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What Should You Expect From A Dance Class?

By: Nicole Martorana - Updated: 13 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
What Should You Expect From A Dance Class?

Whether you are dancing for the first time or simply wondering if you are getting the most out of your studio experience, many students often question what they should expect from a dance class. From beginner ballet to advanced hip hop, there are certain things you should know and anticipate – both for your own peace of mind, and to ensure that you are truly getting the most out of each and every class. Here is some of what you can expect…

Expect To Be Uncomfortable In Dance Class

If you are too much at ease in your dance class, you are not getting what you pay for. Dance, for beginners and professionals alike, it about pushing limits. And the classroom is the place to challenge yourself. This means trying steps you’ve never done before, experimenting with unfamiliar styles, and sometimes even hitting the ground a few times. If you’re not just a little embarrassed some of the time, then you’re not testing your boundaries or growing as a dancer.

This is not to say that dance class should be an hour of misery. On the whole, the draw of a dance class is that it’s fun! Just be sure that you never allow yourself to settle into a class that keeps you too comfortable. The harder your teacher can get you to work, the more you will ultimately take away from the dance class. Stay positive by keeping in mind that when things get tough, every dancer is probably feeling the same way you do. Part of the experience of a dance class is the process of getting more comfortable with each other as a group and learning to feel less self-conscious.

Socialising At A Dance Class

Unless you are benefiting from a private lesson, chances are your dance class will be as much an exercise in socialising as in dancing. Sharing the class experience with others is important as you can often learn as much from other dancers as you can from a teacher or choreographer. Also, building relationships with the dancers in your dance class will help you to lose some of your inhibitions and take more risks in your dancing. Because the body and act of dancing are of such an intimate and personal nature, the friendships forged among dancers are often extremely special and unique. Although it may take time to really get to know your dance class mates, you should expect to feel a kind of camaraderie with them almost immediately. After all, you are all facing the same set of challenges from week to week and this will bring you together. You should help and support each other whenever possible.

Learn Something New At Dance Class

On a more practical level, you should expect any dance class to teach you something you didn’t already know. You deserve, as a paying student, to be learning. This could mean an entirely new genre of dance or something as subtle as a new way to think about maintaining balance in your turns.

Most dance classes will begin with some kind of warm-up and then move into learning new skills or new choreography, but you should expect the level, style, and pace of the dance class to be determined by the teacher’s individual method of instruction. And you should expect that every teacher’s method will be slightly different. Some teachers will use progressions down the floor while others will go straight into a routine. Whatever their style and whatever yours, be prepared to adapt and absorb.

The best way to learn is to do something unfamiliar. If you feel a dance class is neither challenging you nor adding to your knowledge as a dancer, look for a different class. If you’re part of a team or company that requires you to stay, seek out some masterclasses or dance conventions that will take you further and carry these expectations with you when you do.

The experience of any dance class should be one that is filled with challenges and triumphs. Having a set of expectations will help you get more out of every dance class you take. As you push yourself further, meet new people and learn new things, you will find that you can transition from class to class with increasing ease and comfort.

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