Lots of people who want to dance will never try it because they have no one to practice with. And, that’s a problem because, in order to improve, you have to go over what you’ve been taught. So, the issue is how do we go about finding someone to dance with?
Who can we turn to when we have no one to practice with?
Fellow students make great partners.
This certainly makes a lot of sense. Why not review the things you’re both learning in class? During one of your rotations in the group class, simply say, “Hey, would you like to go over this after class today? You know, while it’s fresh in our minds.”
Any relative or close friend beats dancing alone.
Asking a family member or buddy for help is a smart way to go. The people who are a part of your life are sure to want to help you improve your dancing.
A neighbor or co-worker just may do the trick.
You never know if your neighbors and co-workers want to learn to dance. And, just like you, they feel it’s not possible because there’s no one to practice with. Asking them may just net you a dance partner and a new friend.
Watch a video and do a little solo practice.
Much of what we do in ballroom dancing has to do with developing muscle memory. In other words, it’s all about repetition. There’s no other way to make the moves automatic.
A fellow blogger named The Girl With the Tree Tattoo has a very helpful guidebook available through Amazon.
Figuring out where to practice is easy if you currently have a relationship with a studio. Since you’re already taking lessons, there should be no problem with you coming in a little early or staying after class to review things.
On the other hand, many studios will rent their space for a “floor fee”. This normally ranges from $10-20 per hour. I recommend that you reserve the time beforehand to make sure you’re not interfering with any normal studio activities.
If you’re so inclined (and have space, time, and money) a home studio is ideal for a serious student of ballroom dancing. Check out this Dance Safari post, “A Small Dance Studio in Your Home“.
In order to make continuous progress, consistency is king. The most successful students, regardless of what they’re studying, find it easier to do when they set a schedule. And, of course, follow it.
Here’s a post I like that explains the importance of scheduling.
Before you begin practicing together, have an outline of how you think it should go. Talk about what you’ll work on and in what order. Some suggestions are:
- Incorporate stretching into your training to improve flexibility.
- A warm-up dance is always a good idea. It puts you into a dancing state of mind and helps you forget any stress from earlier in the day.
- Since the lady may want to change from Latin shoes to Smooth shoes, it makes sense to complete the dances in one style before switching to the next.
- Review figures and make them part of combinations of steps that you practice one after the other.
- Have a fun dance to cool-down.
- Make notes and discuss any issues to work on in future sessions.
As a final point, when it comes to finding a practice partner, I encourage you to be brave and think outside of the box. Importantly, remember to always use good manners and good hygiene. When you’re pleasant to be around, all you need to do is offer your hand and you’ll have someone to dance with.
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