I just got through my first lessons that I purchased as a special during Valentine's Day from A.M. I do not have a partner, and so far I have been loving it up. All of the instructors have been fantastic. Now, with my first real purchase of several lessons, I went into the beginner's practice after the private lesson, and was in the room with only "students that have been taught there for 2 or more years. I felt inadequate. And one of the three instructors just let me go around and be clumsy .( who isn't at this point)( She was a 10 with the others) Today, the day after, I have this depression starting to overwhelm me. Is this normal, and is there any tricks to overcome it. I want to dance and be good at it.
Any feedback will be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance, Me.
You'll get better fast by being around those who know a lot more than you do. You wouldn't gain anything by being in a practice session in which you knew more than anyone else somehow. You always get better by watching others -- and then asking a lot of questions. You'll be fine. I am becoming rather surprised at the posts by beginners who seem to be expecting miracles. This art/sport takes a long, long time to learn and then just about as long to get halfway decent at it, and then a lot more time to get really good. But it's a fun road, no matter how far you travel it.
I can't say I understand the particulars of your situation...but generally let me respond.
It is normal to hit that cold bitter wall the first time you come across other students that you don't know. Try not to gauge your progress against theirs. You don't really know how long they've been dancing. (By the way why are they keeping groups of students isolated from each other? You should all be spending time using the same dance floor, together.)
I remember feelings of misery and anguish when I jumped out of my chain and hit the floor of my first real dance studio. I had been dancing for years and I felt so lost and so inadequate and hopeless. It passes. You get better and you'll be better than some and not as good as others and even the best of the competing pros don't always win. There will always be somebody out there who is better than you, and thank goodness there is always by default someone who is worse. Gauge your progress only by the changes you make, the improvements you feel in what you can do. Only you know if you are pushing yourself to your limits.
That being said...not everyone dances well together so don't let the instructors dancing with you clumsily bother you as far as your own skill. Now to her skill...I would be concerned. Honestly many chain instructors aren't much more advanced than the students they are teaching. She may just not be as good as you think. You sound like you haven't had exposure to a lot of other professional dancers.
If I had a penny for every "prodigy" ballroom dancer who was brilliant within two months and then you find out they've had 10+ years of ballet...so don't buy into the head games.
"And one of the three instructors just let me go around and be clumsy ."
Since it was a practice party, she was not there to instruct. She was letting you get the feel of dancing with a partner. You have to learn to lead. She probably could have back led you through dance but then you wouldn't learn anything. There are no 'tricks' or shortcuts in dancing. You need to learn your steps so that they are automatic, muscle memory takes time. Frame is very important, keep your head up, your arms up and your elbows in front. Then you have to learn to hear the '1' in the music so you know when to start. It's a great deal in the beginning and can be overwhelming. Practice is the only way to improve. Don't get discouraged.
The key feeling that you have expressed is loneliness, something that all of us who began by ourselves have experienced.
Start looking for a partner NOW. Do not put off doing so. When you discuss partnership with someone, be very straightforward about your expectations, your experience, and your financial situation.
Ladydance is correct that practice is very important. While practicing by yourself is necessary, so is working with another amateur.
A couple of tips may help. First, don't depend on the dance-partner websites, especially the ones that charge a fee. Second, don't expect your studio to help you find one; chances are that they don't want you to have a partner and will try to convince you that you're better off without one. Also, don't let them tell you that you're not ready for one yet.
I need to make it clear that I mean a DANCE partner and not an object of romance. If a personal relationship happens, fine, but the lack of a gleam in the eyes shouldn't keep two students from dancing together.
It is very important that you do NOT let yourself "become enamored" of your instructor, a nearly universal pitfall for beginners. This person's primary obligation is to make money for the studio. Don't ever forget that fact.
I have to second Belle's concern about your instructor, who doesn't sound the least bit professional. It also bothers me that the more experienced students have not been more encouraging and supportive.
You've signed a contract so go ahead and complete it while you look for a partner (I bought out of my first contract). Just remember, as terence likes to point out, ballroom dance instruction is a business and you are the customer. You may not always be right but you're never wrong and there are other studios.
Best wishes and remember that we're always here to help.
As another guy in ballroom, stick with it! Good things will come.
First, don't depend on the dance-partner websites, especially the ones that charge a fee.
This is true. Just as most women on Match are looking for a rich attractive guy, women on the paying sites are looking for a partner, er, free teacher. They are dirtbags. Good for pros, bad for amateurs.
I need to make it clear that I mean a DANCE partner and not an object of romance.
Pretty much this for the early stages. However, as a guy, if you advance and want to travel & compete, girlfriend & dance partner better be one in the same. I've lost a few potential girlfriends while in the mid-stages due to cro-magnon minds.
It is very important that you do NOT let yourself "become enamored" of your instructor, a nearly universal pitfall for beginners.
This is serious, and is a very dirty aspect of how studios try to keep guys. If you sense that your instructor is playing the filthy strip club girl card instead of that of a teacher, get out of there. Too many of them try that in my area. Go find an instructor who has more of a "best friend" personality for beginner levels - it's much more rewarding. Oh yeah, and you have a new best friend to add to the bunch.
Your dancing will come in cycles. I am still a beginner. And sometimes I feel I will always be a beginner. But I think we are both to hard on ourselves. Its a wonderfull feeling when you practice a move or teqniche for weeks or months and finally get it right. I have often thought of quitting. Dancing is not easy to learn. But when I looked at what my other interest would be, I kept coming back to dance.
Do not get all over yourself about being in a room with dancers or rather people learning how to dance - who know more or practice more than you. That's how everyone starts out. Bell makes excellent points. You've purchased your lessons and I'm assuming it is an AM studio. Some of the instructors (having been at several of these franchise studios before I left) sometimes you will be dancing with "instructors in training" as they were called. Suggestion, practice at home, go to the socials, and group parties where you can dance with other students, learn to forgive yourself, remember dance is a process and there is progress on many fronts even if you don't feel your where you want to be. When you can decide what it is you want out of dancing goals for yourself you might find yourself looking for an independent instructor or a studio that is not a franchise chain. I'm saying "might" I'm not saying you will. In the meantime, play some music, practice practice practice and smile - it will make all the difference in the world.
For all of you that responded to my first message, I want to thank you for putting my head on straight. I willnot and stop being enamored by the instructors. Understanding what you all said. As for that one instructor, I understand the position she was in to let me practice my lead, even though I enjoyed my private instuctor back leads me. As for the practice session goes the calander says "new beginner practice"- when else can those who have put in years get a chance to practise.The studio doesn't have 1 year level practice and so forth. I will take those sessions as they come and question as much as I can. As for the beginner feeling, know that at a studio I will always be the beginner based on my time spent. I will curtail my private instruction to where I feel I can use the lessons learned, and not to take those dances that the instructor thinks I would be good at. I may never have the opportunity to use that skill, so why spend the time and money. I am so glad to hear from all of you and your input on the different phases that I'm going thru. Thanks for the support, and don't ever stop. We who need questions asked and get responses back are very greatful for a site like this one. Your all the best. Mark
I feel your pain! I don't have a partner either. I started to go to social dances a little bit less than two years ago and without having any formal instruction. Now I am taking classes here and there. It is just overwhelming! For some dances I am still a beginner (smooth), but for some others I am intermediate (Latin). I had to deal with a couple of jerks that let me standing on the floor because I was unable to follow their fancy moves. I still have to put up with others that "supposedly" dance well, but all they do is jerk me around, even after I tell them that I am a beginner! There are also a lot of pros that are willing to help you! Don't give up, the best way to learn is going out and dance. Practice, practice, and practice. It doesn't matter if you make mistakes on the dance floor, just stop and start again! Don't let anybody scare you away. Keep dancing; it is not easy but it is worth it!
It's downright rude for someone to leave you standing there because you don't know what they are trying to lead! If someone wants to act like an ass on the dance floor, don't dance with them. To do otherwise may just enable their poor behavior. It's OK to say no to the ill-mannered.
Ditto. Posted by jofjonesboro 9/23/2010 1:37:00 PM
I want to second what silver posted about rude partners.
I also want to point out that such behavior usually indicates that the guy is not a very good dancer but has been told that he is by an incompetent instructor.
If saying 'no' to such a jerk seems inadequate, we'll be happy to provide you with more "effective" responses.