Improvement Series, RA Dance Blog

Improvement Series: At Home Dance Training

Number 1
Practice your routines and syllabus. It’s one thing to know your stuff in class, but take away someone to copy or the teacher giving little hints throughout the exercise and you may just find you don’t know it quite as well as you thought. Everyone should be confident enough in the steps to do the routines and syllabus on their own, as this will create a super team. Aim to get the counts right when you do it at home, and if there is anything you struggle with or aren’t quite sure of get in contact with one of your teachers I’m sure they’d be more than happy to help out when they have a minute. When working on your own take into account everything your teacher has ever corrected and work on amending them. Most dancers can always work on their facial expressions, and more generally pointed toes, stretched legs, strong arms, and good posture always come up when cleaning a routine!

Number 2
If you want to run your routines like the above, but don’t have room, you could think them through with the music. Mark the actions with your arms and body as you listen to the music. Additionally you could try breaking the routine down and noting everything that happens on a sheet of paper. Ensuring you also note the counts. When doing this there’s lot of possibilities as it gives you chance to really process each step, if you wanted to go further you can think about and write down faults and corrections for different moves.

Number 3
Practice your turns, almost every style of dance has a turn that they do. In most of the styles I teach this is a pirouette either turned out or as a Jazz pirouette. These can always be improved whether it’s adding in another rotation or learning a progression turns are never perfect, even when they seem it. You’ll have good days and bad days and you just need to keep practicing until you never fail.

Number 4
Stretching! If you want to kick your leg to your head, you need to earn it. In order to earn it you need to put in the work, which means doing some stretching. You’ve probably done lots of stretching during your classes so you should have a good knowledge of what stretches where that you can put into practice. Most dancers will look to increase leg flexibility, if you have your splits already, you can go for a slight over splits stretch by popping a book underneath the front foot. Do not push this too far though, while some pictures of oversplits make it seem like a desirable trait, really you’ll be damaging your hips which you’ll feel as you age! Stick to stretching safely and work on a different flexibility instead, perhaps your shoulders or back aren’t as flexible.

Number 5
Strengthening may not be part of your usual class schedule but it is something that will really benefit your fitness and your overall dancing. Focus on core and leg strength as we use these muscles a lot during our dancing. The core helps you balance and stabilises all of your turns, whilst your legs give you the power to do your jumps. Another great thing to do is to work on stamina, if you’ve got a skipping rope just 5-10 minutes of jumping that will get your blood pumping and simulate doing a routine full out.

I hope this has been useful to you!

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