Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What exactly is ballroom dance?

Ballroom dance refers to a variety of partner dances across several different styles and speeds. Partnerships consist of a leader and a follower, so that skilled couples can dance together without planning routines in advance. Each dance has its own unique mood, appearance, and dance moves, although many moves are similar in different dances. You can find a list on the Homepage.

How do competitions work?

A group of up to twenty-four couples take the floor simultaneously, dancing the same style of dance at the same time. The top couples are selected to move onto the next round based on rhythm, technique, presence, and style. Competitions have many events at various skill levels and in different dances. Even by their first competition, most newcomers are dancing eight or more different styles.

What kind of music is ballroom danced to?

Almost anything you want to, so long as it's the right speed and time signature. Once you start dancing, you'll start to notice that you can dance ballroom to many of your favorite songs, but you'll also find that your favorite songs become those that are great to dance to. If you head over to our YouTube Channel, you'll find a good representation of the sort of music we tend to dance to.


What exactly is the ballroom team?

The team is a group of committed dancers that work together to improve their skills. We have classes at various levels of skill, some taught by experienced dancers from the team, and others taught by professionals from outside Yale. We grow, practice, learn, teach, compete, perform, improve our dancing, and generally have a good time together. There is a large social aspect to the team as well.

What sort of dances will I be learning at lessons?

Usually, we have one night a week devoted to Standard and one night a week devoted to Latin. For a list of dances in each style, head to the Homepage.

When do you normally meet?

During the 2023-24 school year, newbie lessons will take place 8-9 pm on Mondays and 5-6 pm on Wednesdays. Advanced lessons are more sporadic due to coach availability; reach out for more info. Team practices are casual and social on Fridays, 6-8 pm. We also have practice spaces reserved throughout the week for practice by yourself or with a partner. If you want to find us and chat, Team Dinners are always at 5pm on Fridays in the Branford dining hall.


What's the difference between the club and the team?

While the Team is meant for those who want to pursue competitive ballroom, Club is meant for those who want to learn ballroom without the pressure or time commitment of competition or multiple lessons a week. Club is socially oriented and progresses at a pace that is ideal for those who are attending lessons only once a week.


How do I join?

In the fall, we hold a giant dance lesson, party, and performance we call the Icebreaker, which is the perfect opportunity for you to get your first taste of ballroom. After that, our first few weeks of newcomer lessons each semester are open to anyone interested in joining the team or club. You simply need to show up and see if you're interested in staying with the team! In October, we collect club dues and focus towards goals like performances and competitions, which are only available to official members of YBDT. But we'll keep holding large public socials and events for people who can't commit but still want to have fun dancing!

Details about these events will be posted on our website as the event approaches. If you have any questions about joining the team, feel free to contact our Newbie Captains, Tiffany Toh and Avery Long. You can also stop by our table at the Extracurricular Bazaar in the fall. If you would like to be updated about our events, please fill out the form on the home page or email and request to be included in our mailing list.

Do I have to come with a dance partner?

Not at all! In fact, all of our beginner classes rotate through partners so you can have the experience of dancing with different partners. For the first few competitions, partners are usually matched by the Newbie Captains.

Is it okay if I've never danced before?

Absolutely! Most dancers on the team started their dancing journeys here at Yale. If you have some prior dancing experience of any sort, you will certainly be at an advantage, but you will still find that our newcomer classes move at an appropriate pace.

What if I've danced ballroom in the past?

It depends entirely on the amount and type of ballroom experience you have. If you have never worked on technique, you will probably find yourself most at home in our newcomer classes, although some of the material may be review for you. If you have practiced and competed seriously in the past, you will want to move into Bronze or Silver classes immediately.

Feel free to contact our Publicity Director with any further questions!