Part 2: Group Lessons
Welcome back dancers! In our last series we focused on the Personal Lesson. Hopefully you've had an opportunity to eat your tasty veggies and experience what some of our students mentioned in the last blog (read previous blog to know what veggies we are talking about). This week I will cover the second most important session you will take at Arthur Murray, Group Lessons.
GOING EARLY TO THE PARTY
Ever go to a party at a friends house, but you got there too early? You usually feel less welcomed because it seems like they're still getting ready for the party. Most of the time your friend ends up giving you a task like clean the restrooms or vacuum the floors (This actually happened to my wife at my parents house. And yes, she started vacuuming.) Slowly people start walking in and the party usually doesn't start until 2 hours after you've arrived. Now the party can really begin. As much fun and important as Personal Lessons are, if taken alone, they're kind of like getting to the party too early. You have a good experience, but possibly a lonely one. Enter the Group Lesson.
Since you spend time focusing on one dance, group lessons help you focus on variety. The repetition practicing over a period of time increases your balance and overall skills that is crucial for muscle memory. They say that by the simple act of writing down a goal increases your chances of accomplishing it by 30%. I wonder if practicing for 45 minutes will do the same? I'm not sure if there is an exact number, but I do know, those that practice more often do get further along than those that don't.
"YOU ALL MAKE ME HAPPY"
"I think that one of the things I take away from every group class is learning how to follow different leaders.", says Tish a student at Arthur Murray San Jose. "Since everybody leads a little differently, it's nice to dance with more than just the instructors." Tish is a regular at Arthur Murray. She's there nearly every night for a group, personal lesson, party or just to hang out. When you stop by, be sure to say hi. She'll be the one chatting with every student, laughing, possibly eating some ice cream (I'll make some soon, Tish).
"A few weeks ago, Christina was teaching a Cha Cha class on a Wednesday and she taught us a variation of cross overs that I'd never seen before. A lot of times students ask questions that I never thought of, and it helps because I didn't even realize that I was wondering the same thing. Also, it's great having group classes with instructors that I don't have personal lessons with because sometimes they explain things a little different to help me understand better."
Kobe Bryant can sink a free throw on any given day of the week (even though the Lakers aren't looking too hot right now), but for some reason Shaq has a hard time with them. I wonder if Shaq practices shooting free throws as much as Kobe (I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you he doesn't). And if Shaq is reading this blog right now, YOU'RE THE BEST. GO LAKERS!! ("I'm Shaq," a la Jimmy Fallon.)
They say practice makes perfect. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, but practice definitely makes better. "I love going to group classes for multiple reasons. For dances I don't focus on, it gives me a chance to try different dances and to understand how they work," says Tish. "For the dances I do focus on, it gives me a chance to practice the patterns and technique outside of my private lessons. Plus, going to all the group classes all week gives me a chance to see all of you guys! You all make me happy!"
If you want to improve your Dance game and take your personal lessons to the next level, get some much needed practice time with a group class. You'll retain the information better and your teacher will be that much happier as a result. You won't feel like you're at the party too early and you'll progress sooner than you expected. For an added bonus, surprise yourself with an extra personal lesson following a group. It's a great way to get immediate feedback and ensure that you're heading in the right direction.
Stay tuned for the last installment of this 3 part series when we tackle the Practice Party. You won't want to miss it.