Excerpted from West Coast Swing Online
1. Go Out and Dance!
For a new dancer, almost nothing is scarier than going to your first social dance. Dancers love to see new people joining the community, and will be patient as you learn the dance. Remember that they were beginners, too, and they know exactly how you feel right now. The sooner you go to a dance, the sooner you’ll realize that you had nothing to fear.
2. Practice Your Basics
The importance of practice is so well known that it has almost become a cliché. Many beginners don’t practice because they don’t know what to work on. Actually, this is a huge advantage for beginners: because you only know a few moves, everything you can practice is a foundational skill.
3. Everyone Else Feels Awkward, Too
No matter how confident others look, they have insecurities about their dancing. Being a new dancer means feeling like your feet are on backwards, you don’t know how to walk — and how the heck did my arm get there? Don’t be frustrated; you have the opportunity to do something new, with no expectations! Give yourself permission to feel awkward, and know that every dancer has to go through that feeling before they look cool.
4. Have Fun!
Dancing is supposed to be fun! No matter how challenging the dance feels, remember that this is ultimately a recreational activity. There’s no prerequisite for having a good time when you dance. Even if you’re tripping over your feet and can’t find the beat to save your life, you can still smile and enjoy spending your three minutes with your partner. You can keep working on your skills!