Private Classes – How to make the most of your private lessons

Last week, we talked about when we recommend private classes. We know one-on-one instruction is a big commitment, so below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your private class time.

  1. Set a goal for your private lessons
    The beauty of a private class is that it is custom-made just for you. In group classes, teachers structure the class to give the most benefit to the group, but private lessons are your chance to set the curriculum. So before each private class, make sure you know what you want to get out of it: is it to review a shine or pattern taught in class? To improve your styling? To learn a new shine? To work on your spin technique?
  2. Make your class time count
    A typical private class can cost between $60 and $120/hour, so you want to make the most of this time. You can do this by coming to the studio early, being fully prepared at the start of class (in dance shoes, warm-up done), and avoiding distractions during class (turn off your cell phone). Make sure to also give yourself time to change after class, so you don’t have to cut the class short to run to your next appointment.
  3. Communicate with your teacher
    Trained dance instructors are very perceptive people – it’s what makes us good at pinpointing where our students are struggling or why a certain pattern just doesn’t seem to work. But mind readers, we are not, so we need to hear from you!

    1. Before class: when you contact a teacher about arranging a private class, tell him/her what your goal is for that class, and what you’d like to work on. Knowing this in advance helps your teacher prepare for the class and lets them put more thought and research into the topic than if they only find out what they’re doing at the start of class.
    2. During class: private lessons are as interactive as dance classes can get, and rely on good communication to run smoothly. Don’t be shy to ask questions, practice as much as you need to, and give your teacher as much feedback as you can on what works and what doesn’t. Different people have different learning styles, and this feedback helps your teacher understand yours.
    3. After class: don’t hesitate to keep in touch. Follow-up questions, feedback on how you found the class, or just a note to say thanks, are always appreciated.
  4. Practice, practice, practice
    Private classes often pack a lot of information into just one hour. The key to retaining that information is to practice it often. Written notes or a video of what you’ve learned can be excellent reference material, but nothing takes the place of repetition and practice to commit a move to muscle memory.
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