Would it be possible to learn how to dance in strictly group classes if...

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by LordBallroom, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    I think this issue is highly dependent on the teacher. I do privates, because I don't have a partner at all. I also go to advanced tech group classes. And I recently started returning to my pro's beginner beginner "partner" classes by myself where I can practice my more advanced technique in a slow way and learn lead steps (I am a follow and there are never enough leads). My instructor comes around, even in the beginner classes and does corrections, however briefly and I learn a lot thinking like a lead. It is like a practice with a correction now and then and is good value. I find that in learning anything new (leading), there is a period when the automatic info (following) might degrade a bit for awhile, but when you eventually integrate the new with the old, it makes both better.
     
  2. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    I've learned to dance for the most part through group lessons (although augmented with privates when it was monetarily feasible). I find my group lesson right now to be incredibly helpful. I'm on a collegiate team, and we have 4 couples that are at roughly the same level and all very dedicated. We also have an incredibly talented teacher who is able to address general technique/musicality/step issues and then visit with each couple and make sure they are implementing correctly for the partnership. I think the most important part that makes this arrangement work is 1) an awesome teacher 2) the fact that the couples are roughly the same level of committed/ dance.
     
  3. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    I'd just like to know what makes a group class really sparkle, and what you need to learn in them. Purely for doing well at a competition - I assume technique should be a massive thing, as it just makes all your steps easier and look better.
    Do good group classes have technique drills, does the teacher come around and adjust people, talks lecture-style for a while...? Assume 6-8 couples, competing non-beginners.
     
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    it is much easier to make that decision if everyone in the group is of the same age range and happen to be competition minded....that is certain...I would thing Larinda could speak to this really well
     
  5. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I don't see technique drills in a group class, unless it is a group class that is purely for technique drills. I have seen small groups (4) of students make arrangements to have semi- private lessons with an instructor, soley for the purpose of improving their technique and that worked out very well. The students came together as a group, all at the same level of skill and all with the same goal, and that goal was presented and understood by the instructor.
     
  6. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Seeing the amount of posts that include the caveat 'fun' as the defining part of their group class experience, I assume that making a group class 'fun' excludes drills, hard work, or moving out of the comfort zone for most people. That said, a group class that includes those elements would be immensely valuable. However, value of a group class is usually measured in how 'fun' it was, the ratio of men to women, and the perceived ease of the class. Meaning, rejection of the group class that accomplishes the goals set forth by the first person is very likely by the folks who would need it the most...
     
  7. davedove

    davedove Active Member

    I think that depends a lot on the level of the group. For lower levels it is probably very true, but the higher you go, you get more intense classes. Granted, there is only so much you can do in a group setting, but it can still get fairly intense.
     
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    And has a partner already. That's another big waste of time in group classes for me, the standing around or dancing alone, not to mention the shuffle in rotating. Again, not bad if I'm not paying for the class and don't have to go out of my way to get there and it's routines I need to know anyway, but.....
     
  9. Loki

    Loki Well-Known Member

    Yeah, been in a couple classes where the ratio was 3:1 or even 4:1 women to men.
     
  10. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    In Europe people get to a pretty competitive level just from group lessons (Russia Italy Poland). Those are classes taught in clubs with competitive focus. Something like this doesn't exactly exist in the US... So yes, it would be possible. But the right environment would need to exist...
     
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and how might the content of that flow?...I would love to see that catch on more here?
     
  12. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the actual classes, just results of those. But from what I know this system is not as good for teachers in terms of income so I really don't see it catching on here anytime soon. I wasn't trained in that system, but I have friends who were. It usually starts in youth though. I hope someone who came from that system can chime in here... I have only been to training camps in Italy but those were few days long so can't really say much from that alone. What I hear from people from those systems that come to US is, that they are surprised how all teachers behave here. They say their system was much more "athletics" and dancers were treated as athletes. There was focus on nutrition, cross training, rehersing etc.. They are surprised how teachers here are all dressed in ties etc even to teach beginners.. (I can see why but its an interesting perspective to hear)

    From what I know US and UK have same systems that prioritize privates. Italy, Russia, Poland prioritize groups till certain level in clubs and focus on volume.
     
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

  14. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    Usa dance has belatedly recognized this very superior system by creating a small dance camp for youth dancers, along the lines of the European model. Unfortunately, it is segregated by age so only a small percentage of the USA dance competitive population is served by this. When we have competed in Europe we noted an absence of the frothy glitz that is so much a part of the us ballroom scene, replaced by a high level of comraderie between the dancers - even the senior dancers have been with each other in their clubs for years, learning and practicing - and their quality of dance shows. Also their spirit... They look at this as a more inclusive sport rather than an isolated sideline to their lives.
     
  15. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    Exactly
     
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Thing is, that's for people aiming for a full-time serious competitive career, which is pretty much 'people who start when they're eight or ten or so', like ballet dancers. That might be the majority in Eastern Europe--it's a minuscule fraction of the market in the United States. You aren't going to make the 25+ adults in USA Dance syllabus world-class competitors, no matter what kind of lessons you put them in. They're too old to compete with the people who are already top twenty in the world. There's a place for that, but it's the tiny market of parents with children who get put into ballroom instead of other sports or solo dance forms. The group of adults with am partners who are interested in competing together and willing to do it at lower levels, slowly, is equally small. For the majority of studios and instructors, catering to those markets would put them out of business in the US. It's a part of the market here, but not one that can sustain the whole thing. Not even enough that every studio could have one class devoted to ballroom kids (hip-hop is much more attractive to the kids and teens for our studio, not least because with one or two exceptions, they're all girls and it doesn't require a partner.)
     
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I grant you most of that...but, looking at the pro/am structure in the U.S., I can think of a number of women who would consider competitive dance and/or would compete more if they could share their lesson costs with other students...and since many pros make more money at comps than on lessons...there may be a place for this sort of thing for the enterprising pro
     
  18. Bailamosdance

    Bailamosdance Well-Known Member

    group classes do not replace or preclude privates. And the result of everyone drilling, practicing, and traveling together is that the dance community becomes stronger and is more attractive.

    Oh, I forgot... drilling and practicing is not the 'fun part' here in the usa lol! It is sad... really, tho, wouldn't you be more inclined to practice and participate if there were a group of you? Many of my students find it nearly impossible to be motivated enough to actually do the drilling and such on their own, but if they were grouped, would advance so much more quickly. And no, going to the saturday night social and doing social american is NOT practice, or drilling...
     
    Gorme likes this.
  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know whether I am typical or not...I know that I find drills comforting and consoling...they give me an opportunity to focus on technique without having to adjust to unfamiliar patterns...I do them alone and I would be fine doing them with others.....and I strongly believe that there is much to be learned from looking at a host of people doing the same thing in terms of analyzing what makes one person advanced and another...not....the doing and the watching has helped me to move forward...I will say that my experience with others is that most people would rather not practice...at least not mindfully...but if one did have a decent group of serious competitors, I think it could be very valuable
     
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    No. Drilling isn't something I want to waste lesson time on as I can do that in my living room (or a barre with the back of my armchair as the barre.) I generally like to be left alone while warming up, too. But again, I do two other sports where "group" time is for beginners or goofing off, serious work is done by yourself or with your coach. When I can get down to ND's rink there are generally three of us regularly at the noon session who are practicing (in my case trying to get something back, the other two girls test and compete Adult track) and while sometimes we might take a couple laps together or chat while stretching on the boards, mostly we work on our own things. If I'm watching other dancers, I'm *watching*--sitting there observing while I"m waiting for lesson or between/after my own comp rounds. (And I will sit and watch ANYTHING, Newcomer to Open Pro, Standard, Rhythm, or Country Western...)
     

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