How to Make the Most of Group Lessons

If you are currently enrolled in group classes or if you are a newbie who is just getting started, you are already off to a great start!  Group classes can be perfect for individuals or couples who are interested in learning some popular social dances while also interacting with other students.  There are so many wonderful benefits of taking these classes, so here are some tips to ensure that you gain as much as you can from the experience.

 

Don’t Be Late!

The first thing you can do to get the most out of a group class is to be early.  If you arrive a few minutes before it actually begins, you’ll have some extra time to prepare yourself.  It could also be a good time to ask any last-minute questions you may have about the class.  Even if you can’t show up early, just try and make sure that you aren’t late.  The instructor has to use their time productively and teach as much as they can, so they can’t really wait for anyone who is running late (sorry!).  If you are late, you may miss an important step that was shown in the beginning.  The instructor might not have time to review it, so it’s best to try and get to class on time.  If you do end up being late, try and see if you can get the instructor or another student to give you a quick review after class.

 

Bring the Right Shoes

In order to dance around the floor as easily as possible, you will need the right kind of shoes.  If you don’t already have dance shoes, there’s no need to run to the store right now.  All you have to do is make sure your shoes will not stick to the dance floor, slip off your feet, or trip you up.  For instance – flip flops, gym shoes, and shoes that have anything higher than a 4 inch heel will probably make it harder for you to move freely.  When in doubt, just bring comfortable dress/street shoes.

 

Meet Other Students

A nice thing about taking group lessons is that there are multiple people in the class, so you’ll have the opportunity to meet other students.  If you are a person who usually takes private lessons, joining in on a group class every once in a while can allow you to meet students you normally wouldn’t see during your regular lesson.  New students come to group classes often, so you will get the chance to make some new friends as well!

 

Dance with Other People

A standard format in group classes is that students will have to constantly change dance partners throughout the class.  This ensures that the people who come to class without a partner get a chance to dance with someone.  It’s also a great way to develop into a better lead or follow.  Every person moves differently, and adapting to a variety of different partners is one of the best skills you can have.  If you have a partner that you normally dance with, don’t be afraid to switch it up! 

 

Ask Questions

 Asking for help when you need it is probably one of the most important things you can do.  The classes can move at a pretty quick pace, so if there is something you need the instructor to go over, don’t hesitate to ask!  In addition, the instructor will always stop and ask if anyone has questions after they have showed a step, so if you do have a question, make sure to let them know!

 

Focus On Your Own Progress

Many group classes may be multi-level, so you will likely see students ranging from beginner to advanced.  Don’t let this discourage you joining the class.  If you are a beginner and you see someone in your class who appears to be moving effortlessly, don’t worry about them.  It is okay to admire someone else’s dancing, but focusing too much on them isn’t the point of your lesson.  Plus, you never know how much prior training that person may have under their belt.  Try to just have fun with your dancing and concentrate mainly on your own progress. 

 

Practice!

You will end up learning multiple dance steps by the end of class, so it would be sad to forget those steps after a few days.  The best way to make sure you remember everything is to practice.  After class you can go home and work on the steps by yourself or with a partner.  If you have time, you can even stay a few minutes after class to review the steps with other students.

 

Keep Coming Back

In addition to practicing, you can also make sure you retain dance steps by coming to class frequently.  Most dancers show improvement in their dancing when they attend class at least once a week.  If the group class is progressive, the instructor may even teach new steps every day.  It would be best to have as many steps as possible in your repertoire, so try to come to as many classes as you can (also, your instructor and fellow students will miss you!).

 

Be Mindful

Group classes can be a fun way to catch up with some friends or make new ones, but always remember to be considerate of everyone in the class.  While the instructor is teaching a step, try not to talk too loudly over them.  Other students may have a hard time hearing what the instructor is saying, especially in a large ballroom.  It’s also better for you to give your full attention to the dance steps.  You will have plenty of time to chat with friends after class!

 

Happy dancing!  ^_^