Ballroom Dance > how are your lessons going? thread II

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fascination, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I missed sorry to hear on all accounts....holy smoke
  2. Ice Bucket

    Ice Bucket Member

    Kinda frustrated. The class we're in has been together for a year and a quarter and it's really slow. We're beginners, so it wouldn't be right for the teacher to go charging off into the distance with us, but I'm really starting to resent the pace. We work on a variety of dances, which is great, but we spend about half of each lesson recapping the steps because some of our classmates can't remember them from one week to the next. Going over things is good but we very rarely get any pointers on how to do things better - we just trundle round, not really knowing whether we're doing it right or not because our teacher is too busy picking up the couples who are lost or making huge mistakes. It feels like we're suffering because we can remember the steps. I wish we saw more of the teacher. Practising helps us learn the steps but we can't teach ourselves how to do them, if you see what I mean. This has turned into a bit of a rant - I'm sorry. I just feel like we're not progressing and I don't really know what to do about it.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    which is why you might actually get more bang for your buck by taking a private rather than 7 or 8 groups
  4. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    I think it went alright. I don't think it'll ever really be a strong suit for me, but I don't think my efforts were entirely in vain. And trying to focus on it probably helped my tango out a bit, which tends to be a bit ... nice. I dread having to worry about it in Latin though. The idea of me and my amateur partner trying to sell an open rumba routine is somewhere between terrifying and hilarious. Happily, we're in absolutely no danger of having to worry about open latin any time soon.
    FancyFeet likes this.
  5. Ice Bucket

    Ice Bucket Member

    :oops: Is it really that marked? Food for thought.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    if you take the private with an above average instructor, certainly...if they are just average, probably still yes
    Hedwaite likes this.
  7. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Think about it this way. Do you still want to keep taking the same beginning rumba group class over and over again. Each time the instructor teaches the basic box step, and (pick two: crossover break, cross body lead, underarm turn, fifth position breaks, open break under arm turn, open cuban walk, quick underarm turn, etc.) and maybe (pick one: alternating underarm turn, open walk with spot turn, quick underarm turn with rocks, etc.), if you're lucky.

    It might be more cost effective spending your money learning how to make the steps you already know look better - or maybe learning more advanced patterns, assuming you already know most of the basic patterns.
  8. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Group classes are intended to provide kind of a tasting menu of dances for people, with the hope that they'll pick some they like and further develop those through private lessons. They're around for the social aspect of meeting people and developing a core group of friends for cheaper than the price of a private, glossing over some things, and moving on more quickly. Note: The group classes I just described are not to be confused with "specialty groups" or "masters classes" or the kind of groups offered in workshops or with a specific focus for a similarly-minded group. Most groups are designed with more beginner-oriented dancers in mind, because they're a cheap way to get started and feel included.

    Private lessons are where a person or partnership can develop other aspects of dancing that there aren't time for covering in a group class because of the number of students with varying abilities. They're more tailored to fit your own needs, and most people who take private lessons in addition to group classes eventually get bored with group classes and move on more quickly.

    If you're in a group class where the teacher does go from couple to couple and help out some of the time, you're paying for that class and deserve as much help as s/he's giving to the other people- politely flag them down with a specific question, and see if you get the help you need, but remember, they won't be able to take up a lot of time with you, because they're assuming you're catching on more quickly than the slowpokes down at the end who need constant reminders what dance it is you're actually working on- it's their goal to keep those people coming, and sometimes they forget about the others, or even take them for granted, which is bad, but human and unintentional.
  9. Ice Bucket

    Ice Bucket Member

    Wow. Thanks, guys. That's very useful advice. I feel quite bad about complaining about it, actually, but this puts it in perspective. I might have a chat with DP about the possibility of a private lesson or two to see how we get on.
    Purr likes this.
  10. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    Had the beginnings of a much needed conversation with pro about goals, and what's possible, and making a plan further out than a few months last night. I had planned to hold the chat until after his run of competitions and my upcoming one... but apparently I just couldn't wait that long. It's really been on my mind, and I needed to get it out of the way.

    After that chat, following two rather dramatic/exhausting days (the stress level is HIGH at the studio right now), on next to no warm-up given a studio situation and considering my level of distraction/frustration/irritation/stress last night the dancing was... rather shockingly good!
  11. middy

    middy Well-Known Member

    Working on the usual hip swing and shaping, cause contrary to popular belief, you use your hips a LOT in standard. And making myself wait for the lead instead of just going. Fixing a bunch of quickstep issues and hopefully it'll all stick!
    Purr and fascination like this.
  12. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    First lesson in three weeks. (DP has been out of town on my days off for training and competition with his professional partner) Wow...did I ever feel rusty. *sigh* And, here is the dilemma, brought to the forefront by some thing DP said to me today.

    I've had more than one person ask me why I'm not doing Latin anymore. To be honest, I only switched to Latin for a short time about 2 years ago due to tendonitis in my knee which made Standard more painful than I could stand. However, I had more success at comps dancing Latin than I ever had dancing Standard. I'm struggling with Standard, but it's my passion, and why I started dancing in the first place. I enjoy Latin very much, but can't afford to train and compete in two styles. Argh. I'm starting to rethink things just a bit at this point.
    chomsky likes this.
  13. Aura

    Aura Active Member

    I'm still working on testing out.
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sounds like it is about what you love versus how you mark....
  15. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    dance what you love after all you aren't getting paid for it
    SwayWithMe, chomsky and dancelvr like this.
  16. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, here's the may be as simple as that....or it may not...I don't know her situation...the other considerations that I would have are; is there a genuine physical issue that makes competing in standard no longer advisable?...if so, maybe you enjoy standard lessons and simply work more on improving technically in ways that are not related to any limitation...and compete in latin if you feel you must compete...if there is no significant limitation effecting standard but progress seems to be slowing, maybe you get some outside coaching on the areas most in need of improvement... maybe, the field in standard happens to be stronger in your area than the field in latin?.....many things to consider there ...and to consider in terms of why you compete and why you take lessons in addition to why the latin is marking better...good luck in assessing it
  17. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Lots of things to consider here, Fasc. Thanks! :)

    There is a knee issue (chronic tendonitis). I've been nursing this thing along for years. When it was at its worst, I switched to Latin during a period of treatments at the request of my doctor, so I wouldn't keep damaging the tendon. And, I learned to LOVE it. Oddly enough, Latin doesn't bother the knee at all. Pfft.....go figure! I currently wear a patella band whenever I dance, and try to warm up completely before we dance full out.

    As far as competing goes, I'm not one of those people who always has to win to be happy. I use competitions as sort of a barometer of my progress and a means of setting goals for myself. Besides....comps are sparkly and fun! The shocker to me was that, after nailing down some basic technique, my progress in Latin was so much quicker than in Standard, both on and off the competition floor. I don't know why.

    I'm going to seriously consider some coaching, as I'm feeling...a bit unsettled in my dancing lately. A fresh perspective may be what is called for here.

    At the very least, if my knee blows out again, I have Latin on which to fall back, and this would not be the end of dancing for me.

    Ok.....time to shake off the rusty lesson yesterday, and soldier on. :)
    Sania and latingal like this.
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    latin, except occasionally samba, and separation in paso, does not bother my tendonitis either...only bending deeply into the knee...fortunately I have had much less problem with it in my standard as long as I am warm before I dance...and I attribute a lot of that to a change in technical emphasis...I think getting fresh perspective is almost always a good thing..I have even taken outside coaching alone and found it helpful
    dancelvr likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    another thing to consider is that, at least for me, the less I care about something, cruelly, the better I dance it
    latingal and Dancing Irishman like this.

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Smiled all the way home driving home from lesson! Very happy with new standard pro.
    Gold foxtrot tonight and it is coming along great. We decided to do first comp( small comp) in November and quite excited about it all!
    chomsky and Sania like this.

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