How the body feels after your first dance lesson

Many of our dancers come to their very first lesson with zero experience. They’ve had little if any exposure to ballroom dancing and they just aren’t sure what will be expected of them… or their body.


We are happy to report that you can 100 percent expect to have fun! Our warm and friendly studios are welcoming spaces where attitudes are checked at the door. Our non-judgmental studios are places where you can feel safe and free to explore your creativity and make new friends.


But what can you expect your body to feel like after your first few lessons? The answer to that question is probably NOT what you were expecting.


“Hold” on a minute!

So you’re enjoying your first ballroom dance lesson at your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios. You are full of excitement because you know you’re going to have a great time as you start to expand your social circle with an exciting new hobby while at the same time getting a pretty decent workout because… well, you’re going to be moving! You would be perfectly right to assume your legs and feet are going to bear the brunt of your activity but as it turns out, that is not the case.


In fact, those first few lessons are more likely to bring soreness to your arms, not your feet. According to Ria DeSoto, owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Long Grove, that’s because, during those first few lessons, the focus isn’t necessarily on your feet. “It’s simply due to the fact that we teach you how to hold your partner in proper frame, which involves lifting your arms in a way you normally wouldn’t do in your everyday life.” (Remember: you don’t have to bring a partner to enjoy ballroom lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. You’ll work with the instructor or someone in the class.)


After that first lesson, you can expect to feel soreness in your arms and also in the shoulder area. A few simple stretches should bring some relief. A BONUS BENEFIT: After that first couple of lessons you will probably find yourself standing straighter as you begin to hold your head high and elongate your upper body. Dancing is great for your posture!


Focus on the Foot

Don’t think your feet will get off untested! Ria DeSoto tells us that your feet will likely feel sore and tired when you start working on specific footwork and technique. That usually comes once you learn the basic steps. Proper, supportive footwear will help with that, but in the meantime, don’t worry. “Your body will definitely start to loosen up by the third or fourth lesson as you start to increase your confidence in learning to dance,” DeSoto says.


Proper Preparation

A professional ballroom dance class will usually begin with a few stretching exercises designed to help you and your muscles prepare for the task ahead. They not only warm your muscles up, they also help protect you against dance-related injuries and can help you decrease joint pain and muscle soreness after you exercise. Before you know it, you’ll notice a new confidence in yourself as you master new techniques after each class.


Ballroom dance classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studios are designed that way because our teaching philosophy at every one of our dance studios nationwide is the same: learning how to ballroom dance is always fun!