Class Descriptions

Group Class or Private Lessons

What are dance classes like? What does it mean when I read the words "group class" or "private lesson?" 

If only one or two students show up for a group class, it basically becomes a private lesson, but group classes are usually 4, 12, or even 50 or more people. The dance to be taught is usually pre-selected by the instructor, as are the particular steps in that dance to be taught on a particular schedule. The instructor teaches all the students at the same time. Leads and follows are often moved to opposite sides of the room and taught their parts separately. The instructor will usually demonstrate a particular movement, sometimes using a student or another instructor as partner, and talk through each foot and body movement. General "technique" subjects (frame, hold, head positions, footwork, etc) may be presented briefly. At some point, leads and follows are "partnered up" to practice together. Students are periodically asked to switch partners during practice, but no one is required to do so. Questions are encouraged and answers are presented to the entire group, but one-on-one interactions with the instructor is usually not allowed to slow down the pace of the class. Instructors may, or may not, dance with students. Partners that perform a particular movement well may be asked to demonstrate for the entire class, but are never required to do so. 

Private lessons consist of an instructor and one or two students. There may, or may not, be other private or group lessons going on in the same room at the same time. The dance is chosen by the student(s) and particular steps are chosen by the instructor to fit the student's level of ability. Questions are encouraged. The instructor will gear the instruction directly to the needs and abilities of the students. The instructor often dances with each student, taking the opposite role (leader or follower) as appropriate. The pace of the lesson is personalized to the students. More "technique" issues are presented, in greater detail than is possible in a group class.