5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Dance Lessons
No matter where you dance, these five tips can help!
1. Starting at the Right Age and Starting at the Beginning:
You’re never “too old” to start! Adults can start dance at any age, their success however, is based on their commitment to practicing. For children, starting at the right age and the right time of year is a key element to the success of their lessons. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better” or “join class at any time” but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative. If a child is put into lessons before they’re ready or too late in the season (after the rest of the class has been practicing for months) they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to quit. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off dance just because they had one preventable unpleasant experience. Making sure students meet the minimum age requirement for each class/level and starting at the beginning of the season (September-November) will give the students their best chance at fast progress.
2. Take Lessons in a Professional Training Environment
Learning dance is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher but also having an environment that is focused solely on dance and performing arts education. Training tools, equipment and other resources can help dancers train safely and effectively. At a professional dance school the lessons are not just a hobby for the teacher but a responsibility which is taken very seriously.
3. Make Practicing Easier
As with anything, improving in dance takes practice. Students that practice beyond their time in the studio will progress much faster. Here are some tips to make practicing easier:
a) Time- Set the same time every day to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit. This works particularly well for children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice.
b) Use Online Resources- The internet has so many tools to help dancers improve. On youtube you can find everything from follow-along stretching videos to specific tutorials breaking down just about any dance move. Truckee dance factory films the last few minutes of each class and posts it online to help students remember the combination they learned each week.
c) Rewards- This works very well for both children and adult students. Some adults reward themselves with a cappuccino after a successful week of practicing. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing but praise tends to be the most coveted award- there is just no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done.
4.Have Good Attendance
This one is pretty self explanatory, missing classes will leave students confused and frustrated when they return, not only trying to pick up what was learned at the last class but having to pick up new material on top of it.
5. Take Complimentary Classes
Many dance classes can compliment each other and help students where they are struggling. For example, if a student is struggling with rhythm, tap can help. If they need work on flexibility or strength, take acro. The benefits of each style are so unique. Additional classes can often help dancers improve in the areas they are struggling. Ask your teacher for a recommendation about additional classes that can help them excel.
Have Fun!! Dance should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime. So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn too quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and the key is to be able to enjoy the journey.