Worst Dance Class Ever

Greetings Everyone,

I have an experience to share with the group that I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on. Tonight I went to a class at the new dance school I had mentioned (the one that had impressed me enough to want to leave my current school some weeks back). I hadn't been dancing for over a week and I was really looking forward to it, despite the fact that I am still recovering from some whiplash due to a minor car accient...but I walked in feeling very positive.

I don't know it if was a bad astrology day or what...but there was a really bad vibe going on in the class. First off, I ask what lesson I had missed last week...just a very basic move that I knew very well, but it was done a bit differently. One of the "advanced" students there asks to practice the first thing she does is roughly move my right hand down saying its not in the right place. She seems to have no concept of frame, wiggles her upper body (this is Salsa, btw) and continues to offer unwelcomed comments and suggestions. I find myself really annoyed, not enjoying the dance at all and playing extremely stupid since these are such basic moves. I finally tell the lady that I don't appreciate her critiquing me and ask to stop dancing with her since she is making me really upset.

The class starts and the teacher is going over more basic concepts...all of which are old news to me. While he is giving the lesson...I notice that the assistants are scattered, he's hardly paying attention to us and it looks like they would rather be home sipping hot toddies than teaching the class. I also notice that the class has shrunk considerably since the week before last...what is going on?

One of the assistants comes over to dance with me...and her frame is so light I feel like I'm dancing with a ghost. She's doing a really bad job of hiding the fact that she is obviously in a bad mood...which carries over to me and I start to feel off. Keep in mind I'm already not my usual self and in a lot of pain...but this just makes things worse. As I prepare to lead her through a turn..she abruptly stops and comments that "I simply just raise my hand and never try to use any force to move a lady." I listen to what she says...and I think...I was being gentle...and trying to lead...what did I do wrong? She says it with such an almost snotty attitude that I nearly turned to walk out of the school...and honestly I don't think anyone would have noticed.

The rest of the students were great...they were enjoying themselves...but honestly...we were getting such poor instruction its a wonder we ever paid for lessons.

Now, I'm at a crossroads. I find myself missing my old school (which I have not left) a lot...thinking yes, maybe this new place is teaching more technique...or maybe I was wrong? Is it the fact that I am not feeling well that has caused me to act this way? I know I've been much more outspoken towards others after my vacation, but in a good, positive way that lets people know how I am really feeling (something I don't do enough). As I will have class at my old school tomorrow...if I find myself acting the same way I'll have to admit its just me...but honestly...I still feeling that I may have made a false assumption that this new school was a better one!

Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...


I would still recommend giving formal instruction a break and focus on social dancing... if social dancing is in fact the goal. --or at least give it a try-- you can still take lessons when you feel the need (instrad of it being out of habit/pattern) plus your wallent will thank you... not to mention you are more likely (not gaurenteed) to find more dancers with a functional frame seeming how it is difficult to survive on the social dance floor with out one whereas apparently it's easy to skate through a class without such.

That's my opinion anyway. Give it a try if you continue to be unsatisfied with the classes. :D


Well-Known Member
Personally I would never go back to any place where an unfriendly atmosphere exists; be it from instructors or other students.

It does sounds like professionalism is lacking at this studio.


Well-Known Member

If you weren't up to snuff yesterday night I wouldn't necessarily take your bad class as an indicator of things will be in the future. I would take another class when you are feeling better and then go from there. Often when a person is not feeling good it is easy to find fault in almost everything, even if you go in thinking that you have a positive attitude and looking forward to the class. Or that's been my experience anyway:

Yesterday night I was tired (dancing late into the night the three previous nights and suffering from sleep deprivation) and at my dance class found fault with the dance floor (which was a problem before, but I did not complain about it), with the instructor who has taught me for a while...
scorpionguy said:
...but I walked in feeling very positive.
This definitely sounds like an awful class! :evil: In the beginnning you were in a very positive mood and had it turned into bad feeling by others. Unfortunately, some instructors and students often make other dancers feel awful with their snobish attitudes and forget that they were once beginners. Also, being in a beginner class does not necessarily mean that you're a beginning dancer. People often forget that. :?

scorpionguy said:
...One of the "advanced" students there asks to practice the first thing she does is roughly move my right hand down saying its not in the right place...... and continues to offer unwelcomed comments and suggestions..
If you're a student, you should not be instructing anyone else, that's the instructors job. If another student asks another student's opinion then that is different and even then, the situation is sticky because you can give bad advice. Even a friendly suggestion is okay once in a while but there is a nice way to do with out making someone feel bad. Advanced student does not necessarily mean "better" student. :roll:

scorpionguy said:
......I notice that the assistants are scattered, he's hardly paying attention to us and it looks like they would rather be home sipping hot toddies than teaching the class. ..
Secondly, if the instructors are not interested in ther students, that's a good indication that you're not wanted there. :(

Dancing is supposed to be fun. If you have to pay to feel bad then it may not be a good place for you. Just my opinion though.


Staff member
Your experience does, indeed, sound quite awful. Sorry that was your "homecoming," especially after your travel ordeal.

To add to everything already said, there is often a trade off between studios that prioritize technique vs. socialization. This certainly isn't a hard and fast rule, nor is it in any way a desirable thing... just seems to work out that way rather often... (see, for instance, some of the points in the Franchise thread in the Ballroom Forum).

So a couple of points come to mind... first off, do give it another try. Who knows, it might just have been a bad day – cosmically, karmicly, who knows! – for everyone there. Also, be clear what your expectations are. If you go there for technique then judge it on that basis... and if the atmosphere doesn’t make it worth the effort then acknowledge that as being of greater importance to you in the first place. Also, there’s no reason to consider each studio your “base,” just for different purposes. Finally, and as SK has said, if social dancing is the goal then nothing is better training then social dancing itself!

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