How to Make the Most of Your Dance Lessons

If you’ve just signed up to take ballroom dance classes, it’s time to celebrate! You’re about to learn a new skill that can bring a lifetime of joy and treasured memories. If you’ve never taken dance lessons before, you may be wondering how you can absorb – and retain! – the information quickly. We’ve got some simple tips to help you make the most of your lessons.

Between Lessons

Practice

The first thing to understand is that there are no shortcuts when it comes to learning a new skill! Practicing the material is essential to your success as a new (or an experienced) dancer. When you practice between lessons, even if it’s just a couple of minutes to keep the steps fresh in your head, you’ll retain the information and progress more quickly. It’s not about perfection, it’s meant to be a quick review for yourself in order to come to your next lesson prepared. We promise your teacher will be delighted!

Listen to Music

Listening to ballroom music, whether it’s some of your instructor’s favorite hits or a Spotify playlist, will help you familiarize yourself with the styles and rhythms that you’ll be dancing to. Keep in mind that social dance music is more forgiving than exhibition/competition music; sometimes one song can be used for multiple dance styles!

*Pro tip: Follow us on Spotify (@inmotionballroom) to see organized playlists for each dance!

During Your Lesson

Take Notes

Whether you use a pencil and notebook or an app that organizes your notes by dance, it’s a great idea to write down the main ideas covered during your lesson. Some students do this during their lesson with their instructor’s assistance, while others prefer to take notes after their lesson while the information is still fresh. Whatever method works best for you, rest assured that your diligent note-taking will help you retain new information as well as provide a resource for you to reference while practicing and prior to your next lesson.

*Did you know that your instructor takes notes, too? We keep detailed notes on each lesson and what should be covered the next time we see you!

Ask Questions

You’d be surprised by how many people avoid asking questions when they aren’t sure they understand. Believe us, it is completely normal to need clarification; sometimes if you hear information explained in a slightly different way, it suddenly clicks! Your instructor will be more than happy to break down the information further, find an alternate way of explaining, or invite management to help out. Our goal is to make sure you feel comfortable enough to ask for help and confident that we will be able to help!

*Keep in mind: you may understand the information intellectually, but may not be able to transfer the information to your muscles yet. That’s ok! It usually takes a little bit of time to gain control over new muscle action.

Test Yourself

This can be little nerve-wracking for beginners, but it’s a great idea to try the steps or technique on your own with your instructor’s guidance. Making sure that you understand the material on your own is a key component to memory retention. As much as our teachers love to help, the goal is that you can use the material with any dance partner – that means you have to develop the confidence to dance on your own!

In General

More Practice = More Progress

We certainly understand that many people have busy schedules nowadays, but it’s important to try to schedule your lessons/classes/practice parties as close together as you are able. The more you practice any skill, the quicker you’ll see progress! Each type of session at the studio is valuable for developing different skills in your dancing, so be sure to take advantage of all we have to offer!

Of course, you don’t have to be at the studio every day (although we would absolutely love it if you were!), but the closer you can keep your practice sessions , the more progress you’ll make. At a certain point, the foundations of each dance will stick in your muscle memory, and you’ll be able to focus on the next level of technique/steps/etc. We not only really enjoy seeing you, but we want you to get as much value from your dance investment as possible!

Get an Outsider’s Perspective

Did you know that we bring in guest dance coaches to aid our students and professionals in their dance development? They are extremely knowledgeable in and lessons with a guest coach are a great way to gain a different perspective on your dancing, ask specific questions, and to gauge your progress over a period of time (we invite the same coaches back!). A guest coach’s goal is to give you a ton of information that your instructor will use in future lessons to speed up your progress!

Above all, have fun!

Yes, you’re learning a new skill, but it’s supposed to be enjoyable! At the end of the day, dancing is meant to be a fun experience shared with friends and loved ones. Your goals may change over time and will differ from other students, but a shared love for dance is what holds it all together. Don’t focus on the destination, enjoy the journey!

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If you’re reading this and you haven’t signed up for lessons yet, wait no longer! Contact us to schedule your first – or next – lesson!

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