Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your dance classes:
- Respect time
Whenever possible, come early, not on time. If you have to be late, enter class quietly and be sure to apologise for late arrival after the class.
- Come prepared
If you arrive early, you will have time to change clothes/shoes and mindset. Remember your water and do all admin required before class. Make sure you’re in time for warm-up too, it is important to prepare your body to be more receptive to movements.
- Trust and respect your teacher
Trust his or her judgement, decisions, methods, and knowledge. If you have good reasons not to, find a teacher you CAN trust and respect.
- More footwork, less jawwork
Make eye contact with your teacher to show that you are listening. When corrections are given to other dancers, embrace them as your own, you should always be learning. Move your body not your lips, side chatter wastes valuable class time and prevents you from taking in information.
- Body Language
As dancers, we know that our body is a powerful storyteller. Your body language tells people around you what you are thinking. If you have your arms crossed, are staring off blankly, or are sinking into your hip, you immediately look disinterested in class and your teacher may not invest more time in you. Stand up tall, relax your arms, open your eyes and put a smile on your face. If you are invested in the class, your instructor will invest more into you.
- Learn to follow
Let advanced student stand in front, they have earned their spot. In time, you will have your turn in that leadership role as well. And when you’re in that leadership position, take that seriously and be someone worth following.
- Find a new spot in the room
Every dancer has a place where they tend to feel comfortable dancing, but challenge yourself to find a new place. You should not always push to be front and centre in the room – this can be perceived as egotistical. On the other hand, don’t always bury yourself in the back corner either – this can be perceived as a lack of confidence. Embrace each space in the room and when you are called out on to the dance floor, find new places to dance.
- To question or not to question
There is a time and place for questions in class, and we want you to be engaged and ask for clarifications. However, before you ask a question, ask yourself the following – 1. Is it relevant? 2. Have I tried to solve the problem myself? 3. Have I given my teacher time to address everything they want to say about the movement? Take time to dance it first before jumping straight into a question. Also, by listening to what your teacher says, you will often hear the answer before needing to ask it.
- Try your best
If you’re struggling with a class, never sit down in frustration or even walk out of the class- hang in there and try your best. Always push yourself, no one will fault you for that.
- Dance with an open heart and mind
Leave any negativity outside the studio and be supportive and encouraging of your classmates. Praise their efforts and accomplishments. You will only get out of it what you put in.