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It is never too late for your first dance class



I've got a feeling...

Are you familiar with the unique feeling of a subconscious distraction, an overwhelming sensation of being called to try something that you've wanted to do for a long time? You maybe find yourself drawn to dancing the minute you hear the first strains of music. It might be  a result of attending programs and performances at festivals and theaters. It might be the latest Beyoncé videoclip. It does not matter where your inspiration comes from. You know you want to dance. You know you want to learn how to dance. It's like an impelling siren's call. Attractive but potentially dangerous.

Getting to the first dance class for many adults is similar to the fear of an impending college exam. But you should not worry too much, teachers are there not to judge you but to facilitate your learning process. They know you are there to learn. Moreover instructors are highly trained in beginner, intermediate and adult instruction in ballet, tap dance, modern dance, jazz dance and hip hop with syllabi (curricula) specifically designed for each level of instruction. 

One thing is certain: Your age or beginners level should not stop you from trying. There are many places in the Netherlands which offer dance courses for adults on various levels of experience. Rotterdam is a great city to find many creative and educational programs for adults. At Artship, for example you can choose one or more types of dance as your interest and indulgences allow.

However, it makes sense to look toward a wider picture of where to enjoy your first dance class. Versatility in the lessons you choose is important as well as a trained staff and curriculum. Let's look at few basic things that can help you to make the right decision.  


Why Dancing Classes?

There is more to dancing classes than learning and education. When the human body reacts instinctively to the sound of music, there is a mental thirst for satisfaction that comes only from coordinating rhythm and movement with music. Even if there has been no formal exposure to dancing movements, students feel a sense of freedom through learning proper movement. If your job is relatively sedentary, dancing is ideal to energize the body for better health. The best part of dancing classes from a social viewpoint is meeting and making new friends who are beginners when you are. There is no need to feel peer pressure or lack of dancing skills. 

Read more on Why it's awesome to dance together and 7 reasons why taking class makes you more creative.


Which style?

There is of course a variety of dance styles you can choose from. Let's look at some most popular styles, which you can also join trough Artship. 

  • Classical dance (ballet) requires early understanding of balance and timing coordinated with rhythmic music. It is characterised by technical precision, gracefulness as well as long and elegant lines. Ballet is often seen as a good basis for other dance techniques. Read more about it in the blog post : Five life lessons you learn in ballet class
  • Modern dance has originated as the opposition to the classical ballet technique. However, many techniques combine elements of both genres. Modern dance characterises the deliberate use of gravity, body weight, and translating emotions into the movements. 

With classical and modern dancing, there is more of a demand on interpolation of drama with movement coordinated to music. If these are studies of interest, the first classes where fundamental syllabus is taught need to be understood and mastered to achieve the maximum range of execution and performance. 

  • Jazz dancing is based mainly on classical movement set to various contemporary music. It is a particularly popular style of dancing in Amsterdam where it flourishes in adult dance collectives and theaters. 
  • In the case of tap dancing, there is also a bit of mathematical coordination once tap steps are correctly executed. What is interesting to point out is that tap dancing has its origins in the Netherlands. More recently, the Dutch invented Hakken, mainly performed in Rotterdam in the Hardcore techno and Gabber club scenes of the 1990s. This shows the Dutch initiative toward creative dancing that is easy for adults to learn. 
  • Hip hop style comes from street dance culture and is closely associated with hip hop music. It includes several movement styles, from which the most popular are: breaking, locking and popping. Nowadays we can see hip hop not only on MTV channels but also in theatres. 


How to Prepare for Your First Dance Class?

After choosing the dance style and a relevant class, make sure you wear appropriate clothes and footwear. Students need certain types of   attire and footwear for their first class. This is a matter of comfort as much as for safety during the course of instruction. Discuss this with teachers when you attend your first class. In most cases however, socks are sufficient for ballet, modern and jazz classes. You will need sneakers for hip hop and tap-shoes are a necessity for adults during a tap class.

No matter which type of instruction you choose, your dance school education begins the moment a teacher enters the studio. For instance, should you choose adult ballet lessons, the class begins with the basic positions of the arms, hands, head and feet. This is so that as you begin lessons at the barre, you understand what "turn out" means and how it applies to all of the steps you will perform as your lessons and instructions advance. In effect, you are learning the basics of kinesiology as it relates to body movement. It is important to note that jazz and modern instruction are more free form than classical movement styles. The first lesson in tap dancing is always interesting because it is so evolutionary. From the moment, you tap your toe to the execution of a complete set of tap steps, you realize there is a kind of inherent coordination to the music. 


Which school to choose and why Artship makes it easier?

Choosing the best dance school and dance studio can be a challenge. Especially in the beginning. The choice should be based on the reputation of the teacher. Take the time to review these features before your first class begins. Becoming part of Artship can make your choices easier. 

Artship takes great pride in their ability to expose all of their students to cultural arts in a broad range of studies. Artship educators enjoy a sense of accomplishment when adult students achieve their goals from the very first dance class. Well trained instructors and administrators share their personal passion for their art with adult students. This depth of passion for their art results in adult students who feel inspired to continue to learn and grow with each new class. By keeping classes to manageable sizes, the talents of the individual adult student are highlighted. Artship aims for:

  • Ability to inspire students to advance
  • State-of-the-art instruction
  • Studios fully furnished with equipment for all types of classes
  • Goal setting for individual students as well as classes of students.

Artship contributes to the preservation of cultural arts by providing adults with exposure to the finesse that accompanies artistic expression. When you register with Artship for classes, you realize you are in the hub of artistic culture.


So...Let's dance!

There is a great sense of fulfillment for adults who choose dancing as a new interest. It opens a world of creativity that may have lain dormant since childhood. The benefits of dancing education for adults is seen in better health, a wider scope of cultural arts for enjoyment and the opportunity to study with passionate, inspiring instructors who teach adults they can master dancing no matter what their ages may be. So, choose the dance style you would like to try, sign up and we see you on a dance floor.

Check out our courses and sign up for the newsletter below, if you would like to stay up to date with new blog posts. 



1. Jazz in the Netherlands 1919-2012 


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