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Two Step Tidewater Virginia Dance Tip

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  01/16/2009

All Dance Groups Are NOT Alike!!

All dance group classes are alike?

We hope you don't think so. Many dancers think they are interchangeable but don't count on it.

A dance group class is just what the name implies, a dancing class, taught to a group. But, there are differences...

Almost any dance school, studio or club offers a short, typically "free" dance class prior to their social dances. During this class one can learn the basics of a new dance, refresh some old skills, pick up a new move or pattern or just warm up before the dance. We call these "Open" classes. The biggest mistake you can make is to rely on ONLY this type of dance lesson to teach you how to dance. Due to the wide range of experience levels, from those who are visiting a dance event for the very fist time, to those who are looking for a new "gee-whiz" dance step, most instructors aim at the middle (or, sometimes the bottom) of the group skill level(s), using a broad teaching approach for the entire class. Some students get it and some don't. In most cases, the instructor does not have the time or resources to spend too much personal instruction time with individuals.

The other type of group class available is the "Closed" group. The "Closed" group class is entirely different. This class is focused on a particular, previously announced experience and skill level. Since everyone begins at more or less the same dancing-skill level the instructor can focus on the students' progress. The instructor can also put together a lesson plan that will cover the entire group class period (usually four, five, or eight weeks). These group classes typically have a very small charge for the lessons ($5-$10 per lesson).  Sometimes these are only offered as a full-session and not by the lesson.

In a closed group class, the instructor can assume that every student will begin with the same fundamental skill level.  Also, being a closed group, there are no "newbie" students after the first (or sometimes the second) lesson to drag the class back to the beginning every time.  In this environment, every student will progress through each class in increasingly advanced skills or steps. It doesn't matter if the class is on basic skills, technique, or patterns - or whether it is aimed at newbie, beginner, intermediate, advanced, or hard-core "WOW" dancers - the way it's taught is the same. Some students progress quicker than others, but, because the group begins with the same fundamental level of skills, the difference is usually not too great.

Everyone, but especially newbies and beginners, should not turn down open dance group lessons.  Open group classes, prior to a dance are a great way to clean up your technique or pick up a new move in a dance you are already very familiar with. You WILL go away happy. If you are trying to learn a completely new dance, you may go away a little frustrated, but you will still have learned something upon which to keep building your dancing skills.

Closed group classes work best when you can take the entire series. If the instructor is using a lesson plan and you skip classes or jump in after the series has started you will still learn but there will be something missing.

Each type of class has a purpose and the saying "you get what you pay for" says a lot about the difference. 

A very good dance-learning plan for a newbie or a beginner is: Begin experimenting with open group classes, until you have the fundamental skills to enter into closed "beginner" classes with an idea of what you are doing.  Take beginner, and maybe intermediate closed dance group classes until you develop the dancing skills that are fundamental to all dances and all dancers.  THEN, if you decide you would like to advance into more and more advanced dancing skills, consider paying for private dance lessons.  Even after you are an accomplished dancer, you will still find MANY open and closed dance group lessons, which will help you continue to develop or maintain your dancing skills.  (A lot of us have followed that path to becoming "accomplished" dancers, who get "WOW" comments from spectators, other dancers, and from your dancing partners.)


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Thought for a day..

Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.
~ Amy Bloom ~
 

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OUR POLICY:   Webmasters; You are granted permission to copy any content from our web site, provided that you provide a link to http://www.twosteptidewater.com (Contact us by email if you would like a reciprocal link). We are always looking for ways to make Two Step Tidewater Virginia THE PLACE for dance information in the Tidewater area (Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake VA, Suffolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Newport News VA, Hampton va, Hampton Roads VA, Yorktown VA, Gloucester VA, Jamestown VA, and Williamsburg VA) - and for other dance events or dance locations which are of interest to Tidewater (Southside and Peninsula) area Hampton Roads dancers.  We prefer to exchange links with other dance-information sites.  To add a dance link, or exchange links with your web pages, email Will Harper or Walter Schultz.  Worthy dance events, may post to our web site by emailing a cut-and-paste ready announcement.  Your announcement can be just a text announcement or even a full web page.  We will host an ongoing web page, at no cost, for Tidewater Area dance-related activities, without their own web page.  Be sure to include date, time, cost, contact and location information for your event.  In exchange, we ask that anyone posting to our site, include a reference to www.twosteptidewater.com on your site and/or in your intra-group's mailing list emails.  (Not just C&W. We'll  include Ballroom, Swing, WCS, Disco, Folk, or just churches or other clubs with dances.)  We will attempt to post/remove events within a couple of days - but we cannot accept responsibility for missing an event or any other reason.  We will attempt to verify ALL links, to prevent any offensive or off-topic links, but, again, cannot be responsible for other's.

Webmaster:  Will Harper

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(www.twosteptidewater.com The Best smoke free Country & Western two step (2-step, Texas two-step), Ballroom, Latin, Disco (Hustle), West Coast Swing (WCS), Night Club two-step, Swing Dancing for all of South East Virginia (VA) or North East North Carolina beaches areas  (Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, Chesapeake VA, Suffolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Newport News VA, Hampton va, Hampton Roads VA, Yorktown VA, Gloucester VA, Jamestown VA, Williamsburg VA, Hickory NC, and the beaches and outer banks of North Carolina (NC)