This is part 2 of 4 of ‘A Guide to Different Types of Zouk Classes’. Click here to read part 1 if you’ve not read it yet.
In this series of blogs, I’ll share my thoughts on various learning methods, comparing the different class types and who they may be most suitable for.
Bootcamps & Intensive Courses
My Definition: Bootcamps are very structured and can range from being taught over a single weekend to a whole month. With smaller weekend boot camps focused on drilling a particular set of topics and longer curriculums progressively linking together all different aspect of dancing.
Class sizes are limited to ensure you receive adequate attention from the teachers throughout the training period. Most of the bootcamps I’ve been to work very hard to balance the gender ratio to promote equal development for leads and follows.
Taught by: Typically top professionals and world renowned dance artists.
Who is this suitable for? Depending on the intended audience, some bootcamps are designed for complete beginners, some for experienced and some for a mixture of all levels.
Who this not suitable for? Depends as above. Personally, all the bootcamps I’ve attended required you know how to lead or follow already.
Speed of progression: Moderate-Fast
Discipline & commitment required: High, for it to be highly effective. You’ll be spending a lot on travelling and spend entire weekends or weeks away.
My Comments: I love these bootcamps so much! They are by far one of the most incredible experiences and bang for my buck! I find them best value for money versus knowledge and experience gained. The bonus and gravy from doing bootcamps are the small size groups, which by the end would have given the chance to bond with nearly everyone.
I’ve had the chance to dance and practice with some truly amazing dancers from around the world, both in terms of passion and ability. Everyone is so humble and keen to learn which creates a resonating effect on each other. This is my ideal learning environment, the perfect balance of fun and challenging.
Simple enough to explain. Privates are generally 1:1 but can also be 1:2 or 2:2 with paired instructors.
Taught by: Zouk enthusiasts to top professionals and world renowned dance artists.
Who is this suitable for? Everyone.
Who this not suitable for? Someone who is on a tight budget.
Speed of progression: Fast
Discipline & commitment required: High
My Comments: Privates are essential for constant development and growth, it’s very rare that I’ve met an outstanding dancer who hadn’t taken any privates before. The cost may seem astronomical per hour, but if you do your calculation correctly, it actually works out to be very cost effective.
Say you participate in one weekly class every week that costs you £10. Each class is an hour long and you get 2 sessions that evening. So that’s 2 hours for £10 = £5 per hour.
Assume the class size is 20 people. You have 2 teachers teaching you. So if the teacher splits their attention to half the class, then that’s 10 people per teacher.
In 1 hour, that teacher can spread their attention to 10 people (usually unequally), so that would be an average of 6 minutes of actual teacher’s attention to you for £5.
Now, let us convert this to an hourly cost for easy comparison since most privates are charged per 60mins. 60mins / 6min = 10 units, therefore £5 x 10 units = £50 per hour is the real value you’re actually paying for undivided attention in group classes!
To get the most out of the privates, you should probably go in there knowing what you want to focus on. If you don’t, then you may just want to have a dance or two with the teacher during the private to identify your weakest points and what to focus on to give you the most improvement.
Most of my privates are always back to basics and correcting my axis, posture and weight shifting, with very little to do with actual leading and following. I had to learn how to move my own body correctly first, before trying to move with a partner.
Currently, I’ve been dancing Zouk for 5 years (3.5 years of actual Zouk learning) and I still utilise privates every 6 months with different international teachers as a dance health check; such as, if I’ve resolved previous bad habits and identify any new ones because it’s easy to pick up bad habits at any time.
If you’re wondering how many privates you should do? No matter if you are a beginner or experienced dancer, more if you can with as much different teachers 🙂