At my dance classes I have many students who come to dance for the first time and this hesitation of stepping on the floor and entering a class makes them ask all kinds of questions and form judgements about other dancers in the class or social gathering of the dance class. My new team mates and trainees many a time ask me why don’t I get upset with silly questions and judgemental attitude of the beginner dancer.
Well it is simple for me, I see myself in them and remember my first step into the class, the nervousness and the fear of entering a world which is alien and unknown is what makes the new students ask many irrelevant questions and form opinion about other dancers.
Today I would like to bring out a few questions which I feel are important for me to answer and for the people to know who are enrolling into a dance class. Many a times a student comes to join a dance class because their dear friend or a family member has asked them or black mailed them to attend dance class or go to a dance gathering or a social event.
Before dinner last evening the friend demonstrated some of the basic steps like grapevine, shines or bollywood famous dipping and also explained some rules of the dance floor by using some heavy dance terminologies. Impressed with the friend the person has come to me, I can make that out in an instance.
When a new person enters a class they should be not surprised by anything or anyone because dance and music does many things to many people. People change and behave differently. I have some fun filled incidences to share with all the readers today.
For instance, you are in the midst of an interesting conversation and the face you’re looking at suddenly becomes very alert, like a dog that tips its head and perks up its ears at an unusual sound. The person you’ve been talking to turns and dances away, so as a beginner don’t get alarmed.For the person you were having conversation with, if the song being played is a favourite dance number, he or she will rarely get a second chance later in the evening to dance on it, it is a case of “Dance it now or not at all.” The enthusiastic dancer who left you in the middle of the conversation will come back and pick up the conversation where you left off and sometimes they won’t. But do not take it personally. It was just the closer to heart song that got things distracted.
In some social situations a women asking a man for a dance can be or may be viewed as in-appropriate. But in today’s modern world it is possible and not considered wrong. As a beginner you will many a times see trained and experienced dancer come up to you and say “Would you like to dance?” or another dialogue which is common is “Do you know this dance?” and if as a new person on the dance floor you take a few moments to think and answer, you see the invitee dancer waltz away to another person and in few seconds they are swaying away with another partner. Don’t think they are rude, remember they are just too excited to dance, were looking for a partner and your thinking for long made them walk away to someone else. So it’s better to react soon, say ‘Yes’ on the floor or say ‘No’ immediately. Do not regret the answer because normally a dancer is lost in his or her own world of music and moves that one dance reject does not really matter much.
As a beginner dancer you go up to an experienced dancer and ask for a dance and he or she refuses, it does not mean they are rude or reserved dancers. It is simple they want to enjoy their moves and you are a new comer and they would rather let you learn before they dance with you. It is better to dance with partners of the same calibre. I do understand there is always an excitement to dance with a good dancer, but before that reach up to that level. Learning with experienced dancer is meant for the class, at a party or and dance social it is time to have fun, and let the advance dancer be happy and make their own choices.
I have seen many a times that some experienced dancers will dance with beginners because they are newcomers. Some experienced dancers will not dance with beginners because they lack experience. Once they learn the art perfectly the selection of people to dance with also changes. Sometimes, but not always this change is a positive one.
If your first brush with dancer is not a very warm one do not loose heart it is just the beginning for you as a beginner dancer. If as an individual dancer is welcoming or ignoring you as a beginner, do not become disappointed, try again after sometime at another social gathering. Remember it is just the beginning of a new world you have decided to enter or forced to enter.
(SandipSoparrkar is a well known Ballroom dancer and a Bollywood choreographer who has been honoured with National Achievement Award and National Excellence Award by the Government of India. He can be contacted on [email protected])