Why Practice Parties are More Important than You Think

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Almost a year ago, I discussed practice parties and what kind of things you can expect from the usual and special parties at Celebrity Dance Studio.  If you don’t already know, practice parties are events where new and experienced dance students can put their instruction into practical use.  They are events that are designed to imitate a night out dancing at a nightclub, wedding, or other event with a dance floor.  Imagine these parties as a “tutorial” before you go out and dance in the real world.  Even though dancing is the main focus of these parties, attendees have many things to look forward to, including food, drinks, entertainment, and fellowship!  Anyone who has ever been to a practice party can tell you how fun they are, but they are also quite important for dancers.  I am going to list some reasons why it’s valuable to drop by a practice party every once and a while.

 

Parties Help You Become Better Social Dancers

Social dancers can benefit a lot from practice parties because social dancing is essentially what these parties are made for.  Most people who want to learn to dance do so because they want to prepare for weddings or other large events where there will be lots of dancing.  Practice parties are the perfect place to prepare for those events because dancers will be in a live, social setting with a floor full of other people.  There are also a few dance floor rules that social dancers can test out and experience at practice parties.  These include travelling in the line of dance, staying towards the inner part of the dance floor if you are moving slowly, and dancing with someone for an entire song.  You can also try asking different people to dance.  Ladies can also ask men to dance, too, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zones!  Parties will also give you the chance to dance to many different styles so you can practice almost everything that you have learned.  When you go out in public, people will wonder how you got so good at dancing.  Little will they know – you’ve had a lot of practice!

 

Parties Help You Become Better Competitors

If you’ve ever been to a competition, you would know that you will likely be dancing on a crowded floor.  Competitions will usually have many couples out on the floor at the same time competing against each other. Parties are great ways to practice maneuvering around a crowded floor because there will be many dancers out there.  Even though most of the party goers will likely be social dancers, you can still work on weaving your way through the couples and practice avoiding collisions.  You will also get the chance to dance out multiple styles and you could even grab your instructor for a dance so you can get in a little extra practice.  At a typical party, you might not spend as much time dancing Viennese Waltzes and Quicksteps, but you can really build up your skill on a lot of the popular dances like Foxtrot and Rumba.  When competition time comes around, some practice is really better than no practice!

 

You Have the Chance of Learning New Steps

Even if there are steps or a dance that you aren’t familiar with, there’s always the possibility that someone could show it to you or lead you in it.  While practice parties aren’t the primary place to go for new steps, you could always end up learning something neat from a fellow student or instructor who dances with you.  This happens all the time when people of different levels and experience dance together.  Even the most advanced dancer can learn a thing or two from a fellow dancer.  There are so many different styles and variations to learn and billions of moves and patterns to play around with!

 

You Get to See Performances

Every once and a while, students and instructors will prepare dances that they can perform at practice parties.  This gives attendees the opportunity to dance and enjoy a little show, as well!  Many of the pieces students put out there are routines that they are preparing for competitions or showcases.  However, there are quite a few students who prepare dances specifically to perform them at parties.  Whatever the reasoning is for performing, practice parties can allow individuals to polish their performance skills before getting in front of bigger audiences.  This brings us to the next point…

 

You Can Perform in a Safe Space

Practice parties are also a great “tester stage” for those who have never performed before, but are trying it out for the first time.  If you are thinking about performing but feeling a bit nervous about being in front of an audience, then practice parties are the perfect place to start.  At parties, your audience will likely be people you know – the students and staff at your own studio.  The environment will be close and judgement-free so you can have fewer worries.  Parties will definitely warm you up for larger audiences in the future. 

 

Getting More Involved with the Studio

Attending more parties can help you stay updated on all the events that are happening in your studio.  The studio may regularly post updates and send emails, but if you go to parties, you’ll be able hear announcements with special information that you may have missed.  You may also get the chance of receiving special offers just by being at the party.  You never know what you could be missing out on!  If you are new to the studio, attending parties can also get you more acquainted with everything the studio has to offer.  You can get a feel for the environment and get involved in the culture.  It will also give you a chance to meet new people and potentially form lifelong friendships!

 

As a final point, you can just think of practice parties as a lab or beta test.  In a school setting, labs are structured time where you can test out the theories and practices that you have learned in class in a controlled setting.  Practice parties are exactly that: they give you the chance to try out all of the techniques that you have learned in your lessons, putting them to good use in a friendly and fun space where instructors are even available to help you out when you need it.  They are definitely beneficial for any dancers’ life, so make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity and drop by as many parties as you can!

 

Happy Dancing! ^_^