Hello helooo, welcome back to another STU Arts blog, So STU Arts recently announced that we will be offering absolute beginner contemporary classes (whoop whoop!!) And while this is so exciting for us and our dance community, I thought it would be best to give some insightful tips to keep in mind for new contemporary dancers while preparing for their upcoming class! So sit back, relax and enjoy.
1. Don't be Perfect.
I understand how this does feel like a contradiction, many dance classes focus a lot on perfect execution, however, contemporary is a great way to let your body go fully and connect yourself to the music free from any form of perfection. This is a beginner dance class, so the main focus will be understanding how to move your body authentically to the piece of music at hand. Your dance teacher is there to help you, if you feel like you might be a little stuck on a section, ask them for help, they would be more than happy to show you again or explain it differently. But remember, you don't have to be perfect, just express it how you would naturally.
2. If you feel lost—that’s normal
If you feel like you have no idea what you are doing—don’t worry, that is completely normal. If you have taken our <<hip hop classes>> or even our Sunday <<ECD like… classes>>, you probably have an understanding of what to do. While the layout of the class is similar, contemporary is different. Contemporary dancers can look effortless but it can take a long time to feel proficient in, especially as a beginner dancer. So be kind to yourself, don’t rush and know that even the pros don’t nail the combo’s right each time. The great thing about contemporary is that you are learning a number of small little things that when mastered, over time you will build up a solid technique.
3. Prepare to feel uncomfortable
Kind of like the comment above, if you feel uncomfortable that means you are doing it right (in the beginning). Contemporary utilizes your body and brain differently than other dance classes. You will find yourself making weird faces trying to correctly turn out your leg, or hold your posture up correctly while you kick your leg behind you (grand battement). On top of that you have to remember to keep your posture up and keep your leg turned out throughout the exercise. I say this all to say, you will be making weird faces and discovering things you never knew your body could do. You’re first class is going to be interesting to say the least, but don’t worry we’re all in this together and it’s all uphill!
4. Prioritize proper form over aesthetic
While contemporary looks effortless and graceful, it is anything but. I completely understand that you want to look pretty while doing the moves, however, keeping proper form is your main priority. You want to make sure you’re actually holding proper form so you don’t hurt yourself or worse cause an ongoing injury. Having the proper form will inevitably get you looking pretty while doing the exercise, but until then, listen carefully and closely to your teacher when they give you corrections; and more importantly listen to your body. You are your best judge when it comes to your limits, so while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is encouraged, do so accordingly with your body :).
Remember proper from= pretty aesthetic (eventually)!
5. Know that it is a work in progress, but totally worth it.
I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be a pro in 3 classes, contemporary is a work in progress, and while sometimes it might not feel like you are improving, over time your work and effort will show greatly! Contemporary utilizes other form of dance such as jazz, ballet, modern and lyrical. Perfecting small/little techniques will add up and before you know it, you will be perfecting contemporary and trust me when I say it’s the most satisfying feeling of finally getting that one move correct and your friends cheer you on!! On top of that, If you are taking other classes like our hip hop or stepping classes, you will definitely see an improvement in your performance there. Trust me, it’s all worth it!
If you have booked a beginner ECD contemporary class or just looking to see if it’s up you alley, we hope that this blog can help you get prepared. Contemporary is a great way to work on your body, reduce stress and enjoy some much needed “you” time. STU Arts Dance is excited to share that we are now offering absolute beginner and all levels contemporary dance class, and if you would like to learn more click here, and to find out how to get registered, click here. Can’t wait to see you out there!
See ya laterrrrrr :D
The STU Arts Dance Team 😎