Dancing on a high level can be quite expensive if you're not careful. Oh yes, we all know how easy it is buy this and that, because you just love dancing. Here are 5 keys points on how to maximize your dancing, without having to "rob the bank".
1. Who are they to tell me what to do?
First of all, choose your teacher wisely. There are thousands of dance schools around the world and even more dance teachers. How do you know where to go? Well, do your research and find out more about your instructor before you put your "dance career" in their hands. Everyone is on internet these days.
Depending where you want to take your dancing- competitions, exams, shows etc. your teacher should be qualified to support you on your journey. Frankly, someone's passion for dance doesn't count as a qualification or relevant experience, neither does watching Strictly Come Dancing (US: Dancing With The Stars) every week.
2. What do you want?
You start dancing because there is something you want to achieve. Like lose weight, wear fantastic dresses, travel around etc. If you don't know what you are working towards, how will you know that you have reached your goal? Objectives and milestones keep us motivated and help to track progress.
Many of you may have heard about SMART objectives if you worked for a corporate company. Well, in dancing it is not much different. Your teacher should help you define your goals and give you the tools to reach them. You can read more about SMART objectives HERE. Speak to your teacher about your goals.
3. Do you homework.
Just like at school- do your homework. Dr Strange became great because he studied and practiced a lot. Yeah I mean, that guy from Marvel Comics. Isn't it what you would say to your children? High time to do as you preach.
At the end of the lesson it's great to a have clear idea of what you need to focus on before the next lesson. Ask your teacher if you are not sure. However, try to get a little bit more than "just practice" as its too vague. I would say to my students "memorize your choreography or your job is to know your timing inside out"- quite simple tasks and very clear but they still prove challenging to some.
It's easy to get distracted so make sure that once you know your homework, you complete the job. Don't suddenly end up spending your precious practice time on the technique of your oversway in Slow Waltz... (just because it's sexy and exciting).
When you know you have done your homework, doesn't it feel great to come to see your teacher and show them you have completed the task...? The magic words that every dance loves to hear from their coach "I can see you have been working hard. Much better"!!
This approach itself will save you time and money on repeating the same things over and over again. Also, it will keep you on track.
4. From a bus to dance floor.
You are a dancer and you use your body to produce something meaningful and artistic (hopefully). Certainly, you wouldn't go to an Award presentation in your Nike trainers and yesterday's top (again, hopefully). You would need to prepare yourself. The same for your lessons. To start off, look the part because this will make you feel better and more confident. Put on the clothes that make you feel good for all lessons and trainings!
Secondly, warm up! Go through your choreographies even in your head and stop wasting valuable lesson time as a warm up session. BTW- standing in one place and showing off your Hollywood smile doesn't count.
15-20 minutes is all you need to be ready. And remember you need to wake up both your body and mind. You can have a look at the brief article about simple warm up HERE.
5. Tell me why!
That's an interesting point and definitely worth considering. We have "thinkers" and "doers". Which one are you? If you are a thinker, you need to know the details and reasons behind everything your teacher says. When you are a doer, you just "do" without asking many questions. Well, we know that too much of anything is not a good thing so ask questions wisely!!
During the process of learning, you are at the stage where you don't feel the movement or understand what your teacher wants because it's so fresh and new. Ask your teacher to explain principles and then work on them at your own pace. The better the teacher, the more ways they will have to explain the same subject.
In summary, you can speed up your progress by following these 5 simple steps. They will help you get the most out of your dance lessons and empower you to be in charge of your dancing. There are more things of course, and I would love to hear what your thoughts are. Leave a comment below and tell me how you prepare for your lessons and what tricks work for you.
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Author: Marcin Raczynski