one guys beginning dance struggles

#81
Group classes can also provide opportunities for you to work on certain techniques covered in private lessons. You can work on your own body mechanics and, as others have pointed out, try to develop connection with different people. Then, in your next private, you can discuss your experiences with your instructor (although merely complaining about the lack of connection you feel in class would probably be counterproductive).
 
#82
Group classes are for 'basic steps' but the moment you get past the idea that a step pattern = dancing, you'll run like crazy from a private teacher that teaches you 'the basic step'.

Since - the 'basic step' does not really exist.

I know this sounds inflammatory but let me explain, or try to explain.

There are folks all over who think that waltz is a box step going 1-2-3 1-2-3 and that a foxtrot is a box going 1-2-3-4, etc etc. But there is more to it than that. I tell my students that the expression of the dance (the 'vibe') determines how it is danced, and that the 'steps' are simply weight changes to rhythm. Add to that direction, etc and then it becomes dancing. Most beginners need a while before they are able to make their bodies do what is needed (turning is one thing that is something that needs development) but social 'steps' work fine until they are ready to make the move to more complex actions. The moment usually arrives after they see someone doing a more advanced version of the dance, for instance.

That being said, a group class gives you a community of fellow students to interact with and you WILL learn faster if you have a peer group. However, as said, take it with a grain of salt... lots of grains.
So you're saying private lessons aren't a good idea?
 
#85
It's worth saying, however, that particular students may need to be taught basic steps before any other issues can be addressed (I'm not saying that's the case with you, wiseman). So I'd hesitate to say we should judge a teacher merely by what he or she chooses to focus on in one particular case.
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#86
It's worth saying, however, that particular students may need to be taught basic steps before any other issues can be addressed (I'm not saying that's the case with you, wiseman). So I'd hesitate to say we should judge a teacher merely by what he or she chooses to focus on in one particular case.
yes - agreed. And also, wiseman, realize you are NOT a wiseman making judgement on your progress, learning, or the teaching based on the short time you have been learning...
 
#87
yes - agreed. And also, wiseman, realize you are NOT a wiseman making judgement on your progress, learning, or the teaching based on the short time you have been learning...
I understand, but I need to make sure I'm learning correctly. Why spend $80 on private classes that aren't getting anywhere? Or why spend time going to group classes if the instructor is lousy and you're not learning?

This is why I have to make judgments. I hate to find out 5 months later that I learned nothing and just wasted 5 months of my life and money going for these classes. I need to find a class that works for me.
 
#88
I think it's perfectly fine to say that, at this point in time, what works for you is taking more group classes. Try to keep an open mind, as over time that what works for you may change.

I would just not recommend that you make blanket statements about a particular instructor or mode of learning as people's needs differ and evolve.
 
#89
It's worth saying, however, that particular students may need to be taught basic steps before any other issues can be addressed (I'm not saying that's the case with you, wiseman). So I'd hesitate to say we should judge a teacher merely by what he or she chooses to focus on in one particular case.
But there's little point in resorting to private lessons for that until an attempt or three has been made to address it in groups.

I do find it perfectly reasonable to be judgemental of someone who recommends private lessons over groups for introductory topics, because that's a business move not a dancing one.
 
#91
But there's little point in resorting to private lessons for that until an attempt or three has been made to address it in groups.

I do find it perfectly reasonable to be judgemental of someone who recommends private lessons over groups for introductory topics, because that's a business move not a dancing one.
Exactly. And don't forget the cost difference too. I don't know how it is elsewhere, but here in NY, it costs $15 for a group class while it's a whopping $80 for a private. If I'm going to spend the extra $65, it better be worth it.

Anyways, this new studio is giving me a special $20 private lesson tonight as a trial. I'll also be attending another group class as well. So, tonight I can make an even better judgment. :D
 
#92
As a follower who dances with quite a few men who have taken only group classes, I can tell you some things that they are lacking because these things are usually not covered (or covered well) in group classes: posture, frame, connection, leading.

Group classes just can't give you the individual attention that is needed to make the particular adjustments you need to make in those areas to become a good dancer. There's nothing like the detailed feedback you get from a private lesson on these issues.

So my recommendation is to take group lessons to learn patterns and to take privates with a focus on technique. You can start out with a few months of groups only, but I'd add some privates in pretty soon.

If your studio has socials, you should start going to those as soon as you know a few basic patterns in two or three dances.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#93
The decision depends on what you want to optimize. If you are sitting on a pile of cash, by all means find a good teacher and go for private lessons. For those of us that want to maximize the progress made on a dollar, my personal experience has been partially expressed in some of the posts.

1) Group classes for learning figures. All the figures you can, not just basic ones.
2) Lots of practice, both by yourself (or with DP) and at social or practice dances.
3) Private lessons to learn proper technique.

I don't want to pay $75/hr to learn where to stick my feet when I can pay $15. I also want to minimize how often my private lesson coach corrects the same error. Practice with a coach can be very productive, but is that practice worth $75/hr? Not to me. I want to be fixing still finer points, not be corrected on footwork for the same figure for the 100th time.

I also take advantage of group classes to practice. If I already know the figure being taught, I will take that opportunity to practice on technique improvements.
 

toothlesstiger

Well-Known Member
#94
As a follower who dances with quite a few men who have taken only group classes, I can tell you some things that they are lacking because these things are usually not covered (or covered well) in group classes: posture, frame, connection, leading. ...
I started taking private lessons when I realized I was not going to learn to lead well in groups.
 

Bailamosdance

Well-Known Member
#95
I don't want to pay $75/hr to learn where to stick my feet when I can pay $15. I also want to minimize how often my private lesson coach corrects the same error. Practice with a coach can be very productive, but is that practice worth $75/hr? Not to me. I want to be fixing still finer points, not be corrected on footwork for the same figure for the 100th time.
Learning where to stick your feet: $15 / hr
Learning HOW to stick your feet : $75/hr
Learning how to move and actually DANCE: priceless
 
#97
I started taking private lessons when I realized I was not going to learn to lead well in groups.
That's it. Leading is something that is taught best in a private lesson. But private instructors don't usually teach leading until you start becoming more advanced. At least, at my old studio, they didn't. I was going for private lessons for a month at the old place and haven't been taught how to lead yet. When I asked, they told me that I must master the steps first before I can be taught how to lead.
 
#98
Learning where to stick your feet: $15 / hr
Learning HOW to stick your feet : $75/hr
Learning how to move and actually DANCE: priceless
Agreed. BTW, I answered your PM. If you can give me some help on where to go for lessons in NYC, I'd really appreciate it. I'm really anxious about finding a good studio.
 

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