Think You're Too Advanced for a Beginner Class? Think Again!

Most lindy hoppers go through a stage where they think they need a more advanced class to improve. Everyone wants to be in the most advanced class they can (or can’t) handle. If they can do the material then somehow the class is below them. Everyone wants the class material to be hard, but not too hard. This is particularly apparent at big weekend lindy events where your track level is considered some kind of badge of honor.

If you can’t improve from taking a beginner/beginner intermediate class, it just means you don’t know what to look for or are not asking the right questions. Or you simply do not know your own dancing very well.

Classes of this level provide a variety of opportunities. By taking a lower level class, you can put attention to the details. Instead of spending your focus just trying to keep up, you can asking the questions needed to improve your fundamentals.

Some years ago I took the beginners track with two of my favorite dancers. It was incredible to see them break down basics like the swingout and tuck turn. I could see the essential movements of lindy hop done slowly and clearly. I could watch where they stepped exactly and attempt to replicate it. Most importantly, I could ask lots of helpful questions.

If you don’t know what to ask, start with, “How can I do this better?” This is the easiest question to ask and the one not asked nearly enough.

Side Note: It was passed along to me that Frankie Manning did always care for teaching “advanced classes.” He said that the more “advanced” dancers were not always as receptive to his material and what he had to offer. Baffling, I know!

MARK KIHARA