Dance Tips – The PreGame tactics you need before taking your first ever dance class

OK, you’ve finally decided after a few months(or years) of watching dance videos on the internet that today is the day you will take your first dance class. You’ve actually made your mind up a few times but you chickened out because you just don’t want to embarrass yourself. However, tonight is the night you hold yourself accountable. 

Well, we have a few things to help prepare you for your 1st experience. 

First Order or Pregaming – Embracing Your Nerves 

Nerves will always be a factor in most first experiences. As instructors we are aware of this and we want you to understand that it is completely normal to be nervous. This happens because we want to make great first impressions or not make a fool of ourselves. 

Pregame Tatic- Take several slow deep breaths and embrace being human

Please understand that if this is actually your 1st dance class ever you won’t need to evaluate your performance as a professional. Do not set an expectation or compare yourself to a professional dancer. Professionals train for several years and have taken several thousands of classes. With that said, take the pressure off of this experience and recalibrate your perfectionism to enjoy your first time. If the class that you are attending is a beginner or level 1 class then the instructor has prepared meticulously to guide you through what you need to know. Therefore, trust the professionals that have prepared to instruct you. 

Second Order of Pregaming – Be Open-Minded to the Process

You are going to enter this dance class with preconceived notions about how to learn choreography. It is inevitable and that is also normal. However, be open to adapting or adjusting your plan in the moment. You are going to make mistakes and even turn in the wrong direction. Maybe even forget a few moves. 

Pregame Tatic – Listen to your instructor

Watch your instructor closely. Move more than you think you are moving. If they are singing, sing with them. If they are using sounds, echo those sounds that match the movements you are learning. If they are counting, count with them. This is the major tool to utilize when learning choreography. Most instructors spend time preparing how to help you connect your movement to the music with no music while they are instructing. Therefore, they have to design how they deliver each count of 8 efficiently by making the sounds of the music or the lyrics to match to their movement as closely as possible. 

Don’t try to remember every piece of movement with your brain. Invest most of your energy into the movement you are learning and use the tool that all professional dancers use by saying whatever the instructor is telling you to say. It will seem silly at first but the faster you adapt to what the instructor is telling you, the faster you will get the rhythm or connect your movement to the song. 

Third Order of Pregame – Focus on you

Comparison is a thief of enjoyment. We all like to compare our journey to those around us to see if we measure up to the challenge. When we do that, we either confirm that everyone is struggling with you or we confirm that you are struggling the most which creates a negative experience. Whatever the results of this outside evaluation is when you do it, know that you are doing it as a distraction from a challenging moment. You either want to be a part of the majority or prove that what you are learning is a bit more challenging than you expected. And Maaaaaaybe you are considering that you want to quit. 

Pregame Tactic – Refocus and pay closer attention to what ‘YOU’ are doing

Adjust your focus at this point. It is easier to look around for false narratives that will not serve you. 

You are now at a point where you need to pay closer attention to your instructor because you will have to learn something you have never done before. Therefore, you study your instructor’s move with more intention, and ask a question if you are still lost. Most of the time, it is a transitional step or weight transfer that you missed that you have never seen or experienced. Again, remember it is totally normal to make mistakes. In fact, making mistakes in a beginner class is more normal than actually getting the choreography right. The objective of a beginner class is to help you reshape your movement to fit the choreography. Mistakes are inevitable in that process. So don’t be hard on yourself. 

Fourth Order Pregaming – Give yourself credit for showing up but also getting a few things right

If you are able to get everything correct in your first class then you will need to go to our level 2 class for a challenge. Meaning, you are not a true beginner. With that said, no true beginner gets everything right on the first week and sometimes even the 2nd, 3rd or 4th week. You are going to get a few moves exactly how the instructor intended, and in other sections you will be  unsure. 

Pregame Tatic – Celebrate what you are getting and work on the parts that are not yet clear

We have a tendency to label an entire experience as ‘I did horrible’ instead of actually saying I did some great things and there are other areas I need work in. That is the mindset that you should always have when taking your first dance class or learning something completely new for the first time. Be easy on yourself. We are going to miss a few steps while learning choreography but always remember it is not a reflection of the entire experience. Be able to recognize the raw truth about what you did well and then filter down to the next thing of what you could have done better. Then make adjustments or ask the appropriate question to help the instructor guide you through those rough patches. 

Those are our Pregame tactics that will always help you through your first time in a dance class or new skill you want to learn. We recognize that doing something new for the first time comes with a few mental barriers and we want you to get a head start so you can actually enjoy an activity you have always wanted to do. We hope you take these pregame tactics and apply them to as many 1st time experiences as possible. Why because it takes more than one experience to learn or become decent at anything new. After reading these pregame tactics you can enter a dance class with even more confidence that your first experience will be worth it. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.