If you have tried the same thing over and over again without good results, such as trying to improve your jumps or floor work, you are doing something wrong. It’s important to analyze which parts of what you do in the chain are incorrect.
Most of us have a limited view of our capabilities because we’ve been taught outdated or worthless ideas and techniques. If something is not working it’s time to pause and reflect. Have you been to a point when you think you have done everything but you are still missing something? Have you heard the same rule a thousand times but you still can’t master a certain technique?
But one day a thought, a movement, some advice changed everything. The reasons for that are more than one. You’ve questioned what you’ve been told, met a new teacher or a fellow dancer, asked the right question, learned more about how your body works, became self aware, realized what type of technique is right for you, rediscovered the pleasure of dance, found your own groove.
1. Choose your teacher wisely.
I have suffered in the past with teachers that were not a good choice for me or I wasn’t a good choice as a student for them. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re interested in. What qualities you are looking for in someone who you would like to mentor you. That will happen by attending classes and workshops, listening, asking questions, being open but knowing your interests. The teachers are there to give you useful advice, the tools to improve your knowledge in dance. It is important for teachers not to interfere with your natural abilities or way of movement. To give you the proper advice even if that means you have to go and take a different class or approach than theirs.
“The good teacher does not teach rules; he stimulates. He shows the students what he knows and inspires them to go and do something else.”
2. Video yourself.
It’s always a good idea to make a video of yourself. Watch it and analyze your performance. What are your weaknesses? What do you like in your movement? Don’t forget this is a learning path and congratulate yourself for every little progression.
Be patient. Ask yourself why are you following certain rules, maybe they are not rules but they’re just self- imposed.
3. Being determined pays off.
Continuous training prevents injuries; improves your health and stamina. Long term success needs continuous improvement. Take action now and practice every day.
To grow you have to push yourself to the edges of your abilities. This is how you will figure out what specific issues of your technique need more attention to bring your dancing further. Your progress depends on constantly expanding your limits in order to become the artist you desire.
“You will only get out of a dance class what you bring to it. Learn by practice.”
– Martha Graham
4. Take time to recover.
You must eat healthily and take enough time to recover after hard rehearsals. A good nights sleep revitalizes every human function. That’s the time when our body does its repair work. Learning more about anatomy gives you the knowledge to use your body in a smarter fashion. A good resource for anyone who would like to learn more about the human body is Anatomy of Movement.
5. Practice visualization.
Visualization or mental imagery means that you practice a certain skill or you prepare yourself for a certain situation in your mind without physically executing it. You can practice by visualizing your dance routine or a certain exercise. You have to imagine yourself going through each movement as close as actually performing it physically. It is a great way to practice when you have to rest because of injury. To learn more about imagery you can read the book Dance Imagery.
What’s the best advice you ever got regarding your dance technique? You can share it in the comments bellow.