Whether it’s to get fit, to learn new skills, or to meet new friends, we believe it’s every student’s intention to take away as much as they can from their classes. In this week’s post, the teachers at Azúcar! came up with a few ways you can effectively use your class time, and fast-track yourself to dance superstardom!
- Come to class early
Getting to class ahead of time gives you time to get into your dance shoes and ensures class can start on time. But at Azúcar!, it’s more than that. Our teachers are often in class 20-30 minutes before start time, so coming early gives you a chance to warm up, review, practice and ask questions!
- Come to class regularly
It should go without saying that coming to class is essential to learning the class material. Our classes and rates are designed to fit into your schedule and allow maximum flexibility to come to the classes you are interested in, so you don’t need to worry about “skipping” class when life happens. That being said, missing classes on an ongoing basis can have you miss out on important instruction, and slows your progress overall.
- Ask questions
To get the most out of every class, don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure you understand and properly apply what is being taught. Everyone learns differently, and knowing what you’re having trouble with or wondering about helps us tailor our classes to your learning style.
- Practice, practice, practice
Whether you’re dancing, skating, painting or playing an instrument, improvement only comes with practice. Dancing relies on muscle memory, and muscle memory is built through repetition. It’s easy for your muscles to “forget” a move if you only practice it in class once a week, but even a few minutes of practice per day helps you retain what you learned in class. We’ve been known to practice at home, at work, in slow elevators, in line at the bank, and even on the bus (not recommended). We also offer free studio socials on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, to help you retain what you learn in class.
- Listen to salsa music
Dancing is movement to rhythm; being familiar with the rhythm of salsa music will greatly help you dance to it, so stock up your music library with salsa music and rock those tunes! If you’re stuck for where to find salsa music, you can start by checking out some of the following artists on YouTube: Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Hector Lavoe, La 33, Marc Anthony. Also, be sure to check out the Music feature on this blog to discover new artists.
- Keep in touch with your teachers
All our teachers are happy to keep in touch with you outside of class. Your teachers’ contact information is available on our web site, and they would love to hear from you, whether you have questions, suggestions, want a private class or need a wingman for your next salsa outing.
- Make friends with your classmates
In our classes, we switch partners every few minutes, so you’ll have a chance to get to know your classmates and make new friends. Not only is this good for your dance development (getting used to different leaders/followers), it also makes going out less intimidating when you have a group of friends to fall back on.
- Go to salsa parties as often as you can
Salsa is a social dance, and our goal is to get you dancing socially as soon as possible. Classes are great for learning new moves (we should know!), but to really test and hone the moves you learn, nothing can replace true social dancing. And don’t be shy – if you see us out, ask us for a dance!
- Dance with as many people as you can
Just as switching partners in class makes us better leaders and followers, dancing with people from different schools and different levels of skill helps us grow as social dancers. We know first hand that dancing with someone more advanced can be intimidating, but we also know that all of us started out thinking we had 2 left feet. Most advanced dancers in Ottawa will gladly dance with beginners, so give it a try!
- Fill this spot!
As we’ve already said, everyone learns differently and everyone finds different resources useful in helping them progress. We want to hear from you – what’s been the most helpful dance resource for you? What has helped you make the most out of your classes and take your moves to the next level? Let us know in the comments!