With the school holidays, exams and competitions coming up, you may be wondering what can I do to enhance my dance training this year? As the saying goes, ‘practice makes progress’, but beyond practicing here are some tips which can further develop your dance skills.
Make a dance-related goal for you to achieve this year. Remember to make it ‘SMART’- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. This means, making a goal for example to do ‘3 back handsprings in a row’ when you have never done Acro before and don’t take an Acro class, may be unrealistic for you to achieve. Choose a goal that seems possible and relates to your own growth, not something that depends on others. Setting a goal to win a solo at competitions, may be possible, but relies on someone else’s opinion. Goal setting that is achievable for you can really enhance your development and progress in dance class and performance.
Practice, practice, practice. Most dancers who have been dancing for a while know that practicing is critical to success. But there are a few things to consider when practicing to get the most out of your time. 1. Practice your dance/skill properly! Practicing a dance or step while ‘marking’ it teaches your body to do that- mark it. Practicing dances flat out and doing turns, leaps, tricks properly, ensures that your body develops the correct muscle memory and build stamina and strength to perform that skill when required- not just a one off on stage. 2. Choose the right time to practice. Practicing late at night or half an hour before a performance may not be the right time for your body and brain to function at its best. Schedule time for practicing and make sure it is done when you are at your optimum.
Reflecting on your performance in class and on stage is critical for improvement. While taking on board corrections from teachers is essential, self-reflection is also very important. These days, videos of performances are readily available from competitions and virtually all phones can capture video. Reflecting on the overall performance, identifying areas of improvement, and reflecting on goals are all ways to personally reflect and improve your performance.
Work on your technique
Additional classes on top of your regular classes, will help extend and develop technique. Specialised classes such as Alixa Flexibility can help develop a dancer’s strength and flexibility which applies to all genres of dance. More genre specific classes such as Ballet Extension use Pilates and Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) to further develop ballet technique. In addition to these classes, broadening your scope of genres and stepping out of your comfort zone can really extend you as a dancer. For example, if Hip Hop is your thing and you excel in this area, taking a Tap class will help to improve skills, solidify technique, and improve muscle memory. This applies for any genre of dance.
Taking these tips on board will help you become an organised, well-rehearsed dancer with solid technique. Who could want more?! To book a free trial or find out more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org