On our monthly blog, we LOVE talking about what makes Music in Motion unique. One of our favorite things to offer at the studio is our fantastic Teen Program. Our teen dance classes are geared specifically toward older students who are starting dance as beginners. We don’t believe in throwing our beginner teens in with the little kids! Teens, we design classes especially for you!
At Music in Motion, we believe that dance is for everyone. The idea that to be a good dancer, you have to start when you are tiny and dance for your entire childhood is a MYTH! Ever heard of Misty Copeland (AKA the first African American to become a principal ballerina at American Ballet Theater who is taking the world by storm right now)? She started dancing at 13 years old!
So today we are dedicating the blog to our Beginner Teen Dancers. Check out our 4 quick tips for starting dance as an older student.
1. Use your age and quick learning skills to your advantage.
One of our FAVORITE parts about working with beginner teen dancers is how fast they are able to learn. As a teacher, it’s exciting and energizing to fly through skills that take our little ones months to perfect! Trust us, you’re not as behind as you think because the early years of a child’s dance class are filled with TONS of repetition… they just have shorter attention spans and memory capacity!
In class, a teen dancer is often able to pick up on the basics without having to break them down. They can observe and execute technical concepts without having to be told to do so. Teens, when you step into class, be confident and use your age to your advantage. You will progress faster than you expect!
2. Stretch at home and before class.
One of the biggest challenges that we see our teens struggle with is flexibility. It is totally normal for a beginner teen to not be able to touch their toes! When children are little and still developing, their joints and muscles are much more bendy. As you get older, you start to stiffen up… that’s life!
So, to compensate for this extra challenge, our best advice is to stretch at home. Consistency is key when it comes to flexibility. 10 minutes of stretching per day will really go a long way. Another quick tip is to get to the studio a couple minutes before class and stretch. This will get your body ready to move and reduce the shock that your muscles sometimes feel when asked to do a leap in class!
3. Youtube and google are your best friends!
The best way to pick up on dance skills is to observe and watch closely! It is kind of unbelievable how much you can learn from watching youtube videos. A teenager’s brain is like a sponge, so when you watch great dancers move, it is easier to translate that movement into your own body.
Additionally, starting dance as an older student can sometimes be overwhelming when it comes to dance terminology. There are so many words and names for movements that we instill in our babies from a young age… we don’t expect you to know all of them, but we frequently use them in class. Over time, you will start to pick up on their meanings, but if you want a head start, we recommend using some dance dictionaries online. Videos like this can be super helpful!
4. Don’t get discouraged!
Repeat after me… never, ever, EVER, give up! No seriously, don’t get discouraged! Like any activity, sport, or art form, dance has a learning curve that comes with challenges, as well as fulfilling accomplishments. On top of that, everyone is good at different things. One teen might be a rockstar at pirouettes, but really struggle with leaps. And for others it might be the total opposite.
On days where we are focusing on a particular skill that is hard for you, it is easy to feel like the WORST dancer ever. But stick with it, and you will find your shine! At Music in Motion, all ages and skill levels are welcome, and we believe in EVERY dancer’s ability succeed!
Alright teens, who’s in?! This Fall we are offering Teen Jazz/Contemporary Mondays from 6-7 pm and Teen Hip-Hop Thursdays from 7:15-8:15 pm. Check out our schedule online, and we will see you in the Fall! We can’t wait to see you progress faster than ever!