Continuing to learn as an experienced dancer

We’ve had a few experienced dancers approach us and ask us if we are going to add an Advanced class to our timetable. While we would love to, we’re not able to any time in the near future, mainly due to time restrictions. So we thought we would put together a little post on ways you can continue to learn and improve (in fact these are pretty applicable no matter what level you are!).

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Photo by Brenton Edwards for Stories Well Told
  1. Travel

Most dancers will reach a stage when travelling to other scenes is hugely beneficial. When I (Luna) had the ability to and was super gung-ho (in 2011) I spent around one weekend a month in Melbourne taking privates, workshops and just social dancing as much as I could. It was cheap to get there and I learnt so much by being around new dancers. The same could be said for any city – Melbourne just happened to be the easiest to get to. So head interstate when you can and go out dancing even if there isn’t a special event on.

2. Take private lessons in your hometown

Approach the teachers you like and take a private lesson. Pro tip: it’s really handy to have an idea of what you want to specifically work on (for example, momentum, connection, footwork, styling etc). It means you’ll really get what you’d like out of the lesson. If the cost is a bit much by yourself, most teachers are happy to teach a small group (1 to 2 couples) and you can split the cost.

3. Get together with some peeps and jam!

It can be really fun to get together with some likeminded peeps and work on your dancing. Some good ways to do this is to have everyone bring a small something they want to work on, and then you can all work on those things as a group. Watch videos, get some instructional DVDs/web series and jam out!

4. Watch videos

Some people are really visual learners, and youtube is your friend! Of course, nothing can replace the instruction you get from a teacher, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick out some skills from your favourite dancers and have a crack at them.

5. Refresh the basics

It is really useful to occasionally go back, take a beginner or intermediate class and refresh your basics. The basic steps are essentially the foundation that all the rest of your dancing is based on so you want to keep them in tip top shape!

6. Dance. Listen to Jazz. All the time.

One of the best things to do is just actually dance. Plonk yourself in front of a mirror and work on some shapes. Stuck behind a desk all day? Tap out some rhythms while you work. Filming yourself can be a great tool (but be kind to yourself! :P) Listen to jazz music and dance along in your mind if you can’t in your body.

We hope you found this useful and we wish you all the best for your dance journey! Luna and Jarryd 🙂

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