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The Major Hurdle For Most Dancers

Aug 17, 2008
Most people with an ounce of talent in dance will never realise it. There is one hurdle, one major obstacle which will stop most in their tracks. Even the most ambitious and enthusiastic to start with won't be able to pass it. It can discourage the most enthusiastic and make fools out of otherwise cool people. What it is I'm talking about...it's the first dance class.

My word, what a freak show! You'll watch some MTV video, realise you can pull off a few of the moves and that you're pretty good. Then wham, you go to a dance class that seems to be teaching the hardest routine in the world, and wham! It'll knock the balls out of most people from ever going again!

I'd love to say this is an exaggeration but it's not. Most people who walk into a dance studio will only walk through it once. Statistics will back me up. If you watch the first-timers in a dance class, you'll find that half of them you'll never ever see again.
Which is a great shame, because a lot of them probably had enough talent to pull off the same routine that frightened the hell out of them...with a bit of practise of course.

Learning to dance is I've found as much to do with the attitude as it is with what you're body can to. Everyone has the same body, the same neurology that can be taught the same things. But it's attitude that makes the difference.

A lot of people who are otherwise comfortable doing most things, who will easily get up and give presentations in meetings, who'll ride the theme park rollercoasters that seem to start on the Moon, will be terrified of being in a room full of people learning to dance. You can try and entice them with all the Diet Coke in the world and they'll still hunch up like a little mouse.

The 2 things that'll sound the death bell for a first-timer are:
1. The worry that comes with looking like a fool
2. Ridiculously high expectations

You see, the thing that most dance studios don't tell you is that when a dance class is described as 'beginner' it doesn't mean that a beginner can easily cope in the class. It means that once you can pull off the routines at beginner standard you will be at a good level of dancing and can progress to harder classes. So a 'beginner class' for a beginner is actually very hard.

And you certainly shouldn't expect to be pulling it off first time. No one does at their first attempt! So what should a beginner do? Firstly accept that you are in a dance class to learn and yes, you may look like a fool to begin with, but believe me, everyone including the experts in class has been through this experience, and know what it's like.

And secondly, take your time learning and go in with no expectations. Be like a child. If a child learns one new word a day, that's a good day's learning. If you go to dance class and can only do one or two moves, that's a good day's learning too. Because all the learning you do is cumulative and will add up to an impressive skill. If you learn 2 moves a day and do 2 classes a week, that's 4 moves a week and 16 moves a month. In a year that's nearly 200 moves, or 200 different combinations - and that's a lot. SO think of the bigger picture.

Most of all have fun when you're dancing. After all, you should only be doing it if you enjoy it and want to learn badly enough. The more you enjoy it, the more relaxed and calm you'll be and this is the perfect state to learn in, in the warm, humid atmosphere of the dance class.
About the Author
Kevin Shwe runs the Hip Dance Moves classes. He teaches students funky moves that are ideal for all settings including discos, clubs or the street! In just weeks he can transform a complete non-dancer into a confident dancer with the funkiest demeanour. Check his website, Hip Dance Moves Classes for more details.
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