Are you currently learning ballroom dancing or Latin dancing and wanting to improve faster? Are you perhaps thinking about dance lessons and want to know how to choose the best dance studio or dance school so you get the best value for money?
If you want to learn to dance as fast as possible, then read on. I have been there and done that, and I know how to get the most from your dance lessons.
If you want to master ballroom dance or Latin dance, then there are 4 things you should do:
- Decide if you want to do private of group dance classes
- Choosing a dance studio
- Evaluate your teacher during your dance lessons
- Use focused practice to improve your ballroom dancing outside of the dance school
Group versus private
Many people have preferences and will tell you different things about which dance lesson is best when it comes to group and private. Often what you hear from others tells you more about their personal on dance classes than it does about what’s good for you. The best thing to do is understand what each offers so you can find the best match for you.
Group dance classes offer a chance to meet and dance with many people, and are ideal for social people who like to interact with many people. Private dance lessons on the other hand are one on one, and are ideal for people who like to deal with one person at a time and know who they will be working with.
When you are in a private dance class, you are basically being told what you need to do. This can be better for people who like to be told exactly what they need to do. When you learn ballroom dancing in a group dance lesson, you will need to work out some stuff yourself. This is good for people who like a chance to try themselves first and ask questions when they need to.
Group lessons are usually more interested in social dance along with lead and following. Privates are usually more focused on technique and gradings. You need to think about why you want to learn ballroom dancing and what you want from the dance school you choose.
Dance studios that focus on private ballroom lessons will usually charge 3-5 times more per hour than what dance schools using group lessons will charge. Most dance studios and dance schools do both; they just normally have a preference. As a general rule, you will learn 3-5 times faster in a private lesson so you will probably have to pay the same to get to a certain level no matter which avenue you take. It’s more about your preferences.
Once you have a feel for what kinds of classes you want, it is time to choose a dance studio.
Choosing a dance school
It is most likely that after reading the previous section you have a preference for one type of dance lesson, but will still on occasion want to take the other type. Therefore, you want to find a dance studio that does both. Fortunately, most do. However, dance studios do usually have a preference so restrict your search to dance schools that lean toward your preferences.
That being said, there are some other attributes that you can look for:
- Do they offer a chance to apply what they teach? You’re learning for a reason so look for a school that will help you get into the competitions you want or that runs some kind of social event you can dance at or runs exhibitions that you can perform in. Once again you need to know what you’re interested in: social dance, dance sport, putting on shows, some mix of the 3.
- Where do they get their certification? Some dance studios self-certify, that might be OK with you, some are members of independent dance organisation that certify. You need to work out which works for you. I know some who effectively self-certify, but staff spend time travelling to the cultural heartland of the dances they teach to stay abreast of the latest methods and styles. Once you know what you’re interested in, you know what to ask of a potential dance school.
- What’s the demographic of the dance studio? If you are going to be dancing with others, then you want to know that they are people you are comfortable dancing with. This might depend upon age, religious beliefs, degree of social progression, formality and so on. I know some people who loved their dance classes, but not some of the people they danced with. They then left dance and never returned. Make sure you choose a dance studio that works for you.
Once you have a dance school, you need to evaluate your teacher.
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