How exciting that you decided to join a belly dance class! You may be feeling a little nervous, with all the new faces in class, but no worries. They probably feel the same way too.
Then there is the instructor. She (or he) walks in and you observe her. Does she seem friendly? Is she smiling? Does she seem strict? The questions go on and on, before she even has a chance to introduce herself. This is day one and already the first few minutes are an adventure!
First impressions are everything. You are the student, and the instructor is there to teach. Keep a straight face; donít look shy. When you have the opportunity to introduce yourself, make sure not to say your name in the question. For instance, donít say, ďhi, my name is Donna Smith?Ē. Believe it or not, some people do announce their own names in the question. Say it, ďhi, my name is Donna SmithĒ.
She will start you off with a stretch. If you stretched before the class, then good for you. However, if you havenít stretched out in a long time, donít comment on it. It is very annoying to hear someone comment on how long it has been since their last stretch. There are also some students who giggle while doing a difficult stretch. There is a time and place for laughter. Stretching is critical in preventing injury and getting you ready for a session.
Whatever move she decides to show you first, just remember to pay attention. If you try to get ahead of yourself, then you will never learn. A good instructor will show you the move, before breaking it down. As always, the instructor will do the move over and over. She will step aside and walk around to see how you are doing. When she breaks away, donít stop. Keep moving.
If you are having trouble, make sure to ask for guidance. Let her know how you understand the move by talking out loud as you do the move. Doing this will help the instructor know exactly where you have trouble. It maybe what you point out is a common problem with other dancers.
Remember to wait your turn when asking questions. It is overwhelming to the students and to the instructor to hear many voices at once. Should it get to this point, bring it up before the class. This is a valid concern that you have and should not be ignored. If no action is taken, then others will soon join in, thinking that it is alright to talk all at once.
Find others who can be your class buddy. Make small conversation after the class, gather phone numbers, and meet for coffee. Having a buddy is beneficial in that you help each other out.
What you learn in class, must be practiced at home. At the end of class, ask the instructor if she will provide the music and choreography. She may not have it right there at that moment, but she will appreciate that you asked her for it.