“I’m ready to dance! How do I get started?”

 

Welcome to Joy of Motion! We’re here to help you make dance part of your daily life.

If you just found us and you are wondering how to get started, here’s some guidance for our new adult students:

Q: I have literally never set foot in a dance studio before. What do I do?

Hooray! We are jazzed (heh) to get started with you. Joy of Motion currently provides 89 drop-in classes and 28 “series” classes for adult students, divided among our three studio locations on H Street NE, in Friendship Heights DC, and downtown Bethesda. If you are brand-new to dance and, frankly, think it sounds a little intimidating, we have two suggestions:

  • Sign up for a Basics class. These are “series” classes, meaning that they run for multiple weeks and provide cumulative training. If you think Jazz sounds awesome, you can enroll in a Jazz Basics class with a group of other first-time dancers and you will all ease into the experience together.
  • Take an “All Levels” drop-in class. These are a fun, high-energy way to get started at Joy of Motion. You get the experience of being in the studio and meeting our instructors, but these classes doesn’t require any prior training. (You won’t need to pick up choreography or anything.) “All Levels” drop-in classes include Dancer Conditioning, Brazilian Samba, West African, and Zumba.

Q: I danced throughout my childhood, but am out of practice. What about me?

You just described so many of our adult students! You are welcome to start in Basics class, but that may be a little slow for you. (But hey, sometimes slow is good.) One option is to take an “All Levels” drop-in class or two, just to get a feel for Joy of Motion. You also can take a Beginner-level drop-in class, which presumes some previous experience in the style, but isn’t going to be as fast-moving as an Advanced Beginner class. Even a Beginner class may be a shock to the system if you haven’t taken classes regularly in awhile, but we encourage you to stick with it and let your muscle memory come back. Our instructors see this all the time.

Q: Okay, I perused the drop-in schedule and signed up for a class. What do I bring?

We have some guidelines on what to wear right here. Generally speaking, you want to pull your hair back and wear comfortable clothes that aren’t too baggy or loose. Most of our adult students wear form-fitting workout clothes, so you absolutely don’t need to buy a leotard and tights for ballet unless you want to. The only classes that require specific footwear are tap and flamenco, so we encourage you to call our studios or visit a dancewear store for guidance. For hip hop, we suggest sneakers. For ballet, you can obviously wear ballet shoes if you have them, but you won’t be alone if you skip that. For anything else, you are fine in socks or bare feet. We just ask that you change into your dance shoes at the studio. (We don’t want to track snow or other detritus on the dance floors.) Other good items to bring are water bottles and an outer layer for when you’re warming up.

Q: I have dance class today! What do I do?

Give yourself a little extra time to get there because our studios can be crowded on some days and Metro can be unpredictable. Once you arrive, you want to go to the front desk and say, “I’m here for Hip Hop with Jasmine” or “I’m checking in for Afro-Cuban with Angela.” Each of our locations has 3-4 studios, so the front desk manager can tell you where your class will take place. If there is another class going on in that space, you can chill out in lobby until it wraps up; but if you are the first class of the morning, for example, you can usually head right in. Many students claim a spot on the floor (or the barre) and do some light stretching before class starts. You can leave your stuff on the edge of the room.

Below is some more information about each location:

  • H Street (1333 H Street NE): our studio is directly connected to the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The Atlas is on the left and we are on the right. You can find a photo of our front door on this page. Parking can be a challenge in the evening, so give yourself a little extra time.
  • Friendship Heights (5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW): we are on the second floor, so come in the door labeled “Joy of Motion,” go up the stairs, and walk down the long hallway. You will come to a short hallway on your right that leads to our lobby. This is where you check-in.
  • Bethesda (7315 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 180E): our street address is on Wisconsin Avenue, but the entrance is on Waverly Street. You can find a photo of the front entrance here. Walk up those rounded stairs, go into the lobby (it’s a big office building), and take a left at the front desk. You’ll pass a couple stores and come to a row of elevators on your right. Go down to “LL” and that’s us!

Q: I just finished dance class and it was awesome. Now what?

Sign up for your next class before you leave. Seriously. Once you’ve gone a few times in a row, it becomes a habit — the healthy and cool kind. Plus you get to know the studio staff, fellow students, and instructors and it’s a fun social experience as well.

If you enjoyed the experience, but aren’t sure you were in the right class or level, go to the front desk and ask for a studio manager (or assistant manager). They all have dance backgrounds themselves and are great at providing guidance to our students. We’ll find a class that works for you. Or we’ll reassure you that you’re in the right class now and just need a little more time to acclimate!