Dance is beneficial for a person’s health on every level, providing physical activity, an outlet for creativity and the opportunity for more meaningful social interactions. All of these lead to a richer, fuller existence and open the door for personal improvements in each area.
Ballroom dancing can also become something else – a passion that lasts a lifetime. Every great dancer was once a beginner, and every dancer can continue to improve and learn throughout their lifetime.
Growing as a dancer takes time and effort. And it starts with a basic truth. As our founder, Fred Astaire, said: “Some people seem to think that good dancers are born, but all the good dancers I have known are taught or trained.”
Talent, of course, always helps. But as Astaire also said: “Dancing is a sweat job.” In other words, effort and dedication make the difference in the drive for proficiency.
How do we set out on this journey toward growth on the dance floor?
- Love what you are doing. Passion drives excellence. Work isn’t work if it feels like play. If music and dance feel as if they simply flow through you, you’ve got the passion. You are positioned to build on it because you are motivated.
- Find the right instructor. You should be in tune with the person you work with so closely. You might need a teacher who is more demanding to draw out your best. Whatever works is fine. Your Fred Astaire Dance Studio will offer a variety of instructors – meet them, talk with them, try some lessons and make sure the fit is right. Take advantage of the FADS visiting coaches. You can learn from top professionals who competed globally and won numerous awards. Their perspective, coupled with your own instructor’s knowledge and your work ethic, provide power tools for growing as a dancer.
- Expect to struggle at times. Nothing worth accomplishing comes easily. If dancing were easy, everyone would be gliding across the dance floor with grace and charm. Stick with it. Work at it. Conquer the issues at hand and move on to the next step knowing what you have achieved.
- Take the performance challenge. No, you may not make it to Broadway. But FADS competitions – local, regional, national and international – offer the opportunity to test yourself in front of an audience. At first, that will be your studio peers. Eventually it maybe under the bright lights with top dancers from your area. There’s no rule as to how far you need to go, though preparation for competition demands a sharpened focus and a real willingness to put in the time and the work. That will only make you better. And that was your goal, wasn’t it?
How good do you want to be? That’s up to you. Learning to dance is fun and engaging on every level. You need not be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers to enjoy yourself on the dance floor. Dance should be fun, rather than obligation or another of life’s “have-to” activities.
Being on the dance floor is a reward in itself. You will choose how far you want to push your passion.