Take 10 Steps to a Dance Class

January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Did you fall off the wagon over the three-day weekend? It’s fine. Make this weeks resolution a fun one. Take a dance class. There’s nothing to it. Dancing in a class shouldn’t be anymore intimidating then dancing at a club, or in your bathroom, or at a traffic light. I talked to Miss January, choreographer/dancer/teacher, the lovely and talented, Brooklin Rogers to help calm those nerves and get you dancing circles around yourself.

You aren’t auditioning for the part of the Black Swan or the Broadway revival of Fame so stop pulling your hair out. It’s just a class, and classes are for learning. Plus, if you like dancing in your underwear think about how much fun it’s going to be doing that for exercise. It’s like double negative exercise because it doesn’t feel like exercise. It feels like fun.

Still scared? Don’t be scared! To ease your worries here are Brooklin’s 10 tips to prepare for your very first (or first time in a long time) dance class.

1. Know your intention. If you have the desire to go take a dance class that should be your motivation to stay in the class right there. It’s a mental challenge, and emotional challenge. Be in your own world and know that you are doing it for you. Try to keep that attitude the whole time.

2.Research the class. Find out all you can about the type of class it is, what the instructor is like, the parking situation, etc. You’ll feel comfortable knowing the lay of the land.

3. Don’t try to hide. If you think you’re going to hide in the back and go unnoticed, you’re wrong. There’s a big mirror (in most studios). It’s a self challenge. Everyone is too concerned about themselves to be worried about you. Don’t be worried about them looking at you, chances are, they are looking at themselves and worrying about the same thing. If you try to hide because you’re embarrassed, you won’t be focused on dancing, which is why you came in the first place.

4. Find a teacher you like. Don’t keep pushing yourself to take a class from a teacher you don’t relate to. There are plenty of teachers and teaching styles, find someone who you’re comfortable with.

5. Find a style you like. Again, don’t push yourself to take a class you don’t really like. Trying new classes is part of the process. Maybe you thought you’d really like hip hop, but you find burlesque more fun. Concentrate on taking more burlesque classes rather than forcing yourself to take the hip hop class (because you’ll probably end up skipping the classes you don’t like anyway).

6. Wear what you feel confident in. A lot of dance studios you go to people will be dressed up to the nines, which is fine. Some people want to express themselves that way, but function is most important. For example, in burlesque there are sexier moves so baggy sweats aren’t the best wear to show off the movement. But in a hip hip class, big sweats complement the movement. Don’t wear a black leotard, pink tights to a hip hop class, it will only make you feel self conscious. Think about the energy of the style. You’re going to be looking at yourself the whole time, pick something you look and feel good in. Especially if you’re taking the class for the first time, wear your favorite workout outfit.

7. Feel the part. It’s not about putting on the outfit. Some people won’t go into a class because they don’t “look” the part. It’s about putting on the outfit to “feel” the part. If you can feel like a hip hop queen in fishnets then go for it. But when you feel the part, you’ll feel the dancing.

8. Wear appropriate footwear. This goes back to #2 and #7. Research the class and find out what the teacher’s wearing. Some classes you can go barefoot or wear sneakers. Some classes you get an option and that’s where #7 comes in. In Brooklin’s burlesque class you can go barefoot or wear character shoes or something with heels that will be nice to the floor. Just as long as you aren’t wearing ballet slippers in hip hop class, or are barefoot for a tap class, your judgement is probably fine.

9. You are going to sweat. Bring a bottle of water, and a hand towel if you need it. You are going to sweat, you are going to workout, you are going to be sore the next day.  Prepare workout accessories like you were going to the gym. Make sure you let the teacher know of any per-existing injuries and, as with all workouts, know your limits. Sometimes people think it’s “just dancing” and they forget how athletic it is.

10. Be punctual. Leave about 10 extra minutes before class starts. You are paying for the whole class so you might as well get your money’s worth. Be there and be ready for every moment. It’s good ediquette to be on time, it’s distracting to the other dancers and to the teacher if you stroll in after class starts. Plus if you’re a little early, you have time get into the dancer mindset and solidify your intention for the class. Getting focused helps you stay focused and you’ll love the class more if you’re 100% there.

For more about Dancer/Choreographer/Teacher Brooklin Rogers check it on…

Facebook for updates and class times and flirty fun.

YouTube for instructional videos and eye candy.

Website for more information.

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