How to Track your Growth in Dance!
Dance is a wonderful and beautiful gift to yourself and to share with your audience. Your dance journey is always growing and traveling in different directions. Dancing is a big dedication and commitment, that is often very rewarding! Being a dancer means you get to be a part of some life-making memories, such as winter and spring recitals, company auditions, and company teams, feeling the excitement of mastering new moves, killing it in the new dance you just learn, and just the overall fun that dance and classes bring to your life!
Whether your dancer is new to dance or is a bit more seasoned with dance, you can always follow these steps to help guide you through, to reach your dance goals.
Am I getting any better at this?” Have I made any progress in the last three months?” “Why is this STILL so hard for me?”
These are questions we have all at one point in time may have asked ourselves…but remember, the fact you have taken the time to ask yourself, “what can improve on”. “What am I doing wrong”? The fact that you are starting to analyze your progress or simply just feeling frustrated is still a good thing. It shows that you are wanting to grow, improve and elevate!
Let’s discuss below on some ways we can be proactive and productive in your progress as a dancer!
Practice regularly: If your child wants to be on a competition team, he or she should take the lessons and exercises that they learn and do in classes and practice them at home. Getting in that extra training keeps your dance accountable for remembering the movement that has been taught, and when they enter their next class, this move has improved a bit more and is easier to do once recital or auditions hit.
Cross Train: Take dance classes in different styles consistently. Learning a variety of dance styles allows for versatility in the way your body can translate movement and choreography. When you have a wider vocabulary to work from, your ability to comprehend and take ownership over your learning (be it dance or otherwise) enhances. All techniques serve each other throughout your dance journey. Skills that you learn from your other styles of dance you can apply to the “main” style of your dance. For example, during an audition, just messing around and having fun, or maybe you are getting your first contemporary solo. With the moves you have learned in your hip-hop or breaking classes throughout the year, you can add these special moves to elevate your contemporary movement. In your hip-hop dance, the tricks and flips you have learned in your Acro or Tumbling class you can add them to your dance to give a bigger WOW factor.
Take Privates: Some forms of dance may come easier for others, and some not so much, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek out extra help. In a private one-on-one lesson, your dance instructor will no doubt, point out a dancer’s strengths, which help build confidence, as well as give exacting direction on how to work on other skills that may not be as strong. In one-on-one lessons, you may also find that you can learn new skills that you haven’t learned in class yet and this may help you get moved up in class level.
Take Master Classes at your Studio: A Master Class is a specialized course that is taught by an expert in that style. These master classes allow students to interact with different instructors in the studio and it will give the student a fresh insight into their technique, style, and movement, and the opportunity to watch their fellow dancers or any new dancers and get inspired by how they move or execute the movement.
Eat right and get plenty of rest. The more rest your child gets before the dance classes, auditions, or performances the better off they’ll be. Sleep is very important to all our mental health, and physical health. Sleep helps your body and muscles relax and reset for the next class and next lesson. Eating the right nutritious meal is important to your dancer’s body.
Be On Time: Arrive to dance class right on time, with plenty of time to spare so your child can get in the right headspace for dance class, they can use the restroom, fill their water bottles, and everything that is needed to make sure we are prepared for dance class every day.
Think positively. Class, auditions, and company rehearsals can be a little nerve-wracking but when anxiety hits, suggest they channel that nervous energy into enthusiasm for the choreography. If they miss a step, it’s not a big deal unless they make it a big deal. A little laugh or smile about a mistake shows they’re lighthearted and will be fun to work with. Remembering your classes is exactly where you are allowed to mess up and make corrections as you go. Do not feel like you need to have it right away. Things don’t come right away, it takes time and practice, how much practice are you willing to put into your dreams and goals?
Be gracious. From the moment your child steps into the dance studio to the end, it’s essential to treat fellow dancers and the Faculty Staff with respect. Remind them to courteously ask questions and apply corrections from the choreographer. Even if it isn’t the outcome they had hoped for, being gracious is always good.
Be you. Remind your child there’s no need to compare themselves to others – just be you! Advise them to take all the hard work they’ve put into the class and bring that passion to the audition. It’s important they perform the choreography with energy, enthusiasm, and expression that shows the judges who they really are, not whom they think they should be.
Remember, auditioning is a skill that requires practice and will improve over time. Always be YOU!
We hope this helped you on your dance journey! Remember you have already taken a huge step by taking on something new and working toward your progress. Anything that is new – it comes with trial and error and moments of reflection and application. Nothing happens on the first try or even the second or third, but progress is gained in centimeters, not inches.
Tomorrow you may not look back and see your progress – but in a few months, those centimeters will have added up to miles.
Keep going and breathe!