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Ballroom Dance

J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Overview, Suggestions, and Recommendations

Ballroom Basics

Learn to dance efficiently, effectively, comfortably, and confidently. Ballroom Basics was developed using established principles of instructional design to build a foundation for all partner dancing. It enables you to dance to almost any music encountered in our culture, and it prepares you to learn easily and efficiently any social partner dance you are likely to encounter, often without taking a lesson. Even experienced dancers find Ballroom Basics valuable and informative. Ballroom Basics is the best way to begin to learn partner dancing.

Workshop: Ballroom Basics

Learn the two major principles of partner dancing.

Learn how these principles are applied on the dance floor.

Gain comfort and confidence in leading and following.

Learn Economically

Ballroom Basics is occasionally offered as a series of six, group classes, but it is best taken as private or semiprivate lessons. The most efficient way to learn is: 1) Organize a group of five, two couples and one follower. 2) Schedule a free, shared first lesson. 3) After all in your group have mastered a lesson, schedule another. Some feel confident after three lessons, and most are ready for a lifetime of dance after lesson six. By sharing the lesson and scheduling only as needed, cost is minimized and learning is maximized. Lessons are $35 per hour and can be shared by up to five people.

Workshop: Elements of Social Dance

Learn the two kinds of dance steps and why style has little to do with steps. Learn the two building blocks and two sequences that underlie popular dance styles. Learn to deconstruct a new dance for efficient mastery. Learn to analyze the styles of other dancers. Learn the two categories of music common to social dance. Learn the western cadence found in more dances than any other. Learn the most efficient and versatile "step" in dance. Discover that you already know more about dance than you realized.

These Courses and Workshops are Unique

Dr. J M Nelson is a professor of pedagogy. He uses learning hierarchy, visual aids, and cognitive strategies in addition to the traditional "do what I do" method of teaching dance. The curriculum focuses on dance, not just on "steps." Most social dancers have had lessons filled with new steps, yet many struggle with the basics of leading and following. Master the basics of partner dancing, and learning steps and styles will be easy.

Free Workshops for Organizations

Workshops on Ballroom Basics and Elements of Social Dance are offered free to community centers, churches, senior citizen groups and similar, not for profit organizations.


Fifty years of ballroom dancing. Forty years as an instructional designer. Instructional Development Director for a state university. Corporate consultant for training. Taught and directed graduate research. Discovered that dance classes rarely emphasize the underlying components that make partner dancing functional. Discovered why students are frustrated and why many give up. Discovered that some dance teachers deliberately omit fundamentals in group class, reserving them for more lucrative private lessons. Author of over seventy articles on social dance. Writer for USADance, Inc. Used principles of systematic instructional design and theories of learning to create the unique course, Ballroom Basics. Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.