How to survive your first dance class for adult beginners - and get the most out of it...
Doing a good video before you go will give you an extra confidence boost. And this shouldn't be underestimated. As long as the video is a good reputable one, and well taught, it'll help you get more out of your first class.
Then, why not choose a large 'drop-in' class for your first one to get your confidence up?
That way, not only do you get to lose yourself in the crowd a bit, but also you don't have to commit to a whole course of lessons. It's ideal to start this way if you can.
Something not to be overlooked (although not the be relied upon), is you may not be the only new person in the class.
And sometimes you only have to go to a class once to feel like an old hand the next time you go. Remember that some of the sea of faces you encounter on your first class may only be on their second or third lesson themselves.
Turn up having taken any previous advice or requests from the teacher to
heart. If you've spoken to them prior to the class and they have given
specific instructions on what to wear, please respect this.
If they've told you to wear a pair of socks and you've arrived at your first dance class without any, don't be surprised if they don't want you in their class.
Dance teachers shoulder an enormous responsibility for the health and welfare of their students. They know best how to look after their pupils. So if you turn up late and have missed the warm up or arrive wearing all the wrong gear, they would be negligent to let you participate.
This is why it is so important
to get and absorb all the information you possibly can about the class
before you attend. There's little things to think about too. For example, some studios allow you to take a bottle
of water into the class with you - others don't.
If you've joined a good class or studio, all these simple things should be covered in their literature, on their website or ought to be made clear as soon as you arrive.
If there is any organizing of the room or studio
to be done, join in and help. It is a great ice breaker and means that
you don't spend the first five minutes of your class hugging the walls.
So try not to be shy. If you
don't know what to do when equipment is being organized, just tell
someone that you're new and ask if you can help.
Once your lesson gets underway, pay close attention to what the teacher tells you to do. Your dance class is not a place to gaze out of the windows, wear headphones nor try to engage the other pupils in gossip halfway through a step. Focus on the teacher and their instruction completely.
Have the courage to ask if you're not sure about a step or move you are being asked to do. A good teacher will help you get it right.
Don't look at other people all the time - or compare yourself to them too much. Concentrate on getting your own steps right.
There is an incredible boost to going to your first class with a friend.
An awful lot of the first dance class nerves are more about being in an alien environment on your own rather than executing the dance moves themselves.
Try to go with a friend you trust and who is the same dancing level as you - it can be a tremendous confidence booster and that confidence can help you to relax and concentrate on the class rather than on your nerves.
And now, after all this information, enjoy yourself!
If you've chosen your class and teacher with care, you'll love learning to dance.
So now we're change the tone a little and give you a couple of genuis dance hacks...