There it is that lump in the throat, those clammy hands, butterflies in the stomach, pounding heart, feeling like you can't breathe, and not to mention your head feels like it is going to explode! These are just some of the feelings that you may be feeling going into your first class!
Whether you are a seasoned attender or if this is your first class ever, there are always some nerves, excitement, and emotions surrounding your first day. This blog is to help you prepare, understand, and have tools to better overcome those annoying feelings.
Things to Do Prior to your First Class:
Do you know the date of your first class?
Do you know what time your class starts?
Do you know how long it will take you to travel from you previous location to the studio?
Have you filled out the registration form?
Have you looked over the studio rules and conduct?
Have you looked over the dress code and have a plan for your first class?
Having these things figured out can really help calm and prepare you for your first day. Along with these things it is always a good idea to show up 15 minutes early to your first class to get to know your surroundings, sign any waivers, meet some of your class mates, and maybe even meet your Instructor before class! Also, knowing when class gets done and who will be there to pick you up can be good information to have; that way you don't have any extra stuff to worry about during class.
Things to Bring to Class:
What are you Wearing? Leotard/ Dance Belt, Pants, Shorts, Tights, etc.
Do you have your dance shoes? (Put them on at the studio! NEVER wear outside!)
Water bottle (Other drinks are not permitted in movement spaces but are fine in the lobby)
Pen or Pencil for Workshops and Theater Classes
Specialty Class Equipment Required (i.e. Thera-band, script, cd, etc.)
Having all these things ready to go before needing to be out the door for you first class will help you feel better prepared and calmer going into your class. I like to have all of this in my dance bag by the door so I don't have to scramble looking for anything when it is time to leave. I can grab by bag and go. Also, having these items will make you feel more comfortable in and around the class. For instance, if you teacher gives you a water break and you were the only one without a water bottle you will be standing there watching everyone drink water, even though there is nothing wrong with this, it can make nerves rise and you feel super uncomfortable really fast.
But it doesn't matter how much we are truly prepared there is always that little pit in our stomach that just doesn't go away. This is because you are excited and when we get excited, nervous, or scared our brains release a chemical into our bodies called Adrenaline. This can make havoc on our nerves. Adrenaline manifests itself in different ways for different people but it can give you, clammy hands, butterflies in your stomach, make you jittery, make you hyper, make your heart pound, make you feel like it is hard to breath, and even make you sweat buckets. So, here it is the questions, how do we get rid of it? Sadly, there is nothing you can do to make it go away completely, it part of our body and how we were created to handle stress in our lives, but there are a few tricks that can help!
Things to Help with Adrenaline:
Bring something comforting from home. (i.e. stuffed animal or blanket)
Breathe! Focusing on breathing can calm and reduce stress
Listent to Music (Music is a great form that can access a different part of our brain)
Ignite your Imagination- thinking about far off calming places works great!
Get Moving! Exercise and being active is the best way to get that chemical pumping through your body and absorbed into your blood.
Some of these things might work really well for you and some may not work at all, because we are all different and our bodies can all do different things. Which brings me to my final point.
It isn't about showing off!!! There is nothing more stressful than walking into some place that you feel like you have to be the best at everything. It isn't a competition between you and anyone there, whether that is your teacher or the other students. I want you to look back at the title of this blog... go ahead... I'll wait... What did it say? What was the 2nd word? "Class" hmm, a "Class" is something that you go to, to learn, grow, expand your knowledge, and become better at. If you can come to your first "Class" and "Show Off" then what is there for you to learn at your class? Why are you taking it? I, as an Instructor, love the students that come to the first class prepared and ready to learn with room for expansion. You can't teach a "know-it-all" but you can teach a "learn-it-all!"
If you remember these things you will be fine at your first class. I know you will, but don't stress, there is really nothing to be nervous about, you will be just fine! I hope this blog has helped you feel a little calmer for your first class, but if you are still really nervous don't hesitate to reach out to us and make an appointment to come in and meet us and your instructor before you class! We are here to help you feel the best you can, because "It's All About The Relationship!"