When you were seven years old, you took dance lessons. But this hasn’t been the case in the last 30-something years. You’re a little older, your memory has somewhat faded, and time is scarce.
However, you can certainly reapply yourself to this skill by taking dance lessons. After enjoying the musical marathon on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) over the weekend and having fun watching Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” last month, you’re interested in dancing again.
The desire is the first step. The inclination is the next.
But before you immediately find a dance studio and request lessons, there are several things that you need to be aware of beforehand to get yourself prepared.
Here are five dance lessons tips for beginners of all ages:
1. Have the Proper Attire
Whether you are learning the tango or attempting to tap, you will need the proper attire.
It doesn’t matter what level you are at, what dance style you’re learning, or how long the lesson will be. You will always need the correct clothing and shoes for every dance lesson you attend.
By not sporting the recommended apparel, you could very well miss out on important steps. Or, what may be even worse, you could get frustrated and then abandon your latest endeavour. And we definitely don’t want that to happen.
2. Keep Hydrated Before & During Lessons
Like any other physical activity, you need to consume plenty of water to stay hydrated. You should keep hydrated before, during, and after your dance lessons. You’ll be perspiring quite a bit, particularly if you’re not already physically active.
Grab your water bottle, fill ‘er up, and quench your thirst.
3. Ensure Your Head Stays Up, Not Down
A common mistake that neophytes (and sometimes seasoned veterans) make is that they don’t keep their head up.
Since you are moving your feet and you want to ensure you’re performing the right steps, you often put your head down and stare at your shoes. Don’t do this. Look up, not down.
This is important because dancing is primarily about feeling rather than seeing. As you move around, shift your weight, and regularly adjust your direction, your mind is registering the patterns to remember the dance in the future.
One more thing: if you’re dancing with a partner, then only pay attention to them, not their feet.
4. Lessons Will Become Fast-Paced
As time goes by, your dance lessons will become more fast-paced.
Your very first dance class will be more routine: what you can expect, what you need to bring moving forward, what you should do in your free time, and a myriad of other administrative advice.
Once you reach your second, third, fifth, and tenth dance lesson, you will be more exerted. It doesn’t matter if it is ballroom or jazz, you’ll be moving around fast.
Again, don’t forget to bring the water!
5. What Are Your Personal Goals?
So, what do you wish to accomplish by taking dance lessons? That is an important question to answer to both yourself and your instructor.
Do you want to become the next Fred Astaire? Ginger Rogers? Gene Kelly? Do you want to have a perfect wedding dance? Do you plan to enter into a dance competition for a charity?
Whatever your goals may be, it is crucial to outline them before you start.
You have likely heard all of the musical film troupes before: “Why do you dance? Why do you breathe?” Gotta dance! I’ve got rhythm! But the classic musicals make dancing look easy.
There is one thing to remember in life: if something looks easy, it’s because the person has perfected it with a lot of dedication, time, sweat, and perhaps tears.
Whether you want to have a beautiful wedding dance or you want to challenge yourself, dance lessons are the first step in this journey. Dancing is not a walk in the park as you will inevitably learn after just your second class. That said, if you can apply yourself, you can float on air.
Just please remember to relax and have fun!