We love to teach and share the dance experience with all ages and levels! Dance gives us all the opportunity to develop physical fitness, emotional expression, creative thinking and spiritual awareness. This unique experience inspires confidence, musicality, generosity, individuality and positive energy which cultivates health and well being for a lifetime. Whether you are an aspiring professional, use dance class to compliment other athletic endeavors, enjoy dance as a means of physical conditioning and stress relief or just want to learn some new moves, the faculty of the Casco Bay Movers’ is here to guide each student towards their personal goals.
Preparation and Punctuality
To make the most of your dance class, arrive mentally open and prepared. We suggest using the action of entering the front door as a symbol to leave all the responsibilities of your busy life outside. Arrive at least 15 minutes early to check in, change, stretch out in the lobby and perhaps get acquainted with some of your classmates. If, for some uncontrolled reason, you arrive late, enter quietly in the back of the studio. If you need to leave class early, inform your teacher before the end of class. Never exit before the end of class (including the cool down if there is one) without acknowledging your instructor with a wave and/or a thank you.
Regular attendance is very important to your success. Make it a priority. Dance vocabulary is inexhaustive and new material is presented in each class. If you know you are going to miss a class, arrange to meet with a fellow student to review the material that was presented. If you are an aspiring professional, a minimum of two classes per day, six days a week is necessary. Our staff can assist with auditions and/or college preparations. When making the transition to another level, it is crucial to come at least two or three times per week. You should not feel obligated to move into an upper level as long as you are enjoying the class and receiving the challenge you desire.
Dance Class Etiquette
If you find your body needs a lot of water, it is best to choose a space in the back where you may leave a water bottle handy and you can drink without disturbing the class. However, it is best to drink only at the midway break and then not so much as to have it be uncomfortable while you continue class. When the body is heated, cold liquid is not easily absorbed. Loose jewelry needs to be taken off. Hair needs to be up away from the face in all dance classes. Do not sit down in class unless invited to by the teacher. Repeated actions like getting water, putting on and taking off clothing or warm-up accessories, fixing hair and tying shoes are a distraction to the real work of dance. A teacher may stop to give a correction to an individual in class, but the information she or he is giving can really be for everyone. Listen to hear if this correction may also help your technique. If not, continue to stretch and move quietly to stay warm. When a correction is for you directly or indirectly, make a physical effort at that moment to try to find the new placement, timing or quality. As a teacher is breaking down and demonstrating an exercise or movement phrase, you may need to move in order to see more clearly to ensure that everyone in class has good visibility. For example, it is customary for students in ballet class to clear the barre where the teacher is demonstrating. Ask questions simply by speaking up or raising your hand when you are unclear about an instruction or detail. It is customary to applaud your teacher at the end of each class, to acknowledge the experience, devotion, preparation and energy she or he has brought to class.
“Teachers Open the Door, But You Must Enter By Yourself”
Bring a sense of discovery to class. Curiosity and interest are the key and ignition of our energy. If we follow our curiosity we become involved in awakening and inspiring ourselves. If we have lost our curiosity, our learning is slower, more arduous, and filled with memories of past failures. Response to desire is the cornerstone to growth. If we do not respond to these urges but simply listen and watch, we may become quiet and insightful, but do not evolve and expand. Be sensitive to how each movement makes you feel, the blood circulating into your extremities, your spine lengthening and the adjustments you make to maintain your balance. Little things, when done from feeling and awareness, are what make you stronger. Try to find satisfaction in the process of learning. When working to master a difficult exercise or dance move, keep practicing while keeping in mind that the effects of dance training are cumulative. Every body is unique and learns at its own pace. Listen to the rhythm of your body, use common sense and make sure each movement feels good to you. Muscles have a memory for movement. Physical impairments due to illness or injury may take a long time to improve and strengthen. Establishing new patterns may require two or three times the normal effort. Realignment of the body and forming new, positive habits require an enduring commitment. Let your teacher know of any major weaknesses.
Using the Studio Space
As you enter the studio, allow your senses to come alive. Claim a space where you can see and hear the teacher clearly. Give yourself enough space so that your arm range can extend in all directions. Staggered lines work best. You may need to adjust your space as other students enter. It may feel intimidating at first when you get to the section of class to go across the floor. In lines of 3 or 4, make eye contact with the people that you will be moving with. This is your team and you can support each other as you drill new steps, jumps and turns. With repetition, during the final dance combinations, you will begin to feel comfortable maintaining your personal space while moving respectfully with others.
Living in our bodies provides ways to awaken and express our energy, which in turn reflects the quality of our lives. After class you will feel energized and uplifted. This routine of concentration and development will help you overcome all sorts of personal challenges. Keep a positive attitude and be realistic with your goals. To appreciate your personal progress, you may want to keep a written record on a calendar, so that your strengths may be reviewed. For example: note an increased flexibility in a particular muscle or perhaps a greater ease in remembering sequences of steps. Many gradual changes and improvements are often overlooked until a whole level of improvement seems to suddenly appear. Focus, effort, patience and commitment will help you reach your potential. Taking this body knowledge into a social context, your confidence and presence will help you to act with clarity and meaning.