Dance Classes Vs One-to-one

For the last 15 months, most activities have had to resort to some sort of remote teaching.  We’ve all had to get used to platforms like Zoom, and relying on our internet connections and space in our living rooms. We’ve got used to seeing faces on screen, and following instructions on videos. Most instructors can’t wait to get back to teaching ‘real people,’ and most clients are looking forward to going back out to classes again. 

Whether virtual or live, most dance teachers and exercise specialists will offer both group classes and one-to-one options to their clients. I certainly do. Some clients prefer one option to the other, with others combining both. But what are the pros and cons of classes and one-to-one sessions?

I guess for most people, the initial option, and often preferred option, is the group class. Dependant on venue, and popularity, classes can be small and intimate, or quite large. The larger the class, the more difficult it is for the teacher to keep a good eye on everyone in the room, or on the screen.  

Group classes are a great way to get a feel for a class, whether it is a dance class, Pilates, Yoga or martial arts class. You get to meet other people, and feel less exposed – if you’re trying an activity for the first time, it can feel quite intimidating, and I know a lot of people just want to blend into the background. Because there are other people, there is an element of accountability: “I’ll see you next week!” is an extra incentive to build a habit and commit to your chosen class. And financially it is, of course, the cheaper option.

But are you missing anything in a group class? Well, potentially, yes. If the class is very small, the teacher is able to focus on individuals, correcting technique etc. But in a larger group it often isn’t possible to correct anything more than general problems and errors.

This is where the one-to-one session can be helpful. Albeit the more expensive option, it does allow the teacher a chance to focus on just you. Yes, that might feel like being under the microscope, but if you have specific needs, or issues you need to address, the only way to do this effectively is in a one-to-one situation. If you have a question, or don’t understand something in a class, most people shy away from asking the teacher for fear of holding up the class. And if you’re on Zoom, you’re probably muted anyway. But in a one-to-one, that’s where all those questions can be addressed.  

There’s also this issue of timetabling. Group classes generally take place at the same time each week, whether that’s a morning, afternoon or evening. Sometimes other commitments get in the way and you miss a class. If you work shifts, for example, it could mean you missing 1 or 2 classes a month. At best, it’s irritating. At worst, you feel you’re missing out, or dropping behind the rest of the class.

One-to-one sessions can normally be arranged at a time to suit, so can be arranged around your commitments. This can make them easier to fit in, either on a regular or ad hoc basis.

So whether you’ve always only attended classes, or you’ve stuck to a one-to-one session, maybe it might be worth giving the other option a go? A combination of group classes for the social aspect, and one-to-one to address the little niggles, might mean this is the year you really progress in your chosen activity.