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to think either you can dance, or you can't - it's not something you can learn?

(24 Posts)
cherryburton Tue 05-Jul-11 21:28:30

I went to my first zumba class tonight because they were on offer and I like a new challenge, even though I know I have absolutely zero coordination.

It was fun, but I am crap at it. If I manage to just about figure out what my feet should do as soon as I incorporate arms, or having to change direction I bugger the whole thing up. I love music but I cannot fricking dance.

I'm wondering if it's something that can be practiced and improved, or if it's like a gene that you either have or you don't? Should I resign myself to just doing it for the fun of it knowing I will always be a graceless elephant?

LaurieFairyCake Tue 05-Jul-11 21:31:28

Of course you can improve - that's why folk take lessons you daft mare.

You will get the hang of it providing they use repetition, you will have your brain retrained.

vintageteacups Tue 05-Jul-11 21:31:57

I can dance very well to music being played and me just dancing but ask me to follow an aerobics routine that involves mirroring the person at the front but shouting left, right etc, and I'm useless!

I think to be able to dance,you need rhythm so be able to count the beat and know how slow/fast to move to be in time with it.

Are you good at general dancing to your favourite music?

DilysPrice Tue 05-Jul-11 21:37:30

Years of watching Strictly Come Dancing has taught me that some people just don't have the necessary equipment. Some of the celebs who come in are youngish, fit, athletic, well motivated, given weeks of intensive training by brilliant celebrities and they just plain suck. You can push them through a routine without falling over or stepping on their partners feet, but they're never ever going to be able to light up the floor.

cherryburton Tue 05-Jul-11 21:38:30

Laurie grin that's what I thought about the lessons, but then I wondered if you maybe have to have a spark of ability in the first place otherwise it's a bit like trying to teach a door!

vintage - I haven't been dancing for years, it's not something that's ever come very naturally and I usually have to be shitfaced to even contemplate it. I just always feel incredibly self conscious and I don't know if it's something I can get over. I'd love to, and I'm going to give it a go, but I'm not optimistic...

TheArmadillo Tue 05-Jul-11 21:39:40

I started dance lessons (ballet and then tap as well) from the age of 3 to well into my teens. I have also done lots of folk dancing stuff as a child (morris dancing, maypole dancing, etc). I have even tried belly dancing. I have a very good natural sense of rythmn apparently when it comes to playing music at least.

I cannot dance at all. Not even slightly. I can just about polka when drunk, badly, and that is my limit. I cannot make my body move in any kind of time to music or coordinate feet/arms/rest of body or perform anything that is recognisable as a dance move. Many have tried to teach me saying 'anyone can dance' before eventually giving up, weeping.

You can either dance or you can't - I can't. Unfortunately for our kids neither can dh so they probably have no fecking chance.

manicinsomniac Tue 05-Jul-11 21:42:51

Maybe it depends on your age but, ime, yes, you can learn.

Dance is one of the subjects I teach, albeit only on an extra curricular level atm. I have 3 dance clubs of around 15 children each aged 8-9, 9-11 and 11-13. About half are naturally good. Some are hopeless at first. But they all perform more or less the dame routine (minus the gymnasticy bits for the beginners) and they are awesome. It's great to see them practise and practise then suddenly get it.

Madinitials Tue 05-Jul-11 22:03:42

My DH cannot dance for toffee but preferred that we have a choreographed rumba for our first dance rather than him shuffling around the floor. He was as stiff as a board but we had a right laugh doing it.

I, on the other hand, am a badass dancer, can freestyle or copy and can probably dance as well as Beyonce.


mickeyjohn Tue 05-Jul-11 22:04:11

I am a Zumba instructor - you can see some AMAZING improvements in some people in just a few some people can definitely improve. However, others are BEYOND help - am not sure they notice or care but they are constantly goign the wrong way, doing something totally different to everyone else etc etc. But there's a definite level where you need natural talent to excel - look at Strictly! the ok-ish ones (prob like you or me) will do ok, but only the ones with raw natural talent will get to the final! Bit like everything else really- practise will get you a long way, but talent takes you further!

GypsyMoth Tue 05-Jul-11 22:28:17

My dad 'couldn't dance' 30 years ago when my mum dragged him down the village hall to a ballroom class! He was a big,dusty lorry driver.

He turned pro 15 years ago after winning British champs!!

He teaches now. (so many happy sequiny childhood memories)

cherryburton Wed 06-Jul-11 11:10:24

ILoveTIFFANY, that's amazing! (But I bet he had some sort of aptitude lurking the whole time he was in his lorry...)

mickeyjohn, you might have put me into your beyond help category if you'd seen me last night! I did go the wrong way several times and was by far the crappest person there! I might see if there's some clips on youtube I can practice to before next week. If I'm still rubbish after the 6 I think it's safe to say that there is no hope...

LucretiaInShadows Wed 06-Jul-11 11:56:37

Cherryburton, are you me?! I am hopeless at Zumba; the only time I'm copying the instructor accurately is when she's standing still! Eventually I get the feet, try to add arms and lose it altogether, and the humpy/bum-wiggly bits just confuse me beyond belief.

I was packed off to ballet as a small child, and allowed to stop after a few years when it was clearly not doing any good. I couldn't dance if my life depended on it, but will have a go when drunk.

Don't let it put you off Zumba, though. Even if you're putting your left foot forward when everyone else puts their right one back, it's still exercise, and after a while you learn some of the steps by sheer repetition. I'll always be clomping like an elephant while everyone else is wiggling gracefully, but once in a while, I clomp in the right direction.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 06-Jul-11 12:19:22

OP, consider walking. When you first started doing that, you were hopeless. Fell on your bottom, your knees; wobbled all over the place; looked really ungainly FOR YEARS. But you kept practising. Nowadays, you achieve it without giving it any thought, and can multitask whilst walking too. Just through all that practice.

Any physical task can be improved through practise. That's how the brain works. Keep at it!

AliceAirhead Wed 06-Jul-11 12:21:07

Been going to Zumba for 4 weeks now and I'm still crap. I try so hard to keep up but my feet still go all over the place. I make sure I lurk at the back so no one can see how useless I am. I enjoy it nonetheless, just resigned to the fact that it doesn't come as easily to me as it does to others.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Jul-11 12:21:11

everyone should be able to learn to dance.
you'll find out if you can't dance if you're still tripping up over your own feet after 2 years!

don't panic - i do bellydancing, and whenever we learn a new move, our teacher reassures us by telling us that it will feel weird until the "muscle memory" takes over.
and it does!

BitOfFun Wed 06-Jul-11 12:29:28

I can't dance to save my life. But I can drive, and I learnt boxing moves well, so their must be some semblance of coordination in there. I think that hideous self-consciousness just banjaxes me when it comes to lolloping around to music in front of strangers.

charliejosh Wed 06-Jul-11 12:33:09

zumba is NOT dancing! I hate this zumba craze because I am a dancer, doing cuban salsa mainly.

Zumba is an exercise class that uses latin music and loosely copies SOME salsa moves (albeit TERRIBLY so) If you are going to Zumba to learn to dance and also for exercise, I suggest you go to a real salsa class. Its just as hard work physically, but miles and miles better!

GypsyMoth Wed 06-Jul-11 12:34:47

my dad teaches couples to waltz properly for their wedding first dance.......he says he's been succesful with them all,but i guess he hasnt attended the weddings to find out!!

with strictly being so popular he's been inundated with pupils!

i bet he'd have you ALL looking graceful in no time!!grin

GypsyMoth Wed 06-Jul-11 12:35:42

charlie....salsa is as good as a workout anyway!!

herecomesthsun Wed 06-Jul-11 12:42:57

Can you do zumba when preggers?

cherryburton Fri 08-Jul-11 12:22:52

Don't see why not - there's no impact or anything like that, just a good cardio work out. In fact it would probably be quite good... smile

springydaffs Fri 08-Jul-11 13:41:38

course you can learn - get the groove and all that.

dancing's in the head imo - or not being able to dance is all about what's going on in the head. dancing is natural - look at toddlers.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 08-Jul-11 14:16:38

Some people are more naturally gifted than others but if its just down to co-ordination/motor skills then these can be improved with consistancy. I am crap at dancing but my zumba has improved - i just need to be near the front so I can see her feet. My co-ordination is fine, I just aint got the wiggle going on yet!

ShoutyHamster Fri 08-Jul-11 15:09:37

grin at tiffany's big dusty ole dad, transformed into a sequinned award-winning dervish

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