If you lack confidence you will find you watch much of life on the sidelines and many of the things we take for granted will be closed off to you. A lack of confidence is one of the top reasons people fear doing many things they’ve dreamed of doing. Like whirling across a dance floor to the admiration of friends and colleagues just for fun, or leading someone in a cool looking dance, or becoming the person everyone wants to dance with. And what about creating a great dance experience for your dancing partner?
If a lack of confidence bothers you (and it bothers many people) did you know that one of the best ways to build up your confidence is by dancing? In fact, many people take dance classes to gain more confidence on the dance floor and in other areas of their lives.
Jive Nation Toronto, Ball Room Drop Modern Jive
Here are six ways to build your confidence just by going to dance classes. If you’re reading this and you’re already a confident person read on – you could encourage someone who’s still building up theirs.
1. Take the first step: attend a dance class
This in itself is a huge step and even though you may not feel it and your knees may be knocking in fear… it’s the first most crucial step you will take. It gets easier from then on.
2. Attend your dance classes regularly
Your first few dance lessons are important confidence builders as you are laying the foundations your dancing will build upon. Think of it like learning to drive or learning to ride a bicycle, or learning anything new. Learning requires practice. If you’re attending modern jive dance classes you will start with basic beginner dance moves – with plenty of repetition and a chance to practice during the evening. Repetition is what helps you to get better, and when you get better your confidence will get a huge boost.
3. Dance in the freestyle part of class
After your first lesson as a beginner, you may feel it’s time to leave because you’re new and you can’t dance, right? Wrong. At modern jive, freestyle time is practice-time and it’s very social. And if you dance for just 20 minutes of freestyle, it’s another important step in building your confidence. Learning to dance is really all about practice and repetition, the dance practice following the lesson is an excellent opportunity to embed what you’ve just learned. What if you came to class on your own? No worries, make a point to dance a couple of dances with a teacher (we encourage this at modern jive) or another student. You will always get a chance to meet all your fellow students during the teaching part of the class, and there will almost always be other beginners, so you won’t be alone. When you’re new it can take courage to ask someone for a dance… but do it anyway, because people will say yes and you’ll get such a rush – savour that feeling of accomplishment.
4. Dance with others
If you came with a partner, be sure you dance with other students as well as with the person you came with. Why? Well, while it’s always your prerogative to dance with the person you came with, both of you will better develop your dancing confidence and skill by experiencing how other people dance and by learning how to lead or follow other dancers. Everyone has a slightly different style of dancing. Plus, modern jive is essentially a social experience, most people come out to dance socially and expect everyone is there to do the same. If others get the impression you only ever dance with one other person, and you’re never open to dancing with others you could quickly get labelled a “dance snob.” You do not want that to happen because this means that after a while people may actually avoid asking you to dance. You’ll feel less confident when dancing with another dancer with whom you are unfamiliar, which in turn will knock your confidence back. To build confidence dance with lots of other people. And partners – give each other permission to dance with others dancers… you’ll be helping them progress and it all contributes to the great social experience that is modern jive.
5. Video yourself dancing
OK, maybe not in your first dance class as you’ll have plenty else to think about. However once you get a few dance moves down pat ( and this will happen much sooner than you might think) ask a friend to video you dancing. It is one of the best ways to improve your dancing and as you improve your confidence increases.
6. Review modern jive videos
You’ll find videos of several modern jive beginner and Intermediate level dance moves on the Jive Nation Toronto website and on our YouTube channel. Use them to review moves you’ve learned as well as new routines.
Confidence on the dance floor often extends to confidence in other areas of life. Don’t be surprised at the knock-on effect. Best of all once you have learned social dancing you will become someone who never fears getting on the dance floor ,dancing and looking good. That is a major achievement to boost anyone’s confidence.