Special Dance Workshops
Special workshops are classes that are not regularly scheduled, but rather offered intermittently. They may include information about a style of dance not typically taught in your area, or perhaps offer a style that is often taught, but by a guest professional who can offer new perspectives and/or knowledge you don’t typically get from your regular instructors. Often times, guest instructors will tell you the exact same information you get from your regular instructors, but they might say it in new a way that resonates with you. Sometimes guest instructors simply validate and reinforce what you are already learning, giving you more confidence that you are on the right track. Dance is not an exact science and there are MANY different CORRECT ways to do things, so attending special workshops will often help you break plateaus and motivate you to keep at it.
Guest professional instructors often serve to fill knowledge gaps that exist among your existing instructor team. We have yet to meet a dance pro who knows everything about all styles of partner dancing (beware the ones who claim they do!). Most choose to specialize, making them highly knowledgeable and respected within their respective discipline (i.e. ballroom smooth, ballroom rhythm, Latin styles, Swing, Country Western, etc.). Many studio owners work hard to provide especially well rounded dance instruction, offering a high level of expertise in many styles of dance. The best studio owners understand that qualified guest professionals are good for their students.
Tip: If your instructors recommend attending a special workshop, we recommend you heed their advice!!!
Video Dance Instruction
There is no doubt about it, video is an invaluable resource for learning to dance. WARNING! Video should not be used as a primary source of learning, but rather should be used to supplement instruction provided through proper lessons, whether they be group or private dance instruction. Listed below are a few different types of video resources for dancers. Read on and decide what fits your needs best.
Instructional videos are becoming somewhat of a standard in the dance instruction industry. Many professionals are spending a lot of time and resources producing their own video series, and I think this is great. However, all too often, people assume they can use videos as a stand-alone tool for learning to dance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Video should be used to reinforce what you learn from you instructors. There are many nuances in dance that cannot be learned through video. Be sure to use video as a secondary resource to live dance instruction; video will enhance your learning experience if used in this way.
Video recaps of workshops and private lessons are especially helpful for retaining the information provided. This videos are not meant to share all information discussed in a lesson, but rather just a key points that will trigger your memory. Do NOT take video of recaps unless you first ask you instructor. Most instructors are ok with it, many are not. We allow it, but always preferred to be asked before someone starts recording our instruction.
Some of the most brutal feedback you’ll ever get, seeing yourself on video will show the good, the bad, and the ugly. Get video of your dancing whenever possible. It will keep you humble, and it will allow your instructor a tool to review with you where improvements need to be made and what you have already improved upon.
Tip: Not all dance instruction videos are created equal. Ask your instructor what videos he or she recommends. Also, expect to get more value from instructional videos after you have already become proficient in you dance fundamentals. Using video too early on may be a waste of time and effort if you are not ready to understand the information provided.
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About The Author
Jeremy is emerging as an influential leader in the dance community. He is always pushing to make his local dance scene a place to which people will travel far and wide to enjoy the benefits that a strong dance community of talented, respectful, and fun dancers can provide. If you would like to contact Jeremy, you can email him atJeremyRuben@Gmail.com. You can also follow the DanceCraft studio on Twitter at @DancePensacola.