If you dream of performing a flawless foxtrot or mastering the elegant romance of the American smooth, you need professional dancer-turned-tutor Marius Caluser on speed dial. The Romanian-born, Mayfair-based ballroom and Latin pro has been dancing since the age of six, teaching since his teens and, since 2016, has been the choreographer-in-residence at Claridge’s.
Caluser will teach anyone to dance, but at Claridge’s the majority of his students are couples looking to perfect their first wedding dance. Those who book the hotel’s exquisite art deco ballroom, French Salon or Drawing Room for their big day are given a courtesy introductory lesson, along with a final rehearsal on site. But for couples who have a more ambitious plan or would like bespoke choreography, Caluser recommends further lessons at his Mayfair studio, although, he says, it all depends on individual ability, muscle memory and the complexity of the routine; a full Fred-and-Ginger-style extravaganza can require 30 hours of tuition.
Popular dances include the waltz, tango, rumba and foxtrot, and most of Caluser’s couples come back for more tuition after their wedding. “In a world where everything is instant and we get so easily distracted, dancing helps us connect on a whole new level, as each partner focuses on nothing but being in sync with the other,” he says, adding that his most ambitious couple to date organised a Strictly Come Dancing experience, complete with scoring paddles for each guest and three routines – a samba, a waltz and an Argentine tango. “They couldn’t choose only one dance,” Caluser adds. “That’s how much they loved dancing.” And two years on, they are still booking in for sessions.