2016 will be the year of the dancer. Dancing is fun, healthy, social and a great way to spend your free time. Put down your remote and put on your dance shoes!

For the month of January we will have a new way to get the most out of your program every week. So check back for some tips on how to become the best dancer possible.

Getting the most out of group classes.

Group classes are the absolute best way to build value into your weekly routine. You aren’t there just to dance patterns, you’re there to better yourself. Here are some way to make any group class twice as impactful.

Practice lead and follow.

Patterns aren’t the only thing you build muscle memory for in groups. Technique is another important aspect you can inject into the group class all on your own.

Lead and follow is that intangible quality we’re looking for in our dancing and it can become closer in reach by attending more groups. With multiple partners, you can adjust your frame, movement, styling, etc., to fit each person. You’ll get better by the end of the class and you will now have something to try with these new friends at the party.

And! If there’s someone you’ve been trying to lead through a step at the party, go to a group class together to figure it out!

Practice private lesson material.The best place to practice technique is in patterns you know well. So don’t think there’s nothing to gain from a beginner level class. It’s not “too easy,” it’s the right environment for advanced dancing. If your teacher has been focusing on frame, try to implement those exercises in the patterns you dance in group class. Footwork? Build that into muscle memory here. The possibilities are endless.

Practice for check outs.

Medal Ball might be only twice a year, but you’re practicing for your check outs all year round.

The most challenging part of the check out process can be dancing the patterns alone. But nay, nay. You’re a group class expert and you know the teachers show the ladies and gentlemen their parts separately. So nothing to fear. Go to your group classes and practice memorizing the steps alone, maintaining your balance and staying on time.

As you plan your best dance experience for 2016, always ask your teachers for ideas like these to get more out of your program!