"To touch, to move, to inspire. This is the true gift of dance."- Aubrey Lynch
If you ask me, I think one of the main goals of every dance class should always be to inspire all students to develop the passion for the dance.
For some people dance is something completely natural. We often say some people have the natural rhythm in their blood or they can dance before they can walk, while others have to work a bit harder to learn just the basic steps.
In my opinion DANCE is a personal journey and everyone is at a different stage and it is very important that the teacher is sensitive to the needs of the students and is able to make changes and revisions to the choreography to ensure that each and every student is able to keep up with the classes and most importantly enjoy the process.
From the experience as a dance teacher of the adult dance group I feel like there is way more to the dance class than just learning steps and new dance moves - dance has the ability to inspire, heal and connect people on so many different levels. However in this blog I would like to focus and share my tips on how to get the most out of your dance class from the technical point of view.
Here are my main seven tips:
1. Relax & don't overthink
The dance studio is where you should feel free and relaxed.
Lots of times students can get caught up in how they look or they can be too focused on getting the dance steps perfect which can have the opposite effect and actually hold you back.
No matter how driven you are, you should always remember that dance is fun.
2. Always ask the choreographer/ teacher for tips
Choreographers want to see you learn and grow from their classes. If you get a chance to speak with your teacher after the class or if you have any questions - ask them for tips.
Sometimes when the class is big, it can be hard for the teacher to see everyone. Some students like to be corrected and might ask the teacher to make sure to watch them and give them constructive criticism during the classes, while others might feel more comfortable to stay at the back of the class and just enjoy themselves without any corrections and ask for the tips afterwards in private. Whichever preference you have, it is always good to make sure your teacher knows about it.
3. Make mistakes
Dance class is the place to mess up and make mistakes.
If any students feel like they're messing up during the class, we want them to feel comfortable enough in the class to ask for help, ask to be spotted or ask to be shown a modified version in order to progress and learn. The dance class is the place where students learn, so remember it is OK to make mistakes and it is always ok to ask questions if you are not entirely sure about anything.
"If you can dance & be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world." - Amy Poehler
3. Take responsibility
A good teacher/ choreographer is extremely important in the learning process of each student. But in saying that, if you really want to benefit from your time training or learning to dance - it is equally important for each student to take responsibility in this process.
Dance teachers teach, support, navigate and cheerlead your dance journey, but it’s your job to fuel and drive the car.
4. Watch and learn from other students
A group class experience is so special because you can always be inspired by people around you. The same step can look completely different performed by different students as everyone has their own unique style.
The benefit of the group class is that you can exchange energies with other students in the studio. You are all on the same boat, learning the same moves, experiencing this journey together. Take advantage of that time - watch and cheer them on and be watched and cheered on.
5. Pay attention and be present while learning in the dance class
It might sound silly to point this out but it is very important to be present while learning the new dance choreography. Always make sure you watch and listen to the teacher/ choreographer when learning the new steps as it makes the whole process much easier. Once you're unsure of some steps, it can throw you off for the rest of the dance and cause frustration at the later stage.
6. Listen to the music
Always try and know the song you're dancing to. You might not realise it but it's extremely helpful. Knowing the song inside and out makes the learning process much easier. Once you know the song, you don't have to think about 'what step is next' - you just automatically know and it takes that extra pressure off and you can focus just on the actual dancing and performing. So whenever you get a chance, turn up the volume and listen to the music. Whether you're dancing to it or just driving the car, or cooking the dinner.
7. ENJOY YOURSELF!
"Dancing is being you at top volume." - Wes Veldink
Hope it helps you on your dance journey :)
You can let me know your thoughts or what do you find most helpful from your own experience in comments below. Thank you, Vicky x