General Dance Discussion > one guys beginning dance struggles

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by wiseman, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. nimmity

    nimmity New Member

    I know how you feel about the differences between studios. I've been at one studio for 2 years (and had to get used to dancing American) and am now teaching at another which dances some things rather differently. I feel like I'm a student again treading on people's toes! Luckily they all know where I've come from so nobody minds.
    Glad you've found a studio that works for you.
  2. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    Sounds like a good studio!

    Do you know why the dances are different? There are different options as far as the syllabus goes, and they have some differences in how they do similar steps. Or are you learning a different style, such as International (Standard) vs. American (Smooth)?
  3. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I had gone to a studio that taught American style for 4 years. Now I'm at a studio that teaches international style. I've had to throw out everything I had learned in the ballroom dances, except for samba. I still find I have to revert to social foxtrot at social dances, but otherwise I dance international style for ballroom now.
  4. Tenehill

    Tenehill New Member

    Yes, you did the right thing. The old studio was bad, from what you report.

    The road of learning ballroom is long, and you will encounter many bad situations: with money, own limits, limited time, at home after midnight only, ankles and knees, partners, teachers... Don't let any of these discourage or stop you. These obstacles and unpleasantries are normal and almost inevitable, like loud burst and cold are for hunters.
  5. Kits

    Kits New Member

    I'm writing this in my dance Journal..on the motivation side... whenver I get to that point of wanting to stop. thanks.
  6. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    good to hear you might have found a studio that suits you better wiseman. do enjoy, and as the others have referenced, you will perhaps find frustration a familiar companion on this journey. and paraphrasing one of other mods, frustration is the incubator for progress.
  7. White Chacha

    White Chacha Active Member

    That surprises me. Technique is technique. Standard and Smooth technique are the same, though the requirements of open work in Smooth make it more challenging, I feel.

    Now after Rhythm, I can see how you'd find International Latin quite different. But as far as the basics of movement, there shouldn't be anything wildly different, no?
  8. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Ok, let me see if I can describe the difference between the two studios as best as I can. Here goes….

    Here is how both studios taught the Salsa….

    Old Studio- Man steps forward with left foot, rocking step, and step back with left foot. Step back with right foot, rocking step, and step forward with right foot. Then repeat….

    New Studio- Man steps back with left foot, step back with right foot, and rocking step. Step forward with right foot, step forward with left foot, and rocking step. Then repeat…

    Hope that’s understandable. See the two different styles? Weird, huh?
  9. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Ahhh!! I see what happened now. There are two types of Salsa classes at this studio: New York style and Traditional. I took the New York style. I bet I was learning the Traditional style at the old studio. No biggie. I'll take the Traditional one next week. Heh!
  10. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I had previously thought you were talking about ballroom dance in your posts. If you're learning salsa, then we're talking On1 (what you called traditional) and On2 (also known as NY style). I don't know that On1 is more "traditional" though; On2 goes way back. These days, it's really more of a regional/local preference thing. I'm in the Philly area and most people here do On1. I do think you're at a better studio now, from what you describe - but as far as salsa is concerned, I'd suggest learning whichever style is more popular in your area.
  11. TinyDancer109

    TinyDancer109 Well-Known Member

    in NYC, NY style is more danced... i would suggest learning it if you plan on dancing in the social scene around here.
  12. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    YES!!!! I was taking On2 yesterday! That's what it was called, "Salsa On2." It's all making sense now. Heh!

    I guess since I live in NY, so maybe it's best to continue with On2. Thank everyone! You're all a great help. I was about to switch to On1 (which is being taught tonight), but since you guys mentioned that On2 is more practical, especially in my area, then On2 it is!

    BTW- I was learning BOTH Salsa and Ballroom at the old studio. Because they teach several different dances in one class. But this new studio has each type of dance as a separate class. I took the Salsa On2 class. In the old studio, there was no such thing. They just taught the basics of several different Latin/Ballroom dances.
  13. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    I can't speak to whether the first studio I went to was teaching a standard curriculum. Teaching was by six week wonders, and no one was really competing from there. I find that figures for waltz, foxtrot, and tango are quite different. International and American Rumba are two different dances altogether.

    There is an altogether different focus in my current studio, as it is run by current and former competition dancers. They are very focused on good technique, but pay short shrift to lead and follow.
  14. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    Which is better to take first: private or group lessons?

    In the old dance studio I went to, group lessons were a complete mess, so I had no choice but to fork over $80 an hour for private lessons since they were better. I was learning more and was grasping the basic steps a lot better.

    However, when I left the old studio and tried this new one, I decided to take the beginner group lessons. And guess what the group lessons were teaching us? The basic steps! For only $15, you can learn the basic steps provided that the instructor is good. I was actually impressed with how much I learned and I can’t believe I spent $80 on the old place just to learn this basic stuff.

    Of course, group classes come with a price. There’s no individual attention and since there’s other people learning as well, it can be frustrating at times when it looks like you’re the only one not getting it. But just to learn the basic steps, it seems like it’s more practical to take group lessons. It seems like private lessons are only good when you’re trying to advance.

    Most people think private is the only way to go, but I tend to disagree. But that’s just me. What do you guys think?
  15. cl100

    cl100 Member

    My teacher suggests the same.. that I take the group class to learn the steps & work on technique in privates. U don't want to spend all that time learning how to walk the steps. I agree with him. Some of the more advance steps, I tend to need more time to walk through them and that'll be a waste of $$$. It's like prepping yourself before class/lab. U know the topic, do some review & dive into discussion/experiment :) Good student! @.@
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Group classes - you need a peer group almost as much as you need a teacher.
  17. morgrob

    morgrob New Member

    I agree. I think group lessons are great to learn steps, and then technique and and stuff can be worked on in private. It is also good, like Chris said, to get feedback from someone other than your teacher or partner (although sometimes you may need to take it with a grain of salt).
  18. wiseman

    wiseman New Member

    While I’m sure private lessons have their advantages as well, there are a couple of things that concern me about going all-private.

    First, it costs significantly more. Like I said on my first post, why spend $80 learning the basic steps when a $15 group class can do the same?

    Second, with private classes, you don’t get to dance with different kinds of people. You only dance with your instructor. My cousin (a guy) went for private lessons on Swing for a few months and became pretty good. But whenever I see him at parties, he just sits there like a party pooper and won’t ask any of the girls to dance. The only person I saw him dance with was his mom. Now, that doesn’t look very good. My guess is that since he never went for group lessons, he never got a chance to dance with other girls and therefore, is afraid to dance with other girls at parties.

    From my experience (which is only a month, lol), it seems like it’s best to start out in a good beginner’s group class. Then when you advance, then you can move onto private IN ADDITION to the group. IMHO, group lessons should never be dropped completely because like I said, it’s good to dance with different people.
  19. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Group classes are for 'basic steps' but the moment you get past the idea that a step pattern = dancing, you'll run like crazy from a private teacher that teaches you 'the basic step'.

    Since - the 'basic step' does not really exist.

    I know this sounds inflammatory but let me explain, or try to explain.

    There are folks all over who think that waltz is a box step going 1-2-3 1-2-3 and that a foxtrot is a box going 1-2-3-4, etc etc. But there is more to it than that. I tell my students that the expression of the dance (the 'vibe') determines how it is danced, and that the 'steps' are simply weight changes to rhythm. Add to that direction, etc and then it becomes dancing. Most beginners need a while before they are able to make their bodies do what is needed (turning is one thing that is something that needs development) but social 'steps' work fine until they are ready to make the move to more complex actions. The moment usually arrives after they see someone doing a more advanced version of the dance, for instance.

    That being said, a group class gives you a community of fellow students to interact with and you WILL learn faster if you have a peer group. However, as said, take it with a grain of salt... lots of grains.
  20. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    I'd guess that after a few months of privates with an instructor, he is perhaps afraid of lowering his dancing (a wrongheaded thought, but you see that a lot with women and men who, after dancing a while with a great dancer, lose perspective of their own dancing and their egos LOL) OR he is afraid of not being 'accommodated' by their reg teacher (it happens LOL).

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