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Dance Lessons

Mary Louise King dancing with partner looking happy


Together with my partner, Jim Wallance, we provide private dance lessons for individuals and couples in the privacy of my lovely home studio.  Sessions are typically 50 minutes in length, and can include as many as two couples at a time.

Gift certificates are available.


We offer instruction in Ballroom and Latin dance, including these much requested dance styles:  Waltz, Foxtrot, American Tango, Argentine Tango, Rumba, Mambo/Salsa, Merengue, Cha-Cha, Bolero, Bachata, Samba, Nightclub Two-step, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Hustle and more!




In addition to recreational dance, we also work with couples and families to prepare special dances for their wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations and other major events.  A few examples are shown at the bottom of our Videos & Performances page.

We teach lead and follow rather than a memorized routine. We also give couples confidence about what to do if something goes wrong. We have several reviews from bride-and-groom, mother-son, and father-daughter dances on our review page.  

My story is about how I help people find joy in the same way I found it.  When we teach wedding dance lessons, we add to the bride and groom’s joy. We help them to express their love to each other through dance and give secrets of how they can enjoy their wedding dance as well as show gratitude to everyone who came to their reception. In all the dance lessons we teach, my job is to be present in joy so the person taking the dance lesson can feel calm. 


In addition to offering many wellness benefits, dance is a wonderful gift for couples.  If you choose to become a Latin or Ballroom Dancer, you will be introduced to a very graceful form of artful movements.  The man leads and the woman follows.  Any mistakes on the floor are respectfully and playfully covered with a gentle smile.  The man takes responsibility that the woman did not understand his lead if there is any confusion, but the dance goes on just as life does.  There are no mistakes that stop the flow around the room, and no one knows except the partners what is happening between them.  It is an emotionally safe place to be. 


Also, science has proven that dancing makes you happy. For more on that, view this article: Dancing Makes Me Happy. Science also has proven that dancing helps you maintain your mental and physical health throughout your life. In an article about brain health, Consumer Reports for September 2023 said: "Activities like dancing can be especially helpful...dancing involves moving with a partner while processing music and rhythm - quite the cognitive challenge."


Because we can think of nothing other than dancing, there is a bit of heaven that we seem to experience as we dance to the rhythm of the music.  Dressing up is also a lost art and is rekindled in dance. Many dances have themes, but each invitation gives instruction about how to dress.  


Private dance lessons are typically 50 minutes in length, and can include as many as four individuals (two couples) at a time.  We offer instruction in the privacy of our lovely home studio.  The studio also is available to rent for practice sessions. See the FAQs page for more information.

Try to avoid wearing rubber-soled shoes for dancing because it is harder to turn on the floor in them. Smooth, leather-soled shoes work well. Regular dancers often buy shoes made specially for ballroom dancing with either smooth, leather soles or suede soles. Backstage Bodywear, 205 West Washington Street in Charleston, offers 10% discounts to my students. For more information, see the FAQs page.


What sets us apart locally is that we teach as a couple. We can dance and analyze both the leader and follower parts and have an extra pair of eyes to observe.


I started taking private dance lessons in 2014 and opened my business, Charleston WV Dance, in 2016.  My partner, Jim Wallace, has been dancing since 1995. We both have a love for the Charleston dance community and provide dance lessons as well as serve as a hub for getting local dance information published and advertised.


Care to see Jim and Mary Louise in action? Check out this gallery of fun outfits, performances and videos. 


For more information about private dance lessons or booking Jim & Mary Louise for a live performance, please contact me at

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