To get the most out of dance, you must learn how to be a smart student. Knowing how to get the most out of dance will help you become the best dancer you can be! The following are tips to better understand basic classroom rules. These rules are designed to give you more time for dancing and improving rather than wasting time on non-dance related actions. By acting professional in every class, you will learn a very important part of dance, self-discipline! With self-discipline you can accomplish anything! You will instantly feel like a dancer, and in no time, you will be one!
Tip #1: ARRIVE EARLY
Plan to arrive to class 10 to 15 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time to prepare and warm up. Most dance teachers appreciate students who are on time and ready to work. Get into the habit of arriving about fifteen minutes early and use the time to stretch. If you happen to arrive late, try to enter the studio quietly to avoid disrupting the rest of the class.
Tip #2: BE PREPARED
Make sure you have the shoes you need, your hair is up off your face (in a bun or attached braid) and if you have time, we strongly recommend that you warm up before class in the hall. This way, your entire class time will be concentrated on making you a better dancer! Use the restroom; take a drink, etc. before class begins or after the class is over. Once class starts you should be ready to devote the entire time to learning! Your dance bag should be like your dance locker. Pack it with extra tights, all of your dance shoes, extra gel or spray & hair elastics or pins, personal hygiene products, knee pads or legwarmers for jazz, band-Aids, a cover-up for wearing home, a small towel, a sewing kit and anything you can think of that you may need for class. Be prepared for anything!
Tip #3: DO NOT TALK! STAY FOCUSED
To dance well requires great concentration, especially as dance becomes more advanced, so don’t speak out or begin conversations during class time. Of course, questions are always welcome, but pay close attention in class to be sure the instructor has not already answered your question while teaching another student! Also, do not make comments in class. It is not appropriate to tell instructors what you do or don’t feel like doing, whether you like or dislike a step, or to tell the instructor what cool music to use or what exercises to do. Keep socializing before or after class, and during class stay focused on dance.
Tip #4: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Always have respect for every class, every instructor and every student. Don’t enter a class in progress without asking the instructor’s permission. If an instructor sends you into another room to get something, do not charge into a class to get equipment, to watch, or for any reason without receiving an instructor’s O.K. Even if you just want to watch quietly, ask first. Often a teacher will welcome you to sit inside and watch, but always check.
Respect each other. When experimenting with movement, accidents may happen. If you run into someone while dancing say “excuse me.” In turn, if someone runs into you, don’t give them the evil eye. Everyone has the right to make mistakes, and no one would purposely ram into another for amusement, so take it in stride.
Tip #5: BE SENSITIVE TO INJURIES
If you have an injury, don’t overdo it. A sore muscle is vulnerable to further injury. Realize that your injury will not last forever, but forcing it will probably prolong your recovery time. Always listen to your body…if you feel like you probably shouldn’t attempt that split jump, don’t. Give yourself a much-needed break.
Tip #6: DON’T BE AFRAID TO LEARN
Unlike some things you can learn just with your mind, dance must be learned with your BODY as well as your mind. You will only progress if you overcome self-consciousness and try things. Do not stand there frozen, begin begged to go across the floor. Jump in and try your best.
Tip #7: CORRECTIONS ARE GOOD
Learning to dance requires trail and error. That means you try things to figure out what works and what doesn’t. A correction is not a way for an instructor to prove you are wrong, but a way for the instructor to help you be even better. The proper response to a correction is not “I know.” Or “I was doing it right!”’; a simple “Thank You” is best.
Tip #8: CLEAR YOUR MIND
Before you enter the room, clear your mind of any outside issues or concerns. Many people find dancing to be a stress-reliever…use your class time to relax and clear your mind. Instead of focusing on your worries, concentrate on your dancing.
Tip #9: LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE
Everyone learns to dance at different speeds. Don’t compare yourself to others in the class. Some people just seem to catch on faster than others. Ask questions if you are unclear about a step. Do your best!
Tip #10: HAVE FUN!
Just because there are rules, doesn’t mean a game isn’t fun! In dance everyone can be a winner. Learning is fun; being good at what you are leaning is un, even messing up ca be fun. Remember, you and our instructor have the same winning goal, to make you a great dancer and to enjoy every minute of the process. Good Luck!