Dance class is an investment. A lot of money, time, and energy goes into learning how to dance. The last thing you want is for any of that to go to waste by not making the most of every dance class.
You might think that the best dancers become successful by stretching longer, sweating harder, or practicing more than everyone else but that’s not the whole story. If you really want to benefit from your time training in dance, start with your mental attitude toward learning. Here’s how:
Learning anything is on you, friend. Dance teachers just navigate (and occasionally cheerlead) your dance journey. It’s your job to fuel and drive the car.
What are some ways to do that and take responsibility for learning in dance class?
- Arrive early
- Come prepared
- Practice proper dance class etiquette
- Stay focused
- Take and apply corrections and direction
- Ask and listen to questions and really absorb the answers
- Take notes
- Think ahead
- Spend more time on the things that need work than the things that don’t
- Be eager to revisit the basics
- Listen to your body and keep it in top form with cross-training or conditioning
- Develop professional relationships with your teachers and mentors
- Find great teachers you can trust and then actually put your faith in their methods
Dance class is THE place to mess up because the stage is the last place you’ll want to. Give yourself permission to try big and fail hard in dance and in life.
Discover something new
Notice we didn’t say you should wait to be hit over the head with or bowled over by new information. Make each dance class a quest to learn something new– even about the same old stuff– through listening, watching, trial, or error.
Your best growth often happens outside your comfort zone. If dance class feels too easy, it’s not always about class level. Are you pushing and stretching yourself in all of the above ways? If not, maybe class seems effortless because you’re not making an effort to push beyond your limitations.
Enjoy the process
Achievement and accolades in dance are awesome but the celebration lasts a blip before you realize that when it’s over, there’s just something new to accomplish. Dance training includes periods of growth and periods of plateau. Make that process the fun part of dance class and you’re golden.
Do celebrate those accomplishments and your dancing body. Be grateful that you get to enjoy the benefits of dance and appreciate the people helping you and motivating you to get the most out of every dance class.
Thanks, Ed Schipul for making your beautiful photographs of Houston dancers available via CC.
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.