Ballroom Dance > hours of practice to hours of lesson?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by famfam, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. famfam

    famfam Member

    how many hours should you practice per hours of lessons. Obviously, this depends on person, and on partnership, and on how many styles and at what level. But what would you say is a good balance of lessons, and working on things from lesson?

    I think I heard something like 6 hours to 1 hour of lesson or something, not sure if I'm remembering correctly.

    What do you think?
  2. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    I think a ton of factors can play into this. Another one is how much you can afford! Also whether you're pro-am or am-am adds constraints on what you get out of practice without an instructor. If an instructor introduces a brand new concept that can affect a lot of your dances, then more time would be needed to incorporate it, as opposed to if they are reviewing concepts you know already.

    But yeah, that ratio sounds pretty good. Being in school we probably get one private lesson every 2-3 weeks but practice 4-6 hours a week, at least ideally.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    for me, not that it is ideal, but because I have to travel a good distance for lessons and therefore only take twice a week, I like to get the maximum out of my time there, and I can afford I take 3-4 lessons each of those two days....consequently, I cannot move at all on wednesday so that day is out of the question for generally my practices are on thurs, sat and sun...amount depends on how sore I am, how motivated I feel, and what it is that most needs work in the moment
  4. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on how many lessons you take, and whether you are am/am or pro/am... I have increased my practice time, but I still put in more time in lessons than in practice. I set a firm goal for the amount of practice I wanted to do per week, and I have stuck to it, but it is certainly not a 6-1 ratio to lessons! I like to look at it as how many hours per week of total dance time do I do per style... which includes lessons and practice.
  5. Steven123

    Steven123 Member

    I'm not really an expert on any of this stuff . . . just a normal person. I think we should be doing as much practice as possible . . . and by practice I mean dances that we are not paying for . . . dances with normal people who could be really nice to dance with and dances with people who are not that nice to dance with. this could also mean practicing one-on-one with a partner who we consider an equal partner if we are lucky enough to find that person or dancing at socials or dancing in classes that are like practicas. If this is how we frame practice, then it could be a ratio of 1:1 in the beginning and then develop into 1000:1 as we progress into ninja level because along the way we start understanding leading and following and what the music is saying. i couldn't really comment in the framework of competitive, syllabus style-dancing.
  6. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    LLMMAOOo dance ninja
    SwayWithMe likes this.
  7. SwayWithMe

    SwayWithMe Well-Known Member

    I find this very reassuring. While there are certainly many many things I need to work on by myself, some things just need time in partnership. My pro and I do dance together a lot at parties, which I really appreciate, but even counting that as practice time I'm still nowhere remotely close to 6:1 (or even 3:1, as I've read elsewhere).

    I imagine that things would look very different if I had an amateur partner.
    chomsky likes this.
  8. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I have been truly blessed and by that I mean I used to be all by myself at parties. Now I have 30 guests sitting at my table, my adopted dance family two years after being at a table all by myself. And I dance with another 20 every night. However, to me practice is only what you do by yourself and in that I haven't been so lucky, but hope will be, in so much as it is in my hands. This week it's been 3 hours so far. Hope I manage to put in some more!
    latingal likes this.
  9. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    It's so so nice to be able to dance with your pro at a party. It's like a showcase or a competition to me. And sometimes it's just when the pure fun is there!
  10. millitiz

    millitiz Member

    Being in an am/am partnership, my rule of thumb is somewhere from 1:6 to 1:8. But, beside what people said before me, I think the materials presented in lessons are also a factor. I could easily remember some lessons being on the order of 1:20~30. And some pretty much 1:0...

    While getting a general feeling on the average ratio out there isn't a bad idea, one have to be aware that it varies from person to person, situation to situation - as in, no need to feel pressure if your ratio isn't on par (whatever that means) with other people.
    chomsky likes this.
  11. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    I like 1:2:4 (lesson : solo : partnered).
    chomsky and latingal like this.
  12. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    Seriously?! LG? She of the 1:bajillion:zillion ratio liked my post? I'm honored. :oops:
  13. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    I wish I could be anywhere near that ratio-- being poor college students, private lessons are a rare luxury (we're very excited we recently found set of 3 private 1 hour lessons from a studio that's not stupidly far away on groupon for $60, but those are the first that either my partner or I has ever had), and our team does get group lessons but they're spaced very far apart, so normally it's 1 group lesson for 2 and a half hours every 3-4 weeks, totaling about 6 a semester. If we assume my partner and I are doing 10 hours a week (our kind of average week is 10-12, we do more if we feel up to it, but most of the time we have school work to do and such so we can't do much more than that) then we're doing 30-40 hours of practice for every 2 and a half hour coaching.
    chomsky likes this.
  14. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    wow, and I who thought I was not doing enough lessons lately... Thanks for sharing, you made me feel more normal...
  15. UMASSshoesandcostumes

    UMASSshoesandcostumes Active Member

    No problem, it's definitely not ideal-- like I said, I wish we could be anywhere near that ratio-- but this is poor college student life. Also, it hurts us that there aren't any pros particularly close to us-- the studio the team goes to is about an hour away in Connecticut, we could also go to Worcester, but it's also about an hour away.
  16. Smooth Dancer

    Smooth Dancer Active Member

    I think how you practice has a lot to do with how much. Sometimes we (am/am) spend pointless hours trying to fix a step when we should just call it quits and wait for the next lesson. ("Let's just try this one more time...".) And although we don't do it enough, if we discuss what we need to work on first and more or less set a target schedule ("10 minutes on this...20 on that..."), and roughly stick to it, we seem to feel better after we're done.
  17. latingal

    latingal Well-Known Member

    LOL....You're just much more efficient then I am TC.

    Great point about both solo and partnered practice! I think too many partnered dancers forget how productive and necessary solo practice is.
    Terpsichorean Clod likes this.

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