Everyone is different and learns differently. When it comes to learning how to social dance, some people learn better in private dance lessons which allow them to progress at their own pace while others learn better by diving into a group dance class that simulates an actual dance event. But the truth is each class format has its own benefits. The list below will help you figure out which format works best for you with your current dancing needs.
Private Dance Lessons are better, if
1. You are getting ready for an event, such as a wedding, black-tie event, cruise and etc. In private lessons, your teacher can focus on dance style(s) that you will be dancing in the particular event. You can also spend more time dancing to a specific song if you are learning a first dance or style of music which will be played at the event.
2. You want to learn and progress faster. In a one-on-one setting, your teacher can customize your lessons according to your skill levels, needs and learning styles. When the teacher's attention is all on you, you will receive a more focused and optimized learning experience. And you will find yourself learning more details and improving faster.
3. You get nervous dancing with other people. Even though the ultimate goal for you is to dance socially, it could be nerve-racking dancing with other people while you don't feel confident enough yet. Private lessons allow you to progress at your own pace. You will overcome the fear of dancing socially through encouraging and helpful guidance from your teacher.
4. You want to celebrate a special occasion. If your boyfriend/girlfriend is a big fan of "Dancing with the Stars" and his/her birthday is coming soon, private dance lessons will be a perfect gift and a wonderful way to celebrate. Not only will you spend a great time learning to dance together but also develop a new hobby that you can share with each other.
Group Dance Classes are better, if
1. You want to meet new people. Taking dance classes is a great way to meet new people. Unlike meeting people at bars and other typical social gatherings, you will get to know people through learning a healthy activity. In most group classes, you will have opportunities to dance with and meet a variety of people.
2. You want to get better at leading and following through practice. Since you will be dancing with different partners in a group class, you will gain experiences leading or following a variety of people and get better at your role over time. Practice makes perfect!
3. You want to gain experiences dancing socially. A group dance class is a mini social dance event with a teacher's guidance. By attending more of these group classes, you will feel more confident and comfortable dancing with people in the "real" social settings.
4. You want to improve your ability to navigate a crowded dance floor. In a group class, you will have to share the space with other students. And to avoid collisions, you will learn how to adjust the size of your steps and use patterns that help you navigate the dance floor more efficiently.
You may find yourself interested in both private dance lessons and group classes. In fact, you don't have to stick with either of one those formats. In my experience, students learn best when incorporating both methods in the learning process. What is your preference in dance lessons? What do you find most beneficial to you? Please share with us!
Happy dancing! Cha cha cha!
Voted as one of Chicago Top 5 Dance Teachers 2013 by Art Intercepts, Szewai (C-Y) has been sharing the joy of partner dance since 2006. She is the founder of Duet Dance Studio, a Chicago dance studio that offers Latin and ballroom dance lessons, wedding dance lessons, and BYOB dance parties. Szewai believes partner dancing has the power to connect people and bring people closer. Besides dancing, she enjoys discovering hidden gems in the city, finding great music and making short videos about people and things that inspire her.
You can find Szewai on Google+