How Many Dance Lessons Do I Need?

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Reproduced here for ease of reference for our members:
How Many Dance Lessons Do I Need?
by LEON on OCTOBER 14, 2009

One of the questions that I hear most frequently from people inquiring about dance lessons is “How many dancing lessons do I need to take to be able to dance”? The short answer is a long time! I must admit that this is the only question that I, a professional dance teacher still have difficulty answering because of how “naive” the question itself is. You see, learning how to dance is a process not a destination. I get a little queasy when I hear a new student anxious to put a number on something that is so individual and not very quantifiable.

Some people are born with a natural way of movement while others need time to start feeling the movement. Some may be tone deaf while others can distinguish musical beats in an instant. One person may practice everyday at home and have a slower progress than someone who does not practice at all (Although most times it is the other way around). There are so many variables that it is impossible for any teacher to tell you off the bat how many lessons you will need to be able to dance. People have different bodies, talents and work ethics.

Furthermore, dancing is an art as much as it is a science. Your dancing lessons will change according to what your needs are at a particular moment. For example, you may have gotten to the point where you are able to dance 10 moves individually with clear leading and timing. Does that mean you now know how to dance and can stop? There is much more to dancing than knowing different moves. Maybe now you can start working on how to get in and out of any move at any time and become better at improvising. Next month, your frame starts drooping and your teacher may do a few review lessons on how to hold your frame. It is a work in progress for both the student and the teacher – Wash, rinse, repeat!

So what I am trying to say here is that “how many dancing lessons do I need?” is the wrong question to ask. The best thing you can do when you are deciding to start dancing is to commit yourself to consistently take lessons without any definitive time frame. Perhaps you can evaluate your goals and progress every 6 months just to make sure you are getting what you wanted out of dancing – but other than that, just enjoy the learning curve!

Written by yours truly, Leon Turetsky
 

waltzgirl

Active Member
#3
Yeah, I still laugh at myself because when I started I "decided" I would probably need a year of lessons to get to the level I wanted to be at.

Ten years later, I realized recently that I'm almost there!

But there's still a long, long way to go.
 
#6
You're welcome, Leonid! Sometimes I hear people talking about how they enjoy the actual process of something--that journey. In sports, the current coach of the Cowboys (Jason Garrett) constantly talks about this in at least two contexts. In one context, he recounts how as a backup quarterback in the 1990's who might not ever play, his love of the process kept him practicing and training. When the starting quarterback (Troy Aikman) got injured, Jason helped them through some big games because of all the preparation.

In the other context, as the head coach of a losing team this year, he imparts this to his players (along with going "moment to moment", not looking too far ahead, and "stringing together many good moments"). By teaching them to enjoy the process, they have found a way to keep plugging away in spite of having no hope of a winning season. In this way, it is not about the destination anymore, but the process and the enjoyment of playing the game...
 
#8
Yes, enjoying the learning process is key.

You're welcome, Leonid! Sometimes I hear people talking about how they enjoy the actual process of something--that journey. In sports, the current coach of the Cowboys (Jason Garrett) constantly talks about this in at least two contexts. In one context, he recounts how as a backup quarterback in the 1990's who might not ever play, his love of the process kept him practicing and training. When the starting quarterback (Troy Aikman) got injured, Jason helped them through some big games because of all the preparation.

In the other context, as the head coach of a losing team this year, he imparts this to his players (along with going "moment to moment", not looking too far ahead, and "stringing together many good moments"). By teaching them to enjoy the process, they have found a way to keep plugging away in spite of having no hope of a winning season. In this way, it is not about the destination anymore, but the process and the enjoyment of playing the game...
 
#11
Here is an article I wrote back in October on my blog:
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In this article I address the question "How many dance lessons do I need" (which I get asked by beginners all the time).

What do you think?
Haha, that is a funny question and nice write up. BTW, I checked out your site and it looks great, I signed up for a membership. Thank you so much for providing this resource free of charge :) I'm just curious if you plan to upload further dances for the online lessons or if it's just for Latin. Thanks
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#12
imo...it is not about how many lessons, but rather, about how dense in info they are and how competant the pro is to assisting the student in grasping and executing the info...and it is also about how committed the student is to practicing and owning the info for themselves
 
#13
Thanks and welcome aboard!

yes I upload roughly 2 lessons/month usually. So check back often.



Haha, that is a funny question and nice write up. BTW, I checked out your site and it looks great, I signed up for a membership. Thank you so much for providing this resource free of charge :) I'm just curious if you plan to upload further dances for the online lessons or if it's just for Latin. Thanks
 
#15
Yeah, I still laugh at myself because when I started I "decided" I would probably need a year of lessons to get to the level I wanted to be at.

Ten years later, I realized recently that I'm almost there!

But there's still a long, long way to go.
Yeah, when I started dancing last May, I felt that I should be a good dancer in a year. I'm almost hitting that 1 year mark and I've still just begun. I still have a long way to go...
 
#19
Yeah, when I started dancing last May, I felt that I should be a good dancer in a year. I'm almost hitting that 1 year mark and I've still just begun. I still have a long way to go...
If lessons are focused on key skills which are being practiced with peer partner(s) outside of them, six months could be sufficient to become a reasonably capable (if far from expert) dancer. If not, a few years is not nearly enough.

Its not about the overall time, its about the time spent being effective.
 

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