So You Think You Can't Dance?

Sundance Saloon

Advice for beginning two-steppers at Sundance Saloon.

So often we hear folks telling us they can’t dance, so why even try? Or they’ll come to Sundance Saloon and take one lesson and give up. But it doesn’t have to be that way! We truly believe that if you can walk, you can two-step, because we’ve seen it happen again and again with “hopeless” cases. Give it a chance, and the rewards are great.

To help you along we’ve compiled ten advice tips for beginning dancers at Sundance Saloon:

1. Be patient with yourself.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sure there are a few talented folks who somehow grasp the concept in one lesson. But for us normal folks it can take weeks or months before two-stepping even begins to feel natural. And don’t compare yourself to folks on the dance floor who have been doing this for twenty years. They’ve been doing it for twenty years!

2. Count out loud.

We don’t know why newbies resist this suggestion. It really helps. Let your dance partner know you are a beginner and have them help you count! When you are starting out it is nearly impossible to two-step and carry on a conversation at the same time, so don’t even try. Try counting instead.

3. “Everyone is looking at me because I can’t dance.”

No, they’re probably not. And if someone is looking at you, it’s probably because they're thinking “how adorable.” We spend so much of our lives trying to get noticed! You want to be noticed! More visibility = more dance partners = more fun. Don’t stand in the shadows behind the crowd.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Sundance Saloon is a friendly place. If someone asks you to dance, say yes (it’s OK to tell folks you are a beginner). Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to dance. Yes, it’s terrifying. But the more you get out on the dance floor, the faster you’ll feel comfortable in your boots. Force yourself to meet one new person each time you come. If you come once a week, in a year you’ll have fifty dance partners!

5. Ask good dancers to dance with you.

This seems counter-intuitive. Beginners often enjoy and end up dancing with other beginners. But you are going to learn so much more when you dance with someone who is better than you.

6. Practice, practice, practice!

Did we say this already? Well, you can practice outside of Sundance Saloon too! Walk around your house stepping slow-slow-quick-quick, or if you’re really brave try it going down the sidewalk or while pushing the cart down the grocery aisle. Hey, this is San Francisco. No one will notice.

7. It’s OK to make mistakes.

You don't have to say “sorry” every time you mess up. You’ll probably say it anyway, but understand it is not necessary.

8. Reward yourself as you reach a milestone.

The first time you do a slow-slow-quick-quick pattern successfully, clap your hands. The first time you make it all the way around the dance floor, say a little cheer. The first time you get through an entire song – now that calls for chocolate!

9. Have fun.

Starting out can feel little bit like torture, but ultimately it’s about having fun. Sure there may be an element of frustration that’s not so much fun. But think about the new connections you’re making, about the human contact you can’t get anywhere else, and how many times you smiled or laughed during the night.

10. Come back!

So maybe you didn’t do so well at your first outing. That doesn’t mean you can’t dance. We love to tell the story about someone who, when starting out, was told by his friend, “You may be one of those people that just never quite gets it.” Well, he didn’t give up, and now years later he’s a dance instructor! Keep trying and we promise you it will eventually click, and it is soooooo worth it. The best way to learn is to come back again and again.

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