3 Dance Season Resolutions to get you on the Right Track
September is finally here, which means you’re probably gearing up to start the new dance season. You’ve rested up for some weeks in the summer and continued to stay active and trained in the hopes of coming back re-energized and ready to hit that ground running, or should I say dancing.
Make sure you are starting your new year in the best way possible by taking each opportunity that comes your way and making the most of it. Face these opportunities with an open mind, see how you can make each experience your own so you can grow as a dancer and get better.
As dancers we face a lot of trying times, maybe you audition for a special part in an upcoming performance and aren’t chosen. Instead of looking at it as a defeat, look at it from the point of view of how you can improve. Use this time to ask your teachers or those running the audition, what you can work on, so that next time you audition your chances of getting the part you want increase.
Here are 3 dance season resolutions that will get you on the right track:
1. Attend class:
It is important to come to class so that you can continue to work on your technique. However, you may be thinking about the “what ifs”?
What if I injure myself and I need to be out for a period of time to recover? Still come to class and observe. Dancers are not only learners by doing, but also observing. Observing can teach you a great deal. Watch your teacher, your other classmates, how they move and how they apply the corrections. Perhaps this time that you are forced to sit out because of injuring will be the time you finally understand how that certain step should be executed.
What if, I’m sick? If you are sick and have “cooties” it’s probably best to stay home, so that you don’t get everyone else sick. However, keep in mind that as soon as you are better or not contagious, come to class.
2. Arrive early and stay late:
Make sure you are taking care of yourself by arriving early to class to warm-up and staying after to stretch. By doing these two things you will help your body through the rigorous training schedule
In addition to warming-up and stretching, also take this extra time in the studio to practice any steps you need work on. Remember the corrections your teacher gave you and try to implement. Trust me the extra time you dedicate on improving will pay off in the long run.
3. Take advantage of master classes, workshops and other offerings at your studio, in your town or city:
Learning from other teachers and their way of explaining steps will help you grow as a dancer.
Dance teachers are their own species. Each of them has their own set of metaphors, sound effects and ways of demonstrating and structuring a class. Of course there are many similarities because the basic structure of the class will most likely stay the same, but exposing yourself to different teachers, from different schools of thought and places around the world will help you define yourself as a dancer.
I remember one time when I was in Denmark, I was attending a dance intensive for three weeks and every week we would have a new ballet teacher. The second week of that intensive, we had a French teacher who didn’t speak a lick of either of the two languages I spoke, English or Spanish. Thankfully, ballet terminology is in French and that’s what I used to get by. But the corrections were not so easy to understand. Therefore, learning how to understand the corrections I was given that week was a challenge. A good challenge, a welcomed challenge. I quickly learned basic anatomy in French like head, arms, right, left, and so forth and slowly got the hang of what the instructor was trying to correct each time she stood next to me at the barre. To my surprise, I was chosen to showcase this instructor’s choreography at the end of summer performance at Tivoli Park in Copenhagen. I learned that the challenge that pushed me out of my comfort zone at first turned into something positive in the end.
When confronted with a language barrier in class or any difficulty, remember to always keep an open mind. Use your resources at hand like asking your classmates if they speak or know the language spoken.
Continue to have fun and welcome new challenges each day. Who knows you might just be showcased at the next show.
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