A Beginner’s Guide To DGC Dance Classes
Welcome to DGC Dance!
Every month, many new faces come through the studio doors to learn their favourite K-Pop dances.
A common question or comment after class from first-timers is “I find it hard, I can’t follow the choreography… do you have any beginner or easier classes?”
So a few months ago we decided to put together a guide for newbie DGC students by asking some of the regulars for their words of wisdom!
Here is our guide from fellow students giving their top tips for new DGC Dance students 🙂
1. Watch the dance videos over and over
Would you like more reasons to keep watching your favourite K-Pop MVs? Here it is! Watching the dance videos (practices or MVs) as much as you can will give you a stronger idea of the choreography / dance routine, what the moves are going to be and to help you become familiar with the lyrics and beats of the song. The more you know it, the more it’ll help you memorise the moves. That way it’s easier to follow. The moves will stick better.
So, go on, replay that K-Pop MV again, and again… 🙂
2. Be patient & persistent
We’ve all been there. Everyone started out as a beginner so your fellow K-Pop dance students know exactly how it feels to be a “newbie” dancer. In the beginning, it is normal to find choreography hard to remember or difficult to pick up. But over time, you’ll get better and find it easier to remember those moves as you build your “muscle memory”. After a while, a lot of moves will seem similar and you will be able to recall them better the more times you come across them. So give it time and stick with it. Fighting!
3. Ask questions
Don’t be shy! Ask questions!
There are no stupid questions, so always feel free to ask the instructor or fellow students to go over the choreography again. This is also a good start to get to know other DGC students and make you more comfortable in class. No one will make fun of you or mock you! Everyone is open to helping each other out in class. Those who ASK are those who LEARN.
4. Attend multiple classes for the same section
Attend more than 1 class for each section or part of a song. The second time you learn it your muscle memory will be half expecting some of the moves so it’ll be easier to execute. The more practice you do, the better you’ll get. In fact, quite a few long-time DGC members who are now regulars attend repeat classes often 😀
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. Take time to practice what you learnt outside of class: when you’re at home, commuting on the tube to uni, college or work (create your own K-Pop silent disco!). Even 10-15 minutes a day of practising will help you a lot. Repetition will help keep the choreo fresh in your memory. Practice with friends or show the routine to your mum, your house mates, your cat! Remember to hit repeat on the music videos too!
6. Stand near the front & use mirrors
Don’t be afraid to stand at the front. Hiding at the back may feel safe, but you will see the moves much more clearly from the teacher if you stand near the front. Don’t worry about anyone watching you dance, we are all there to learn and are all busy watching ourselves or the teachers!
Be sure to watch yourself in the mirrors as you dance! Try to get used to looking at yourself in the mirror to see how and what you are doing while you learn. Everyone will have the opportunity to be at the front as the teacher will ask the class to rotate places throughout the class or split into smaller groups so everyone has a chance to practice routines in front of the mirror.
7. Start with the basic choreo & leave details for later
It is important in the beginning not to worry too much about the little details, and focus more on learning the basic choreo first. Take it easy if it is the first lesson just to get the flow of the choreography.
If you are finding a particular move really difficult, try not to fixate on it. Move past it and try to keep up with the next piece of choreography. When there is a break use that time to go back to that part and go through it slowly at your own pace. Ask questions – ask the teacher to repeat sections you are unsure of or ask your fellow students to help you!
Everyone is very willing to help and has all needed help at one time or another. As you repeat the choreo over time, the teachers will help you to fine-tune your moves and style it out!
8. Don’t compare yourself to others
We all learn a dance at our own pace; people learn differently to one another and what others learn in a day you may need a week to learn and vice versa. So don’t be too hard on yourself.
It’s okay to make mistakes and it’s alright if you don’t get it in the first dance lesson, there is always a second dance lesson (for the same part) or even a third one 🙂
9. Have fun & make friends!
The most important tip from DGC: Remember to have fun!
DGC students look forward to meeting people and learning together in a nice, friendly class environment. Everyone goes through the same struggles by supporting each other, having fun and learning together.
Dance is fun and a lot easier when you’re having fun. Enjoy it!
There you have it – DGC’s top tips for those starting out. We hope you found this useful! See you in class!
PS: Big thank you to all the regulars who contributed their words of wisdom <3
Contributors: Abbie, Amelie, Angelina, Becky, Celine, Henan, Iona, Lida, Louise, Mabli, Mariana, Mays, Mikey, Penny, Raymond, Sasha, Thao, Veronica & Yahto