Matt and I take both private and group dance lessons. When we first started taking lessons, we hated the group classes. This is because the really good people would go to all the beginner classes and we felt really stupid because we didn’t know anything. Now, I know that the really good people were just going for the practice (and because some of them are losers with nothing better to do because honestly they are there EVERY DAMN NIGHT OF THE WEEK OH MY GOD GET A LIFE PLEASE) and we shouldn’t have been ashamed of asking questions because hello, it was a beginners class. For beginners. Who don’t know anything. But it was still a very awkward feeling and it didn’t really get us started with a love of group classes.
Now we’ve moved on from the beginners classes and we’ve decided to just suck up our hatred and go to the group classes. They help us get more out of our private lessons, it’s a good way to practice, and we pay A LOT of money for our lessons (group lessons are included with the private lessons so it doesn’t cost us anymore to go to as many group classes as we want). So we should go, right?
Here is my dilemma – it’s a little difficult to explain so bear with me.
During the group classes, the instructors have people switch partners a lot. Matt and I hate this. We go to dance classes to learn to dance with each other, not anyone else. We need to learn how to lead and follow with each other – which is the hardest thing about dancing (for us, anyway). When we switch partners, sure I can follow someone who’s been dancing for 6 years – but then Matt and I dance together and it all goes to hell because we don’t know how to dance together WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE LESSONS.
Also, Matt especially hates that some of the women… well, they try to be helpful but it comes across as really condescending. And I hate dancing with the old guy that smells like tobacco and cheese. And the one who tries to throw in extra moves that are not being taught and that I don’t know. And the one who sometimes smells like beer (usually he is not a terribly good dancer on those nights).
We brought this up to our teacher (the one who recently left) and she said, Well, don’t switch. Sounds like this should have been a no-brainer, but they really just tell you to switch so we hadn’t considered it as an option. We also brought it up to our new instructor, who happens to own the studio, and she said the same thing. So that’s what we did last night.
And I swear I’ve never gotten more dirty looks from people. I really don’t understand what the issue was. Maybe it was because there were more girls than guys last night? (Which, surprisingly, NEVER happens. See above: guys who go every night who have no lives.) A few girls had to sit out each time as they rotated – but this was not a big deal since they switch partners so often. But maybe they thought that I was hogging my man and there were less turns for them? I say hands off, bitches.
I guess I could be misinterpreting things. Some people honestly had no problem with it. But I don’t want to start pissing everyone off. Or maybe I don’t care if I do? Matt and I actually learned what we were supposed to learn, and we could lead and follow, and we had fun. So maybe I just need to ignore the dirty looks and do what works for us.
It’s frustrating because we are already kind of outsiders there. Most of the people are much older than us and we really just haven’t clicked with anyone there. We say hello to people and try to be friendly but they’re very clique-ish and I feel somewhat awkward. I guess I’ve answered my own question here since really – why should I care what these people think? They have no justified reason to be upset because we god forbid want to learn something the way that works for us. Look at me up on this horse. It sure is high.
At least I won’t have to dance with anyone who smells like cheese.