What Going To Dance Classes Has Taught Me
Reasons I go to dance:
- To exercise
- To work my brain and improve my memory
- To practice self-expression
- To get into my body
- To practice listening
- To let go
- So I can be one of those old people on the dance floor that still has rhythm
I take dance class two times per week. It’s my favorite activity outside of photography.
When I first started it was hard – I was self conscious that I couldn’t get the moves. I was afraid to look bad. If I made a mistake mid-choreo I would just stop, feel stupid, and not be able to perform the rest of the routine.
Over a year later, things have gotten easier. I’ve learned to listen better. The thing with learning choreography is that you have to listen to a song the way someone else hears it, not the way you hear it. There aren’t always eight counts – the teacher will go through the moves and say, “Do you hear it? This move is to the lyric, this move is to the beat, and this move is to the ra-ta-ta-ta.” Sometimes I don’t hear it at first, but upon listening several times, I hear it. Many times we listen to things only the way we want to hear them. Dance trains me to hear things from someone else’s perspective. It helps massively with communication in general.
I’ve also learned to LET GO more.If you make a mistake just keep going. The funny thing about dance is that it looks better when you don’t care. Absorb the choreography, and then let go. I’ve learned don’t try to control it and get everything right – it’s more important (and flows better) when you feel good. FEELING GOOD is a constant goal of mine. Don’t focus so much on line item accomplishments – those can only make you so happy and then you’re onto the next thing. Who cares what you have or what you’ve accomplished when you’re happy?
I have friends who tell me they want to come to class but are scared because they don’t know how to dance. That’s why you go to class, to learn! EVERYONE is self-conscious – you are not alone. I tell them it’s the best personal growth, and on top of that it’s super fun. I’ll take dance over jogging any day.
When I first started taking classes again I started with beginner follow-along Zumba type classes to get in the habit of moving again, then worked my way up to more Intermediate/Advanced classes.
Who wants to come with me? 🙂