If you are learning to dance and group class is part of your program it is important that you attend. Some students feel that they are not ready to attend group class because they are new to the studio when in actuality that is the most important time to attend. Think about all the times you have tried something new...where you ever really ready? If you don't build good habits in the beginning of your dance adventure, it will make a difference later on. Better to just close your eyes and jump in with both feet.
Here are some important reasons why it is important for you to utilize group classes if your studio offers them.
1. Muscle Memory - Think about this...how many times has your teacher asked you to practice a certain step or concept before they see you again. Now be honest...how often do you really practice? I get it...we all have the best intentions but things come up and we don't have time, or we just plain forget to practice. Sometimes you just don't feel that you know the material well enough to practice. But when you come to group class you are getting built in practice time which means more muscle memory. If you are not sure what that is, muscle memory is the concept that if your body does something enough times it remembers how to do that action without your brain having to think about how to do it. Here is a good example of muscle memory I heard recently. Think about when you pick up a glass of water. You don't need to think about how hard to grasp the glass so that it doesn't slide out of your hand or not to squeeze it so hard it breaks. You can lift the glass to drink without hitting yourself in the forehead. You can easily place the glass back on the table without smashing it. All these things happen automatically in the blink of an eye. No thought required. Dancing is the same thing but it takes many repetitions before your body can execute the movement without thinking about it.
2. Balance and Posture - Sometimes when you come to group class there may be an uneven number of ladies to gentlemen. This gives you the opportunity to practice on your own. Things you can work on without a partner may include posture, footwork, balance, control, arm styling...the list is endless! So many times I see the odd man or lady just stand against the wall while waiting their turn to dance with a partner. This is an amazing opportunity for you to practice on your own. There is no need to be embarrassed that you are the only one dancing without a partner. Professionals practice this way all the time...why not you. Sometimes all it takes is one person to start things off and before you know it the odd man (or lady) out is dancing on their own. This is another great way to gain muscle memory as well!
3. Social Confidence - When you only come to your private lessons you are missing out on one of the most important aspects of dancing...social confidence. Look...I know the first couple of times you come to group class it is not the most comfortable experience. You may think everyone already knows what to do and you don't want to look like an idiot. However, if you are attending a studio that has level oriented classes, your teacher will make sure they send you to the appropriate level class so you WON'T feel uncomfortable. Also...if you only dance with your teacher, you will ONLY be able to dance with your teacher. You came to learn so that you could enjoy your dancing in public with different partners right? Even if you are a married couple, dancing with other partners increases your lead and follow ability tremendously! Also...you get used to chatting with strangers while you dance. Really the hardest thing about dancing sometimes is that you have to ask someone to dance...you have to be able to carry on a conversation with your partner instead of counting...you have to be able to thank them for the dance and escort them back to their chair. Coming to group class will have you doing all of these things in no time.
4. Value Added - You enrolled on a program that includes group classes...why not use them and take full advantage of your program? Would you buy a car and not use the tires? Your program includes group lessons for a reason. Your teacher knows that if you use group classes in between your private lessons, you are more likely to remember more and progress faster. The faster you progress the more NEW material your teacher can introduce thus saving you time and money. True concept: 2 students of the same ability enroll on the same program. Student A uses all parts of their program, both private lessons, group classes and practice dances...While Student B only uses the private lessons because they think they will get more out of them. Guess which student learned more? Yes...Student A...he probably progressed twice as far as student B! Now do you see how you will get more value from your program by using all of it's parts?
So there you have it...some very important reasons for attending group classes as part of your dance program. Like anything that's worth having, it takes a little time, patience and energy on your part to achieve it, but you will definately see a difference in your dancing AND confidence when you come to group class. Good Luck!
For more information about social dancing and taking lessons visit granitestateballroom.com