If you are like most people, at some point in your life you’ve probably wished you could dance just for the fun and creativity of it. If you’re a guy you love the thought of confidently moving across the floor, and leading a partner in an enjoyable dance. Or perhaps you’ve dreamed of looking cool on the dance floor, and having your friends and onlookers watch with admiration as you effortlessly dance to classic songs and dance club favourites with equal ease.

You may have watched others partner dancing at a party, club or social event and thought “I wish I could dance like that.” If you’re a lady you may love the thought of having a great lead on the dance floor and that it would be nice to partner dance rather than dancing alone – again.

For some the new year was the perfect opportunity to put some dancetokyotama substance behind those dreams and they did. But for many others, particularly the guys, too often the dream takes a back-seat to thoughts like this:

I can’t dance
I have two left feet
No way I am getting on the floor
I’d look ridiculous on the dance floor
I’d make so many mistakes
I can’t dance to a beat
I look dorky on the dance floor
I couldn’t possibly learn to dance like that
And so on.

The great news

The great news is that today there are more ways than ever to learn to dance. You can take formal group lessons which teach you to dance over time. You can take private dance lessons and get one on one instruction, pricier but very effective. You can even check out dance moves online with video. As well as dancing being a great way to keep fit and maintain good health it’s also an excellent goal to set for yourself. Don’t be surprised to find that you can in fact dance and in a shorter time than you might imagine.

One of the best things you can do as a new dancer is take a beginners workshop. You can find dance workshops for all levels of ability. Are you totally new to partner dancing or social dancing? Then a modern jive beginner workshop is well worth consideration. In just 4 hours you could significantly change your life.

What’s Modern Jive?

Modern Jive is one of the easiest partner dance forms to learn. It draws from many dance forms, including salsa, ballroom, swing and merengue and is less formal which makes it a great introduction to partner dancing for beginners. While newer to Canada, modern jive has a big following in England, Australia, New Zealand and France, where it’s been popular since the late 1980s. While learning any new skill takes some time, the way modern jive classes are taught means men and women can be dancing quite competently on a dance floor anywhere social within 6 months and sometimes in as little time as 6-8 weeks.

A modern jive beginners workshop is an intensive small group workshop focusing on men and women who’d like to learn to dance and who may have never danced before. Compared to many other dances modern jive takes much less time to learn because, unlike many formal dances such as ballroom or salsa the focus is less on where to put your feet and more on learning some basic beginner moves and the upper body.

Why take a Beginner dance workshop if you can learn to dance over time?

Here are 7 reasons why taking a beginner dance workshop is worth considering

1. A beginner workshop actually shortens your dancing learning curve

You start building your dance foundation earlier. You spend less time worrying about some of the basics in class and can instead take advantage of your leap forward. You can focus on actually dancing much sooner and this increases your enjoyment, which in turn increases your confidence.

2. A workshop is a completely different dynamic to a formal evening dance class

A modern jive beginner workshop is a small group, intensive session. This means you tend to receive more attention from the instructor than you would a weekly group class which typically has many more people.

3. Because the workshop focuses on beginner dancers you’ll learn the foundational beginner dance moves

Repetition, practice and linking individual moves are central to a workshop and essential for building up confidence and dance skill. While it’s nice to see dancers execute flashy performance moves, beginners are sometimes discouraged if that’s all they see. In some cases it can actually make beginners think dancing is an impossible goal. It’s unrealistic to go from zero to expert in a short time, however it is entirely achievable to learn to partner dance socially in just a few weeks or even hours. Remember that every single dancer practices and improves over time, and great dancers take regular workshops themselves to perfect their dancing. The better they are the more mistakes they’ve made and learned from and the more they’ve practiced.

4. Everyone at a modern jive beginner workshop is there to learn something

As dancers, we are always learning. As with anything in life there is always a better dancer than you, which is good because you can learn from them. When it comes to dancing, making mistakes is the way to learn, so in a workshop you will find that you’re encouraged to laugh and your mistakes and move on.

5. Want to work on some specifics?

As a beginner dancer you may wish to work on a particular aspect of your dancing, improve your spins (if you’re a lady) or learn how to lead (if you’re a guy). Guys, perhaps you’d like learn how to transition confidently from one move to the other or you’ve seen a new move that you’d really like to learn. Whatever you want to learn or improve upon a beginners workshop is an excellent way to achieve your goals in a few hours with a group of like-minded people.

6. It’s fun!

All modern jive evening dance classes focus on having fun while you’re learning – the workshops are designed with fun in mind. And from learning to dance with different people, developing new friendships to dancing at regular social events, the social aspect is an integral part of the modern jive experience. So bring your sense of humour to a workshop and be prepared to have a great time dancing to some of your favourite music.

7. A workshop does wonders for your confidence

Attendees leave a modern jive workshop actually able to dance at least 5 moves. This may sound amazing but it’s true. Of course, to build on that ability you’ll want to continue going to regular classes to cement your learning, as you will build your dancing skill through lessons and by dancing in the freestyle (practice) part of class whenever you can. But when you leave a 4-hour workshop knowing how to dance 5 basic beginner moves this is a huge confidence booster and it may be all you need to propel you to the next level. “I can’t” becomes”Yes, I can.”

A workshop is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. Beginner modern jive workshops are usually 4 hours, with teaching, plenty of practice time (freestyle) and regular breaks. Workshop attendees often feel the time flies by because they’re focused and having such fun.

If you feel you can’t dance or that you’d like to learn; if you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines at weddings and social events, or tired of dancing alone at clubs you’ve everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying a beginner dance workshop.

Follow it up with group lessons and in a few weeks you’ll wonder how you ever believed you had “two left feet.”

Have you always longed to dance but never quite dared? Nicky and her team teach fun Modern Jive dance lessons and regular beginner dance workshops in Toronto. Learn to dance in a day and turbo charge your confidence on the dance floor. Check out our February Modern Jive Beginner In

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