Do you have the backbone to learn social dancing? Or do you believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Taking dance lessons is uplifting. It’s fun, exciting, sensual, practical, and, for most people, challenging.
Do you have what it takes to get past the initial insecurities that plague us all when we start something unfamiliar? Or are you embarrassed to try because learning new things is hard for you?
Everyone is different when it comes to learning. Different learning styles include visual, physical, verbal, and logical/technical.
Your instructor is trained to customize the instruction to your individual learning style.
The biggest thing to remember is that learning to dance involves developing muscle memory. It takes time to get yourself to the point where you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. This comes with repetition.
As an example, remember when you first learned how to drive? Open the door, get in, buckle up, check the mirrors, turn around and look for traffic, directional on. Then, when it’s safe, take off.
Same thing every time.
Remember that you have to take it one step at a time. Learning involves forgetting. Each lesson you forget less and less.
How about picking up a second language? You’re in the classroom and your lesson is going fine. You’re introduced to the basics, maybe the alphabet.
And everything is great until you walk out the door just in time to watch everything you just learned go out into the universe. And it’s gone…until the next lesson.
Fast forward to learning to ballroom dance. You’re having fun although some of it is a bit of a struggle. But, basically, you got it.
“Hey, this is easier than I thought it would be.” Instructors hear that all the time. (Or, at least, that’s what we’re going for.)
But, what can you do to make the learning process go more smoothly? Here are some suggestions:
Take notes. Write out what you want to remember in your own words. The key here is for you to write it yourself because you’ll use the words that make sense to you.
Make a video. If your studio allows it, use the camera on your phone to record the action you want to work on between lessons. I don’t advise recording the whole lesson, just a point or two. Enough to give you something to think about.
Practice. Yes, practice by yourself. Review your notes and/or video before your next lesson. The most successful students set aside a few minutes each day to reinforce what they’re learning.
Another good idea is to stay after class for a few minutes and review things while they’re still fresh in your mind.
Don’t be a slave to your dance lessons, but delight in the miracle of music and partnership. Enjoy the journey!
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