Has watching Strictly Come Dancing inspired you to hit the dancefloor? Karen Hardy has shared her top tips for getting started, along with her favourite dance styles for beginners. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! Online, the former Strictly winner said it was important to overcome any nerves and just give it a try.
"First and foremost - get yourself to the studio. You need to overcome that fear-factor, but we can't help you until you get to the studio. That is the only thing a dance teacher can't do – they physically can’t get you to the studio," Karen said. "But once you're there, it doesn't matter how nervous you are because, if it is a good dance studio, the teaches will be trained and prepared to deal with your nerves. No matter how worried you are, your dance teacher is there to build your confidence and support you every step of the way (pardon the pun!)."
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Karen Hardy was a Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer from 2005-2009
Karen runs her own studios, Karen Hardy Dance Studios, in London, and said they are well-equipped to help newcomers. "Our main ethos is listening. Our teachers listen to their students. There are a million of steps and a whole wealth of technical knowledge that we can give you but we will never force this down our students' throats. We listen to how they are doing and work with them," the dancer said.
She added: "The most important thing we do at my studio is we set achievable goals. There’s no good in you just coming and doing a 10-week programme to an unrealistic goal. We will set achievable goals that will keep you motivated to keep going – the human spirit loves accomplishing goals!"
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As for the best moves to get started? "The rhythm foxtrot, cha cha and salsa. Their step patterns are very easy and very repetitive. They also form the basic structures of other dances, like a quick step, so once you have these three styles perfected then you'll find learning the more complex dances easier."
For more information or to book a class with Karen visit karenhardydancestudios.com.