Group versus Private lessons?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hello everyone! I hope this New Year is treating everyone well. I wanted to address a question that a dance student asked me recently. She was interested in knowing the best way to learn a new dance like Salsa in the most effective way. Two things came to mind immediately.

First, the real question to ask is what type of learner are you. Do you do best with multiple examples? Are you somebody that is shown a step once and you get it right away? Depending on what type of learning style you have there are different options. Group lessons, for example, are very structured and allow for you to go over the basic steps along with an introduction to a simple move. For people that are quick to pick up dance this is a great way to learn the steps once, learn a new move, and at the same time meet other new dancers. Private lessons differ in that it can be completely open ended with focus on specific issues or concerns a dancer might have. I actually encourage people to start with group lessons and then move onto private instruction.

Second, you have to ask yourself where you want your dancing to go. If you are looking to be dancing at performance level, you’ll need either a specialized group lesson (ie on a dance troupe team) or one on one with an advanced partner. If you simply want to learn social dance then you don’t necessarily need the specialization. I would though encourage people after a certain amount of time to take a workshop or two and really find your own style. The last thing we need is for everybody on the dance floor to be doing the same predictable moves. Finding your own style will set you apart not just for the moves you know but also for the personal connection you bring to the dance.

Whatever approach you take always remember to enjoy what you are doing.

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

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