So you’ve decided that it’s time to sign up for a dance class. Maybe you’re a young student, eager to pick up a new hobby, or you’re a former dancer, looking to get back into your previous art form. Either way, you’re probably a little nervous. Here is a list of advice to keep in mind, to help you ease your nerves as you move through your first class.

Do your research

Don’t just jump into the first result that pops up on Google. Do a little digging to find out the best dance courses in your area, whether they’re at a nearby dance academy or recreation center. You can also talk with some dancer friends, to figure out some suggestions! The Internet can also offer a wealth of advice—with a few searches, you can find ballet publications and blogs that can answer some of your questions and give you a glimpse of the dance world.

Have fun with your research, too!

There are so many fun dance movies and TV shows, ready for you to stream. When you’re preparing for your first dance classes, turn to those programs to help you get excited for your first weeks of dancing. Read BalletBox’s suggestions for the 20 Best Dance Movies

Train outside of class

Your first classes might feel fast-paced and grueling. To keep you on your toes, try a variety of workouts outside of class, from cardio to strength building. You’ll boost your health and maintain your grace in and out of class. Also, be aware of how to nourish your body for class. You can read BalletBox’s advice for great, nutritious meals here. Avocado toast, green smoothies, and overnight oats sound great, right?

Stay mindful after class

Your training isn’t limited to the actual class session. Be sure to take care of your body and mind after class, by stretching and relaxing afterwards to make sure you don’t strain yourself. Check out BalletBox’s suggestions for both dance safety and post-class self care.

Ask questions when you need to

There might come a moment where you’re trailing behind of your classmates. Do not be afraid to speak up and ask a question, when needed. You can also connect with your teacher or a classmate afterwards, if you prefer!

Talk to people in your classes

If you’re struggling with steps or positions, having a buddy can help. Talk to your classmates before and after class, and you might find some new friends to discuss all things dance and see dance performances with.
Tell your family and friends about your new dance adventure.
Even if your loved ones are not involved in the dance world, connecting with them can still help you feel supported on your dance journey. You might find a new workout body, a support system, or a new recruit to the dance world.

Stay open to new ideas

Dance is an art form that requires a lot of athleticism—in other words, you’re crafting a new skill for yourself. Instead of getting frustrated when a new step isn’t sticking with you, remember that you’re learning an entirely new skills. So, stay open to what you’ll learn in class, and know that with enough practice, you’ll nail those new techniques.

Keep a journal, or some form of reflection

Picking up a new skill is incredibly exciting. Rather than letting it slip by, you can start a journal to help you track your progress. Or, if you’re feeling particularly brave, start a blog or Instagram account to post about your new journey. You might connect with other dance newcomers!

Don’t go overboard with supplies

It’s easy to get carried away with thoughts of pretty new leotards and dance bags. Instead, buy a few durable basics that will last you much longer. BalletBox, a monthly subscription service for all your dance essentials, offers both a Ballet Basics box and a Bun Kit. The two services take the worry out of running out of what you need for class at the last minute. Instead, depending on which service you choose, you’ll get everything from hair pins to canvas shoes, delivered right to your doorstep.

And remember, dance is one of the most rewarding forms of art, physical activity, and personal enrichment. Congratulations on starting your new journey!

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