Getting Started / 101

Get Ready For Your First Time

Watch a film, watch youtube videos, or listen to the appropriate music for whatever type of world dance class you are about to take! Try on your outfit before class to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions. For the women it might be smart to wear your shoes around the house ahead of time if they are new so you can avoid any blisters or discomfort. (See the apparel section for an exact description of what attire is expected.) Just make sure you are hydrated and that you are fueled with healthy food. Don’t eat a huge lunch or dinner and then run off to ballroom class before your body has time to digest. Again, just relax and get excited to work hard, have fun, and learn a lot!

Here are a few examples of different World Dance's you can try!

A great instructional video for beginners to try World Dance!Here we are learning the basic footwork of Flamenco dance.

An instructional video for beginners to try World Dance! Here we are learning the basics of West African dance.

An instructional video for beginners to try World Dance! Here we are learning the basics of Belly Dancing.

Preparation/Training

It is not necessary to be flexible, as all cultural dances require different techniques, however it will definitely help you in the long run. Flexibility takes time and patience, however if you make a goal to stretch every day you will see benefits in multiple aspects of your life. Stretching has been proven to alleviate aches and pains, improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and help prevent future injuries. You can also prepare by just working on your musicality and rhythm and connecting that with movement. There are many videos on youtube where you can work on basic combinations from your computer screen. You should do a little research on the style of dance you are about to learn so you know what to expect.

If you don’t exercise on a consistent basis you might want to begin with some basic cardio and strength training a few times a week. You will definitely be sore after your first class! It’s a good thing and means your muscles are working and adapting to your new activity. A hot shower or bath, gentle stretching or massage, and even hot/cold treatment will help decrease some of your muscular tearing. Don’t worry you will be ready to go full out during a dance class in no time!

Basics/Tips

Relax! Everyone starts at the beginning so you should not feel intimidated or nervous about being lost in class. That’s why there are beginner classes! A beginner world dance class will be all about working on coordination, basic steps and technique, and learning how to piece together choreography. Go in with an open mind and be prepared to have fun! It truly is all about having fun and connecting with your own heritage or a different culture. See the apparel section for more details on what to wear. When you arrive, introduce yourself to your instructor and tell them where you are in your training whether it be your first class or fifth class.

Beginner Check List

  • World dance outfit that is specific to the dance you are studying
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Hair pulled back unless you have a certain cut that stays away from your face
  • Water bottle
  • Small sweat towel
  • Band Aids
  • Lock for studio lockers if you have valuables with you
  • Make sure to put your phone on silent if it’s in the room with you
  • Small notebook to keep track of the songs played or the terms you learned