How to ballroom dance for men

How To Ballroom Dance For Beginners (Videos)

Ballroom dancing is one of the classiest types of formal dancing and it includes 20+ different dances.

In this guide you’ll learn how to Ballroom dance for beginners with 3 videos (below).

But first a quick intro…

There are the traditional Ballroom dances which include: Waltz, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Quickstep and more.

And then there are what are considered Latin-Ballroom dances which include: Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo, Salsa, Jive, Samba and more.

I’m a Beginner, Which dances should I start with?

Our recommendation is to learn the basic steps of these 3 dances: The Slow Waltz, Rumba and Cha Cha.

These 3 dances are great because they fit most of the popular music. Read more about the best social dances to learn here.

But wait, before you start learning the Ballroom basic steps below, you need to know how to take hold with your partner.

First, Learn The Ballroom Dance Hold

In this video we explain how to achieve what is referred to as “The Closed Hold” in Ballroom dancing:

The main points are:
● Leader’s left hand connects to Follower’s right hand, and held at Follower’s eye level.
● Leader’s right hand is placed just underneath the lady’s left shoulder blade area.
● Followers place their left arm on the man’s shoulder area, and press down slightly to connect with the leader’s right arm.
● When doing a strictly Ballroom dance you will have less space between you – and more space during the Latin-Ballroom dances.
● Keep your core engaged at all times for better balance and to feel your partner’s weight.

Next, Ballroom Dance Steps (Learn The Basics)

1st of 3: Learn The Slow Waltz Basics

The slow Waltz is beautiful dance with emphasize on smooth gliding across the floor with rise and fall technique (going up and down). The main characteristic of this dance is the iconic timing of 1,2,3. Learn the basic step below.

The Waltz basic steps (The Box Step):

Breakdown of Waltz steps:

Men’s steps:
Forward with Left Foot
Side with Right Foot
Close Left Foot to Right Foot (And Switch Weight)

Back with Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot (And Switch Weight)

Lady’s steps:
Back with Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot (And Switch Weight)

Forward with Left Foot
Side with Right Foot
Close Left Foot to Right Foot (And Switch Weight)

Related: More on How Waltz dance here.

2nd of 3: Learn The Rumba Basic Steps

The American Style Rumba is one of the most social friendly Ballroom dances. The basic step is a also a box step (Just like the Waltz) but the difference here is that there is no up and down motion, instead dancers use what is called Cuban Motion technique – where the dancers bend and straighten their knees on every step – producing a hip action.

Rumba Basic Steps (The Box Step):

Breakdown of Rumba steps:

Men’s steps:
Forward with Left Foot
Side with Right Foot
Close Left Foot to Right Foot (And Switch Weight)

Back with Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot (And Switch Weight)

Lady’s steps:
Back with Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot (And Switch Weight)

Forward with Left Foot
Side with Right Foot
Close Left Foot to Right Foot (And Switch Weight)

Related: More on Rumba dance steps here.

3rd of 3: Learn The Cha Cha Basic Steps

The Cha Cha dance is a very lively and fast dance. It’s a dance that has lots of quick footwork and hip actions – with emphasize on the rhythm. The main characteristic of this dance is the triple step chasses which are present through out the entire dance.

Cha Cha Basic Steps (The Side Basic Step):

Breakdown of Cha Cha steps:

Men’s steps:
Side with Left Foot
Back with Right Foot
Replace weight Forward on Left Foot
Side With Right Foot
Close Left Foot To Right Foot (Switch weight)
Side With Right Foot
Forward with Left Foot (Check action)
Replace weight Back on Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot

Lady’s steps:
Side With Right Foot
Forward with Left Foot (Check action)
Replace weight Back on Right Foot
Side with Left Foot
Close Right Foot to Left Foot
Side with Left Foot
Back with Right Foot
Replace weight Forward on Left Foot
Side With Right Foot
Close Left Foot To Right Foot (Switch weight)

Related: More on Cha Cha dance here.

Other Dances To Learn

The following 5 dances are also great for anyone looking to expand on their Ballroom dancing learning (They are also taught in our membership). Click on them to learn them:

Learn East Coast Swing Moves
The East coast swing is a dance that originated from Lindy Hop and has lots of turn and spins. The leaders and followers both do rock steps and triple side steps through-out this dance, with bending and straightening the knees.

Learn Foxtrot basic steps
The Foxtrot is a great Ballroom dance to use to get around the rooms and at weddings and Ballroom dance parties. This is one of the easiest dances to learn because it involves 2 walks and side steps for both partners. It is a classy dance that fits may of the Frank Sinatra and Michael Bubble music.

Learn Bachata dance steps
The Bachata is a sensual Latin dance and is a perfect dance to do socially for couples. The basic steps involve side to side stepping, with the 4th and 8th steps done as taps (without change of weight). This move is great to do at Latin dance clubs and parties.

Learn Salsa basic steps
Salsa is one of the hottest Latin dances right now and it fits many of the Reggaeton music played at clubs and parties. The Salsa basic steps consist of fwd and back rock steps and aside from that many of the moves include: spins, underarm turns, hip actions and dips.

Want More Dance Lessons?

We offer a membership that includes access to 300+ Ballroom and Latin dance videos online. Including American & International style videos.

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How to Get More Men to Dance

Any female ballroom dancer knows that the majority of classes and socials she goes to is going to have considerably more women than men. And that means longer waits between before paired with a leader.

True, there are increasingly women who learn the leader's part as well, but this remains in the minority. And the reality is that most women would rather dance with men, and vice versa.

I used to think men's aversion to dance came from seeing it as something only for "sissies". In my own research however, I realized that sometimes there are men who want to dance, but don't. And that's a tragedy.

Tune in for why I believe this is - and what both women AND men can do about it:


Hey guys! My name is Ian Crewe. I'm an instructor at the Joy of Dance Centre in Toronto, Ontario, and the creator of Social Ballroom Dance: Where you can learn your dance, at your place, on your schedule.

Of the different group classes that I teach, one of the most common complaints I hear is, "there aren't enough guys!" And they're right - the fact is your average guy is a lot less likely to get into ballroom dancing,  and they're are a lot more likely to quit soon after they start. But why is that?

This is more, I feel, than simply wanting to appear macho, or avoid dancing because they see it as something that only "sissies" do. The truth is your average man is very sensitive to making mistakes publicly. In their minds it correlates with appearing weak in front of others.

Now, this didn't used to be so much of a problem. When we were younger, we were still developing various skills that we needed to be successful, we were finding our chosen field of interest, so a lot of mistakes were inevitable, and we had to make peace with that.

But your average middle-aged man is a lot more secure in their line of work their spouse, their marriage, and their, hobbies, and they have stopped expanding their comfort zone.

For these people, dancing is a particularly terrifying prospect because a) you're gonna make a LOT of mistakes, and b) you have to make those mistakes in front of the opposite sex. And that is your heterosexual man's worst nightmare.

It doesn't help that ballroom dancing is often seen as kind of effeminate. There's a lot of competitive dancers, male dancers, who go out there in the  skin tight leotards and the rhinestones, and that does not exactly help that image (not that there's anything wrong with that).

But to the men who feel that way about ballroom dancing, let me just say that, if you want to dance in a more masculine way, you can! It's all about just expressing the parts of yourself that you want to express. The great thing about ballroom dancing is you can express anything that want to express, and you're doing it in a place where it's socially acceptable - it's pretty much all good over here.

Ladies, if you have a spouse, or a boyfriend, or friend, or whatever who is interested in getting into dance lessons with you, it is so important that you stay patient with them and use encouraging language.

As a general rule, don't correct them unless they're seriously in danger of hurting you; let the instructor work it out with them.

The fact is - and this might seem silly to you - but a lot of guys view any critiquing of their abilities as emasculating: they start feeling like they're being told that you can do their job better than they can, and I've seen a lot of dance couples stop dancing, because the man was getting sick of feeling "less than" in front of his partner and he just dug in his heels.

Now that said, men, don't let your fear of dancing put you in a cage! Life is too short to always stay within your comfort zone. Get to know your fears, and more importantly, get to know what goals or activities they are preventing you from accomplishing. Recognize that you are limiting yourself by giving in to those fears.

Now, I'm not saying that you need to jump straight into a dance studio, but that doesn't mean that you can't still learn to dance.

One of the reasons why I have modified my website now to offer online dance lessons (more on that soon), is so that people like you can learn to dance in the comfort of your own home. So that when you do go out to that social or that dance studio, you have the confidence that comes with the knowledge of knowing more about what goes on in the dancing world, so you're not just going in blind and feeling awkward the whole time.

And let me just say that for men: if you're single, there are a lot of interesting attractive woman out there who LOVE a guy who can dance.

Ultimately, I think we need to make a cultural shift; we need to educate both guys and girls that dancing is okay. Usually if we see an activity that is not as common in society, we're much more likely to see it as strange. But the more common a male dancer becomes, the more okay we're going to be with it.

So I hope you found this interesting or thought-provoking, and if you had any questions about it, you can message me on my Facebook fan page, Ballroom Dancers Anonymous, or you can email me at [email protected], again that's [email protected], and next week are we are beginning a new theme, covering how to be more popular as a social dancer.

So until then, happy dancing!

benefits and advice on choosing a direction


Many people start dancing at the age of 4-5. Clumsy kids diligently learn the pas, and soon shine at their first concerts and competitions. But even among toddlers, ten girls account for, at best, two or three boys. There was an opinion that dancing is a girl's occupation, and boys should choose a "more masculine" sport. But that's not the case at all. Dancing is useful both for boys at a young age, and for adult guys and even respectable "accomplished" men.

Why is dancing good for guys?

It is difficult to find activities that provide such a harmonious physical activity as dancing. In the process of training, the back muscles and abs are strengthened, the muscles of the arms are worked out, and the legs become strong. In addition, dancing will provide:

  • a good stretch;
  • excellent posture;
  • endurance;
  • coordination of movements.

Agree, not only girls need such qualities!

Emotional state and self-confidence

There is an additional effect of dancing: it is an improvement in the psycho-emotional state. Movement to music gives a person a positive attitude, and the ability to control your body increases self-confidence.

Regular classes will help:

  • learn how to speak in front of a large audience;
  • express one's thoughts and feelings;
  • remove the inner clips;
  • develop psychological stability;
  • easily communicate with the opposite sex and win sympathy.

Dance is creativity. You will also increase your level of creativity and learn how to quickly find unexpected solutions to difficult situations, develop emotional intelligence.

What kind of dance styles are suitable for guys?

There are many dance directions, which allows you to choose single or couple classes, taking into account what kind of music you like, what your physical fitness is, what qualities you would like to develop. For example, tango lessons awaken sensuality and coordination, teach you to understand your partner, understand music. And hip-hop will provide a complete physical training for all muscle groups, make you stronger, teach you to improvise and express feelings

Let's take a closer look at some of the popular dance styles suitable for guys.

Hip-hop for men

Hip-hop is one of the most popular trends among young guys. Hip-hop can be danced solo, in pairs or as a group, this dance combines many directions and allows you to boldly improvise. Having mastered the basic elements of hip-hop, you will feel confident on the dance floor, in a nightclub or at a beach party. Activities Contribute:

  1. Development of creativity and ability to improvise. Such skills will be useful not only on the dance floor, but also in everyday life.
  2. Improving plasticity and posture. Like any dance class, hip-hop allows you to strengthen your back and abs muscles, forms a beautiful posture, and allows you to become more resilient and strong. Your movements will become easy, your reaction will improve.
  3. The ability to hear and feel music, to match movements to the melody.
  4. Internal liberation and self-confidence. You will be able to feel and understand your body, and you will receive positive emotions at every workout. All this will have a positive effect on your inner state.

Sign up for a trial class

The fast beats make hip-hop a great cardio workout. It is much more interesting and useful than puffing on the bike path. As a result of training, you will strengthen the cardiovascular system, and, if necessary, get rid of excess weight.

Caribbean Mix or social dances

Social dances is the collective name for the most popular Latin American dance styles: salsa, merengue, bachata and others. The main goal of the lessons is not to memorize pas and ligaments, but to start improvising and feeling your partner. These classes are suitable for those who want to improve harmony with their soulmate or mutual understanding with the opposite sex

Classes give a huge positive charge, as if you find yourself in the atmosphere of a fun carnival. Training will allow you to "hear" your own body and respond to the movement of your partner. Social dancing is an excellent choice for those who want to gain self-confidence, loosen up, and learn how to express their feelings. And an additional “bonus” from training will be a decent physical activity. You will work out the muscles of the back, abs, arms, gain lightness and flexibility.

Sports ballroom dancing

For those who want to try different directions, grow professionally, take part in competitions, we can recommend sports ballroom dancing. The program includes the following directions:

  • waltz;
  • paso doble;
  • tango;
  • foxtrot;
  • quickstep;
  • rumba;
  • cha-cha-cha;
  • samba.

You can choose one direction or take a swing at the full program.

Ballroom dancing is three important components:

  1. Body culture. You will not only develop your physical data, but also get an obedient body. Sports ballroom dancing forms a beautiful athletic figure, develops muscles, gives excellent coordination, a sense of rhythm, and an easy gait.
  2. Musical taste. You will learn to understand musical directions, you will be able to select compositions for your performances. Classes develop not only a sense of rhythm, but also an ear for music.
  3. Development of the intellect. Ballroom dancing is considered an elite sport. Classes develop intelligence, speed of thinking, teach you to quickly respond to non-standard situations. No wonder dances were included in the compulsory educational program for boys from noble families. This is a special sport that not only forms a stylish image, but also features such as flexibility of thinking, willpower and determination.

Even if it seems to you that you have no abilities, you will be surprised how much joy the wonderful world of dance will bring into your life. With each workout, your body will become more obedient and your muscles stronger. You will learn to fully surrender to the movements and enjoy the precise, well-balanced movements of classical compositions.

Argentine tango

Argentine tango is one of the most popular pair dances in the world. Tango "tells" about the relationship between a man and a woman, tells about love, passion, joy and sorrow. This is a whole firework of sensations in one dance. Everything is perfect in Argentine tango: emotional music, rhythm, freedom of improvisation, mutual understanding between partners.

Classes will teach you to convey your mood without words, feel the slightest movement of your partner and instantly react. Tango liberates, allows you to discover something new in each dance, teaches you to build a dialogue between a man and a woman. Practicing Argentine tango, you develop masculinity, sensitivity and, of course, get a lot of pleasure from every workout.

Where can men dance?

If you decide that dancing is exactly what you need, we are waiting for you in individual and group classes at the La Boca club. We offer a variety of dance directions, which will allow you to choose the one that suits you the most.

Most of our teachers are men, choreographers will help you take your first steps in the art of dance. Don't be afraid, it's never too late to discover something new. Sign up for a trial lesson and you will be able to experience all the benefits of dance training in practice.

Dancing for men - why do men need dance classes?

It is customary in Russia to believe that dancing is not a male occupation at all. Known to every Russian person, the aphorism “Men don’t dance” is a confirmation of this. However, this stereotype is no longer true. More and more men of different professions and ages are fond of dancing and, above all, Argentine tango, as the most masculine dance. After talking with the students of the La Boca club, we tried to understand why men start dancing, how dancing helps in everyday life and how their environment relates to this hobby.

Alexander Tyutyutnik

Dancing tango for about 3 years

How did you decide to start dancing?

Three years ago I found myself with a group of friends in Buenos Aires, who took me to some very popular tango show (at that time I didn’t know anything about tango, so I didn’t remember the name), they put me in the front row . .. and incredible action began. For me, it was a cross between striptease and ballet. Everything that happened on the stage made a huge impression on me. I came back to Moscow and told my wife: "We are going to learn to dance the tango." During the year I was intimidated by all kinds of teachers. They tried to explain to me about beats, bars, and because I am not originally a musical person, for me all this was a Chinese letter, but I am not used to giving up. Why are you dancing now? The dance erases all the events of the working day. It doesn't matter what happened at work. If you dance in the evening, all the tension, all the stress - tango wipes clean.

Sign up for a trial lesson

Besides, dancing is also a sport. Rather, sports and creativity. Often a creative person gets bored of lifting the bar after five minutes, and when your instrument is a woman, a completely different story comes out. How does your environment perceive such a hobby?

Mostly as an oddity. After all, they usually come to dances, if there is some kind of predisposition, dance experience in childhood. And when like this, all of a sudden, for many it causes bewilderment.

What kind of women do you like to dance with?

You know, tango opens up a lot of new things. For example, that even adult men do not know what kind of women they like. It happens like this: you look at a girl, she is attractive in appearance, she dances well from the outside, but you get in a couple and ... nothing happens. It also happens exactly the opposite. Still, there is this body chemistry. Why do you think men come to dance? Here, just like in real life. Everyone dances for something of their own: someone lacks romance, and someone has so much of it that they have to put it somewhere. Someone tries to be distracted, and someone, on the contrary, to attract. It seems to me that there is no underlying reason, every time there is a whole story behind the dance.

Konstantin Lavrov

Has been dancing tango for about a year and a half

How did you start dancing tango?

A year and a half ago, literally, I'm not afraid of this word, she brought me to the dance by force. Now I have already got used to it a little, although I understand that I am at the very beginning of the journey.

How do your friends feel about your new hobby?

Everything is different. But in general, we are glad, because my wife and I finally had a common hobby, this had a great effect on our relationship. Some friends, by the way, are even offended because we do not always have time to meet with them: we constantly have a lesson, then a milonga, then a festival, then a concert.

Do you have uncomfortable moments in your personal life? Does your wife get jealous when you invite other women?

On the contrary! At milongas, she pushes me: “Go invite me!” He rejoices with me at my successes, very supportive. And me too. It's great when she enjoys dancing. For me, while each dance is like a race, there is tension.

Dancing man - what is he like?

I've noticed that some men have a thing for dancing. It seems to me, absolutely in vain. Dancing helped me become more relaxed. Recently my wife and I started doing kizomba in addition to tango.

Also, if I visit other cities, I look at what tango events are taking place there. Quite recently I was on a business trip in Munich, there was a tango festival. Quite by chance, I happened to be near that place, and said aloud "tango ...". The girl standing there heard me and realized that I was Russian. We spontaneously began to communicate, it was very nice that thanks to tango people just get to know each other on the street.

Lanshakov Valery

Dancing tango for 2.5 years.

How did you start dancing tango?

I was invited by a classmate who started teaching tango and was recruiting his own group. So, having decided to support a friend in his undertaking, I came to tango. Although there was a prejudice, because before I tried ballroom dancing and I didn’t like it at all: some kind of mechanical movements in which I didn’t see the point. But tango turned out to be a completely different story.

Why do you practice tango?

It's hard to say, some inner need: a desire to show creativity, a search for new emotions.

How does your environment feel about you?

Great, very approving.

What kind of women do you like to dance with?

At my level it is useful to dance with any partner. In general, I like partners who understand what they are doing, do not run, but are waiting for a partner. Once I met a girl from Kemerovo. She said that tango is very poorly developed in their city, there are almost no partners, and the girls mostly practice on their own, practicing their technique. Believe it or not, she was one of the best partners I have ever danced with, she was very sensitive to her partner and listened to the music.

Dancing man, what is he like?

Thinking, doubting, trying to better understand and interact with another person.

Your advice to girls to be invited to the milongas more often.

Talk more, don't stare at the ceiling. I noticed that the most dancing in the milongas is not the best dancing girls, and the most sociable, who move around the milonga, communicate, do not sit modestly.

Pavel Baskakov

Can't count how many dances, about 6 years old

How did you decide to start dancing and why are you dancing now?

My dance story began with an advertisement for the opening of one of the tango clubs. I did not have a partner who shared the desire to acquire a new skill, so I went to the first lesson in splendid isolation. Why am I doing? I do not consider dancing as some kind of functional. Why do people drink good wine? Why does an artist take a brush and paint his canvas? I dance to enjoy - from dancing, from communication. How does your environment feel about your dancing?

As a rule, my acquaintances react rather negatively, with incomprehension. They love to insert a line from Krylov's fable out of place and out of place, remember - "... So go ahead, dance!"

Does dancing help to understand a woman?

Of course. Girls are all different, it is not always easy for men to understand what is hidden behind their words and masks. But the body does not lie. What kind of women do you like to dance with? With those who are attentive to me and to the music

A dancing man - what is he like?

The main thing is that it should be real. sincere. This is especially important in tango. It's nice to see when a man is a Man, with all the corresponding qualities.

Stanislav Zharkov

Dancing for 3 months

I do dance so that I can dance, oddly enough. And what can you expect when you learn another language? Just another interesting life. Having started dancing, you dance everywhere and always, dancing helps to accumulate energy and direct it in the right direction. How do your loved ones feel about your passion for dancing? Of course they approve! What do you feel when you dance? As in sparring or sailing, dance is total involvement and involvement in a dialogue, the quality of which depends on the degree of involvement. Did you come by yourself, or was a woman brought you? Himself, but with a desire to more sensitively understand women.

How does tango help you understand women?

Naturally, you become much closer with your partner. But only as far as she allows. Tango awakens deep and real femininity, gathers masculinity into integrity, shows what you stand as a man.

Dancing man, what is he like?

Dancing men are different, as far as I can see. Depends on the individuality: someone brutal, someone refined, everyone expresses himself in movement. For me, tango is a dance in its purest form, not a repetition of memorized movements, but creativity in the process, primarily in the male part. In tango, you can see the best that the partner wants to tell about himself.

Sergey Sivkin

has been dancing since he was a pioneer, but deep passion for tango started 5 years ago

When did you start dancing?

I have been dancing since I was a pioneer. The first classes at the Palace of Pioneers on the Fontanka. Of course, it was ballroom dancing. I also started Argentine tango quite a long time ago. About 20 years ago. But then we were not told about leading and following, we got up in a pair, always with the same partner, and memorized the movements. At that time I was not very hooked on the Argentine tango. I liked rock and roll more. Modern tango started for me in August 2013. There have already been weight changes, leading and following, musicality, changing partners, milongas, etc. Now it's hooked. I had to give up bachata and kizomba. Only tango. Americans have calculated that to become a professional in any field (hockey, tennis, dancing) you need to spend about 10 thousand hours. You can calculate for yourself how many years it takes to reach the level of, say, Andrei Panferov. But what if you work out 1 hour a week? It's only 52 hours a year. Draw your own conclusions.

How does dancing help you in everyday life?

Dancing always helps. Especially abroad. When there are language problems. There are no problems with dancing. We speak the same language with any partner.

Why do you dance? What do you expect from them?

Dancing is first and foremost a physical form. I don't like jogging down the street in traffic. It is much more pleasant to move on the dance floor to beautiful music in the arms of a beautiful woman.

How do you feel when you dance?

I would like to answer: "a feeling of deep satisfaction." But still, tango is much more multifaceted.

What kind of women do you like to dance with?

With different. Each has its own temperament, pace, charm.

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