Johnny Charro  and the Johnny Charro Dance Band
 
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       A Tribute To Johnny Charro Video • April 2008 . . .

In dance studios there are always those students who go to group classes, take individual classes and can never be seen at parties in clubs. This fact is very disturbing. Often when students are asked why they never go to parties and other events, they usually answer: "Well, I don't think I'm ready yet."

Going to parties is very important at any grade level!

Whether or not you're ready to dance at parties in the first place should be the main goal of learning.

There is no point in learning to dance if you don't put it into practice. It's like learning a foreign language but not using it in your daily life - you won't end up learning it really well or worse, you'll forget it.

Nothing beats being in the trenches with grenades exploding all around you

Classes and parties go hand in hand, they help each other, you will need to use your skills.

An analogy might be learning to drive a car. How is it easier to learn: by learning from books or in a driving school?

Learning is no substitute for the fact that you will be behind the wheel most of the actual learning time.

You can, of course, always improve your skills by taking classes!

Sure, some of you might say, "okay, individual or group classes are like driving a car as well"-that might be true, but it's like driving a car in an enclosed lot. What about traffic flow? What about traffic lights? What about different types of roads? What about drunk drivers? The different types of cars that are different to drive...? And so much more.

There's nothing like real-life conditions.

You can practice with your teacher or partner or other students, but what will you personally do when you find yourself on a crowded dance floor? What if your partner/partner can't turn correctly or keep their balance? What if the floor is sticky, or too slippery? What if your shoes are uncomfortable? What if the dance floor is too dark or the music system is too bright? What if you can't tell the score from the music? What if you drink a few cocktails? What if your partner drinks a few cocktails...? Or what if all the people around you are a little drunk!

Mistakes are an important part of learning.

When you go to a club, keeping certain moves in your mind - you will make mistakes. You may not be able to do that movement or bunch correctly at your first party or, in the case of a partner, you may not be able to follow your partner's lead.

But, you should not give up. The next time you go to a club and try the same move, you might only make 3 mistakes. Maybe the next time after that, you will make only 1 mistake... and so on. That is how you will improve your skills. It doesn't magically work the first time, the tenth time will be much better than the first time. That's the way it's been for me - it's the natural course of things.

Rule 3-1.

Very simple and especially for classes: for every hour of class, there should be at least 3 hours of partying and practicing on your own what you learned in that hour. This may seem crazy, but it's not. If you go to a club by 9 o'clock and leave at 12, that's three hours. If you go to parties twice a week - plan accomplished! It's just like working with your tutor and doing your homework.

Practice is the way to perfection

Some students take weekly individual classes, but here's the basic problem: In individual classes, if the tutor is very good, you'll learn a lot of things you need to keep working on. In group classes there is the same point, all the little details make a huge difference. Practice what you learn in class. Otherwise, you will have to re-learn the same things you learned in the last class or work on new things without solidifying the old ones. Why do some people never see their dance skills improve? They go and take classes, but they never practice what they are learning. It's like going to class at a university, listening to lectures, and never doing homework.

Homework is the key to good learning

There is no more fun homework than going to a party and dancing! If you do take individual classes, if it's a good instructor, the instructor will know to give you time between classes to soak up the knowledge, practice it yourself, and try it out at parties.

Because when you try the moves in the club, you will make some mistakes and come back to the instructor with questions.

But, you will feel the progress! and that's an important part of learning, because every time you come back, there are fewer and fewer questions.

Fear is a sin.

Being intimidated to the point where you don't even go to the party is a capital Sin! The best cure is to go out there and dance right now.