Learning to dance in a new environment is challenging and at times overwhelming. We carefully pitch our classes to allow new dancers to be able to survive on the dance floor. It will take time for beginners to get the finer technique points which is why we must allow them to progress at their own pace.
We often get feedback from beginners that while they enjoyed themselves overall, they didn't appreciate other dancers trying to correct them or teach them new material.
Give encouragement rather than unsolicited advice.
While we all want to help the newer dancers, often they receive conflicting advice as they go round the class. It is best to let them listen to the teacher, smile and help only when they ask for it.
Here's what is helpful and what is not:
Helpful & Supportive Habits
- Smiling and acknowledging your partner
- Encouraging beginners for getting something right
- Allowing your dance partner to listen to the class teacher
- Developing and improving your own dancing
- Being the best lead or follow for your partner
Unhelpful & Discouraging Habits
- Talking while the teacher is talking
- Telling a beginner what they are getting wrong
- Looking bored
- Ignoring your partner or checking your phone
- Trying to fix your partner's technique while ignoring problems with your own
Making Use of the Beginners Class
"The basics are the first thing we learn but the last thing we master" so the saying goes. The beginners class is therefore a great opportunity to work on one's own dancing:
- Focus on improving your posture through the whole dance
- Work on having accurate timing
- Concentrate on lead/follow technique
- Observe teacher and demo styling variations
- Practise your walking footwork (right-left for leads, left-right for follows)
You'll get more exercise and socialising by turning up early and that warm fuzzy feeling from helping grow the dance community just by being there.