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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Linton

7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Dance Event (tips 4-7)

Here are the remaining 4 tips. Let's dive right in:

4. Be friendly, respectful, and kind.

In a dance workshop, and especially on the social dance floor, refrain from telling your dance partners what they are doing wrong. Personally, I follow this rule in all situations: I do not give someone feedback unless they ask me for it. I am not the teacher, and I do not feel my advice about the other person’s performance would be helpful. Maybe I do this because I remember standing next to another follow at a workshop and she was minutely critiquing every guy she danced with during the class. They didn’t really seem to appreciate it. If someone in a dance class gives me criticism or advice, I simply say “Thank you” and move on, and if the advice was good (and it sometimes is) I will think about it and use it to improve. If you feel you simply must give advice, preface it by saying something like “May I give you a little feedback?” and only proceed to do so if the other person gives you permission.

I do try to do what I feel leaders are leading, and hope that they will get useful feedback from that if what I do is not what they wanted. Remember that everyone is learning and not everyone is going to get it on the first try. Partners will be rotated quickly enough so that you are not stuck dancing with the same person every time. This, too, will pass in about 1 minute.

Be friendly; you may make some new friends! These are people who share your passion for dance enough to spend their time and money to come to an event for one or more days. They (we) are your tribe!

5. Try something completely different.

If you are at an event, you may get an opportunity to learn something completely new to you. If you are a Lindy Hopper, maybe there will be classes offered in Balboa or Solo Jazz. If you are a Salsa dancer, maybe there will be a class on Brazilian Zouk. Give something new a try. You might really like it!

6. Apply what you have learned beyond the event.

Yes, I know. I’ve done it, too. I have put all those videos of lesson summaries on my phone and then never looked at them again. If you have someone you know attending the event, and you come from the same scene, you could get together to review and practice after you get back home. It’s a great opportunity to really expand your dance repertoire.

7. Dress appropriately.

Just what is “appropriate”? I read about a dance teacher who said something like, “You wouldn’t wear your prom gown to the beach, so why would you wear street clothes to dance class?” I would say, though, that appropriate depends upon the style of dance and the expectations of the dance community participating in the event. In ballet class, for example, the teacher may require rights and leotards so that she can see how you are shaping your body. My own ballet teacher required adult students to wear black leotards and pink tights. Few dance classes have that strict a dress code, but if they do, they will let you know. For most adult dance classes, and, by extension, dance workshops at longer events, street clothes that are comfortable and reasonably modest are fine. Jeans can be OK if they are not too tight, and t-shirts are quite common. I like to wear a dance-themed t-shirt. Check out my collection at (Click on Shop) and you might find something really fun to wear to a dance event or class.

If your event features themes for the dances, I recommend doing something special for those. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Last year in a dollar store (or it was in Spain, so I guess it was a Euro store), I saw a pair of sunglasses with plastic shell and starfish decorations. I was going to a dance week on the coast of Spain and I thought, “I might need that.” Sure enough, one of the themes, which I had not heard about, was “By the Sea”. Perfect. If you don’t find your theme accessories at the dollar store, Amazon has some inexpensive costumes and/or accessories which can be very fun!

BONUS TIP: Have fun! That is the name of the game, so relax and enjoy your dance event! SHAMELESS PLUG: Come along on our Dance Exchange at Sea to add more fun to your dance life without breaking the bank!

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