Often people, who would love to dance, put the brakes on for a variety of reasons. This article is all about serving up some truth towards the top 5 beliefs we hear that keep people off the dance floor.
So read on, and let’s get those toes a tapping!
1) Feeling Self-Conscious:
No one likes feeling clumsy or awkward. We often worry if people may be watching or judging us and if we are even good enough to be out there. If you ask any dancer how they felt when they first started, they likely will have shared that sentiment.
Dancing is about fun and expression. A good instructor will meet you where you are, and guide your learning process. Learning how to dance will also improve your confidence and coordination with every lesson you take.
As in any physical activity, like skiing or skating, the tangible improvements come before the feeling. For example, a skater may find “I can skate around a rink falling only 3 times, instead of 7”. In dancing this would translate to, “Now I know a move I didn’t know before” or “I can do this dance to the music” or “I just learned a new body action’.
2) Bad Past Experience:
Many people stay away from dancing because of a previous negative experience. It can range from attending a class where the instructor went way to fast and you felt left behind, or a negative comment someone said about how you dance or even have memories of dancing with an ex.
Whatever the reason, it just left a bad taste.
Doing some homework before you start taking lessons can help make the next experience more positive. Start by looking for a Club that can provide you with a plan for your dancing. You should not have to self-diagnose.
If you ever looked at Mayo clinic when you’ve been sick, you know self-diagnosis can leave you in a panic! Find an instructor you can trust, “test drive” them, and then share the past experiences you want to avoid. A good instructor will take the lead, develop a plan, and make the next experience successful.
3) Have No Rhythm/Two Left Feet:
Maybe you’ve had a teacher who told you that you have no rhythm or a partner who’s expressed, you’ve got two left feet, or perhaps you came to the conclusion all by yourself.
First let me assure you, these statements may be true right now, but they are not final.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me paint a parallel scenario for comparison. Now picture this; I want to learn to speak Italian. Now I haven’t grown up with Italian being spoken around me or had yet to take a lesson.
Would anyone assume that I could already speak it?
The obvious answer would be no, but somehow with dancing and music, people believe they either have it or they don’t, even before they step foot on the dance floor. As dance instructors, it’s our job to teach your feet what to do, and educate your ears on what to hear.
So if you think you have no rhythm or your feet are in a tangle, you’re welcome here, and this is exactly what dance lessons are for!
4) Think they Need a Partner:
You’re right if you think you need a dance partner to dance, but you don’t need a dance partner to learn. You need an instructor to learn.
Often people are under the assumption that they need a partner to get started dancing, or in order to take it to a higher level. At first glance, the reasoning seems to make sense as an observer, but there are a few holes in the theory I’d love to shed some light on.
1) The majority of people who take private dance lessons, dance with an instructor. This is called pro-am dancing. The benefits of taking private lessons with an instructor are that they are zeroed in on your dancing needs, and you improve at a much quicker rate!
2) Most people, who initially take lessons as a couple, start to recognize the need for taking solo dance lessons as well. Often they start taking lessons together, and end up taking additional lessons on the side, so they can strengthen their individual needs (leading and following), explore desires or dances they may not both be interested in, and then come back being stronger and happier dancing together.
Even if you do have the goal of finding a dance partner, the best way you can get started on that is working on your own dancing. The better you are as a dancer, the more people are attracted to dancing with you, and the higher chances you have of finding a partner.
Lastly, find a Club that cares about the social aspect of dance. When checking out where you’d like to take lessons, ask them questions. What is your community like? Do you encourage people to switch partners in groups? Do you host events where you can meet people and dance socially?
5) Feel A bit shy:
Learning any new activity takes courage. If you are shy, one encouraging thought is that dance in itself is a method of communication and one where you don’t necessarily have to speak a lot to enjoy. Dancing in itself is the entertainment that removes awkwardness.
Many of the best dancers in the world are shy, and they find dancing to be an incredible outlet for expression.
I would love to hear if any of these reasons were what kept you from dancing and if you are feeling encouraged and ready to give it a shot!
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