So you want to learn how to dance? But what type of lessons should you take? Should you join a group class…pay a little bit more for private lessons…or attend a social dance event? There are many options, but as a trained dancer, Samantha Potter truly recommends taking a combination of all three.
Group classes are a great way to learn basic techniques, step patterns, and not only learn from the instructor, but your peers as well. In addition, they’re definitely cheaper than private lessons. However, they also have their limitations.
Anytime you’re learning in a group setting, there is a higher likelihood that you’ll not receive the individual attention required to master proper technique, form, etc. The instructor has to divvy his or her attention up among all the students, which limits their ability to place all attention on a single student. On a similar note, there is the probability that you won’t feel as comfortable asking for help. You may feel like you’re taking away from the other students’ learning time and therefore continue to practice your movements with improper form or steps. As such, while beneficial…group lessons should be taken in complement to private lessons.
Private lessons, while a larger investment, does provide greater value compared to group classes. Unlike group classes, private lessons allow you to receive the one-on-one attention and learn proper technique, style, frame, form, posture, lead, and how to follow at your own pace. At the same time, if the instructor notices any mistakes, he or she will be able to correct it immediately . On the other hand, if you feel confused or have any questions, you’ll feel more comfortable asking since you won’t worry about holding other students back via taking “group class” time.
Therefore, if you ask Potter…she strongly recommends taking a private lesson first to learn proper technique and then taking group classes to practice. However, to really let loose and add your own style…there’s nothing like a social dance event. Many times, students are too concerned with such things as technique, form, and step pattern…that it takes away from feeling the movements and sharing it with others. Therefore, social dance events create a wonderful environment to let loose, place all concerns aside, and simply enjoy the dancing.
Group classes, private lessons, and social dance events…they all have their benefits. But if you’re looking to receive the highest value for your investment, there’s nothing like taking a mix of the three. Start off with private lessons to learn form and technique, then practice and experience it with others in group classes, and finally don’t forget to add your own style, emotions, and experience the joy at a social dance event. Trust me…this is the perfect combination for your dancing success!