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Lesson Formats

Getting the Most Out Of It

Given the variety and flexibility of Cool Cats lessons, there are many ways that each student can organise their dancing to suit their lifestyle, personality, and dance goals. Some people work well with commitment to a course of instruction, while for others a more casual approach is desirable. However you want (or need) your classes to work for you, the available lesson formats ensure that each student can systematically progress their dancing.

The following discussion provides a brief indication of how each lesson format may be employed as part of a program of development for each student. Students are encouraged to mix and match lessons to best suit their needs and goals.

General Classes & Private Lessons

These lessons are invaluable to provide focus and direction to the specific needs and goals of each dancer. In this regard it is strongly recommended that dancers attend with a regular partner (or consistently work with the same instructor/assistant) to allow core skills to be refined and relevant issues to be resolved. Such lessons are also a great opportunity to reinforce content covered in a course or workshop, examing those elements of most interest or where some of the kinks need to be smoothed out.

Because these lessons are pitched to the level of the student(s) they are a brilliant opportunity for newer dancers to consolidate the fundamentals or for experienced dancers to push the limits of their abilities. Consequently, student feedback and queries are very much encouraged to inform and direct each dancers progress. In this manner, each student may shape their dance journey with the guidance of our instructors rather than being restricted by available course content. 

For those with irregular schedules, general classes and private lessons may also be used to:

 
* Fill the gap for a missed lessons in a course.

* Follow a course program as availability permits.

* Complete required  content to enable participation in the progressive Aerials and other advanced classes or workshops.


Structured Courses

These lessons are great for those people who enjoy a group learning experience, may not yet have a regular partner, or would like to explore a different dance style. Even for those dancers who may be familiar with a dance style, the design of each course with an emphasis on key elements of the dance will provide insight, knowledge, and refined skills. While the class is taught as a group, instructors and class assistants circulate through the students and may be engaged to provide brief review and clarification specific to each dancer.

If you have never danced before, Cool Cats suggests that you master the Tier 1 content before progressing. Approach the Tier 2 content as an opportunity to add some variety to your dancing, but ensure you are comfortable with the core skills first. Experienced dancers should also remember that it’s always good to practice basics! Better basics are the key to better dancing and smoother progression.

The general classes should be employed in conjunction with the structured courses to examine those elements for which you would like more detail. This is particularly relevant to Tier 3 content, which is not taught to students who have not yet become confident with skills and concepts introduced in the courses.

Short Courses & Workshops

These lessons should be used by dancers to gain greater insight and skills in certain dance elements such as leading and following. Students are then encouraged to integrate this knowledge into a greater appreciation and application of over-arching methods and principles to refine, personalise, and define their dancing. Short courses and workshops are also heaps of fun and can be a great way to break up the regular routine of lessons.

Lesson Formats

People have different goals for their dancing and everybody must juggle different life commitments. Cool Cats lessons are designed to provide a format that will accommodate every dancer that wishes to learn. General lessons are entirely flexible, allowing students to learn any dance style(s) they chose at their own pace and they are great for people with irregular schedules. Meanwhile, our variety of 6 week courses will suit those who enjoy a group learning environment or tackling new skills in progressive "bite size chunks". Workshops and short courses allow students to explore different styles, focus on advanced dance skills and concepts, and simply have a fun change from week to week lessons.

General Classes & Private Lessons

Partner Recommended

These lessons provide the perfect opportunity for established dancers to explore different dance styles, work on specific aspects of their dance development, or practise content covered in the structured classes.  The personal instruction can also be of great benefit to new dancers, allowing problem areas or injuries to be quickly identified and addressed, assisting with timing and counts, and defining good dance frame and body pressure. Students have the advantage of being able to directly work with the instructors to gain better understanding of dance aspects that they find difficult.

In addition, these lessons are ideal for anyone who cannot attend regular classes, whether this is due to work, family, social, or other commitments. Dancers may co-ordinate with their partner (or work with one of our teachers/assistants) to progress in a manner that fits their schedule. This may include working through the content of the structured classes, targeted dance evaluation and revision, or a simple relaxed approach to dance practice and variety.

Finally, for those people who are interested in learning solely with their partner or who feel uncomfortable in a group setting, such lessons do not include any changes of partner or directed group instruction. All students are encouraged to feel comfortable dancing with their own dance partner before ‘needing to dance’ with others. On occasion common lesson content may be taught to multiple students learning the same at the level and style. This typically involves joint teaching and demonstration of dance figures, then allowing each dance couple to progress at their own pace – there is no expectation for students to perform/understand the skills/information presented within a common time-frame.

Structured Courses

Partner Preferable

Cool Cats structured classes are intended for beginner and intermediate students. There is optional rotation* in class so that a ‘tiered’ approach to instruction may be employed, allowing students with a regular partner to focus on higher level content. Changes of partner are encouraged so that dancers may experience differences in the lead/follow – and also have some fun!

The classes are designed to provide a clear and readily accessible process for dance development:

Each class provides a 5-10 minute practice and warm-up session to run through the previous lesson and allow feed-back to individual queries and review.

There are three courses aimed at developing specific aspects of dancing: body mechanics, pressure, and timing and harmony. Workshops and occasional “Mix-Up!” lessons combine these elements with new content to provide variety, fun, and experience in ‘putting it all together’.

A weekly content summary and course routine is provided. Detailed class notes, appropriate to the proficiency of the dancer, are also available for each course (or are currently in development).

Partners are not forced to change in more advanced (Tier 2+) courses. Dancers have the freedom to focus on any chosen tier or component of the lesson or previous content.


*Optional Rotation

Optional rotation is available to all full-fee paying students in Tier 2+ courses. During class those students participating in the rotation will change partners as each song finishes; those couples who do not wish to rotate are requested to step out from the circle to allow the rotation to proceed smoothly. Class instructors and assistants may either work with individual couples or join the rotation to help initiate partner changes and provide personal feedback to students.


Short Courses

Course Dependent

These 6 week courses cover a variety of dance skills, from the fundamentals of leading & following to basic (introductory) aerials. Consequently, the relevance of each course must be determined by dancers according to their interests, skills, and knowledge. Each course is independent, but typically complimentary to, the other short courses offered and skills/concepts introduced in the structured courses. A description of each short course is provided here. Short courses are run on a demand basis and may be offered in a workshop format instead.

Workshops

Course Dependent

Workshops are not part of the regular suite of Cool Cats lessons, but may be held on occasion to address specific student interests or, more frequently, in support of community events or programs. Workshops may cover the full spectrum of dance, serving as an introduction to 'retro' dance in some instances, or alternatively providing a dedicated forum to examine specific skills and content for experienced students. Some workshops get right into the nitty gritty, while others are just for fun.


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