Recently, dancing has become well established category for the lesson genre either for children or grownups. Even in the learning popularity ranking it is said that they are climbing up the ladder.
Looking at your imaginary figure of standing on the stage with a smile is exceptional feeling. It is understandable why so many people would like to learn.
Especially in the first time, selecting the right dance school is the most important part.
So I will introduce the points to look for. These are the ones I would choose if I were starting out fresh now.
2 types of dance studios
Because dance is popular content on TV shows / music video / movies, it seems that opportunities to interact with dancing are naturally increasing in recent years. Dance classrooms and studios are being built everywhere.
There are also many incorporated studios in big cities like Toronto where there are more than a million people. The smaller cities you go to, the more smaller family run studios with the capacity of 10 people there exist.
With so many options, there is no right judgement call unless you are a dance expert as to deciding what kind of studio you should join. Like home appliances and cosmetics, it seems that there are so many people who are in trouble because there are not enough reviews and indicators to compare the reputation.
If you are learning anyway, you want to pick the one that teach dancing properly. But the instructor of dancing does not need a license or qualification.
If it is a big studio, it likely employs instructors usually who have track records of dance careers. There should not be problem for you to learn there.
The problem is the type of dance classroom in the area that individuals operate.
"Tentatively..." is the source of failure
If you can not attend a bigger studio for reasons like living far away from the city, your only option is to join a dance class in your closest neighbor.
There are cases however where there are a few options in your town. It varies from region to region. It is absolutely not wise to learn for a simple reason that "Because there is only one in this area..."
Since the progress of your dance is greatly influenced by the quality of the instructor.
In choosing the right studios, there are 2 points to look at.
- Teaching foundation properly
- Performance at the event
Are they teaching foundation properly
*There are technical terms that come out here. Even if you do not understand, that is completely fine.
In essence, the content of dance lessons does not change depending on the age. Whether you are children or old grandpa, the lesson should be applicable.
Even if a 7 year old beginners should be executing the same material as the 40 year old. There are things especially for kids like chewing down content and slowing down. But the core is exactly the same.
There are 2 important things that are important in foundation of dancing.
Isolation is to move parts of the body independently. Rhythm is a training to move the body accordingly to music.
Without those 2, no matter how much choreography you practice, you can only output that particular choreograph. The only level it reaches is the quality of "amateurs barely managing to dance".
It sounds hash, but that is hardly dancing.
So, when you go to a lesson tryout, let's check first whether these two are properly incorporated into each class. Unless there is a particular reason (like it is right before the showcase event), a decent instructor should incorporate isolation and rhythm into the training at the beginning.
If you have a way to improve your dance without learning these two, I would like you to tell me. But I highly doubt it.
Normally, lessons will proceed like this.
- Rhythm Training
- Step (set of movements, etc.)
- Choreography including steps
Look at the performance of the past events
The main activities of local dance classes outside teaching will be at appearing in local festivals and events. Be sure to see what kind of performances they have done before committing to the studio.
The reason is that every dance studio has different showcase materials. It is best to choose one where you feel "cool", "fun", "I want to do" when seeing the past performance.
What not to choose from
There are some dance classes where middle aged and old instructors have been running for decades. If I were you, I would be cautious.
There are reasons:
- Not teaching the foundation
- Students are not good (because the foundation is not there)
- Old performance songs
- Bad choreography
- Dirty outfit
- Unedited songs (chopped up songs)
- Use the same song and same choreography over and over
- Genre scrambling
- Everything is copied
Often, a self-taught instructor likes to mix HIPHOP and LOCKING all the sudden. Is is more frequent for many. The reason mixing genre is not a good idea is you need to practice for certain amount for one genre to get better. Constantly going back and forth feel good, but you never become good at any one of them.
What if you only have bad studio in neighbor
If you pick the wrong ones, you might end up going to the school for years, but never really improve.
Without practicing the basics, your inner capacity will never reach at full potential.
If there is only such bad studios in your community, I would recommend self taught dance DVDs for beginners. Luckily, YouTube has more and more tutorial videos. Those are good resources as well. Because you can practice at home, it is more efficient to follow the video than commuting to dance classes.
Even if you have experience in dancing, it is nevertheless important to pick the nice qualified studios. Let's pick wisely.