Most of us have taken a class or two that we so thoroughly enjoy and just can’t wait to step into each week. But as much as we may love it, there can still be aspects that if changed, would make the overall experience even better. Check out these tips for getting the most out of the dance classes you take.
Show up on time, or better yet early
That way you won’t miss the warm up, choreography breakdown or other important details
Be sure to warm up
Whether in class with the other participants, or on your own just before class. This is the best way to avoid possible injury.
Dress for success
Different styles of dance require very different attire. For ballet it is form fitting leotards and tights and ballet slippers, whereas for hip-hop it is typically loose fitting clothing and tennis shoes. If unsure you should check with the instructor or someone else familiar with the class to find out what the proper attire and footwear is.
Fuel your body
While some argue that dancers shouldn’t dance on an empty stomach and others argue that dancing on a full stomach is just as bad, I have discovered that this can vary with each individual. Generally it is best to have a small, high energy snack not too long before class and typically not long after, particularly when a large meal isn’t possible or ideal. Either way you look at it, it is ever so crucial to have energy to get through class and do your best.
Secure your hair
Take the time to secure your hair, preferably up and out of your eyes and face. Hair in ones face can obstruct a dancers view, as well as whip their partners in the face during spins in salsa and other partner dances.
Introduce yourself to the instructor
If you’re new to class or haven’t been in a while, take a moment to introduce yourself to the instructor if not before class, then after it has ended.
It can set the mood for a friendly, personal experience and can also be helpful if the instructor is familiar with you if you have questions or need something during class.
Start in the right place
Make sure to check if there are any recommended prerequisites to the class your taking, that way you don’t end up mowing people over while struggling to follow advanced patterns, when you could easily start with beginning or intermediate patterns in a different level class.
Water is the essence of life and dance!
Don’t just chug water during class, or wait until after class to drink. It is so important to stay hydrated throughout the day even prior to entering a class.
Claim Your Space
As soon as you enter the studio, find a spot to stand with plenty of room to move and stretch out freely. Many dancers arrive early to claim the best spots, (for most that is usually in the front row). Ultimately you want to find a spot where you can clearly see and hear the teacher.
Be Sensitive to Injuries
If you have an injury, don’t overdo it. An achy muscle is vulnerable to further injury. Although your injury is likely just temporary, trying to force it too soon is sure to prolong your recovery time. Always listen to your body…if you feel like you probably shouldn’t attempt that running jump, don’t. Give yourself a much-needed break.
Learn at your own pace
Everyone learns to dance at different speeds. Don’t compare yourself to others in your class. Some people just catch on faster than others. Ask questions if you are unclear about something. Just do your best and have fun!