What is Your Learning Style in Dance Class?

elderly couple dancing

No matter how you learn, you’re never to old to learn to dance!

If you know how you learn, you’ll know what kind of dance teacher can teach you.  Some teachers do know about learning styles, but most teach the way they learn, so the easiest way to pick a teacher is to observe until you find one who teaches the way you learn.  If you know your learning style is unusual, don’t waste your time in group classes.  Find the best private teacher you can and explain how you learn.

Learning styles for dance

Most people are some combination of visual, audial, or kinesthetic.  Kinesthetic learners don’t get it until they do it, but most of them also are helped by something like counting (audio) and/or watching while they do it (visual).  This post was inspired by a student of mine who is 100% kinesthetic.  Counting does not help him remember to move his feet.  Watching me is equally unhelpful.  He just has to do each piece of the movement over and over again until his muscle memory kicks in and then he can put it all together.

Teaching an unusual dance student

One way to work with such a student is to dance with him, back leading the movement until he feels the timing and can do it on his own.  If your learning style is this unusual, you’ll be lost in a group class of any kind and unless you have an unusual amount of self esteem as well, you’ll probably feel inept or stupid.

The truth is anyone really can learn to dance, but it takes knowing how you learn (or finding a teacher who can figure it out for you), and finding a teacher who can work with you.  

The rewards of learning to dance anyway

Some people are more challenged than others. We all have areas in which we are naturals and areas that challenge us.  If you are drawn to learn a skill in an area that does not come naturally to you, know that it will take time and patience.  The rewards, however, are that you will open up parts of yourself you never knew existed and realize that you are more capable than you ever imagined.

And of course, you’ll also be dancing, which has it’s own fabulous rewards no matter how easy or challenging the path to that end.  Dancing is our birthright.  Don’t let anyone (including yourself)  tell you you can’t have it.

by LaurieAnn Lepoff

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