Regardless of your previous experience as a dancer, my advice is to start at the beginning of the book and study it throughout. Only by studying it from the beginning can you thoroughly understand it.
By moving from the simple to the complex, the complex becomes simple.
Also, let me caution you not to try to progress too fast. Many students, over-enthusiastic at first, attempt too much, then grow discouraged and stop. This is commonly referred to as “the curve of learning.” We learn rapidly at first, then we hit a plateau where things seem to be insurmountably difficult, but if we persist and do not permit discouragement to deter us, we move on smoothly again.
There is always this lapse after the first wave of enthusiasm. After this period, enthusiasm rekindles and progress will remain fairly constant.
Learn to do the first simple steps well before taking up the more difficult steps. To learn to do these simple basic steps well, may seem trifling, but trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
Social dancing is more popular now than ever before. People have time for it. With each succeeding generation less time is needed to produce the necessities of life, more time is available to cultivate the artistic and social aspects of life. In medieval Europe, only the aristocracy learned to dance well. Dances took place in the courts of kings and queens. Dancing masters were patronized only by the very wealthy. Later it was adopted by the rich merchant class. In our time, it is possible for everyone to become an accomplished dancer.
A nation-wide survey made by eighty leading psychologists proved dancing to be the best-known personality developer. According to the popular syndicated newspaper feature: “Let’s Explore Your Mind,” owned by the John S. Dille Company of Chicago, “There are no delinquents among children who study dancing.”
While it is true that you can learn to dance through a study of this book, nothing can really take the place of a dancing class, because in a class you have the companionship of others, the inspiration given by a good teacher, and the fun of sharing your enthusiasm as you develop perfection.
This book, as a supplement to your lesson, will aid you to learn more rapidly, but dancing is a social skill and in a dancing class you can immediately start applying it socially. We are by nature gregarious creatures and we enjoy dancing best when we are sharing our pleasure.
That is why group dances such as the Virginia Reel and the Square Dance will always be with us in some form.
Besides being one of the oldest forms of art, dancing is probably the most universally popular. Anyway you look at it—dancing is fun!