Arthur Murray North Seattle Blog

The Surprising Truth About Dance Progress (Arthur Murray Curve Of Learning)

Posted by Arthur Murray North Seattle on Jun 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Let's talk about the most common question people ask when they walk in to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio: "How long does it take to learn to dance?"

How do you know if you're making progress?

Do you want to be a good dancer and feel comfortable at any social functions but are afraid it may take forever?

Dance instructors usually answer students, wondering about the time it will take, with something as generic as this: “It depends”. This might sound too vague, so here is a more precise answer: 14 to 18 hours.

Here we will explain the truth about dance progress no matter what your dance goals are.

So you decided to learn to dance, right? However, you're not sure exactly how long it will take to dance confidently. Here's the reality...

Give yourself roughly 16 hours and you’ll already be able to utilize your moves at social functions. Impressive, right?

Let's explore the reasoning. You probably have heard of the “10,000 hour rule to master a subject” by Malcom Galdwell. Most of us are not able to invest 5 hours a week for nearly 40 years to achieve mastery of a subject when it’s intended to be a hobby. You want to be able to just dance! It is the dance professionals at Arthur Murray's  belief, that in order to be proficient enough to enjoy this new hobby of dancing, you simply need to learn one lesson at a time.

Arthur Murray Curve of Learning

The initial step of learning something new can be uncomfortable and sometimes challenging. This may tempt us to give into our frustrations and just give up. The same goes with taking dance lessons. In the studio, it has been observed that, when people continued with their lessons past the 18 hour mark, their progress and rate of success increased exponentially.

So this is the challenge:

"You must overpower your setbacks by remaining determined for at least 18 hours so you can see the possibilities unfold".

Commit yourself to 8 sessions of each of the groupings used for the Arthur Murray learning system:

  • Private Lessons
  • Practice Time Lessons (Group Classes & Practice Sessions),

This will allow you, altogether, to log 18 hours on the dance floor.

To break it down, it should look like this:

  1. 6 hours of one on one (or one teacher with couple) instructions

  2. 6 hours of repetition in group classes

  3. 8 hours of simulated social dancing time to apply and see the progression

Now imagine yourself putting in this initial time investment, dancing with more confidence only after 18 hours of dance practice. You will no longer be stuck in the ‘new kid’ part of the experience.

No more feeling awkward or running away to the bathroom to avoid a dance invitation.

Furthermore, going to your dance lessons will become more comfortable, your joy for dancing will increase, and you will be well on your way to ‘knowing how to dance’!

As you pass the 18 hour mark, you will be able to dance: that is a promise! The Arthur Murray program has been specifically structured to make this process easiest for everyone because they truly understand how hard it is to take the first step into a dance studio.  Most students start without any background in dancing, so it is recognized that learning to ballroom dance can seem extra daunting.

This can be overwhelming for us emotionally if we are not aware of the curve of learning.  Some people will attend their first lessons, but quit after they experience the "awkward stage of learning", oblivious to the fact that if they had just stuck it out for a little longer, they would have reaped the rewards! The learning process is never easy but the many benefits are always worth it.

There will always be bumps and little road blocks along the way. Embrace it! This is a normal part of the process in a lot of the valuable skills we learn in life!

With over a hundred years of experience, the Arthur Murray learning system will get you past the ‘New Student’ or 'Awkward' phase and into the ‘Just Dancing For Fun’ phase, as quickly as possible so you will be ready to go out and dance anywhere!

Arthur Murray North Seattle Blog


Topics: New Students, Dance Advice

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