Dance studios are delighted to teach new dancers the basics–preparing them for more enjoyable social situations–during group classes or private lessons.
Depending on a dancer's goals, managers or instructors may also mention the benefits of participating in competitions and performances.
Some popular options include local, regional and national ballroom competitions; local team matches; and studio showcases. For this post, I'll focus on showcases, where students demonstrate what they have achieved with their instructors before a live audience of fellow dancers, teaching staff, friends, relatives and newcomers to the world of dance.
The Value of Performing
I believe performing should never be mandatory for dance students. The desire to perform should come from within; it's a personal voluntary decision. Yet performances can definitely help dancers, even those who just want to dance socially. Rewards include faster learning curves in classes, greater precision in steps, better timing for various tempos, and more confidence on any dance floor.
We know it's important to set goals or "milestones" for improvement in a sport. As noted in a previous post, dancing is very much a sport—even if it doesn't always feel like one. Knowing you expect to reach a certain level of skill by a certain date can boost concentration and focus. You absorb more during instruction, and you practice more efficiently.
One of the more relaxed, enjoyable performance environments for amateur dancers is a studio showcase. This can be a full day–or part of a day or evening–devoted to performances by students with their instructors.
Every level of skill is usually represented, from beginners to advanced veterans. An objective, highly trained judge (often an award-winning champion or renowned coach) observes the dancers. The judge notes what each student has successfully accomplished and what areas still need work. A detailed analysis is frequently done privately, with the student and instructor, after the showcase.
Showcases Serve as Studio "Previews"
Numerous local studios offer showcases at least once a year. If you have ever wondered what ballroom dancing is all about, this is a perfect way to find out. It's also an opportunity to see the wide range of people–all ages and cultures with various backgrounds–who love to master dance styles.
For example, at our studio showcases you can see groups of dancers in "heats"—dancing the same style (like Foxtrot) at different skill levels. "Solo" performances feature one instructor with one student at a time. "Formation teams" present synchronized choreographed routines. To cap off the day, professional instructors don costumes and use props for entertaining dance routines.
Our Mountain View Spring Showcase is on Saturday, Apr. 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I encourage you–especially if you're a non-dancer but curious about ballroom dancing–to drop by for a few hours or for the full Showcase. Studio staff will have more details: 650-864-9150.
Spectator admission for the entire day is quite reasonable, and your questions about what happens in a ballroom studio will be answered during a memorable visit. In fact, it could transform your life.
Hope to see you on the dance floor!
Cheryl Burke Dance Studios are located in two California locations: Mountain View and Laguna Niguel. For more information, see cherylburkedance.com and click on "Contact Us" or the studio Facebook pages.
© 2012, Cheryl Burke Dance, LLC. All rights reserved.