Expressing Yourself Via the Performing Arts

Two Tips for Former Dance Enthusiasts Who Are Taking Dance Classes Again After a Long Break

by Gina Ferguson

Here are two tips for former dance enthusiasts who are starting to take dance classes again after an extended break.

They Should Consider Taking a Few Beginner Classes to Start With

Even if a person used to take intermediate or advanced dance classes in the past, they should consider signing up for some beginner classes at first. After having taken a long break from this performing art, they might find that they cannot quite remember how to do more advanced dance moves (such as multiple pirouettes in ballet or complex locking and popping combinations in hip-hop) correctly or safely. As such, if they dive straight into an intermediate or advanced dance class, they might initially find it hard to keep up with those around them; this could be discouraging if they were once a highly skilled dancer. They might also put themselves at risk of injury due to not fully remembering how to safely be en pointe in a ballet class.

If, however, they take a few beginner classes initially, they'll have a chance to relearn and practise the foundational dance techniques they were taught a long time ago at a safe and steady pace that won't put them at risk of injury. Furthermore, during the period when they're relearning their old dance moves and are still a bit rusty, they'll be surrounded by beginners, and so won't feel like everyone around them is better at dancing than they are. After a few of these classes, it's very likely that their muscle memory will begin to kick in and they'll find themselves feeling more confident and ready for intermediate or advanced classes.

They Should Approach Their Dance Classes With an Open Mind

It's important for a person in this situation to approach their new dance classes with an open mind. If, for example, it's been several years since they last took a dance class, it's possible that they will be presented with new techniques and approaches to learning certain dance moves or to the dance genre itself, as the genre may have evolved since they last practised it. For example, their new ballet teacher might encourage a greater level of improvisation than the person was accustomed to when they took traditional ballet classes in the past. Similarly, their contemporary dance teacher might incorporate technology (such as motion sensor lights that light up when people dance close to them) into the performances they choreograph for their students.

If this happens, the person should try to stay curious and open-minded rather than immediately dismissing these new ideas and taking a different class. Staying open to the new approaches and perspectives their dance teachers offer them could help them view their chosen dance genre in a new way, enjoy practising it more and expand upon their dance skills.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for dance classes near you.