Frequently Asked Questions

Membership to our club is open to all students, faculty, and staff of the University of Virginia who have or are eligible to purchase a University ID Card. We recruit new members at the beginning of each semester, although anyone is welcome to join at any time. Membership dues include everything specified by your tier of membership (See Membership Options). We encourage all of our prospective members to attend our booth at the activities fair or our free lessons for more info. Much of the information that will be covered is found on our Lesson Info and Membership Options page, though if you have specific questions that are not answered on this site and cannot make any of mentioned events please e-mail our Secretary.

Absolutely not! Anyone can join the club. All students will switch partners frequently during lessons and practices. Students will be partnered during practices when they are preparing for upcoming competitions. Many of our silver dancers come to newcomer or bronze lessons, and some of our followers even learn to lead so that everyone can have a partner during lessons!

Absolutely not! Most of our veterans started ballroom dancing during our free lessons, and we promise that if you stick with the club, after a few semesters no one will be able to tell if you started with any experience!

Your first three weeks of trial classes are free! Dues of $30/$60 are collected the third week of lessons, depending on your membership tier. These dues go to paying for our professional instructors, competitions, and other various events. If you do not wish to commit to joining the club for the semester, you also have the option to pay $5 for each lesson you attend.

Every semester we have various club social events, as well as social dances and mixers with other dance club at UVA. We also hold formal events such as our annual Rotunda Ball. We’re a social club just as much as we are a club sport.

Ballroom competitions are events where many schools and other competitors get together, with 10-20 couples of similar skill levels dancing on a floor at the same time. Judges rank the performances of the various couples through various heats, until they are able to obtain and recognize the top few from each category. Competitions are also a great bonding experience for the club! We compete 2-4 times a semester, sending as many as 30 or 40 people the some of the more popular competitions. We regularly go to competitions such as DCDI and Ohio Star Ball. Your membership dues pay for you to be able to compete, so you don’t have to spend anything out of pocket to travel. It really is a fun time, and really helps you grow as a dancer.

All club members are able to go to our competitions for free with their membership, and do not have to compete if they do not want to.

There is absolutely no time requirement. You don’t have to attend lessons (although we recommend it) and you don’t have to practice outside of lessons (although we recommend it). Whether you plan to come to every class or only once a month, you are more than welcome here!

We recommend anything that allows you to move without restriction. Stretchy pants or skirts can work well. For shoes, dress shoes or any shoes that will be comfortable to move in are ideal. Rubber-soled shoes, like sneakers, can be hard to turn or move in, so wearing socks is also fine!

No. While ballroom shoes are wonderful and ultimately a great purchase for an interested dancer, the more novice dancer might want to start with a good pair of leather-soled dress shoes (not shoes with black or rubber bottoms). Ballet slippers, jazz or character shoes are usually very good, as are a pair of thick athletic socks, since they will let you slide on the floor comfortably. Tennis shoes, flip flops, clogs, chunky heels, or rubber-soled shoes are inappropriate and unsafe to dance in since they stick to the floor or are just generally unwieldy. If you are unsure about your shoes, please keep a pair of socks in your bag…they are infinitely better than sneakers! You can get a pair of ballroom shoes online or at the Hip Joint at the Downtown Mall with a 10% discount if you decide to stick with the club. Here are some useful websites where you can buy shoes online:

We have all of that for you! The Ballroom Dance Club closet holds clothing of all styles and sizes! That includes long and short dresses, vests, pants, and even a few pairs of shoes.

We hire professional instructors to teach a majority our advanced lessons. We also offer many beginner lessons taught by our officers and veteran members. Our officers and returning dancers are often on hand to be of help to beginning dancers if they need it.

We cover the entire American and International syllabi over the course of the academic year. For International Standard, that includes Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Quickstep. For International Latin, that includes Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, and Jive. American Smooth includes Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. American Rhythm includes Cha-cha, Rumba, Swing, and Mambo. Additionally, we try to throw in a fun dance lesson every once in a while, such as paso doble, polka, and hustle.

What’s the difference between American and International? You might as well join the club to find out 🙂