Dancing Tips & Advice

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Getting More out of Dance Classes

Posted: 04/02/2018

There's always benefit you can get out of a dance class; whether you've been coming for a month or 10 years.Of course, you can only benefit when you put effort in, so today's entry is about ways you can gain more benefit from your class.While putting in effort is important, we also need to be able to focus and have fun - worrying about mistakes interferes with your learning!You need to make a lot of mistakes to be able to learn both what does and doesn't work, so allow yourself that (likewise, allow your partner and others to make mistakes as well!)

Start of the Night

Make sure you're ready in time for the warm-up - have time to find parking, check in, change shoes, say hello, and be ready to join us as we start.It's a great chance to let the stress and distractions of the day slip away, clear your mind, and get your body moving to the music!Make sure you're in a good place to be able to watch the teachers; we usually rotate follows, so this is most important for our newer leads: being up the front and on the left side of the room (when you're facing the teachers) allows you the best view.
Make sure you're paying attention when the teacher is explaining or demonstrating something; if you think it doesn't apply to you, then that's a pretty good indication that it probably does (speaking as a teacher, and having talked to other teachers about this - I've seen a lot of people tune out for things that would help them the most).If you really understand what the teacher is explaining, then think about why it's important, why it's explained the way it is, and how it was demonstrated - you may find a little detail that helps everything fit together!As our intromediate and intermediate routines are built on beginner moves, improving them will improve all of your dancing.And even if you really don't need to hear what the teacher is saying, your partner and people around you probably do - so please give them the chance - we have plenty of social time if you want to chat!

Not Quite Right?

If something's not quite working and you're not sure why, please ask a teacher - it helps us to know what details we can work on explaining better!In beginner class, if you don't feel comfortable asking the class teacher at the time, then you could ask one of our staff in rotation, or ask a teacher during freestyle or extension.Chances are, someone else had the same question!
If something's not working and you think it's something your partner is doing - that's a great opportunity for you to work on your adaptability!Being able to dance with someone who's dancing differently than you expect is a sign of a good dancer, and allows much more play.Unless there's a safety concern (or your partner asks) there's no benefit from trying to explain to them - if they need something explained then a teacher will know how to explain it for their role, as not many dancers have learned both lead and follow, and each requires different skills.You may know how a teacher dances with you, but it's often not how a beginner should.Plus you're missing out on an ideal opportunity to improve your own dancing!

Need More Challenge?

If everything is working well for you and your partner, then practice dancing with better posture, or work on your timing, or think about exactly how much to turn your foot...When class is easy, add the challenge yourself by working on your technique, and you'll keep getting more benefit!If you're not sure what to work on, any of your teachers will be happy to give feedback and suggestions.

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