What’s up, dancers and welcome to “The Beginner Series”, a From the Top original series for dancers who are thinking about signing up or have signed up for their very first round of dance classes! In this series we will be hitting on some of the basic tips and tricks for knowing how to prepare you for your very first dance season. In today’s first installment, we are going to talk about what to know before taking your very first dance class! This post goes for classes of all different genres of dance, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re a tapper or a ballerina, these points cover everything across the board! So, let’s jump right into it!
The first thing to know is that the class you are taking may be relatively crowded. “Why is this even a point, Lexi?” Because it is important that you get there as early as you can to secure a nice, comfortable spot to have during the class. For example, if you’re taking a ballet class, it’s always a great idea to get a spot at the barre that has a great view of the mirror. This way you can check your form and alignment throughout class. If you’re taking a tap class, you may want to secure a spot near the front so that you can get a clear view of your teacher, their movements and see EXACTLY what they are doing.
This brings me to my next point and another piece of advice that dancers should have in their heads, which is to never, ever be afraid of being in the front line of the class! Despite popular belief, the front of the class isn’t just reserved for the “good dancers”. I used to be absolutely terrified of being in the front line because I thought it would be soooo embarrassing to completely mess up in front of everyone but then I realized something. I may be a little afraid of being in the front, but I can’t see a thing while I’m in the back! If I can’t see what the choreographer is doing, how am I even going to know the routine fully? Let alone mess it up! After I came to that realization, I went to my next class (early by the way *wink wink*) and secured my spot in the front line of the class and I literally told myself “If I bomb, then I bomb. At least I was able to see everything and get the most out of the class”. So, know that being in the front doesn’t have to be scary! Start off your new found dance journey with confidence and resilience from the very start! If you mess up then you mess up. At least you were able to see everything in order to learn. Don’t worry about what other people may think of you either. Any one that thinks poorly of you has some serious issues of their own and that’s their problem, not yours. Now, go slay it because Lexi told you that you can! (snaps in Z formation)
The next thing you should know before taking your first class is that naturally it will be a little challenging because it is your first time having this experience. However, this is 100% normanl and something that we will change with time. As you keep dancing, your skill set will get better and better and the things you found challenging will be a piece of cake after a while. Always stay patient with yourself and keep working hard!
The final thing you should know is that you’re teachers are not expecting you to be a dancing expert and know everything about dancing right off the bat. Know that your teachers are there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions. The point of taking this class is because you want to learn the art of dance but you will never be able to learn if you do not ask. No, it doesn’t show how much of a beginner you are and no, it doesn’t make you seem like you aren’t learning fast enough. It makes you seem exactly like what you are: a new dancer, eager to learn a new skill set and wanting to learn how to do it correctly, which is a trait that many teachers respect and admire in a student.
In conclusion to this first series installment, I encourage you to not worry or be afraid of the thought of taking your first class.
Dance is all about freedom of expression and freedom of movement. It’s one the most fun career paths or hobbies out there, if you ask me! So don’t be so focused on moves and technique that you don’t allow yourself to have fun! If dancing is something that you love to do, never rob yourself of that kid like excitement that comes with being able to do what you love. Always keep in mind that you are growing, you will continue to grow and that no dancer ever stops learning. I wish you the best of luck on your first class and I will see you all next week for the next installment in “The Beginner Series”!