The dancer's diary

Hello

Of all the things I’ve done and still do for DanceClass.com, writing the Dancer’s Diary is the one I love the most.

Musings, insight and secrets shared, all liberally sprinkled with typos (sorry – I just don’t know what happens.  I swear I proof this). 

It’s all the little stuff that doesn’t need a whole page on the site but can help your dancing adventures.

If you’re an adult contemplating taking up dance for the first time, a teacher who offers classes for adult beginners, or just curious to get a glimpse inside the world of learning to dance, I write this for you.

No two months’ entries are the same, but roughly what you get is…

My ‘How not to mess up your first dance class’ section, with tips for both would-be pupils and their teachers.
Top tips for pupils have included things like what to pack in your dance bag, the single most important question to ask your dance teacher and exactly what, if any, makeup is suitable for class (the debate rages on, mine is just one view).
Top tips for teachers have included some unusual inspiration for class music, how to make sure everybody turns up in the right kit, how to handle unwanted intrusion into your classes and the easy way to make your pupils adore you in five minutes flat.

My ‘dance thoughts’ pieces have ranged from recommended movies to not liking dance performance, from bluffer’s guides to Kendall Jenner in pointe shoes, from unusual dance gear to how to learn to dance in 10 minutes. I ponder on whatever pops along.

There’s usually a dance-related video or image of the month that I’ve found along the way, and I sometimes recommend a product for you if I spy a really good one.

I get lots of emails from readers of DanceClass.com and will occasionally use the dancer’s diary to publish my response such as advice on buying a barre for home use and what progression an adult beginner can expect to make in a year of classes.

And there are always some snippets of news from the dance world: sad, happy, controversial, amazing; if it’s going on, it goes in.

Schedule

I publish a diary entry each month from September to May, taking a break over summer, when a lot of classes do too.

You'll receive the entry for each month at the end of the month (so September's issue is published at the END of September and so on).

Back issues

If you aren’t already signed up, you can read through back issues here.  I'll post each one once subscribers have had it for one month.  So if you want to read the most up-to-date issue, just sign up.

  • September 2016
    Amy Purdy, dance kit bag, ideal leotard, barres for home, Kendall Jenner

  • October 2016
    World ballet day, the best question to ask, make your class love you, dance movies

  • November 2016
    Dance gifts inspiration, bluff your way through Nutcracker, mix up your class music

  • December 2016
    Hair & makeup for class, learn to dance in 10 mins, ballet progression, The Red Shoes
  • January 2017
    Best tips for home learning, Ryan Gosling, watching dance performance, RIP Ana-Alecia

  • February 2017
    Bad dance teachers, Alvin Ailey, the gross-est ever story, Rudolf Nureyev

  • March 2017
    Bad dance pupils, Sergei Polunin,
    Fabletics, a tiny tip for the very shy

  • April 2017
    More Fabletics, Fred Astaire,
    charms, the nerves of the night before

  • May 2017
    Quick dance fitness for summer, a dizzying dance video, and being really nosey

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Here we go...

About me

My full bio is here

I’ve been running DanceClass.com for over 16 years. 

Before it launched I’d already been researching adult beginners’ dance classes for several years, and of course long before that (from when I was tiny) I’ve been dancing myself. 

I love the dance world.  And yet, often see things in it that make me want to scream.  With a few tweaks and well-placed tips, both pupils AND teachers can get so much more from their experience of attending or teaching adult beginner’s classes.  This diary is my opportunity to pass along all those little things that can make dancing all the more delightful. 

So, I not a teacher nor a beginner. 

But I have been around both for a very long time and can see the needs, frustrations, concerns, skills, value and joys of both.  I hope my somewhat unusual position in the dance world is valuable to you. 

I wish you, as always, happy dancing.

› The dancer's diary