When most of us watch Strictly Come Dancing and decide to go to a class, we picture ourselves being expertly whirled around the dance floor in the arms of an athletic young dance partner. But that’s not always the case…
Jenni Kravitz, founder of Simply Dancing Partners, tells us how a disappointing dance class led her to set up her own company
Lead image: yacobchuk /iStock / Getty Images Plus
When I started to take lessons in 2005, the reality came as a shock. I naively believed the studio owners, who assured me that there would be men for me to dance with.
But the reality was somewhat different, I arrived to find a room full of women and – if we were lucky – one or two men who, bless them, couldn’t dance. I found the whole experience upsetting and disappointing, so I decided to design my own classes.
I recruited a team of dance partners who already knew how to dance well and increased the length of a lesson from one hour to 90 minutes. That was 15 years ago, and Simply Dancing Partners is still going strong.
My dance team consists of teachers and competitive dancers full of charm and patience, and within a few lessons my clients are experiencing the joy of dancing the way it should be. Of course, we also have female instructors to dance with male clients.
We start with Beginners, where we teach technique, and progress to Advanced, where the emphasis is on choreography. We learn Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Jive, Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba and Salsa.
Classes take place on Monday and Thursday evenings in a studio near Marble Arch and on Monday afternoons in Notting Hill. We also have a daytime Latin Technique class without partners every Tuesday in Wimbledon.
In our group lessons, we have created an environment where clients can enjoy learning to dance with others who share their passion.
‘My dance team consists of teachers and competitive dancers full of charm and patience, and within a few lessons my clients are experiencing the joy of dancing the way it should be’
By providing professional dance partners, we have also removed a very significant barrier to entry for a growing community who are single either by choice or circumstance – or have an unwilling partner.
We also run separate classes for couples who want to learn to dance with each other. For couples, the syllabus is much more basic, allowing you to practice a small number of figures and perfect them together so that you can dance confidently at social events. Dancing is a lovely hobby to experience together.
Many of our clients prefer to have private lessons where they have the undivided attention of a teacher. Here you can dance whatever style you choose for a whole hour without having to share the floorspace or music. These lessons can take place during the day, most evenings and at weekends.
We also offer Wedding First Dance lessons, where we create choreography to a couple’s chosen song, and it can be as easy or complex as the lead time allows. Our goal is to create something memorable for you and your guests.
Private lessons can take place in the West End, Paddington, Battersea and Wimbledon. Find out more at simplydancingpartners.co.uk, or contact Jenni directly on 07768 760388 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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