Question by jackchak
I’ve taken two weekly zouk intro classes so far. I like them a lot, but I feel they move excruciatingly slowly, just introducing one new concept or two per lesson. Following this month there will be a zouk 2 and zouk 3, a month for each.
How would this compare to, say, just taking one private lesson per month, going to weekly zouk socials and looking up moves online?
How have y’all developed your zouk foundations?
Best place to “learn” is social dancing. Classes, privates are essential. But none of them add up to anything until you social dance.
For me, any class and private gets several times more useful if I put them into practice at socials. I social dance at least 2 hours a week
Priavtes are great to pick out where your basics are lacking when you first start Zouk. I still remember my first private with Arthur and Layssa and they completely changed my basic step.
I used to do privates in conjunction with classes and workshops, WITH REGULAR SOCIAL DANCING. And that was the most efficient way I could have learned Zouk.
However as my level climbed in respect to the level of the dance scene. I am now trying to do more privates and less classes.
I am at a point where I’ve been to all the Zouk classes in my cities. I been all the congresses available near my country (NZ), which isn’t a lot. I can start to see what I want to work on and developing my own dance direction as a result of that. So privates are more valuable to me right now.
Classes and workshops cater to a crowd, priavtes cater to you. When you first start, I recommend doing classes and then privates when you can afford them. Right now you want absorb more and start dancing more, the privates will make sure you have the right foundation. Later on, when you’ve exposed yourself more to Zouk, in the form of social dancing in your local scene and in more international scenes (congresses), you can then have a better idea on what works best for you.
Hope that helps.
It depends on where are you on the learning curve.
1. Learning the basics – weekly classes are the most efficient here.
2. Expanding dancing vocabulary – workshops are best for it. After you are firm with advanced basics like body movements and mechanics of head movements and tilting transition – youtube is also useful. But NOT BEFORE.
3. Correcting mistakes – private lessons plus private practice. By private practice I mean get a partner you can reliably train with for several hours a week and train with him/her focusing on what exactly do you need to improve. This is the hardest part and it actually takes most of your effort. But this the only thing that eventually will make you stand-out as a dancer.
I’d say it depends on your level of dance and your scene. Do you already know another style of partner dance? IE salsa bachata etc. Let’s assume you’re an experience dancer, and that’s why you think they are moving excruciatingly slow. If funds don’t matter to you, then I would say it would be worthwhile to take a couple of privates to catch you up to their higher levels. Additionally, while they may only introduce 1-2 new concepts per lesson, how much of that would you say you have mastered? Even now as an high intermediate dancer, if they teach a pattern, i’m only retaining a small amount. Meaning if i’m dancing socially, how likely am I to use portions of the pattern when i’m actively listening to the music. e.g. Is it in your muscle memory where you can do it without even thinking about it. Many new dancers ( in particular leads) want to expand quickly and learn the cool tricks the cool kids are doing. But the most important part of the dance is during the intro where you are trying to gauge the follows capabilities and making them feel comfortable and relaxed.
When I first started, the scene was just starting, so there was only one level, and they would occasionally need to start from the beginning for the newer dancers. And as an experienced dancer in other styles, it was frustrating, but it gave me time to really focus on the fundamentals. As most advanced dancers say, the basic is the first thing you learn, and it takes a lifetime to master. Even two years in, i’m still working on my basic step. So I guess my advice to you is that while your scene is teaching slowly, take the time to really master and understand what they are teaching. If you find that they are repeating, think about doing the opposite role as it helps you understand what they are going through.
As far as workshops/congresses are concerned. They are a mixed bag, they depend on the instructor, attendee’s etc. As a lead, the more you have mastered the fundamentals, the more worthwhile they workshop / congresses are. As a follow, my friend has stopped doing the group part and instead take notes mostly for her own safety (head/neck/back etc) from leads that don’t have their fundamentals.
I was never really wanted to do private zouk lessons for years, but I knew I was doing something wrong, but I didn’t quite know what it was?
Unfortunately no one in social dancing, will tell me where i was going wrong?
I had to guess what needs improving, and try work it out!
I thought i want to goto a private lesson at zouk congress! 🙂
To see what someone actually thinks of my dancing, and my private zouk lesson sooooo helpful 🙂 I think private lessons is the only time you can get really blunt honest feedback 🙂
It did help to improve my social dancing! 🙂
I would really recommend it! 🙂
But every teacher different 🙂