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Are you excited for your first dance class? Maybe even a little nervous?
Honestly you have nothing to worry about, and everything to be excited about. We are an open community and are here to help you feel welcome and inspired. And remember you don't have to be a pro your first class, we are a noncompetitive studio and it's not about judging ourselves or others...it's about having fun and uplifting our mind, body and spirit through the art of dance.
Newbies come to class with an open mind and be ready to sweat, move, and shake your booty! New students you may want to let your instructor know you are a newbie, so that he or she can provide any additional cues for you during the class. Most new students tend to stand in the back, but we recommend standing in a spot that has a good view of the instructor. The second row or around there so you can see the instructor and also don't feel put on the spot in the front.
It typically takes a new student three classes to feel like they "get" basic dance movements and routines. So don't feel like you should be an expert on the first day.
How to prepare for your first class
Put on your favorite dance song and rock out at home or in your car (drive carefully of course) to get you feeling grounded in your body and get pumped up for class. It might sound funny, and it is, but it honestly works.
Don't have a favorite dance song yet? We recommend Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Samba do Cuale by QVLN www.qviolin.com, Mas que Nada Featuring Black Eyed Peas by Sergio Mendes or Safari by J Balvin to get you in the dancing mood.
For Zumba, it's not about being "good", it's all about having fun and letting go of stress while you jam out to all your favorite songs. Nobody cares if you are a "good dancer", but one of the beautiful things is that as you dance more and more and let go you will find yourself feeling confident and empowered through movement.
For classes that are technique based like Samba, we recommend taking the basics level class 3-4 times or for several months until you get the basics and are ready for the open level classes. However, everyone is always welcome at Open Level Class. For the Advanced Level Class you should consult your instructor first.
Here are some of our tips for your first dance class at GDA
*Arrive 10-15 minutes early to park, sign in and get warmed up.
*Sign Up for class online ahead of class time.
*What to Bring? Bring a water bottle and towel.
*Dance Clothes? Dress comfortably in clothing you can move and sweat in.
Bring a pair of shoes you feel good dancing in, perferably not street shoes.
For Samba classes, dancers sometimes prefer to go barefoot and build up strength and dance callus.
*Where to stand?
If it's your first time, we recommend standing towards the center of the room in 2nd or 3rd row where you can see the teacher but don't feel put on the spot in the front. Also feel free to move around, you don't need to stay in one spot for the entire class.
*Breathe. Be mindful of your breathing as you dance and are in class. If you feel nervous or find something new challenging, just take some deep breathes to relax and ease your way through the movements.
Allow yourself to enjoy the class. This sounds like a no brainer, but sometimes we don't allow ourselves to have fun trying something new. We encourage you to allow yourself to enjoy dancing and being in the moment. Allow yourself to move and let go of stress. Allow yourself to leave your troubles at the door and dance them away.
Smiling is a great way to relax and let go of stress. At GDA one of the main things I teach and practice daily is smiling. People laugh when I say this, but it really is one of the most beautiful things you can wear and helps you to be at ease on the dance floor and also in your every day life.
Smile is not just about greeting others, it is a greeting for yourself as well.
More on what to wear to dance classes at GDA...
Rule of thumb: Wear something you feel cool, comfortable and sexy moving in.
Ladies: Dance and Movement Wear
Men: Workout clothing you feel good moving in.
Ladies Samba Wear: Cotton leggings are highly recommended, sports shorts or capris are also great. A supportive sports bra is a must for all the shimmies, and a cotton tank or t-shirt. Hair in a pony tail or down. Do the Samba booty shake check...try on your leggings and see if you can shake and wiggle your booty...if yes, then that's what you should wear! If no...save it for a yoga class.
Are these pants see through?
One of the most funny moments I have had as a teacher was being in the last five minutes of teaching a Brazilian Funk Booty Pop class and realizing that my pants were totally see through....that was not what I was going for. Just laughed it off. But now I always do the bend over and shake test in front of a mirror and see if I can see what pattern or color underwear I'm wearing, if no, then we are dance ready, if yes, see through...best to save for another outfit I won't be dancing in...which for me is not realistic. Ha!
Men Samba Wear: Workout clothes your feel comfortable dancing and sweating in. Light weight tennis shoes.
Samba Shoes? Dancer's choice: You can do the class barefoot, with tennis shoes or Brazilian Samba heels.
Zumba: Athletic wear you feel comfortable moving in. For the ladies a supportive sports bra made for lots of sweat.
Zumba Shoes? Tennis shoes, shoes should be supportive and flexible.
The brand really does not matter so long as it's supportive and flexible.
Hip-Hop Class Wear: We recommend loose pants and t-shirt or tank and comfortable light weight tennis shoes, for ladies a supportive sports bra as well.
Belly Dance Class Wear: Leggings or shorts with a scarf or hip belt around your waist and a tight fitting t-shirt, crop top and or sports bra. Hair down. Barefoot.
Hot Hula Wear: Shorts or capri pants with a Sarong or Pareo around your hips, tank top, or crop top and or sports bra. Hair up or down.
Yoga Wear: Leggings or Yoga pants, sports bra, tank top or t-shirt you feel good sweating in.
Should I wear make up, lotion, perfume deodorant to class?
No need for make up at class. If you like to wear it then feel free.
Lotion is good in moderation but can get slimy as you dance if you put a lot on. Perfume is not needed but is ok if it's light and in moderation. Heavy perfume should be avoided for classes.
For all classes deodorant is a must. Natural deodorants are encouraged. We sweat a lot in many of our classes and though you might be ok with your smell, it can sometimes be distracting and our studio is a group setting so let's be mindful.
What to eat before dance class?
Try to eat your bigger meals 2-3 hours before dance class. I recommend having something light like a banana, granola or healthy protein bar 15-20 minutes before class to give you a little protein and nourishment. Protein shakes an hour before and or right after class to replenish are great. It's important to nourish your body before and after moving. So be mindful of not only making it to class and moving but nourishing your body to energize before and to replenish after. Be sure to drink water to hydrate before and especially after classes.
Did we miss something you would like to know about? Please ask and let us know. Post your comments and questions below.
Our main motto here at GDA is to have fun and let go. If that is something that is difficult for you, we are here to help. If you love to dance, this is also the right place for you. Come on in and shake it with us. We are here to dance together in love and unity.
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