Latin and Ballroom Dance Classes in Bristol
What you need to know:
- No experience needed or expected
- Come on your own or with a partner
- Casual dress, normal shoes are fine
- No booking or registration
- Only pay for the classes you attend
- Pay £6.50 (£6 concs) per person as you arrive
- Anyone can dance, and at any age
When can I start?
We run Beginners Classes that start around the same time as schools in September, January and Easter time and run for around twelve weeks. Please join classes within three weeks of the start date.
We post the actual start dates or venues in the Upcoming Events, below, about a month before the classes begin. Until then, please Join Our E-Mailing List so we can send you the dates as soon as we have them.
If you have experience, contact us so we can point you to the most appropriate class today.
Why should you come?
- Dancing is good fun and a healthy activity
- Meet lots of people in a friendly environment
- We teach levels from beginner to experienced
- You can continue learning with us for years
- Dancing is a skill to last a lifetime
- You get more variety with a selection of dance styles
- You won’t know how much fun dancing is until you try it.
More than a Night ClassIf you look at the photos, videos and testimonials on the site, you will see that this is more than a night class. Dancing is something people do for the enjoyment of it. You can learn to dance and we’d love to teach you.
- Get new term dates and info
- No obligation
- Can unsubscribe any time
- We won’t pass on your details
- No junk mailings
- About two mailings per term
Bristol Dance Experience based on 28 user reviews
Reviewed by Michelle Greaves, 10 April 2014
I joined the Bristol Dance Experience classes in January 2014 after being recommended by a friend. I've done some Ballroom and Latin dancing before and found the intermediate classes, which I was advised to attend by Eric (one of the owners), were pitched at a very good level with multiple options of classes available from new beginners to multiple intermediate levels all the way up to experienced.
The beginners classes which are on before my class also look good with them going through steps clearly and slowly, so don't worry if you've never danced or feel like you have two left feet!
Clothing is informal (jeans and a t shirt are the common place), with some girls wearing heels but this isn't compulsary. You don't need a partner to go as they get everyone to change around and there is genaerally a good males:female split in the classes. The classes are all run by two dancers (male and female) so that you can follow someone doing the steps more easily.
Eric also mentions in all classes about positioning in relation to the room and how to progress around the room, which is something some classes tend to miss by focussing purely on the steps.
I've learnt a lot from these classes, everyone is very friendly and it's a really good way to exercise. The classes are a very reasonable price for a good 1hr 15 mins lesson (none of this "hour session" which is actually 50 minutes - you really do get your moneys worth!) No sign up fees so if you can't go one week there's no charge as you pay as you go. There are also multiple sites to attend lessons at on most nights in the week so there's lot of flexibility.
I'll be returning after Easter and if you've never danced before or you'd like to go back to it after some time off - I would recommend Bristol Dance Experience - out of anywhere in Bristol I've tried this is definately the best!
Reviewed by Phillip Jackson, 13 January 2014
Eric and Helia teach a good range of dance styles. They teach at all levels from absolute beginner. In my first term, I was amazed at how much was taught and how much I actually picked up. The lessons are aimed at all people's capabilities fast or slow learners and Eric keeps the teaching level to the whole group. If you want to learn dancing in Bristol, I would recommend to try it for a term. You will amaze yourself on what you can actually achieve.
Reviewed by Clare Diston, 28 June 2014
These lessons are fun, easy to follow and move at a good pace. I started as a complete beginner and am now on my second term, loving it! The teachers are fantastic and the range of dances is excellent. Love Bristol Dance Experience so much!
Reviewed by Annette Marshall, 17 April 2014
I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to Eric and his great team for helping me understand dancing. My husband decided to take me dancing as I have been such a fan of ballroom all my life but never had the courage to participate.
Eric and the team realised this for me and it has changed an element of my life which I am very grateful for. I will never be an Abby Clancy but I am having fun and dancing with my dear husband so that's worth ''a ten from Len'' I'm certain!
Reviewed by Penny Morse, 12 April 2014
Helia at The Elmgrove Centre works miracles! She got my husband dancing. She has a real understanding of how to teach absolute beginners. I cannot recommend her lessons enough. We really look forward to every session. Go on - give it a go , you won't regret it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click a Frequently Asked Question below to see the answer
After a year or so some students get proper dancing shoes. Here in Bristol there are three dance shoe shops selling different makes and styles of shoes.
Holbrook’s Dance Shoes are based in Henleaze at 33-35 Southmead Road, Henleaze, Bristol, BS10 5DW on 0117 924 74 74.
Dance World in Bedminster at 52 Bedminster Parade, Bristol, BS3 4HS on 0117 953 7941.Dancewell in Cotham at 60 Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JX on 0117 973 0120. Their web site does not show ballroom shoes but they do have a small selection in the shop in Cotham.
As there are are a number of different dances we cover two different dances in each lesson, and each dance is covered for two or three weeks before we move onto the next one.Why not watch the video of how class works on the home page.
Beginners Dance Classes
We assume you don’t know anything about dancing and most students will not have any prior experience. Even if you think you have two left feet, you should easily be able to get to grips with the basic steps. The dance classes are are popular and there will be plenty of people to dance with even if you do not come with a partner. You pay for each class when you arrive so if you didn’t like it you can stop any point, but we think you will love it once you give it a try.
Latin & Ballroom Dances
The “modern” Latin and Ballroom dances that we teach started as different dance crazes in the early 20th century that were popularised and codified by people like Vernon and Irene Castle, Victor Sylvestor and Fred Astaire. These dances can be enjoyed by people of all ages and can be danced simply for social enjoyment and do not need to be danced competitively as one sees on Strictly Come Dancing or in DanceSport Competitions.
Everybody enjoys the dance classes, but there comes a time to put do what you have learned without prompting from the teacher. Being able to identify the type of dance for a piece of music, count yourself in and then remember the steps and patterns all requires a bit of practice. We provide weekend dances about once a month during term time and we have dance practice sessions two days every week during term times.
Dates for Beginners Classes
It is too late to join the existing classes this term, but there will be new beginners classes starting in January 2015. Please join our mailing list for new term announcements that we will send in December.
Due to the reduced schedule we are currently unable to offer beginners salsa.
Dates for Weekend Dances
Dates for Practices
|Tuesday Practice Sessions||7:45pm-9:45pm||Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014-Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014||Elmgrove Centre|
Dates for Other Classes
We run a full range of classes from beginners to experienced every term but only publish the beginners class information on the website because those are the only classes where we want people to just “turn up on the day”. It can be disruptive if people turn up at a more advanced class without consulting us first. So sorry for the inconvenience, but please contact us with details of your past experience and we can tell you which classes will suit you.