Practice Tip 1. For the Serious StudentAdd to favorites
Recently Daniel came to me and asked me if there were any tips I could share with dancers not only for their dancing but also for their practicing and drilling. So I thought about it and decided I would give tips that will help make a difference in the training aspect of dancing. It’s really in our preparation of dance that we start to understand ourselves so we can then go out and dance for the masses with confidence.
The tip that I am going to share with you is broad but it came to me because it is a common problem that we all have when we first start out dancing. How we focus and work within our body starts out the habitual way we train. Most of my students won’t look at the whole enchilada (body) only a specific part of the body depending on what I am showing them. After you get the move down into your body then look at your image in the mirror and see how the rest of your body looks while you are working the combination or movement. When my students can’t see the whole body they have what I call “blinder” focus. It’s almost as if they are afraid to see how it looks in the totality of the body.
Practice for ten to fifteen minutes on a particular combination or traveling step. Then practice for ten to fifteen minutes looking at your whole body while doing the combination which includes, posture, arms, head positioning, legs, feet, lifted chest etc.
The purpose of this is to help you see what the audience is going to see once you are up on stage. It will also get the eyes up away from the floor which is another common problem beginner dancers have. But interestingly enough I found that some of my students didn’t want to see what they were doing and I had one student tell me it made her uncomfortable. I started to think about this and realized that as women sometimes we don’t look at ourselves because all we see is what we lack. Remember that this can affect your confidence and the success you have with your dance.
It’s obvious that women don’t want to see what they don’t like about themselves. Practice time is about healing and feeling good about yourself. So within the hour or two hours of practice look at your full image in the mirror and relax. All you have to do is relax; that’s easy and once you take you in with no judgement then you will start to see a new you emerge that feels better not just about dance but life in general.
You can’t practice and feel bad about yourself. All you will do is feel bad about practice. So change your mindset and go for your dream or goal. If you are able to stand in front of a mirror and dance, you already have something to be grateful for which is your two legs to stand on.
Remember your four cornerstones; emotions, mind, body and spirit have to be fed equally. So look at practice time as a way of feeding yourself a gigantic spoon full of confidence, acceptance, and forgiveness. Once you let go of what you don’t like, then what you do like will start to emerge and there is nothing more beautiful on stage then a confident, happy, in the moment dancer. So I’m going to end with my favorite saying which says it all; when life gives you lemons make orange juice and make the world wonder how the hell you did it!