Dance Lessons

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#1
missouri
949 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I have a friend trying to plan her first cruise. She wants to be able to take dance lessons on the cruise and then dress up for formal night and go dancing. Does Cunard have these types of dance lessons on their cruises?
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#3
Brooklyn, NY, USA
726 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by thecruisers723
I have a friend trying to plan her first cruise. She wants to be able to take dance lessons on the cruise and then dress up for formal night and go dancing. Does Cunard have these types of dance lessons on their cruises?
Hi thecruisers,
Yes dance lessons are normally given in the Queens Room in the afternoon on Sea Days. Sometimes during the evening dance they may offer a lesson we experienced in the past. Dance Lessons are actually given by the Dance Champions that Sail on board and give performances either in the Queen Room or the Royal Court Theater during Showtime.

Formal dress is really nice on the QM2. Really set the tone thru out the ship and the events occurring that evening.

Remember, the Queen Mary 2 is THEE only ship that has a Ball Room at Sea.
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BklynBoy8 "Eddie"
Cunard WC - Diamond Member
Recent Sailing....QM2 - 6 Day Canada/NE Jul 1st - Jul 6th, 2017 (Independence Day Sailing)
#4
Lancashire. UK
274 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Have to disagree with some of your answers. The dance lessons are held every sea day at 12.15 and sometimes repeated at a more advanced level at 5pm. I have never known there be a lesson in the evening but I do eat late so maybe I have missed it.
Also QM2 has the biggest ballroom at sea not the only one.....

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#5
England
617 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by BklynBoy8

Remember, the Queen Mary 2 is THEE only ship that has a Ball Room at Sea.

Not quite right, many ships have a ballroom for dancing. Just one of many examples is P & O's Oriana.


'Cassandra 14' rightly states that QM2 has the biggest ballroom at sea but what really counts for dancers is the size of the actual dance-floor, not the size of the ballroom. Does anyone know if any ship has a bigger dance-floor ?
#6
Brooklyn, NY, USA
726 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Cassandra14
I have never known there be a lesson in the evening but I do eat late so maybe I have missed it.
Unfortunately I do disagree with you. I have personally experienced late lessons not as formal and extensive as the Noon Time ones but the Entertainment Staff did do a short one many participated in. Then everyone joined in...ex.. Two Step, Electric Slide...

These times were on the Queen Mary 2 and also on the Queen Elizabeth 2.

Sorry for the disagreement...
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#7
Kansas City
425 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by thecruisers723
I have a friend trying to plan her first cruise. She wants to be able to take dance lessons on the cruise and then dress up for formal night and go dancing. Does Cunard have these types of dance lessons on their cruises?
If your friend is not an experienced ballroom dancer, I would suggest that she take some private lesson at a local dance studio prior to the cruise. There are private dance lessons available on board , but the cost is likely to be much higher than at home.

The free dance lessons taught on board are normally International Ballroom Style as opposed to the American Smooth Ballroom Style which is usually found in American venues on land. However, we have found the classes to be good for those wishing to try some International steps not usually taught in the US. Finding dance teachers in the US who can teach the Quickstep can prove to be somewhat difficult.
#8
England
617 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by BobBranst
.........Finding dance teachers in the US who can teach the Quickstep can prove to be somewhat difficult.
Why this should be difficult is a mystery to UK dancers because the Quickstep in its basic form is quite easy to learn by anyone who knows the fundamentals of dancing. A mixture of just progressive chasse/locksteps/spin turns etc is all that's needed to get a beginner around the smallish Cunard dance-floors. One can easily pick this up from Youtube. Yes, of course, there are many tricky advance movements but on crowded floors you rarely need them. Cunard play a lot of up-tempo music so it's well worth picking up the basic Quickstep.
#9
Kansas City
425 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by Slow Foxtrot
Why this should be difficult is a mystery to UK dancers because the Quickstep in its basic form is quite easy to learn by anyone who knows the fundamentals of dancing. A mixture of just progressive chasse/locksteps/spin turns etc is all that's needed to get a beginner around the smallish Cunard dance-floors. One can easily pick this up from Youtube. Yes, of course, there are many tricky advance movements but on crowded floors you rarely need them. Cunard play a lot of up-tempo music so it's well worth picking up the basic Quickstep.
I don't think that it is a question of difficulty, but more of demand. While I'm sure there are exceptions, I personally have never been to a American ballroom dance where the Quickstep has been performed. Our first experience with the Quickstep was on our first QM2 crossing. After that, we bought a Quickstep DVD and learned enough to get around the floor for our next Cunard voyage.
#10
England
617 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by BobBranst
....Our first experience with the Quickstep was on our first QM2 crossing. After that, we bought a Quickstep DVD and learned enough to get around the floor for our next Cunard voyage.
That's the way to do it Bob. It's amazing what you can learn from YouTube and DVDs if you know the basics of dancing. Perhaps Dancer Bob from Canada and Tangoll from the Far East could let us have their comments on the Quickstep.
#11
Hong Kong
232 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by Slow Foxtrot
That's the way to do it Bob. It's amazing what you can learn from YouTube and DVDs if you know the basics of dancing. Perhaps Dancer Bob from Canada and Tangoll from the Far East could let us have their comments on the Quickstep.
Mr Foxy, Quickstep is rarely played well by the bands/orchestras here in Hong Kong or Bangkok or Osaka/Kobe, Japan. When dancers hear what is a quickstep beat, they get up and do a jive, usually over all parts of the dance floor, so not easy to do a proper quickstep counterclockwise movement around the floor. But on the Cunard Queens, too many quicksteps are played, and I tend to shuffle along. And not enough Viennese Waltzes, which is a real challenge for most men found on Cunard cruises.

Have you seen the thread "Shipboard Romance"? I've posted there and my routines are described in more detail there.
#12
England
617 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by tangoll
...... But on the Cunard Queens, too many quicksteps are played, and I tend to shuffle along. And not enough Viennese Waltzes, which is a real challenge for most men found on Cunard cruises.

Have you seen the thread "Shipboard Romance"? I've posted there and my routines are described in more detail there.
Do you mean 'dance routines' or routines for getting very friendly with the opposite sex? Shipboard romances sound very exciting but just as a matter of interest we have been ballroom dancing for many decades and in contact with all kinds of professional dance teachers and I know of no other profession that involves so many divorces! Maybe it's the close contact with so many partners ........ but it's a fact none the less!
#13
Mississauga ON
1,675 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
All the Quickstep (or quick tempo social foxtrot) you really need to get around the floor is Quarter Turn Right, Quarter Turn Left (in the ISTD syllabus called Heel Pull and made unnecessarily difficult) and a turn, say Natural Pivot Turn.
Quickstep is not entirely unknown in the US. Where I go in Tampa Florida it's played regularly, also the New York group I cruise with. In the DVIDA smooth Foxtrot syllabus, Zig Zag in line and Rock turns are directly comparable in technique, the problem is moving to the tempo of the music. The USISTD syllabus has Quarter Turns but no directly comparable Natural turn, but any competent teacher should be able to show you the basics. A proprietary studio like Arthur Murray might of course tell you it's very difficult and try to charge thousands of dollars.
Alex Moore's Ballroom Dancing is a bit dated but still useful, also Victor Silvestre's Modern Ballroom Dance, although the 3rd edition had typos in the social dance section.
When somebody claims the largest dance floor, the obvious challenge is, prove it. Just spewing marketing hype, or actually measured? What was measured- space for latin, usable LOD for ballroom or what? How about things like the pillar in G32? There are lots of ships with decent floors, the problem is the abysmal management attitude.
#14
700 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
What's worrying us is less the size of the floor then the number of hours of dance time and quality of the music. We cruised the QM2 a few years ago and didn't return as while the floor was nice and big, there were too many times when it was used for non-dancing events (e.g., receptions) and the group providing the music was sub-par at best. So, we went back to HAL where the floor was small but the music and dance hours were good....until recently. HAL sadly has changed directions and is phasing out ballroom dancing. As a result, we cancelled the Sept cruise we had on HAL and will sail for the first time on the QE in September. Our hope is that we will have lots of great dance time regardless of the size of the floor.
#15
Mississauga ON
1,675 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I completely agree about QM2. My travel agent personally likes HAL but says he won't book any more dance groups.
I was on QE in January. If you took your own partner, it was very good. The band leader Trevor Newby, played excellent tempos. The room was always almost empty, plenty of room. The music was pretty dull, monotonous and dreary, but if there'd been some interest, he probably would have played more variety. However, like HAL, Cunard tells the band leader what songs he can play, so don't expect anything not in the public domain. Trevor admitted Carnival UK never asks him what music the customers actually request. The sound technician also played some decent dance music during the breaks.
The Yacht Club is large enough for latin but a bit small for decent ballroom. The DJ on the trip had a good collection of music, but also, the room was usually almost empty. If you get Trevor and the a good DJ, you should be fine.
The Front Desk insisted the ship was full, but even the Golden Lion often had only 3 or 4 people. It was pretty dismal for a single person- even the dance hosts, with their very low standards, were usually standing around with nothing to do.
And off-topic- I was not impressed with the restaurant service, starting with the maitre d', but the buffet for quality, variety and availability, was the best I've seen for a long time.
#16
700 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Thx for sharing your take on dancing on the QE - sounds encouraging. I would much rather dance to boring music that is the right tempo and feel for the various ballroom dances than try to dance to the extremely loud, long, riff-based music HAL provides in their BB Kings venues (that took all the fun out of dancing). Your post has us really looking forward to our cruise and is very timely as we made final payment today so it won't be long now!
#17
Mississauga ON
1,675 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Just found my QE notes, approximate dance floor sizes.
Queens Room, about 24' x 30' with a 12' raduis semi-circle on the end. Wood.
Yacht Club is approximately circular, 24' raduis. Wood, with a 6' tile mosaic in the middle, annoying but not serious.
Winter Garden is normally set up as a lounge but the furniture can be pushed back, 30' x 40'. Tile.
#18
Inverness, Scotland
840 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Hi Bob,

Are you sure about the size of the Yacht Club Floor? It seems rather large. 24' radius = 48' across. That would make it the largest floor onboard.

I haven't measured it but I'd guess it was more like half that.

Regards, Colin.
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