Learning new things can be intimidating, especially as an adult. The experts at Duet Dance Studio are here to help with 5 tips for beginner dancers:
We know you want to learn as many steps as possible, but cramming out a ton of steps each practice session is not the way to do it. Learning takes time. Allow your body and brain the time it needs to process this new movement. Retaining the new step is more important than learning quickly and repetition is key. Remember, this is a new language to you!
Leave your pride at home
Being an adult beginner is not easy. We have students from all backgrounds who have excelled at sports, technical jobs, parenting, music and etc. You are amazing!! But being new to dancing means you have to start from square one, and that is okay! Allow yourself the time to be a beginner and make mistakes. When things get frustrating, look at it as a challenge you WILL overcome, not something you “should” be able to learn right now.
Practice, practice, practice
Yes, practicing is essential, but figuring out when and how to practice is key. For students who are learning online, first, watch the whole video once, try the step on your own before practicing with your partner (if you have one). When you get stuck, go back to the video and revisit the step before moving on. For students who are taking a formal lesson, we recommend only practicing for 20-30 minutes at a time. Practicing longer can lead to bad habits that may take more time to fix. Also, it is easy to get frustrated when you don’t have a teacher there to troubleshoot along with you! When you do practice, put some of your favorite music on, review your steps and have fun! We want you to learn to love dancing, not just execute the steps.
Practice in your wedding/event shoes
This is a great way to break in the shoes, and get you comfortable moving in them. Plus, most dress shoes have a leather or slick bottom, perfect for sliding those feet!
Repeat leading and following exercises
It’s easy to forget about the basic principles you learn once you “get the hang of it.” But leading and following is one of the hardest parts of partner dancing and often the reason you may be struggling later on. Becoming a great leader or follower takes practice. We recommend warming up with some leading and following exercises each time you practice. This will get you moving in sync and help you remember your role in dancing.