“Hey, write me a post for our blog,” said the director at our dance studio… about 6 months ago.
Seriously, I’ve been swerving her request ever since, because I just didn’t know what to write. (Sorry, Mrs. Crystal!) While I would call myself a writer and I’ve spent a large portion of my life as a dancer/dance teacher, I just wasn’t sure where to go with this request.
I’m a writer of the heart. My best writing comes from things I’ve felt, or directly observed, or experienced! So, once we got really started this season, I finally had a direction.
How to get the most out of your dance classes!
I know what you’re thinking, “Well, I show up every week!”
And that’s a great step in the right direction, but I’m going to share a secret with you.
When it comes to dance, just showing up is not enough.
Dance is defined like this:
1. move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps.
But it SHOULD be defined like this:
1. to move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps, maintaining energy and focus, as you sweat and work your sore muscles, all while trying to remember all the technique you’ve ever learned. Ever. Also, you should smile.
No, I’m not exaggerating.
In fact, that definition should be longer!
With that being said, let’s get down to business.
How to get the most bang for your buck during dance class:
Show up to WORK.
Your dance teachers knows you’ve been at school all day. In fact, they’ve probably worked a different job before coming to teach your class. We know you’re tired, we’re know you’ve been working all day, and we want you to have FUN in our classes, but just like school – dance takes focus.
However, unlike school, you get to move around, burn off some pent up energy, and listen to fun music! You can have the best of both worlds during dance class. You can make friends and have fun, all while learning new steps.
Dance teacher secret – Whining and being lazy isn’t only holding you back, it’s also frustrating to your classmates and teachers.
Take corrections and APPLY them.
This goes hand in hand with showing up to work!
If your dance instructor gives you a correction because you’re doing something wrong, it is NOT a bad thing! It means he or she cares enough to fix your mistakes so you won’t continue to make them.
The best things you can do when you are given a correction are:
- Respond with a good attitude
- Listen, watch, and ask questions
- APPLY the corrections
While you may think those are “duh” points to make, APPLYing corrections has to be intentional every. single. time. you do the move.
Find your dance “person.”
Naturally, you should be friendly to everyone in your class. Dance is a fantastic way to make friends.
But trust me when I tell you, everyone needs a “person” in their classes.
This is the classmate who is not only your friend, but also someone who will help you practice, remind you when you’ve forgotten a step, and help keep you on track. Even the most dedicated dancers need a “person.”
Becoming each other’s “persons” are how teams are built!
Practice outside of class.
This includes stretching.
I know. I can hear you now. I have practically lived your thoughts.
You don’t want to. There’s Snapchat, and homework, and Netflix, and friends, and whatever else entertains teenagers these days.
BUT, practicing between classes is as simple as setting 15-30 minutes aside each day to run your dances.
(Side note: you can totally stretch while scrolling through social media and binge watching Stranger Things.)
Don’t be afraid of the front.
When you’re in class and there’s spot open at the front of the room – grab it!
I cannot stress this enough. Don’t worry what everyone else is thinking! The front row of your dance class is not some forbidden zone where only professional reside. There is nothing wrong with wanting a spot with a clear view of the instructor and the mirror. Be confident in yourself and make the most out of the opportunity when it presents itself.
Don’t compare yourselves to others.
I know. It’s so hard. As dancers (especially us girls), we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. From our skill levels, to our technique, to our body types – we compare!
But it’s important to remind yourself that everyone else’s journey is not YOUR journey.
Everyone is different. Everyone learns differently. Every member of your class has a different story.
You may find yourself asking… If they can do that, why can’t I?
But the real question is… If you’re worried about someone else, how can you grow as a dancer?
The sooner you begin to focus on you, the better!
And the last one goes without explanation…
ENJOY your time in class.
Dance is hard work, but it is also SO. MUCH. FUN!
There you have it. Seven ways to get the MOST out of your dance classes!
Now, it’s YOUR turn to share your own tips with us. How have YOU made the most of your dance experience?
Share it and tag your dance “person!”
For more information on our classes, visit https://www.centerstagedanceal.com/!