It feels good to learn new things, so it makes sense that many of us choose to take part in classes that challenge us. Often this means that we stop attending beginners/fundamentals classes in our local scene, or maybe we only take part out of a sense of duty to keep the ratio even. But could the fundamentals class be valuable even for advanced dancers?
The skills we learn in the fundamentals class are skills that we use every single time we dance. Think of your footwork, posture, pulse etc not as things for beginners to learn but as foundations that we all need to maintain to make our dancing feel good. The professionals that you see strutting their fancy stuff at ILHC each year? They couldn’t do all those swish variations without keeping their fundamental skills up to scratch.
So how do you work on your fundamental skills? Attending your local fundamentals class is a great start. Once you’re there, consider what you’d like to work on – pick one thing and really focus on it. You might want to work on keeping your pulse clear and consistent, or maintaining good posture. Perhaps you want to make sure you’re keeping your feet underneath you or be more conscious of what you’re doing with your free arm. These are all things that need a little work from time to time, and your social dancing will really benefit as a result.
If you’ve been dancing one role for a while and you really want to challenge yourself, why not start from the beginning again and learn the other role? It will give you a new perspective on Lindy Hop and a newfound respect for the people you’ve been dancing with all this time!
Most importantly, it’s good to take stock every now and then of the reasons we go to dance classes. Yes, you can work on your Lindy Hop skills but you can also meet new people and be part of a community. You can be active whilst listening to amazing music. You can have FUN! There is something to be gained from every lesson, it just depends on how you approach it.