Modern Jive – The Beginners Survival


So, you fancy learning to dance, you’ve heard of this thing called Modern Jive and it sounds like fun. The problem is that you have all of these lame excuses for not going. Well, whatever excuse you can come up with the chance of it being original is almost nil so its time to put your best foot forward (even if they are both left) and go try it.

The first obstacle that anyone wanting to learn to dance has to over come is quite simply going for the first time. While some people are willing to throw themselves straight in and go with the flow others are a little more unsure. Men especially tend to find going dancing for the first time awkward because, as most of them freely admit, they don’t usually hit the dance floor until they have had a few drinks.

So what are some of the main concerns that newcomers to Modern Jive dancing have and why shouldn’t you use them as an excuse not to try.

I havent got anyone to go with.
The Modern Jive teaching method ensures you will dance with many different people of varying abilities, some will be there for their first time and some will be more advanced and able to help speed up your learning process.

I have two left feet.
As we said above you will dance with lots of people, it wont be long before you find someone with two right feet to compliment you perfectly. Don’t assume that everyone else is going to be better than you.

Everyone else will know what they are doing. I will be the only beginner.
Because of the way Modern Jive is taught you do not have to book a course of lessons which start with the basics on week one and progress from there. At most venues there are at least a couple or more newcomers every night so it is highly unlikely that you will be on your own. Even if you are the only new person that night there will be the people who were new last week or the week before. Because there are approximately 21 beginner moves for the teacher to choose from and only 3 or 4 moves taught in the beginners class each week it is more than likely that last weeks newcomers will be seeing all of this week moves for the first time and are in the same boat as you .

I’m to young/old for all that.
Rubbish, you are as old as you feel. And you can dance Modern Jive in a style that suits you.

What if the guys at work find out.
Like it or not ladies it is one reason why the men who do go dancing love it. It doesn’t matter what Modern Jive venue you go to 9 times out of 10 there are more women than men. Usually the numbers are not that uneven and due to the constant rotation of people during the classes this does not present any inconvenience at all, however, when the classes are done and you get to the part of the evening called “freestyle” where you put into practice what you have learnt, a good male dancer will never be short of a partner. As soon as the guys at work find out that you spent the entire evening dancing with a host of different women they will soon realise that their life spent in front of the TV is the sorry one.

Now that some of the excuses are out of the way here are the top ten things to remember when you rock up for the first time.

1. Don’t give up on your attempt.
If you make the effort and go for the first time you have already won half the battle of learning to dance. Even if the first week doesn’t go quite how you would have liked give yourself another couple of weeks to get into it.

2. Dont try to remember everything you learn.
Once you have learnt a few move you may find that your memory starts to leak information. If this happens just try to remember the moves that you like, practice those and forget about the stuff that you were not so keen on. Its better to do 4 moves well than 10 moves badly.

3. Go with the flow.
Join in and try not to be too self conscious. It is highly unlikely that you will be the only newcomer and even if you are no one will take any notice of the fact because there are new people starting constantly. You will be more conspicuous if you stand out than if you join in.

4. If you don’t understand ask.
If there is something in the class that you don’t quite get then ask one of the crew when the class is over, they will always go through it with you. Also don’t be afraid to ask the teacher questions when they have finished their classes as they will usually take you through any problems with the moves one to one.

5. Ask others to dance.
Don’t be shy the more people you dance with the quicker you will learn and the more fun you will have.

6. Arrive for the start of the beginners class.
Because there could well be a large number of people in the class the teacher will not be able to go back to the beginning just for you.

7. If something goes wrong don’t panic.
If you forget something while doing the class or something doesn’t go quite right then don’t worry about it. The whole point of Modern Jive is that it is fun and not a school of perfection, no one will mind, everyone was a beginners once, simply try again and don’t give up.

8. Men lead and ladies don’t.
If both of you try to lead neither of you will win and you simply won’t be able to dance.

9. Have fun and socialise.
At least 50% of the enjoyment of learning Modern Jive is having the opportunity to meet new friends and have a fun night out. If you join in and try your best without taking it too seriously you will almost certainly have a great time.

10. It could change your life.
In one year alone I went to four weddings that were the direct result of people meeting at Modern Jive nights. (now there’s something to think about).

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