6 Reasons Why You Should Be Taking Private Dance Lessons (vs Group Classes Only)

Dance Lessons for Adults - Salsa Class - Feet Only c700x420



There’s no question that learning how to Cha Cha, Salsa or Waltz in a group setting is a lot of fun. There’s no doubt that you can learn a lot in a group class — such as a dance step, basic lead and follow and styling. You can also make new friends and socialize. The downside of a group class is that the teacher’s attention is focused on the entire group and not just you..

It’s not a surprise that one private lesson can equal 3 to 4 group classes — private lessons are the backbone of any learning process and the best way you can progress to becoming the best ballroom dancer you can be. Group lessons (and individual practice) should be a supplement to your primary learning — not the base of it. Group lessons work to give you the basic step which you can then develop and fine tune during your private lesson.

The following are 6 reasons why at Dance A Lot we believe that private lessons are the way to learn how to dance your best.

1. People are Unique –. We are all different — we learn at a different pace, we are interested in different things, and we have different goals. Each of us is a unique human being with our own personality, character and learning preferences. A customized private lesson is the ideal way to learn how to ballroom dance. It is a uniquely designed way of instruction specifically for you. Your teacher will take into consideration your personal abilities and tailor the lessons based on your current level, goals and aspirations. He’ll give you not too much and not too little — just the right amount of challenge so that you see constant progress and not be overwhelmed. Lesson by lesson, in a matter of just a few weeks, you’ll see a tremendous improvement (compared to only group lessons for the same period of time.)

2. Learn at Your Own Speed — Do you know one of the main reasons people drop out from a group class? It is because of reason #1 — all people are unique and everyone that steps into our dance studio is no different. In a group class, the level of instruction is equal to the average of the best and worst of the students in the class, and the teacher is using that average to find (and maintain) the class difficulty level. Such level typically inclines toward the lowest level of dance experience and skill. And that’s when people stop coming — when the learning is either too fast or too slow or when they are having problems with a specific part of the dance step. In a private lesson with your own private instructor, you won’t be intimidated or disappointed with the level of the class — for it’ll be just you, and you’ll enjoy the luxury of learning as slow or as fast as you need. Your teacher will find your problem areas and give you specific techniques to improve them. You will have the time to analyze every foot position, hip action, amount of pivot and much more.

3. “Feeling, nothing but a feeling…” — In a group class of 6, 10, 20 people how often do you think the instructor can dance with you so that you can feel how the step should be done correctly? Realistically — not too often. Ballroom dancing is a partner dancing, and the problem is that learning how to dance is not possible only by listening and watching — you need to be taught how to feel what the correct leading and/or following is. It’s stressful to be asked to lead another student when you’re experiencing difficulty executing the correct move, while at the

same time your partner is also struggling with their own steps -that can be discouraging for you and take away your joy of dancing. It’s another reason why people wrongly quit dancing, when the reason has nothing to do with their level or potential as dancers. In a private lesson you dance with your instructor for the entire time and you feel how to do the steps correctly. Dancing will be effortless, and you will instantly feel good about the way you move. As a result private students, who take lessons every week, learn faster, feel more confident and receive more enjoyment from their own dancing — even from their very first lesson.

4. Smooth Learning — In order to avoid learning bad habits in dancing, you need the expertise of a professional instructor who will guide you. It is no surprise that over time, students who only take group lessons develop habits that hinder their dancing experience, such as physically pushing and pulling their partners, twisting their hand (to lead a turn for example) and often even stepping on or hitting them (not intentionally of course.) This can be fixed or even bypassed with private lessons explaining what you need to ignore or pay attention to in order to improve as in individual dancer. How much pressure should you put, where should you look, is your hand hold correct, is your grip too strong or too loose, and other such details are simply impossible (or very unlikely) to be pinpointed in a group class. The downside of not receiving such specific attention is that if you continue repeating the same mistakes over and over again, you’ll reach a plateau. It doesn’t have to be that way — it is amazing how much a student can learn in a private lesson, where the teacher dedicates 100% of his focus on how to make you more comfortable on the dance floor, a better dance partner and a confident polished dancer. The reality is that successful, advanced learning in pretty much like any other activity — golf, tennis, singing, math, and ballroom dancing is only possible with one teacher per one student (maximum two if a couple) learning model.

5. Unconscious Incompetence — There are 4 basic levels of skill: 1. Unconscious Incompetence — you don’t know that you don’t know that you’re doing it wrong.

2. Conscious Incompetence — you know that you don’t know how to do it correctly.

3. Conscious Competence — you know that you know you are doing it correctly.

4. Unconscious Competence — you don’t know you know you are doing it correctly.

Group lesson only students are usually stuck at #1 and #2. When they begin to take private lessons, they are blown away by how much they didn’t know about ballroom dancing. They simply are unaware of how much they’ve been missing by not knowing how to improve their technique, styling, timing and lead and follow. Private students tend to become better and more knowledgeable dancers fasters than group only students, and they see a more consistent improvement. Diving deeper into the beautiful world of Ballroom and Latin-American Dancing can be addictive (speaking from a personal experience), and those who take advantage of private lessons experience personal fulfillment and self-improvement in ways group only students never can.

6. Convenience — Group classes are scheduled on set dates and times which may not be convenient to you. Many times people people find that group classes do not coincide with their schedule and for that reason they are unable to join. There are also times when you are going to a vacation or know (at least a day ahead) that you have something that is in conflict with the time of the class. Private lessons allow you to schedule your dance lessons at a time that is convenient to you. Group classes are charged no matter if you are present or not, but one of the many benefits of private lessons is that they can be cancelled or rescheduled. The learning material for all Group classes is also set in stone (you’re learning either Salsa, Waltz or Rumba or some combination of a few different dances.) On the other hand, private lessons allow you to request what and which dances you want to learn. They’re 100% customizable, while the group classes are not. Private lessons are arranged around your busy schedule and you have more freedom of when to come and what dances to learn.

The conclusion is that group lessons are a great, fun way to begin ballroom dancing, but there will come a time when you will not be able to improve without starting individual private lessons with one-on-one guidance of an experienced professional. Group lessons begin your introduction to the specific dance steps and private lessons fine tune and develop the dance steps to your specific style and goals.

Author: Georgi Kanev (co-owner of Dance A Lot Ballroom Studio)

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