Beginning Dancers' Frequently Asked Questions

#81
Re: Knee or joint pain - This may sound a little odd, but rubbing turmeric (the spice that makes curry yellow) into the painful area seems to help. Use whatever pain rub/gel/skin lotion you like to get it to stick. The downside is that turmeric turns everything yellow, including your skin and your clothes, so you may want to cover the area with a flexible bandage, a piece of old t-shirt or something similar to avoid being asked how you contracted some tropical disease. This is for strains and sprains, obviously, not more serious injuries.
 

Hedwaite

Well-Known Member
#87
No, no. First classes are definitely all about you showing up, learning, and doing. You should rarely have to audition to get into a class. Most people have an open door policy- if you think you can handle the material, you're welcome to try, but if you can't, just don't impede anybody else.
 

nikkitta

Well-Known Member
#88
Some group classes *should* have some sort of "audition", to keep out the people who don't belong there and end up dragging everybody else down. But that's a whole 'nother thread... :rolleyes:
 

Hedwaite

Well-Known Member
#90
Agreed. It's why community college (gulp), rec center, chain studio, and so-forths get bad names, then it wrecks the whole reputation for anybody else who tries to come along and teach people "No, actually, you don't dance American rumba basic boxes with a heel lead, and you're still stepping on each other, because you're dancing nose to nose. Yes, these things matter, here's why."
 
#92
Hello All,

I'm new to this forum. My daughter who is in 1st grade is interested in dancing. She did her Indian style dancing in her school last week for the school variety show.

Now she is interested in learning some different style of dancing(preferably western style) which she can learn herself at home by seeing youtube videos like that. Could you please suggest a good style of dancing for her to start which is suitable for her age.

Thanks
 

JoeB

Active Member
#96
At least your community college or rec center isn't trying to sell you a lot of expensive lessons, and some of their instructors are excellent.
This; I have no interest in formally learning 99.5% of dance styles beyond being able to step out on the floor and look like I have some clue what I'm doing, while making my date look good too. That's not a model most studios seem to be very interested in teaching.

Now if we could just get the rec center to:
a) hold the classes at a time when people who work can go instead of 11AM on a weekday
b) announce them more than two days in advance, and maybe somewhere a little more useful than a single flyer folded into a paper airplane and tossed on the roof of the Taco Bell
c) use the building's sound system instead of a boom box in the world's most efficient echo chamber, with an instructor mumbling over it
 
#97
This; I have no interest in formally learning 99.5% of dance styles beyond being able to step out on the floor and look like I have some clue what I'm doing, while making my date look good too. That's not a model most studios seem to be very interested in teaching.
Probably because it's a model with BIG problems for the studio from a business perspective:
1) A high churn rate of customers with low hope for retention; if someone has such a short goal as "step out on the social floor and look like I have some clue" like you stated above, they aren't going to be around past a few months' group classes and aren't going to book private lessons or pay for practice space (both large portions of revenue to keep a dance studio's doors open). Needing to constantly find a large stream of new students just to stock one third of the normal revenue streams isn't a recipe for a competitively advantaged business model (meaning other models are more likely to stick). If you think about it, it's not that different than a lot of businesses where a bulk of their revenue comes from a small number of high-value customers (professional contractors at hardware stores, deep pocketed or high transaction volume businesses or individuals at banks, garment manufacturers for fabric companies, large corporate clients for law and consulting firms, etc.); as a result, successful business models tend to cater to those high-value clients or find an extremely cost-effective way to cater to a large number of low-value ones (e.g. using a local rec center for a more casual class).
2) Low instructor engagement; teaching social dance to a complete beginner who isn't motivated by very lofty goals is likely not using a professional dance teacher's talents to their full ability and can also be an emotionally draining experience for many teachers (beginners are going to struggle with basic building blocks such as proprioception - awareness of where one is in space - and coordinating movement with music; they're also more likely to get frustrated with this struggle and force a teacher to handle a student's emotions in addition to their dance education). Additionally, focusing on group classes with students who aren't planning on sticking around keeps teachers from forming the deep, longstanding relationships with their students that many value. Since lower use of abilities, emotional drain, and weaker workplace relationships all lead to lower employee engagement, the studio is likely to lose instructors more quickly (whether employees or independent contractors), upping training or recruiting costs and further destabilizing the business model.
 

JoeB

Active Member
#98
Probably because it's a model with BIG problems for the studio from a business perspective:
Right, but it's also an excellent marketing strategy; notice that I said 95% of dance styles. How much money can they make off teaching me the remaining 5% to intermediate or advanced level? Gotta get them to light that second or third cigarette or you'll never have them hooked for life.

One of the studios about an hour from me ran a teaser weekend; way too short lessons in Texas Two Step, Country Waltz, Slow Waltz, Foxtrot, and some basic East Coast Swing, followed by a dance focusing on those styles. About 60 people showed up. According to one instructor, if they sold three couples on a beginners' group class, they'd break even on the instructors' time, and as a bonus, their regulars came to the dance and worked with the newbies quite a bit just for fun. By the end of the evening, at least one guy who had clearly been dragged in by a girl that was obviously friendzoning him was signing up for private lessons because he turned out to be something of a natural at the two step, (or at least had the confidence to make it look that way) and pretty girls kept asking him to dance. (For all I know, they may have planted a few pretty girls in the crowd with instructions to go after the guys wearing wristbands from the class. Either way, it worked.)

AFAIK, their plan for next time is to break it out over a couple of days and work on each dance to the point where most students should be confident in getting out on the floor and actually getting some useful practice. Speaking from experience, going from being the guy who can't even get the creepy girl with a mustache to dance, or being too scared to ask even the sorta cute one standing alone looking longingly at the dance floor to having a gorgeous blonde asking me is a powerful motivator to keep learning more. It didn't take selling my soul to Arthur Murray to get there, either; just enough confidence to keep good posture and a smile through a bunch of basics and a couple of turns.
 

tancos

Active Member
#99
This; I have no interest in formally learning 99.5% of dance styles beyond being able to step out on the floor and look like I have some clue what I'm doing, while making my date look good too. That's not a model most studios seem to be very interested in teaching.
I realize that most of the DF folks are into hiring pros for private lessons, entering competitions, and filing for personal bankruptcy, but JoeB represents a huge demographic. There are lots of folks that just want to be confident enough to enjoy themselves social dancing. It may not be good for the studios, but it's still a healthy social pastime.
 

JoeB

Active Member
I realize that most of the DF folks are into hiring pros for private lessons, entering competitions, and filing for personal bankruptcy, but JoeB represents a huge demographic. There are lots of folks that just want to be confident enough to enjoy themselves social dancing. It may not be good for the studios, but it's still a healthy social pastime.
Somewhere in between, you have people like my grandparents; you couldn't keep them away from a polka dance. They had two formal lessons, and then learned everything else by going to every dance they could find for over 30 years. They also had one first place trophy from some fairly large competition I can't recall the name of: granddad said it was only because they didn't realize it was a competition until they got there, and they had to enter or they wouldn't get to dance much.

They did occasionally take beginner level lessons in other styles, and the ones they liked, they found places to learn. If the only way to learn had been to pay for months or years of classes, they simply wouldn't have learned at all.
 

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