Joining The Dance Shack has given you the perfect “vehicle” to becoming the kind of dancer that YOU want to be. All you need now, are clear directions, (a road map if you will), to get you there! The absolute BEST, most effective, and fastest way to become a good social dancer is to utilize all of the tools we provide. There is a purpose for all of them. Here are your tools:
1) Private lessons
2) Group Classes
3) Friday Night Parties
4) Nights Out on the Town
I’m going to give you a breakdown of what each of these tools offer, then I’ll give you the best way to use them together! If you follow this map, you WILL get to your destination!
These are your main mode of transportation. Private lessons move you, with the most speed, in the direction you are trying to go. They give you one on one time with an instructor to perfect your footwork (where your feet go), timing (how to hear and dance on beat), lead (you can’t drive if you don’t have a steering wheel), follow (a dancers equivalent to power steering), style (hips, body movement, arms, lilt, sway, bounce, smoothness…all of the things that make a dancer LOOK good), amalgamations (seamlessly stringing steps together in a way that flows), musicality (being able to make your dancing reflect what the music is doing), floorcraft (being able to dance and maneuver on a crowded dance floor), balance (keeping your OWN balance and not relying on your partner to hold you up), etc. Private lessons are a must. There is only so much you can learn in a group class (although they definitely have their place)…
These are your shortcuts on the road. The main purpose of Group classes is to introduce you to new patterns and steps so that you can spend more private lesson time on perfecting everything else! Group classes are not meant to get deep into lead, follow, or any of the other vital things listed above. There are several kinds of group classes. Here are the differences:
These are the most structured classes. Your “go to’s”. They are divided up into 3 levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each level has it’s own instructor and it’s own steps. The beginner level is the same each week. It shows you some solid foundation steps in the dance. The Intermediate and Advanced level core classes show the same steps for 1 month, then change. This gives you a chance to see and practice a step a few times before it’s gone! (Repetition is a MUST when learning any new skill). We recommend that you take each level 2, 3, even 4 times, but ultimately, you decide when you feel like you’re ready to move up!
These are fun classes that show a variation of a step, or a sequence of steps put together. They are great for adding variety to your dance arsenal. These classes usually consist of dancers with mixed skill levels. Keep this in mind. If you’re new, it may be a little challenging. If you’re an experienced dancer, it may be something you’ve seen before. Just have fun, do your best, and enjoy meeting and dancing with your fellow classmates! These are the people you’ll be dancing with at the parties and, whether you know it or not, potentially some of your new best friends!
Progressive classes are a great way to get a boost in knowledge in a dance. They start off pretty easy, and get more complex as the month goes on. They typically reset each month so if you see one you like, get in there at the beginning of the month and take all of the classes in the series!
Workshops focus on a specific thing or technique. Maybe arm styling. Maybe turns. Maybe musicality. If you see a workshop that pertains to something you’re learning, TAKE IT!
FRIDAY NIGHT PARTIES
This is where the REAL fun begins! This is where you put everything you’ve been practicing into action! The Friday night parties give you the chance to hone your skills. You’ll learn which dances go to what music. You’ll become a better leader and follower by dancing with other people, besides your instructor. This is live dancing. Your partner won’t know what you’re going to do (unlike in a group class) and vice versa. The parties also give you the chance to meet tons of people and get you use to dancing on a crowded dance floor. If you’re brand new, shy, or nervous about attending a party, GO ANYWAY! Even if you’re not comfortable dancing (yet), you will gain an indescribable amount of knowledge just watching! You’ll see what the dances SHOULD look like. You’ll see people with different styles, which will give you a better idea of the kind of dancer you would like to be! I like to compare it to a sport. Say, football. If you had never watched football in your life and someone threw you a football and you had to play, you would be completely lost. BUT, if you had watched football many times, you would at least have a working knowledge of the game. How to hold a ball. Where to run etc. Watching people dance is it’s own type of learning!
NIGHTS OUT ON THE TOWN
Now the fun is at a whole new level. You’re dancing with people you’ve never met (and of course, other Shackers that are on the Night Out too), to music you’ve never heard, in a place you’ve never been…and you’re KILLING IT! Gone are the days when you sat on the sidelines watching everyone else have fun on the dance floor. Now, other people are watching YOU (and wishing “they could do that”)
There are 2 Spotlight dance parties a year – a Summer luau, and a Winter Spotlight. These are our biggest and BEST parties. This is where you get to show your stuff while your fellow Shackers cheer you on! Whether you’re a new dancer that performs a 30 second demo, an experienced dancer that does a “freestyle” (un-choreographed) dance, or you want to want to wow the crowd with a fully choreographed performance, dancing a spotlight will help you quickly excel in a dance. The confidence you gain by dancing in front of others is instant. We are all family at The Dance Shack and we will be your biggest fans! Even if you don’t dance a Spotlight, you should ALWAYS attend them. They’ll be talked about for 6 straight months…until the NEXT one!
Ok. Now you know what your tools are. So how do you best use them to become a good social dancer? I’m glad you asked! We strongly recommend that you keep your private lessons close together in the beginning. We suggest 2 lessons a week for the first 2 weeks. This creates a solid foundation in which to build your dancing. It will also help you to progress more quickly by introducing new material instead of having to strictly review what you’ve already learned. After that, you can spread them out to fit your availability, budget, etc. If you are learning 1-2 dances (recommended unless you’re able to come to the studio multiple times a week), your dance schedule should look something like this:
1 Private lesson per week
1-3 group classes per week
1-2 Friday night parties a month
Monthly Night On the Town.
If you are able to keep this schedule, you will be dancing comfortable and confidently in no time! Once you have a good working knowledge of the dances you started with, you can add additional dances to your repertoire. Do this when you’re ready, or as recommended by your instructor! Some people are able to do more lessons. Some people, for various reasons, need to do less. The beauty of The Dance Shack is that there are no contracts and you can take your lessons at a pace that is right for you! We are happy to sit down with you, go over your goals and your situation, and plan out YOUR best route to your destination: Being the kind of dancer YOU want to be!