Contemporary dance for beginners?
by Jessica Lee
I am a huge fan of contemporary dance. I am 18 years old and I would love to get involved in lessons. But I have one question. For those of us who have never taken a dance class in their lives, how would we go about beginning contemporary dance? Should we take other dance classes first? (ballet, jazz, etc.)
Thanks so much!
- Jessica FIRST ANSWER
Ideally, you should start with basic contemporary dance classes for beginners of your age. It is important that you ask the teacher about the level of his class because if you start trying difficult things, without a proper and progressive learning, you might lose your enthusiasm, thinking that you are not good for it: and that is not true.
Every person can learn to dance contemporary, but a slow and adequate educational process of coordination, body, and skills is necessary. Sometimes it is not easy to find the perfect class for your needs (concerning level and age). In that case, try the one that's closer to it, keeping that aspect in mind, when it comes to evaluating if you like it or not.
There's something else you might want to consider. Contemporary dance classes differ a lot from one teacher to another. This is because it
is not a rigid choreographic style, but opened to many possibilities. So, if you have the option, try or go and see the class of several teachers, and then choose the one that fits your personality the best.
Taking classes about other types of dance will always help, though you must know that you'll be incorporating other ways of coordination, positions, choreographic vocabulary and even psychological attitudes by doing that. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just more knowledge and more skills. The only thing that might happen is that you get used to those ways of moving and when trying the contemporary mode, you'll have to reorganize yourself to stand correctly into it.
I strongly recommend ballet to you, but ONLY if you find a class (again) FOR YOU LEVEL of abilities and knowledge. Ballet is a powerful method to develop dancing skills, but if done improperly it is highly counterproductive.
Jazz and other types of dance can also help you a lot in your learning process if they fit your personality.
You can also try body-mind practices like yoga or workshops like pilates. They might not be oriented so much towards scenic and dancing skills, but they are very good to prepare your body, physiologically, for it.
I wish you the best for your start.