Introduction to Dance
What is dance?
To move rhythmically to music, usually following a set sequence of steps.
Dance is performance art. The movement has aesthetic and symbolic value. Dance can be categorised and described by its choreography or by its historical period or place of origin.
There are many types and styles of dance from ballet to street dance, disco to ballroom and everything in between.
Most dance is performed with the accompaniment of music. Some dance such as tap dance provides its own audible accompaniment.
Who is dance for
Dance is for everyone, regardless of your age or ability. There are classes for children as young as 3 and there is no upper age limit for adults. Studios provide classes for men, women, children, women only and seniors.
An hour dance lesson for adults tends to cost around £5 and children around £3. Some studios offer hour and half sessions and also private sessions which cost around £20-£25. Most studios offer multiple session bookings for around £40/50 for 10 sessions. Always check costs prior to attending as they do vary from studio to studio.
What to expect from a dance studio
A standard dance class should take you out of your comfort zone. Meaning you should find that each lesson your instructor should be pushing you to try steps you’ve never done before. Each dance class although challenging should also have an element of fun. The harder you are pushed and the more styles and moves you try, the more you will take from the lesson. As a paying student you should be learning and progressing each class.
Most classes usually being with a warm up. Then then into a new skill or routine.
How to choose the right class
The first step to choosing the right class is to look at the studios that specialise in the style you are most interested in.
The next step is to identify your goal, is it to get fit, lose weight, just for fun, confidence or to compete.
Read reviews on CheckFit.co.uk from past and present students.
Ask if you can spectate at the first lesson before making any commitment. Is the environment one which you feel comfortable in? A good gauge is to watch the younger members of the class, do they like being there and are they enjoying it? This tends to be a good indicator.
Check distance from your home and or work and check the time of the class you are looking to attend this information is available on the Check Fit website.
Discuss with the studio your goals, ability and level of fitness and they will recommend the most suitable class.
Ask about the size of the class. If you want more attention, then a class of no more than 15 is more suited to you. However, if you don’t want a lot of attention and prefer training with a larger group then go for a class with 15 plus.
Compare costs on CheckFit.co.uk
Read feedback and reviews on CheckFit.co.uk from students past and present, and check the teacher’s qualifications. Great dancers don’t always make great teachers and teaching styles vary greatly. It’s important your teacher is experienced at teaching students of different ages, abilities and levels of fitness. Make sure the teacher holds a degree in dance, is certified to teach dance or has danced with a professional company.
What to wear
Always check in advance as some studios have a dress code. You can also check what other students are wearing on your first visit to view the studio.
Most students tend to wear black for classes. Most importantly is for you to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident and allows you to move. Some suggestions for women are leggings or long shorts, tights with shorts, a leotard, a dark sweat shirt, or t-shirt. For men running pants, dark colored shorts, t-shirt or sweatshirt.
Some dance styles require specialist dance shoes, for example ballet, tap, jazz, therefore it is important to check with the dance studio what they recommend. You may be able to purchase specialist shoes through the dance studio or they should be able to recommend a local supplier.
Benefits of dance
Dance improves co-ordination, physical fitness and mental stamina, it can also improve your strength and flexibility. In addition, you may find your confidence and social skills develop, this is especially true for children.
If you suffer from a medical condition you should seek the advice of your doctor before commencing any physical activity.