At STAGEWORKS & DANCEWORKS, achieving excellence is a journey that we embark on by turning up to classes each week. But what would ensure that we are continuously moving forward in that journey? The answer is simple- practice. You have probably heard a million times your dance teacher leaving you with “Make sure you practice this before next lesson” Even though you are sure they mean it, because you’ve heard it so many times, you become immune to the phrase.
It is as simple as- a repetition of, in the case of Dance, a movement over and over again, until the desired skill in that movement is acquired.
For example- you have just had a Tap lesson; your teacher decides that a piece of your routine is not very suitable for you and changes it. After the lesson, you are told to practice the new material. But do you know what that means?
It can mean many things- learning the new piece's timing, learning the sequence of steps, acquiring the proper body movement and executing the correct focus directions, and many more.
In Dance, like in other athletic disciplines, the skill of your body is your only tool for producing results, in the case of Dance- beautiful body movements to music. Already in its description, it sounds like a complicated process. I am a firm believer in the statement that our brains are extremely developed and "smart" but our bodies are quite inflexible to change unless… the body repeats a pattern over and over and over again. That is why practice is so important.
If you're taking dance & Musical Theatre lessons and investing time and effort in honing your technique, it's definitely worth taking the time at home to practice your moves. Practicing helps you keep up to speed with the rest of your class and will make sure you're comfortable with the material learned in sessions to be able to confidently perform and deliver with conviction.
Schedule practice time
It’s important to set aside a specific time to practice at home. Keep it consistent and have someone in your family to help with lyrics, script, dance moves etc. Make it fun by creating a visual calendar to post on the fridge or in the living room to remind you to practice.
Practice when you’re most alert.
When scheduling your practice times, choose a time when you usually feel most active and awake. Typically, this time falls around 10am and 5pm each day. If these times don’t work for your schedule, choose a time that won’t disrupt your sleep schedule.
In the meantime, our instructors will continue to record class material videos so pupils can practice their choreography, help with patterns/formations and technical exercises etc. Due to safe guarding these videos will not be sent out of any child who is not allowed to be recorded. These videos will be sent out on request and not automatically uploaded to any parents/class group.
Set up a camera or phone to record yourself dancing. This is especially important if you don’t have a large mirror at home. Watching your movements and analyzing each step will help you recognize where you need to improve. You could always put on a little performance at home for friends and family!! I hear Granny's & Grandad's love that....
Reach out if you need help.
If you find yourself struggling to master a particular move or routine, reach out to your dance classmates or instructors. This will also help you stay connected to your dance friends and continue working together as you would in class. Your teachers are always here to help you grow, help you flourish and help you understand.
How will you feel?
When you start or continue to practice at home you will feel different in class. You will begin to understand quicker, deliver more promptly and feel more confident performing. The idea is to continue to achieve, if you know yourself what your finding most difficult then you will know what needs more attention and more practice at home. Are you confused with your left and rights? do you need anything wrote down? do you struggle with knowing whats coming next? do you easily forget? these along with so many more can be helped by self practice. Allowing just 10 minutes per day or 30 mins a few days after your class can have massive benefits with maximum results.
Remember to be patient with yourself, practice makes perfect.
You can do it!