7 Tips for Beginning Your Ballroom Dancing Journey:
Jeremy Mainous
As you are embarking, or thinking about embarking, on your newly found journey of Ballroom Dancing, here are some tips that may help guide you through. If you have already started by taking that initial Introductory Dance Lesson, you have already taken the hardest step....walking through the doors of your local Arthur Murray Dance Center...the rest is FUN and easy!

1) You're Simply a Dancer in the Making - I know that right now you may feel like a tin man while dancing who really needs oil and maintenance, but I promise, this is NOT how you will always feel if you continue to stick with it! You're simply a dancer in the making!

Steps to Help You Along the Way - The only proven thing that really makes our product (the dancing) work is Muscle Memory! It's just like learning anything new... the more you practice, the better it starts to feel, so in the first few months of your dancing, come in to the Studio as OFTEN as possible. If you have a crazy busy schedule, than instead of doing a 45-minute lesson, make it 90-minutes or 180-minutes! Think about what you do for a living...if you only practiced that for 45-minutes once a week, how productive would you be at it?!? Dancing is the same way! 
2) Get Dance Shoes Before You Need Them - As with any great hobby, dance requires certain accessories to go along with it. Ballroom dance shoes are an important part of the dancing puzzle and make it much easier to move around the floor, also just having them on helps instill confidence in oneself!
Steps to Help You Along the Way - Think of this as learning how to play golf...eventually you will need to invest in not only your lessons, but your own set of clubs, balls and tees to make sure you can truly learn and appreciate every aspect of the game. This is what dance shoes are to Ballroom. Once you have your dance shoes, you will start to feel like a real player in the game!
3) Keep a Written or Video Dance Journal - As you are starting on your path to the awesomeness of dancing, be sure to keep a written or video journal regarding your lessons and what you learned that day. It's not something that you need to read or watch everyday, but it is something that you can refer back to when the time is needed.

Steps to Help You Along the Way - After every lesson, either write down or record, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, what you worked on that day. Don't worry too much about what the pattern was called, in fact, it's more fun and you will remember it better if you create your own names for those, but more importantly, write down what it was that you worked on inside of the pattern. Maybe it was anew leading tip or work on your frame, those are the important things that you want to take away from each lesson.
4) Always, Always, Always Remember the Curve of Learning - Are you aware the studies show that dancing through a 45-minute lesson will help you burn anywhere from 250-320 calories. That's the same as jogging, but this way you get the benefit of being able to carry on a conversation doing so and not sweating like a mad man.

Ballroom dancing is exercise that incorporates the whole body...it will give you cardio, strengthen your core, work your back, arms and leg muscles, increases your flexibility, teaches you how to isolate muscle groups and the greatest part is that while you are doing all of this, you are also having FUN!

5) Read and Use Your Syllabus -Read and Use Your Syllabus - There is no better dancing syllabus than the Arthur Murray Dance Centers Syllabus! For 104 years, this syllabus has been proven time and time again to be the easiest and most effective way to learn how to dance in the shortest amount of time. At the end of your lessons, go over what you have accomplished with your Instructor, and see, on paper, the amazing progress that you are making!

Steps to Help You Along the Way - Your Instructor will keep detailed notes, not only by using the syllabus, but also in your Lesson Blocks. Look through these before you start your dance lesson each and every time and remind yourself of what you were working on in the prior lesson. This way you can get more out of the lesson while you're there and spend less time reviewing on that lesson what you did on the previous.
6) Use Your Group Classes and Practice Parties -Although we all believe and know that the Personal Lessons are the most important lessons in your dancing journey, let's not be too hasty to forget the Group Classes and Practice Parties that are available to you. The Group Classes and Practice Parties are extremely beneficial, and if you use them, you will become that confident established dancer you dream of becoming.

Steps to Help You Along the Way - Think of your triad of dance classes as the Trinity of Opportunity which will lead to the Trinity of Greatness. Your Personal Lessons are like your one on one time with your basketball coach, practicing your jump shot, free throws and three-pointers. This is where you learn the most technical of skills. Your Group Classes are like a scrimmage game where you are getting time to really solidify what the coach has been telling you. It's your opportunity to put these skills into Muscle Memory. Finally, your Practice Parties are like the final game in the hometown tournament. This is where you learn how to make sure you can really apply all the things you have learned and you are able to perform under the "pressure" of others around you.
7) Experience as Many Different Dances as You Can - We understand in the beginning it seems so overwhelming to learn more than a couple of dances at the time. We have heard 100 times that you don't want to keep adding new dance styles until you have mastered a couple first. This is a terrible idea! Why, you may ask...well, there are many answers to that question. First, the Arthur Murray Syllabus was created with this great thing that we call Interrelation. Interrelation means that you can learn the same pattern for multiple different dances, saving you a lot of stress of remembering 1,000 different patterns. Secondly, you don't want to be asked by Mr. (or Mrs.) Right to dance the WRONG dance with you simply because you didn't take the time to learn it. That would be a tragedy.
Steps to Help You Along the Way - As your Instructor introduces you to the simple Box Step, let them explain to you, and show you, how many different dances that Box Step can be applied to. Same thing for patterns like Crossovers, Fifth Positions, Promenade, Simple Walking Steps, Underarm Turns, etc...You will have a plethora of dance patterns in a plethora of dances making you the most popular dancer on the dance floor! You will never have to say "NO" to a dance invitation simply because you didn't know that dance!

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