I had been a dancer for 15 years. I also taught dance for 5 years. I took a few different types of dance like ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, but my specialty was lyrical. Lyrical is a mix of ballet and jazz techniques. There are many different types of dance: ballroom, Broadway, modern, etc. They all have their own challenges so when picking a type of dance watching others perform is a good way to get an idea of the dance.
The best way to learn about dance is to take a dance class. It takes a lot of strength and flexibility no matter which discipline a dancer chooses. Getting the basics down (first position, second position, etc.) will be the first challenge, but don’t get discouraged if you can’t learn them right away. Yes, it can be painful for beginners, but that’s just because it’s new to the body.
To better a student’s technique the student might want to request a video of their practice so they can go back later to watch their performance and progress. This way the student can see exactly what he/she is doing wrong and can apply corrections.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy dancing. Judges or the audience will know if you don’t want to be there. So remember to have fun and put your personality into it and it won’t matter if you are perfect as long as the audience can tell you are having fun.