefit ratio for private lessons is more more favorable after you have the basics under your belt.