The first day of dance is an important day . Whether you are 3 or 43, this moment is often met with a juxtaposition of excitement, anxiety, curiosity, and fear. There are many questions that just can't be answered until you walk into the dance space with your teacher and peers for the first time, and we hope to help you transition more smoothly into your new classes.
You might ask: Did I choose the correct class? Will I like my teacher? Will my teacher like me? Do I have the correct shoes, tights, leotard? Will I be able to perform the movement correctly? Will my friends be in class? Who else is in my class? Will I be the oldest/ youngest/ tallest/ shortest/
thinnest/ largest/ smartest/ slowest person in the class? What is this style of dance like?
Don't worry. You'll be fine, and your peers have similar concerns too.
We've compiled a short list of things you, and your peers, can do to help you better prepare and feel great about your first day of class:
1. Do Your Homework: Many dance studios and schools have information online or in printed form that can help you prepare. Look for dress code and class description information that will give you background regarding your selected classes.
2. Do Some Research: While each dance school is unique, there are norms in the dance world that can be observed across most classes. If you're taking a ballet class, watch a few YouTube clips of a ballet class to witness class etiquette. If you don't know what Hip Hop dance wear is, Google images of Hip Hop dance wear. Can't figure out how to make a bun? Ask a seasoned dance friend or find a video online and practice in advance.
3. Have a Dedicated Dance Bag and Pack it the Night Before: This is a simple tip that can save much panic and stress. When you buy or decide which bag will hold your dance clothes, keep them there at all times. This reduces the risk of lost shoes and tights (a common occurence), and having a dance bag makes it easier to grab your things and go (especially during quick morning or afternoon transitions).
4. Arrive Dressed: When possible, dress at home and wear cover-ups over your dancewear to the studio. Some studios have changing rooms but not all of them do, so you'll ensure you're ready on time by dressing at home. In the event that you must dress at the studio, plan to dress quickly and be sure you have all of your appropriate dancewear (See #3).
5. Arrive Early: Plan to arrive 10 minutes early to your first class. This will give you a buffer in cases of traffic delays. It will also give you time to use the restroom, adjust to the new space, put on your dance shoes and be ready by the start of class.
6. Be Ready: Quietly wait outside your classroom door for your teacher to welcome you in. It is disruptive to walk into class late, so always be ready to start when the teacher begins the class--this includes hair, dress, and punctuality.
7. Be Attentive: There are many things to think about during class, so be sure to focus on class related things only to get the most out of your class. You'll want to watch, listen, and feel the instructions given by the teacher. Be aware of your peers and your usage of space. Listen to the music for rhythm, tempo, and accents that will inform your movement. Be aware of your face and body language.
8. Have Fun! If you prepare, open your mind to new possibilities, and try your best, you're sure to have an excellent first day of class.