Short for improvisation, improv focuses on the spontaneous creation of action without any pre-planning, and while it may tend to be taught as a comedic art form, there is so much more to it than this. Taking an improv class has so many different benefits, from boosting confidence to training the brain, so even if improv may feel like something that is so far removed from your comfort zone, it is still most definitely worth giving it a go.
A Confidence Booster
There is no getting around the fact that you will feel silly performing some of the improvisation tasks you will be asked to do in a class, but this is exactly what helps to build confidence. Rather than worrying about what you look like and what others are thinking of you, improv teaches you to let go and live in the moment, which will give you a whole new air of confidence. This is the reason why improv is often recommended to those that suffer from anxiety and shyness, as it can really help to change your perspective on life.
Public Speaking Skills
Research has shown that performing and speaking in public is, on average, the biggest fear in the USA, even coming in front of the fear of dying. Rather than allowing social anxiety to hold you back, take an improv class to help improve your public speaking skills.
A Brain Trainer
Improvisation classes are a great way to train your brain to act faster, which is helpful in so many different situations. The fact that improvisation does away with all pre-planning and preparation means that your brain needs to organize ideas, emotions and sentences straight away, which is a fantastic form of brain training.
What to Expect at an Improv Class
Not knowing what to expect can often be the most frightening part of taking an improv class for many, but, no matter what your class may consist of, you can be sure that you will have plenty of fun. Improv takes place in a group setting, and most of the learning will be done via games and exercises, with the whole group involved. There is very rarely individual work to do, meaning that nervous beginners will find safety and comfort in numbers. Many people that take an improv class for the first time feel as though they have to try extremely hard to be funny, but this is not the case. Let go of any expectations that you may have, and just enjoy being in the moment. Taking this extra pressure off of yourself will enable you to really be free and make the most of the class.
Even if you are not looking to be an actor or performer, an improv class can still be extremely useful, as it will provide you with skills that you can apply to just about every area of your life. From boosting your confidence and aiding with social anxiety, to training your brain to work faster, improv classes will help to improve your whole outlook on life, and will be plenty of fun too.