Attending your very first ballroom dance lesson can be incredibly intimidating. You may be thinking ‘what if I look silly?’, ‘what if I can’t keep up?’, ‘what if I fall on my face?’, etc. When you’re not sure what to expect, it’s pretty normal to anticipate the worst. However, the experts at Duet Dance Studio are here to prepare you for a fun, comfortable and enjoyable class! Below are a few things you should know before your first ballroom dance class.
1. What to Wear
Like any event, there’s always the fear of being over/under dressed. For a dance class, it’s appropriate to wear something comfortable and easy to move in. You don’t have to show up in your finest tutu but you can wear something you look and feel confident in! As far as shoes go, make sure they’re clean and comfy. Shoes with thin, smooth soles and short heels are great for dancing. Open-toed shoes, flip-flops and rain boots aren’t recommended.
2. What to Bring
All you need for your first ballroom dance class is yourself and an open mind. If you’d like to bring water, that is also OK. Here at Duet, we have BYOB lessons for 21+ students, so feel free to bring your favorite liquid luck to ease those nerves! If you are learning to dance for a wedding and have a specific first dance song in mind, it's a good idea to let your instructor know about the song before the dance class.
3. Speak Up
As dance instructors, we’re here to create a relaxing, non-judgemental environment for you to learn and create. If you have a question or feel any discomfort during the lesson, feel free to talk to your instructor. We will not force anything upon you and we won’t push you beyond your abilities. We want this to be a fun, enriching experience for you and we’ll do anything to make it that way!
4. Keep an Open Mind
The first dance lesson can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never had a dance lesson in your life. However, at Duet, you’re surrounded by people who want you to be the best you can be. We’ll help show you the key ingredients to creating an absolutely perfect experience. If you are negative and say “I will never be able to dance like that” or “I can’t do this step” then you never will be able to. Instead, stay positive and be open to learning the new steps.
5. Move Those Feet!
It is essential in any dance class to participate. That’s the absolute best way to learn! A step may feel awkward at first if it is new to you, but you’re in a safe space and we want to see you participating and having fun.
6. Don’t Be Shy, Be Social
Ballroom dancing is a social dance form and that means, you will be dancing with people! To help you learn better, your instructor may dance with you too. Don’t be afraid of dancing with an instructor or having him/her correct you. How else do you grow and develop as a student? In a group class setting, most likely you’ll be asked to trade partners and dance with someone new. It is all part of the experience and that’s how you get better at leading and/or following. So don’t be afraid of practicing with a new partner. You might even make a new friend!
7. Shake It Off
Sometimes when learning a new skill, it takes time and practice to perfect. This is only your first lesson and it’s not going to be flawless, but that’s OK! Try not to get frustrated or upset and just enjoy yourself. Take a break, have some water or wine and try again. Your instructor won’t give you any material they don’t believe you can handle!
8. Private vs. Group
Group classes tend to be a larger group of people all learning from one teacher. These sizable dance classes give you a little taste of different dance styles. It’s also a great way to socialize and meet new people. If you’d like to get more in depth in a dance style or you are preparing for an event, the one-on-one private dance lessons are best for you. In a private lesson, your instructor can personalize the experience based on your dance levels, interests and goals. You can also learn at your own pace. If you are unsure about which route to take, talk to our instructors or try both to decide what fits you best!
9. Be Aware of your Surroundings
Since partner dancing is a social dance, try to be conscious of your surroundings. Be aware of your partner and be patient with their progress. Also, in the event you’re attending a group class, be aware of your instructor and the people around you. Being a responsible and respectful dancer will make the class run smoothly and create a friendly learning environment for everyone.
10. Have Fun!
Need we say more? ☺
Any other things that you are concerned about for your first dance class? Let us know!
-The Duet Team
The Duet Team is a group of friendly dancers who are passionate about helping people and sharing the joy of ballroom dance. And we love to make new friends and have fun at work! Our studio, Duet Dance Studio, is a boutique studio located in Chicago West Bucktown. We offer ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance instruction and kids dance classes. Skype dance lessons are also available! Dances we teach include Salsa, Swing, Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Waltz and Foxtrot. Sign up for an introductory dance lesson now to get started!