How do people usually learn to dance?

Most people take private instruction and attend group classes. Private lessons are the best way to learn because ballroom dancing involves working with a partner. It is not strictly imitative; you can’t just copy someone. How to dance with another person and create a commanding, consistent lead or a responsive, graceful follow requires personal instruction. Group classes are great for learning figures, repetition, and dancing with different people, but there is no substitute for personal instruction.