5 Mistakes You're Making In Dance Class That Slow Progress

Training Tips

5 Mistakes You're Making In Dance Class That Slow Progress

Charise Roberts
January 23, 2024
Ready to start dancing?
Reach your dance goals on STEEZY with 1500+ online classes, programs, and more.
Get Started
Copied to clipboard

There might be mistakes you're making in dance class that you have no idea you’re making!

And because you don’t know you’re making them, you can’t work on fixing them…

Lucky for you, here’s a much-needed wakeup call! Ask yourself if you’re making these mistakes in dance class, and get tips on what to do instead.

1. You’re just doing the moves

…Not dancing them.

The point of taking a dance class isn’t to learn a few 8-counts of choreography that you’ll forget later.

It’s to practice dancing!

No matter how fast your pickup gets or how clean your lines are, if you are just regurgitating the choreography, your actual dancing is not really getting better.

Try: Listening to the music more than watching the moves

Our movement starts with the music, so focus on listening to the music.

Close your eyes and let the song move you, then think about how the choreography can outline your natural movements.

Doing this will help you get to know your own body and how it responds to music.

The choreographer can teach you WHAT moves to do, but the music will tell you HOW to do them.

Listening to the music will also make your performance look less robotic and more like dancing!

Do this the next time you take class and you’ll notice how much better your dancing looks and feels.

And that's the most important part! Like we talk about here: Why It's More Important For Dance To FEEL Good, Than LOOK Good

mistakes you're making in dance class

2. You’re not connecting with the music

One of the mistakes you're making in dance class might be that you’re listening to, but not connecting with the music.

You might be interpreting the musicality well – textures on point, timing in the pocket...

But the overall delivery of the piece gets lost if you don’t have any intention behind it. Art and music is always born from some thought or feeling.

Every part of the song you’re dancing to – the lyrics, melody, bass – was made to express something.

Dancing is when using your body as a channel for that expression.

When you don’t connect with the music, your dancing won’t connect with anyone watching.

Try: Taking time to think about what the song means to you

Think about how the music makes you feel. Pay attention to the lyrics that resonate with you.

If they don’t already talk about it first, ask the choreographer what they were trying to express with their piece.

A lot of people think “intention” has to be some deep, meaningful thing, but it can be as simple as just… having fun!

Taking a bit of time and energy to clarify what you want to portray will make your entire piece feel more comprehensive and powerful.

mistakes you're making in dance class

3. You’re staying in one place while you learn

I used to be that class taker that hogs the front of the studio, but I did this because I felt like I had to watch myself in the mirror the whole time.

I was also dancing next to my friends so I could compare myself to them. BUT THEN when I went up to dance for groups, I’d mess up like crazy!!! UGH.

I realized that I relied on the mirror or my friends to dance, and I didn’t know how to do the piece on my own without them as benchmarks.

Try: Learning from multiple places

Get used to dancing by yourself – independent of a mirror or people around you.

Do this by switching lines to learn from different places in the room and around different people.

You don’t even have to wait for the choreographer to tell you to switch lines.

Quietly move from the front to back or the middle to side of the room when you feel like you’re getting too used to your position.

You can even try to completely avoid watching yourself or anyone else.

You’ll get much more out of the dance class once you challenge yourself to trust yourself and your body.

And when it’s time for groups, you won’t freak out – because it won’t matter if you can see yourself in the mirror or who you’re dancing next to.

mistakes you're making in dance class

4. You’re not putting yourself out there

There are lots of dancers who are on the shy side, and that’s totally fine. But dance is a performance art.

It’s different from writing poem in your room then posting it – being a dancer means you – your body – dancing – with other people.

So if you want to become a better dancer, you might not be putting yourself out there enough.

Are you…

  • Staying in the back of the class the entire time while learning?
  • Trying to hide in the back when you perform in groups?
  • NOT going up for groups at all?
  • Holding back in your performance?

...Or any other way you say “no” to an opportunity to get more out of the dance class???

Try: Going for it!

Hey, you paid for that class! Take every opportunity to better yourself during it.

Learn the choreo. Make mistakes. Ask questions. Participate. Go up for groups and don’t hide behind that super tall guy for fear that someone will see you mess up.

Watch this video on commitment and apply these tips the next time you take dance class!

5. You’re only going when your friends go

It’s great to have class taking buddies, but if you only want to take class when your friends go, that means you’re dependent on that comfort.

Try: Dancing for you

Own your love of dance! Challenge yourself to go take class, regardless of who else is going.

Think of it as mini “Eat, Pray, Love” retreat where everything you experience is for you, and only you.

I got into the habit of texting my group chat to see who was interested to going to class with me, but now I just go when I feel like dancing.

Sometimes I will see my friends there and it’s nice. Sometimes I know zero people in the class and it’s still nice. Because dancing’s nice no matter what :)

The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll feel more freedom and empowerment with your dance journey.

mistakes you're making in dance class

Did you realize that these are some of the mistakes you're making in dance class? Great! Now you can start practicing better learning habits.

Happy training, STEEZY Nation!

What are some mistakes you're making in dance class that you want to work on? Comment below and share with us!