Did you know that Ballroom Dancing has a curve of learning? Just like any other style of dance or sport, it takes time to learn.
Today I want to share with you the four levels of learning that you will go through while learning how to dance ballroom.
If you are worried that you might be at different levels than your dance partner, have no fear, this is a good thing. I will explain a bit further in this post.
So what are these for stages or levels of learning you might ask? They are:
- Initial Learning
- Awkward Use
- Conscious Use
- Natural Use
Let’s break these down and give some examples.
In the initial learning stage, students are introduced to the step or skill but are still learning it.
Your dance teacher has been trained to work with you at any level. If you are just getting started, you will choose one or more styles of dance that you are interested in learning.
We teach a variety of dances from Salsa, Club Salsa, Bachata, Waltz, Foxtrot, Country Two-Step, Wedding Dances, Samba, and so much more.
Each student has a customized lesson plan to help them achieve what they want from dancing. It varies from weight loss to confidence, to competition.
With the initial learning stage, it is all about getting started.
Yup… it’s definitely awkward. Moving into the awkward use stage, students have increased awareness, but feel awkward and frequently experience difficulty.
This is a normal part of the learning curve. It’s almost a sigh of relief to know that this stage exists. No worries about getting it perfect.
This is the stage where you learn to laugh or discover how much of a perfectionist you really are.
In this stage, you continue to work with your dance teacher as you begin to build on what you are learning. From learning the step, to how to hold your partner (dance frame), to how you move your hips. Each is an opportunity to learn.
Transitioning into the conscious use stage, students are able to do the step or skill more efficiently and easily; however, even though the step may look good, it must still be thought through when performed.
It might look something like while doing the step you thinking…
“This is where that heel lead happens…”
“I’ve got to get ready, this is where I am turning her…”
“Argh! This doesn’t look or feel right… what am I missing…”
… and really the list and thoughts could go on. You know the step and now you might want to start refining it.
One of our students shared, “I knew my Foxtrot routine and I wanted to make it better. I wanted to do a little more with my arms, and maybe work on this one area in my routine that didn’t feel comfortable, like something was missing.”
It’s this linking of steps and patterns that you begin to develop in your dance the conscious use! Which then leads to…
Finally, as part of the natural use stage the step or skill students have is done with ease and is spontaneous, comfortable, and creative. This level is reached only after a period of time in which students continue to use and practice the steps and skills.
There is no time frame in which students reach this stage. For some, if they are only focused on one style of dance, say salsa, they might reach this level faster than someone who wants to learn 2 or more styles of dance.
Natural use might look like, a song comes on the radio, you grab your partner and off you go! Dancing without a care in the world. It becomes part of your life.
It’s natural to go through all of these stages as you learn to dance. Plus knowing that other go through it also, might give you peace of mind to step into our Arthur Murray studio and learn to ballroom dance. If you haven’t taken advantage of our New Student Offer, now is the time.
My Partner Is At A Different Stage
While it might come up that you and your partner are at different stages this might actually be a good thing. In dancing, we focus on the lead and following of each student.
It’s because of this focus of learning to lead or learning to follow that makes being at different stages become a pretty minor issue.
We recently did a blog post addressing this… “She is a Better Dancer Than Me…”
Recommend having a read. 🙂
If you found this helpful, leave a comment below. We love hearing from you.
~Your Arthur Murray Family