Beginner classes are so boring!” Has anyone ever said this to you? Maybe they prefer to take more advanced courses instead, until they are left with a plethora of steps, but little technique to back them up. But they – or you – might want to reconsider that strategy.
If we’re being really honest with ourselves, we often take more challenging classes because just the act of taking them makes us feel more advanced, especially when we tell others what we’re learning. Who wants to say they’ve been attending ‘ballroom basics’ more than once?
On the other hand, if you want to actually demonstrate great dancing, those beginner courses could be just what you need to start turning heads and lining up dance partners your way.
It builds your foundations
Like losing weight, there is no miracle pill, no substitute for hard work. Beginner classes focus on the basics of movement without distracting you with advanced technique you aren’t ready for.
For example, if you aren’t full changing your weight properly and losing your balance because of it, how can you possibly be expected to improve your hip action (Cuban motion), or rise and fall? In a beginner class, you are free to work on the pillars that uphold more advanced technique.
Here’s just a few things beginner group classes can help improve (that you will use forever!):
- Weight transfers
- Core connection
- Heel, ball, or toe leads
- Pressure changes for leading/following
You can work on more advanced technique
What if you already know the basics of dancing, but more advanced movements like Cuban motion are still giving you a headache? Again, beginner classes take the pressure off, leaving you free to practice your technique while moving with a partner.
Even if your partner doesn’t know the first thing about dancing, there’s still plenty you can do to work on your end of the partnership. For example:
- Catch and compression
- Cuban motion
- Pushing off with your feet, and floor connection
- Adjusting the strength of your lead/follow based on your partner
- Finer details of arm and body alignment
This is especially useful if you have trouble keeping up your practicing, because it gives you a group of people whom you are accountable to and will notice if you aren’t there. And it’s the same time every week, allowing you to build the time into your daily routine.
It can reconnect you to the joy of dancing
As you move from beginner, to advanced, to performance and competitive level classes, you’ll notice that there are more and more people who are ‘hungry’, who crave technique like a drug, because it gives them more opportunity to be noticed by judges, agents or potential partners.
When we get sucked into this rat race, it can be easy to forget that we started dancing for reasons as simple as having fun, meeting some friends, or expressing ourselves. Beginner courses let you reconnect to that relaxed vibe, so you can infuse new joy into every movement.
I’m not saying advanced classes are a waste of time – far from it! As technique piles upon technique however, it helps to remember that this house you are building is only as strong as it’s base – and every house needs maintenance, from time to time.