How To Keep Up In Dance Class

Beginner Guides

How To Keep Up In Dance Class

Charise Roberts
January 23, 2024
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Have you ever been in a dance class, struggling with that one move or combo that you JUST CAN'T GET?!

You're straining your neck to see the choreographer, trying to figure out how in the world...

The anxiety creeps in...

You start feeling like you're falling behind the pace of the class and EVERYTHING IS SPIRALING OUT OF CONTROL!!!!!

CHILL!!! Falling behind in dance class can feel scary and defeating, but pick-up is a skill, too. And skills can be practiced!

Practice these 4 tips to help you keep up in dance class and you'll NEVER feel behind again.

1. Learn in real time

Okay, so you’re struggling with a move. But while you’re trying to work that out, you miss the next move. And the next. Then the next.

If you’re too fixated on one section in the piece, then you’re going to fall behind and stay behind the entire class.

So do the move wrong.. and move along. You can always come back to that combo and review or drill it.

But to keep up in dance class, you have to learn at its pace – not constantly playing catch-up.

2. Ask the choreographer to review or go slower

Learning in real time doesn’t mean that you have no control over the "real time."

Choreographers want to move at a pace that allows for their students to learn best. They don’t want to go too slow or too fast either!

The only way for them to know if they are going too slow or fast is if their students speak up.

So it’s okay – even appreciated – when you ask the instructor to review a certain section or to count slower again.

(Just don’t ask excessively. You can use breaks to review on your own if needed!)

how to keep up in dance class

3. Be aware of how YOU learn

Speaking of clarification and repetition, these and a number of other learning techniques help different dancers learn choreography.

You and your best friend might prefer different techniques. Are you a visual learner? Make sure you can see the choreographer. Do you have trouble with timing?

Stand close to the speakers and watch like a hawk when the choreographer demonstrates.

Are you an auditory learner? Do you work best when you count to yourself? Make sound effects? Just drill like crazy?

For example, Gina Hong utilizes both counts and sound effects when she teaches – you can choose which one to focus on as you learn.

You’ll find what works best for you just by trying out different things. Pretty soon, you’ll have an arsenal of habits that help you learn the most efficiently.

4. Be in the right class

You asked the choreographer to review and repeat several sections, practiced the piece nonstop during every water break, memorized, drilled, and cleaned each move.

If you still feel like you can’t keep up, then maybe you’re in the wrong class.

This is Why Every Dancer Should Take A Beginner Dance Class

Of course it’s good to be challenged – but a challenge is beneficial only if you can grow from it.

If you’re feeling like you’re just lost, then take a step back to reevaluate if this level or style of class is really what you are ready for.

It's completely okay if you’re not! Explore other classes that you feel challenged in without being stressed out and anxious. For example:

If you're a beginner dancer, try out Marc Miranda's classes! When you feel comfortable, move on to some of Tristan Edpao's grooves.