Ballroom Dancing at the Cubberley Pavilion

Ballroom Dance FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I wear?

A: Clothing should be loose-fitting and allow freedom of movement. After a several fast swings and hustles you'll quickly warm up, so removable layers are recommended.
Loose-fitting jewelry (that could fly off and become lost on the dance floor) and jewelry with sharp edges is not advised.
On a fashion note, Wednesday and Thursday nights: Casual.   Friday and Saturday nights: "Dressy-Casual"

Q: What about shoes?

A: Be kind to your feet! Wear to lessons and practice sessions what you intend to wear to dances. This way you can break in your dance shoes slowly and enjoy an evening of dancing without blisters and Band-aids. The best shoes are flexible with a leather (hard or suede) sole with a small heel. Tennis shoes (and other rubber- or crepe-soled shoes) are not recommended because they tend to stick to the dance floor.
Here is the FAQ on ballroom, character, jazz, and other types of dance shoes.

Q: I saw an (obviously) advanced dancer brushing the bottoms of her shoes. Why do you need to keep the bottoms good-looking?

A: Ballroom dance shoes are flexible shoes with soles made from chrome leather (suede). These fuzzy-bottomed shoes quickly attract dirt, dust, and other undesirable substances. Dancers use wire brushes to clean the soles of their dance shoes. Dance stores sell small wire brushes for this purpose. (If you are on a budget, a stiff wire brush for cleaning barbeque grills will also do the job.)


Q: When I get ready to go dancing, I put on one of my dance dresses, my dance jewelry, and then my dance shoes. What's the deal with the special shoebag?

A: The shoebag is to protect your dance shoes. You never, ever  want to wear your dance shoes outside. The chrome leather soles (the "fuzzy bottoms") just are not  waterproof, and are designed for indoor use only. The dance bag is a convenient way to protect your shoes, and to carry them to and from The Pavilion.

Q: What if I miss one of the Wednesday "series" classes? (Can I begin a Wednesday "series" class in the middle of a month?)

A: You are welcome to attend as many (or as few) Wednesday "series" classes as you like. Each Wednesday we begin with the basics and progress to intermediate material. The basic step is taught at the beginning of class each week. Other steps are taught at least twice throughout the series. (So if you missed a class, or came in the middle of the month, don't worry!)

Q: Why is everyone so preoccupied with changing partners? Can't I stay with the person I came with?

A: Of course! Dance with whomever you choose. Dancers change partners (during the lesson and during dance parties) for a variety of reasons, including:

  • By dancing with other people of varying skill levels, you improve your own skill. (For example, a leader could improve his leading skills.)
  • It presents an opportunity to make new friends.
  • You'll be able to dance with anybody.

  • Q. The music they play the The Pavilion is great! I know some songs that would be great to dance to. Any chance that they'd play them?

    A: (Thanks!) We're always looking to expand and update our music collection. If you have any suggestions, send them in!

    Q. What's a Jack and Jill contest?

    A: A Jack and Jill contest is a dance contest in which the man and woman are matched by a random selection. On a good day, Jack won't fall and Jill won't come tumbling after.

    For additional information, call 650/856-6991