Teachers’ tips for first time dancers


29 November 2018

Stepping onto the dance floor for the first time? Get started on the right foot with our introductory four and eight week Short Courses in styles spanning Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Theatre Jazz and more.

We asked five of our teachers to share their hot tips for those new to the world of dance – read below for their insights:
Kate Grima-Farrell

Get out of your comfort zone: Have a go at everything the teacher throws at you, even if it feels foreign or silly! It’s normal to feel out of your comfort zone when you’re learning any new skill. That’s how we progress.

Ask questions: The more, the merrier! Teachers love it when their students are engaged enough to problem solve and figure out what they might need a little help with.

Learn from others: Watch other people in the class and learn by seeing what they do well. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to them, but become a good observer because you learn just as much from yourself and your peers as you do from the teacher.

Be persistent: If you don’t conquer a skill at first, try and try again and you will eventually master it. Also take the time to notice your progress from week to week – you often improve rapidly without even realising it.

Have fun: The most important thing to remember! That’s ultimately what you’re here for, so don’t take yourself or others too seriously and enjoy being immersed in a creative, safe and open environment to play and dance with other wonderful people.
Heath Keating
Theatre Jazz

Be open and ready: These days Theatre Jazz can involve any style or music and take on many forms so come to class ready for anything that is thrown at you. Have as many shoe options as possible so you can adapt to the style and choreography comfortably.

Dress clean: In musical theatre it is always best to present yourself in a way where we can see your body. In order to create the correct lines and shapes, staying tidy and dressing neutral helps the choreography to remain visually pleasing.

Leave your insecurities at the door: Yes, we all have our insecurities, but it is essential to remain open, approachable, willing and versatile. The more you allow yourself to let go of ‘you’, the more transported the audience and yourself will be. Be the role, be the character, and become the story.

Research: I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand the origins of dance, especially in musical theatre. The list of shows, choreographers and styles from times way before our existence still influence and play a huge part in today’s culture and pop culture which is why I can’t stress this point enough.
Hideboo Shinokubo
Hip Hop

Love the music: We all dance to music. If you enjoy the music, you’ll enjoy dancing. And if you enjoy dancing, you’ll be able to improve your technique much more quickly.

Exercise: When you dance, you use your body. If your body isn’t well, your dancing won’t be as strong. It’s always beneficial to do some basic exercises and stretch everyday.

Don’t be shy: Dancing is a social activity. It’s always great to exchange and show your fellow classmates what you learned in class and what skills you can learn from each other. Try and go to the front row when you’re in class. Show your teacher and everyone what you’ve got!

Make friends: Speak to your classmates before and after class. You can exchange your experiences and be encouraging towards one another.

Learn the history: Studying the history of Hip Hop will help you build a deeper appreciation and understanding of the style. Find out where and when Hip Hop started and how it emerged.
Giselle Peacock
Latin Dance

Have a go: Don’t think too much and stay in the moment. Move your body however it wants to move – any movement is better than none at all.

Bring a friend: Dancing is such great fun and one of the best exercises you can do for both your mind and body. Sometimes, it gives you extra encouragement to go with a friend.

Passion over perfection: Don’t look in the mirror and don’t compare yourself to the teacher. They’ve been studying dance all their lives and that’s why you’re taking their class. Don’t judge yourself if you don’t look like them.

Leave your insecurities behind: Just feel the music. Everyone is in the same boat and trust me – no one is watching you.

Find your unique groove: There is no right or wrong way to dance. There is only your way. Learning to dance is like learning a language or being in a relationship. It won’t happen overnight and it will take commitment.
Ramon Doringo

Have a positive attitude.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and don’t compare yourself to others.

Do not expect too much on your first class, just go with the flow.

Don’t take it seriously, listen and watch the teacher and be attentive to details.

Have a fabulous time and don’t forget to smile!

Enrol now for our introductory Short Courses

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