Country Dancing

Know Your Limit


As I have stated in previous articles, there are many different levels of line dances and classes. I currently teach seasoned beginners, improver, and intermediate levels. Some instructors have an “open door policy” when they always accept new students in their beginner classes. If someone wants to join one of my classes, they need to understand the basic steps and terminology. Unfortunately, if they try my class without that knowledge, they will very likely get frustrated and might not come back. 

My goal is to have people enjoy my class and learn new steps and dances consistently and accumulatively. If you are a brand-new dancer, you should find an ultra or basic beginner class. If someone comes to my class without previously taking beginner lessons, I welcome them; however, I explain that I will not hold up the rest of my class by explaining step patterns that my regular dancers already know. If they catch on easily to the steps, that’s wonderful. If they don’t, I refer them to other beginner classes in the area. 

My approach may sound like I’m not encouraging their attendance and progress; actually, I want everyone to know their limit. If you join a class that is beyond your level, you have two choices: you can take my advice and find a class that is appropriate to your ability, or you can commit to practice at home (I email the step sheet links to my students) and hopefully advance along with the class. Everyone has different abilities; I will elaborate on a few different scenarios that have recently happened in my classes. 

One lady has a background in ballet, tap, and jazz (like myself) but wanted to try something new to challenge herself. She was understandably frustrated in her first improver class with me, because she had no knowledge of line dance terminology. However, because of her dance ability, and determination to learn and practice, she has fit in nicely. She admits, at times, that she still “hits a wall” and will either stand aside or sit down during a dance when she’s having trouble. I appreciate that she knows her limit and doesn’t distract the other dancers. 

Other students, from time to time, must miss class for extended periods for various reasons. Prior to coming back to class, most of them touch base with me to let me know they’re coming back. Some take advantage of my weekly class emails to review; others come back to class without watching any videos and try to catch up. That is their choice, but they all understand that I will review as much as possible without sacrificing the growth of the rest of the class. If they have questions, I’m always available before or after class. 

Recently while out line dancing in a local bar, I spoke with one of my former students who expressed a desire to come back to my seasoned beginner class. As usual, I explained that this class is now learning harder dances than I taught when she attended. She understood, and said if she feels confused, she will simply stand “in the corner to watch” until she feels comfortable to join because she knows her limit! 

Here are two new dances that I taught in January, on request, in my improver/intermediate classes: 

Get In or Get Out

Hold Me Closer

Dori Yez teaches Country Line Dancing at these Ohio SCOPE Centers: Howland on Monday evenings (Seasoned Beginners) and Wednesday evenings (Improver & Intermediate) plus the same level in Cortland on Friday afternoons. Due to room size and attendance, Dori can no longer accept new students in any of her classes. 

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