Dancing requires confidence but did you know dancing builds your confidence on and off the dance floor?
Want to gain confidence, make new friends, find that new relationship or perhaps improve your social life? You can achieve all these and much more by taking regular dance lessons. Learning to dance gives you more confidence, builds your skills and can open a completely new social circle for you without the pressure of contrived speed dating or the discomfort of blind dates.
It’s well known that dancers are more confident, walk taller and are more aware of their bodies than non-dancers. They pay attention to their fitness and they tend to eat healthier foods. After a few dance lessons, even though you may just be starting to master the basics you will feel your confidence growing as you see your progress. It goes without saying that a good dose of encouragement helps too, because it often you are making progress, even when it may not feel like it.
Social partner dancing, (for example salsa, ballroom, swing and modern jive) has many benefits one of which is building your confidence as a dancer. Forget dancing alone at a club, where, if you’re not already an excellent dancer you may feel clumsy even if you love dancing. Why not learn to partner dance to your favourite club sounds instead?
Partner dancing without a partner?
One of the great things about a modern jive dance class is that you don’t need to have a partner to attend and enjoy them. For singles, going to a dance class alone is the first of many big steps. You’re quite not sure what to expect or even if you’re doing the right thing. You’re worried everyone is going to be better than you are and that you’ll stand out. You may even be worried that everyone will be partnered up except you. So attending your first dance class in spite of your fears is a huge step towards building confidence. You’ve proved to yourself that “You can do it.”
Set some goals for your dancing
May people take dance lessons to increase confidence and one of the best ways you can start off is to set 2 – 3 dance goals. Dancing requires some commitment so think about what you want to achieve and tick off your goals when you reach them. You get a huge confidence boost just by doing this.
If your goal is to get out of the house more and meet new people make this your goal rather than “finding a date.” Go to learn something new and simply be open to making new friends and learning to be a great dancer.You will be amazed at how many people you will meet at each modern jive dance class, and even if you don’t meet a special someone, you will have plenty of fun sharing a common love of dancing.
You’ll never dance alone at a modern jive dance class
If not a partner to go dancing with is a worry this is great news for you. I went to my first-ever modern jive dance evening on my own and never looked back. Because everyone is rotated during the lesson you are guaranteed to meet and dance with anywhere from 7-10 different people every week, so if you’ve come to class alone you’ll never feel left out. Everyone gets to dance with everyone else, regardless of whether or not they’ve come with a partner. This helps your dancing and makes for the great social atmosphere in the class. The more people you dance with the better you become at dancing and the faster your confidence grows.
What if I make mistakes?
One of the biggest concerns of beginner dancers is that everyone is watching them and noting their mistakes. After all, dancing in front of people we don’t know puts the spotlight on us.
Good news! People are usually not watching beginners. They are usually watching the better dancers for tips to improve their own dancing. They understand making mistakes is part and parcel of learning to dance and are far more likely to congratulate you for your efforts. They’ve been where you are. So relax and have fun.
Take every opportunity to dance
All modern jive dance classes begin with a beginner lesson, followed by a “freestyle” session, followed by an Intermediate session, then more freestyle dancing. In modern jive “freestyle” is simply another word for practice and it’s a big part of the evening. Doing the dance lesson alone isn’t enough. To build your dancing confidence dance in the freestyle practice session every week, particularly if you are a beginner. Because everyone dances with everyone else in the freestyle, you will dance with different people every week and as you do so you’ll find you become more and more confident both in yourself and your abilities.
Ask others to dance
Beginner dancers tend to look at the better dancers and think two things.
1. that one will ask them to dance because they’re new and 2. that they couldn’t possibly ask anyone to dance
Being confident enough to ask people to dance (whether you’re a lady or a guy) is a big part of modern jive dance evenings. Ladies ask guys to dance as often as guys ask the ladies, unlike what you might find in clubs and even some more formal dances classes.
At a modern jive you will find that beginners are encouraged to ask the better dancers to dance with them. It is one of the fastest ways to learn. So, make asking someone to dance one of your goals. You will feel your confidence grow over time.
What if I ask and they say no?
At a modern jive dance class “Would you like to dance?” is generally answered with a “Yes, I’d love to,” 99% of the time.
Of course, if someone is just finishing a dance or taking a short break, catching their breath after several dances, sitting or sitting out a song they may suggest the next dance instead. However unlike in a club where a lady would rarely ask for a dance, or a guy might wonder if asking for a dance means public ridicule or might be taken the wrong way, asking for a dance at modern jive is the norm whichever gender does it. Ladies, if you want a dance, just ask for one.
If you’re a beginner and you’ve plucked up courage to ask even two people to dance each week (chances are they will ask you anyway) congratulate yourself, because you have set the stage for great progress which in turn builds your confidence. And with new people joining each week you will not be a beginner for long and can do the same for others.
Dancing is one of the best ways to build your confidence in any area of your life. So:
Take the first step – go to a dance class, try a modern jive class among other Set 2-3 goals and ask a teacher to help you achieve them.
Be prepared to laugh at your mistakes as well as learn from them Make dancing in the freestyle at modern jive your top goal each week.
Ask others to dance in the freestyle – even if you’ve just started. Just say you’d like to practice the moves.
Commit and be patient with yourself.
Whether it’s a salsa class, swing lessons, ballroom or a modern jive dance lesson you will get from them what you put in. With time, a great teacher, encouragement, a sense of humour, and practice you’ll find dancing will work wonders for your confidence.