Whether you have been taking dance lessons for a few days or a few years, it is very easy to see why one on one dance instruction can be not only a fun way to learn to dance but also the most effective. When you have an individual instructor focused solely on your wants and needs, what else do you really need?
Arthur Murray had the goal of making learning to dance fun, quick and easy. To help keep to that mantra we have the unit system; one group and party for every private lesson. It’s like the old adage in college: 3 hours of studying for every 1 hour of class. There are those that feel they are not prepared or cannot get value from these additional classes so let’s challenge some old ideas and create some clarity about groups and parties
Belief: "I’m not ready to go to group class."
Reality: You are right. You are not ready, but no one is ever ready for their first group class and typically it will be overwhelming and a bit scary, but the beautiful part is that you will survive your first class and each one after gets easier and easier.
Belief: "It’s not the dance I’m here to learn."
Reality: When you are first learning to dance, the group classes are designed to teach you the fundamentals of dance, like balance, lead and follow. Although there might be a specific dance for the class, the main focus will be on combining dance elements to create movement, which will help you in any dance you are learning.
Belief: "I don’t have a partner."
Reality: Because you will be switching partners throughout the class, no partner will be necessary. Although you are learning in a group, the goal is to get better at your own individual dancing.
Belief: "I have not learned enough."
Reality: That is why you go to group class, to expand your knowledge and enhance the skills you have gained in your private lessons.
Belief: "I get the most out of my private lessons."
Reality: Of course you do, and you should. Group is in addendum to your private lesson and you use group classes as an opportunity to learn something new, experience it and then perfect it on your private lesson.
Belief: "I’m more comfortable on my private lessons."
Reality: You should be. But it won’t fully prepare you to go out dancing. Although it is still a structured instruction setting, group puts you in a position to self-assess and adjust using what you have learned from your private instruction. Not to mention getting good at anything worth-while requires getting out of your comfort zone!
Belief: "I’m beyond what the class is teaching."
Reality: You may know the step but you can always develop better technique. Plus a group class with patterns you are familiar with gives you the time and space to rehearse that technique.
Belief: "I only want to dance with my partner."
Reality: You probably should quit dancing now because it will either be a frustrating experience or one that is fun but not worth it. Group class is about you, your lead or follow, your understanding of your steps, your balance, etc. If we are with the same partner it becomes about what they are making us feel in the dancing. When we switch partners it makes us focus on ourselves and how we can improve from partner to partner, so we can dance our best for our favorite partner.
Belief: "I have not worked with that teacher before."
Reality: Working with different teachers helps build understanding and confidence because you get the opportunity to learn and understand concepts and moves from another perspective.
Belief: "I’ve tried them before and they do not work for me."
Reality: If you have done group classes elsewhere in your dancing adventure, I advise you to try us because not all group classes are created equally. Also if you have only done group class once you have not had the full experience. A person should attend 4 group classes before they can say it doesn’t work for them.
If you are missing group class you are missing out on a third of your dance experience and a great way to enhance your dancing quickly. Sign up for a group class today! Check back here next week as we talk about the other underrated dance lesson: practice parties!