I’ll always remember my first modern jive dance class
It was a Ceroc Modern Jive dance class in London UK, and I went on my own, although a friend had been nagging me for ages to come with them. It was amazing because I couldn’t believe how much fun I had. And I could not wait to go back the following week. I wasn’t particularly good (yet) but I didn’t care. I knew I could learn to dance if I just kept attending. I can safely say that if you pluck up the courage to go to a dance class and actually go - especially on your own, you’ve taken the biggest step you can ever take when it comes to learning something that could literally change your life.
Everything gets easier from there. So now you’ve decided you are going to learn to dance what else can you do to make your first dance class the most fun? Here are 6 tips that will help you through your first and subsequent dance classes, whether they be ballroom, salsa, swing – or modern jive.
Arrive 10 to 15 Minutes Before Class
Arriving early ensures you start at the beginning of the class where the teacher may be sharing some important tips for newcomers, showing you the moves you’ll be learning.
If you arrive early you will feel less rushed and more relaxed as you’ll have had a chance to check in and even chat to other students as they arrive. We’re a very friendly bunch. Missing the beginning of a class can also interrupt the flow of the class and, if you’re new, make it harder for you to pick up what’s being taught. Obviously if you can’t help being late, no worries there will always be someone to help you catch up. However do your best to leave yourself enough time to arrive AND relax… doing anything for the first time can be huge.
Introduce Yourself to the Teacher
Don’t be shy, simply go up and say “Hi, I’m (name) and I’m new.” Our teachers will always do their best to put you at ease and you will also find our students are very friendly. Rest assured beginners join us almost every week so you’ll never feel you are the only new person. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to meet everyone else in the class.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
A modern jive dance class is a social event, and one that’s relaxed and fun. You can wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. If you want to go formal, go for it, but you really don’t have to. Jeans and comfy clothes you can move in are just fine – with some caveats: ladies avoid strappy dresses/tops, dangly earrings (they can catch), some rings (sharp stones can be lethal, so put them in your pocket or leave them at home).
Guys, avoid wearing phones on your belts (also pretty lethal to your dancing partner). Wear layers you can easily take off, as you will get hot dancing even with air conditioning.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Some types of trainers are fine for dancing. In general avoid rubber soled shoes and go for smooth or leather-soled shoes.
For ladies, if you have dance shoes – great. Dance shoes will give your feet the best support. Otherwise a mid-low heeled pump or dance sandal is a great choice. Avoid stiletto heels, wedged heels, boots, (backless shoes) mules and flip/flops – they give no support to your feet and some can even be dangerous if you should turn your ankle and those heels can be painful if you step on your partner’s toes. If you’ve any doubt about your shoes, just ask a teacher.
Bring Your Sense of Humour
Bring a sense of humour and a great attitude. You will make mistakes. That’s the only way anyone learns to dance. However you’ll get the chance to dance with experienced dancers – even on your first night. So have fun with your evening out. Everyone was new once, everyone made mistakes everyone learned to dance.
When you go home do your best to review what you learned (especially the guys as you are the dance leads). Write down the moves in a notebook and try committing them to memory. The truth is dance practice makes perfect and repetition is the key to becoming a great modern jive dancer. If you only dance once in a while you will find it takes longer for your memory and body to learn the moves than if you attend regular dance classes and dance every opportunity you get.
Relax and Have Fun!
A dance class should be fun and something you to which you look forward each week. Modern Jive is big on social… and because of it you’ll find learning to dance modern jive is less complicated than you might think.
Why not give Modern Jive a whirl? Why not join us and see what we’re all about? For a limited time you can get a complimentary full dance class at Jive Nation Toronto’s Thursday evening beginner modern jive class. You’ll have to hurry and grab i though, as the offer could be withdrawn at any time.
Find our more about Jive Nation Toronto Classes and Dance Workshops