Adult Beginners 101: Choosing the Right Dance Class Level



o, now that you’re in the market for dance classes, you’re more than likely confused by the variety of class descriptions out there. To help you pick the right class level, here’s what you need to know:

Beginner-Beginner? Or, Just Beginner? True beginner dance classes are surprisingly hard to find for adults. Adult ballet teachers in particular often assume that an adult has at least a smidge of prior knowledge. If you have zero dance experience, look for a school that offers an “Intro,” “Basics,” or “Foundational” course, or one that will assure you that all levels of beginners are welcome in their beginner classes. Either way, you can at least prime yourself for that first ballet class, tap class or jazz class with a little online research.

At studios where only one adult class is offered, the class content is likely to be structured around the ability level of the students currently enrolled. This can be fantastic … or frustrating, but you may not know until you try out the class.

Leaping Levels. Let’s say you’ve been taking adult ballet for a while now and want to make the leap into an adult jazz or contemporary dance class. Can you skip the beginner stuff? While knowledge in one dance form can ease your transition to another style, it’s a great idea to start at the lowest level of any dance form that’s new to you. You may feel stronger than the beginner-beginners, but you are likely to advance more quickly because you won’t have missed important basics.

Beyond Beginner. Challenging yourself can help you progress in dance class. But you may build bad habits if you are struggling too hard to keep up. Maybe you have prior dance experience in a particular dance style but aren’t sure if you qualify as “intermediate” or beyond. When taking a class that’s new to you, try the level below and, after the first class or two, ask the instructor if another level might be more suitable.

Am I Where I Belong? Whether you care about improving your dance technique, want to improve your fitness level, want to find an outlet to express yourself or just care about having fun: you (and only you) will know when a dance class is the right fit.