Article Written by Chris Lynam of Arthur Murray California: arthurmurraylive.com
No one likes the feeling of when you walk in…everyone is watching…judging. That critical voice fires out negativity, like an outlaw with an itchy trigger finger. Always looking for any (and every) excuse to get out of there. Welcome to the gym.
Why we hate it there
It’s the only place where it feels like all eyes are on you, while bench pressing the weight of your last economy rental car. Or is it? A dance studio can feel like a gym quite easily.
Replace the bench-pressers, with “arm-stylers”, “swivel-ers”, or, the dreaded, “hip-motioners”. (See: Vanessa Williams opening scene in the movie “Dance With Me” to get the full idea). As a new student, seeing the likes of those people (even if they are staring at themselves in the mirror) can be intimidating. A group class with those people… and you feel like swiveling right out the door.
A private dance lesson. Without a doubt, it is the single greatest, most effective way to start taking dance lessons. As much as fun as group classes can (eventually) be, your comfort zone needs a guide. Think of it like this: you’re going to a dinner party, but you don’t know anyone there. For some, rare social butterflies, this is “an opportunity”, but for the rest of the world – it’s slow, social torture. 8 trips to the punchbowl, 5 trips to the bathroom, 2 awkward conversations, and you’re flying out of there faster than if you shook a stick at a partridge in a pear tree.
But, if you had a friend there…
Everything changes. You know where to go…Who to talk to…Who to avoid. And that is why your first lesson, should be, and will be, a private lesson. You’ll have a friend (cue the Toy Story theme song). A friend who can:
1. Teach you the basics
2. Find out your goals
3. Introduce you to some great people
4. Create a roadmap to ensure success.
Your next step (after your private dance lesson)
Every experience (private lessons, group lessons, and practice sessions) is designed to develop your confidence and broaden your comfort zone. Group classes are incredibly helpful in your dance-evolution, but they are always more effective after your teacher (on a private lesson) has helped you start your dance foundation, and relationships in the studio. Working on them in tandem creates a great working relationship for your big picture:
So, before long, you’ll walk into the studio like it’s a dinner party that you’re hosting. Learning to dance, the right way, the first time gives you confidence that will radiate off the dance floor.
Even to places like… the gym.