Our experience has show us that by practicing partner-changing in our group classes all of our students learn to dance faster, and more compleatly. Here are just a few of the ways that this technique helps:

    1.  Changing partners gives students the chance to dance with different and sometimes better dancers so that each of us can feel how the step or pattern should feel.  If two people begin classes together and only dance with one another, they miss the opportunity to dance with more experienced dancers who might be able to help them learn.  Students who refuse to trade partners often take longer to learn what the class is covering and require additional repetitions of the material which slows down the entire class.  So overall it is better for a group class if everyone trades partners.

    2.  At the same time, trading partners gives students the chance to dance with less experienced dancers.  It is while dancing with a less skilled dancer that a person learns (as a leader) what signals to give or (as a follower) what signals indicate a certain movement.

    3.  Trading partners ensures that the woman gets to experience what different leads feel like and that the man gets to experience the different responses the woman might have to the way he leads.  In this way each person builds stronger lead or follow skills.

    4.  By trading partners it immediately becomes obvious if one half of a partnership is weaker than the other.  If a leader is unable to lead a step with a succession of followers, it is clear that the leader is doing something wrong.  If a follower is unable to follow that step with a succession of leaders it is clear that the follower is doing something wrong.  In a group class situation it is often challenging for an instructor to identify problems between partners.  Instructors can fix problems more efficiently when the partners can identify the weak piece on their own.

    5.  Trading partners is also a good way to ensure that people are more forgiving of their partners.  It sometimes happens that people are more critical of their spouses than they are of friends and acquaintances.  Likewise people are sometimes more critical of friends and acquaintances than of strangers.  There is less chance that partners will be critical of one another while learning with strangers.

    6.  Trading partners lets students meet and interact with their classmates.  This is beneficial because people tend to be more comfortable with a group of friends and acquaintances than they are with a group of strangers.  Also, other students might become friends and this will build a group of people to interact with at dances and social events.

    7.  The final reason that trading partners is a good idea is that it limits the negative impact of lead/follow imbalanced classes.  It is common to have extra women or men in a class.  If the partners never change these people are left without a partner for the entire class.  Trading partners ensures that everyone, on average, dances with a partner most of the time.

    All of the above reasons are geared toward making your class experience more comfortable, fun and productive.  You are our customers and we do everything possible to maximize your time and money investment in the classes you take.  Based on over 20 years experience, partner changing is an important part of doing just that!