Are you wanting to get more out of your dance classes? The teacher is always there to help you but here are five strategies you can focus on yourself in class, to improve in a positive way.
1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Ever feel like you failed an exercise in class because you forgot a step or stumbled on the timing? Whatever it may have been, it probably wasn’t as bad as what you think. Just like in life, mistakes make us human and you will always learn from them. Making a mistake can help you improve because you instantly become aware of what went wrong and the second time you do it, you’ll be ready to focus on correcting the error. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help if you think you might make the same mistake again, or you’re not sure what went wrong originally. The studio is the safest environment to test and trial steps and no one is judging. You can always laugh off a mistake too!
2. Corrections aren’t critiques
If a teacher stops to give you a correction, especially multiple times in one class, don’t ever think this is a bad thing or you are being “picked on”. The teacher was once a student themselves and therefore they’re drawing on their own experiences and knowledge. Take it as a compliment more than anything. You’re doing great and they can help you be ever greater and it is exciting to see your improvement!
3. Always listen
Just like taking in corrections from the teacher, it’s also important to be always listening and absorb other peoples corrections. Just because you aren’t being spoken to personally, don’t tune out, tune in! Maybe you can learn something and apply it to yourself. For example, another student gets help with a pirouette and maybe the tip for them will help you too… then all of a sudden you’re doing better too!
4. Keep your mind open and positive
As dancers it is so easy to pick on yourself. People think the more critical you are of yourself the more you’ll improve, but this actually does the opposite. If you keep your mind open and say to yourself “I am doing great and I am open to trying again and again” rather than “I can’t do this it looks bad” the difference will be huge. The more positive you are and the more you believe in yourself, the faster you’ll improve. Here’s a tip: if you wouldn’t say a harsh critique about your friend, don’t say it about yourself!
5. Relax, smile and have fun!
At the end of the day, dance classes are a lot of fun and seeing improvement is super rewarding, no matter how long it takes your skills develop. The more relaxed and positive you are inside and out throughout class, the more confident you’ll feel and the better things will go in the long run. Smiling helps too, never be scared to smile whilst you dance!