How to develop muscle memory as a dancer?
Every teacher talks about muscle memory. But what is it and how should we train it to be successful?
In this article you will find out what muscles memory is and how to train it.
Of course, your muscles don't remember things but your brain does. The more times your repeat something, the brain-to-muscle connection speeds up. Just like your internet browsing history and loading up a page. Repeating your choreography over and over again theoretically will make it stick. Unfortunately our brain doesn't distinguish which "muscle memories" are good or bad. So in fact, your blood, sweat and tears spent in studio can be just a waste if you don't do it right. You don't have to be mediocre at something despite your hard training, and this problem can be avoided. How?
1. Quality over quantity
Don't practice the whole choreography. Pick a small piece (1-2 bars) at a time and keep working on it. Do it over and over again. Sounds boring? Well, find way to make it exciting and speak to your teacher. I am sure they will give you a bucket full of ideas on what to improve on in your Natural Spin Turn in Slow Waltz or Whisks in Samba. 2. Patience is a virtue
Isn't it hard go through the same thing over and over again? Unfortunately, you may know what your muscles should do, but it doesn't necessarily mean they will do it. That's always give yourself time. Slowly build up and if you practice correctly, it is bound to stick.
Don't rush learning to dance but rather slow down and enjoy the journey!
We all know that the more regular you practice, the better results you will get (theoretically). However, as I said at the beginning muscle memory works both ways and you develop bad habits as well as the good ones.
This is why always ensure that you see your teacher regularly. It's easier to correct the faults before they become a habit.
As you can see all of it is common sense. However, you must admit that sometimes it's very easy to just run through your choreographies hoping the quality will improve suddenly. It's good to be reminded sometimes to slow down and the results will come.
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Photo Credits: Sam's Photography