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Ballroom dancing is a great hobby, pastime and for some competitive activity. Getting started however can at times seem daunting so what's the best way forward? Well it depends on several things such as what you want to achieve and the facilities available in your area. This article looks at the various options available and their respective merits.

Instruction DVD's
The DVD has come of age and interactive tuition using DVD's is available on almost any subject. Ballroom dancing is no exception. The benefit of using DVD's is the learning can be self paced and if you are shy or self conscious you can learn to dance in the privacy of your own home or local village hall far from prying eyes.

However, DVD's are not ideal for absolute beginners but rather they lend themselves to the improver looking for advanced techniques and learning to compliment their regular lessons. Ballroom dancing is not at all straightforward and like many activities the basics are best learned with a teacher. That's not to say that some people don't manage more than adequately using only DVD's but as a rule you can't beat the hands on approach of an experienced teacher. DVD's cost from as little as £15.00 up to several hundred for more advanced material.

Classes are a great way to get into ballroom dancing and have the benefit of introducing you to like minded people and other dance related activities such as social dances, medal tests and even competitions. The format of most classes is for learning to take place as a group activity with the pace of the lesson moving at the right pace for the majority attending. The only word of warning would be not to drop into an established class, but rather to find a class of beginners at the same level or, if you are a more advanced dancer, to arrange a private session with the teacher prior to joining the class to establish the class's suitability. There's nothing worse than joining a class who have been working as a group on dance steps with which you are not familiar – you may find this discouraging. Classes cost around £5.00 per person, or £10.00 per couple, per lesson.

One word of warning with classes. make sure you can set aside enough time each week to attend. Miss one or two lessons and you will find the group has moved on leaving you behind playing catch up, which can be frustrating.

Private lessons
Without doubt the best way to learn how to dance is through private lessons. You get the teacher's undivided attention and the pace will be tailored to your ability and speed of learning. If you are serious about learning to dance and want to be waltzing round the floor in the shortest possible time then this is the way to do it. Private lessons cost from around £20 per session, usually 45 minutes, up to around £100 for a session with a former world class professional.

Dance breaks
Dance breaks are a great way to learn to dance. There are breaks tailored to suit all levels of dancer from absolute beginners through to competitive dancers looking to perfect their techniques.

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