Tips to Be A Great Dancer
Being a “great dancer” does not always mean having the best technique or the most experience. A great dancer is someone who embodies the love of dance, always pushes themselves, and is constantly working to improve their skills. When you walk into a dance studio, you are there to learn and express yourself – it’s what dancers do best. Try some of these tips below to hit your full dance potential:
Pick an inspiring teacher. When you take a class from a really great teacher, you know it. Your instructor will teach you new choreography and technique, and should be supportive while doing it. They should also give you feedback, which allows you to grow. With the right teacher, you should feel comfortable making mistakes and asking questions. He or she should inspire you to always keep trying. Pick a teacher that makes class fun, but also encourages improvement over time.
Leave the day at the door. Nothing is worse than walking into a rehearsal with a negative attitude. It sets the tone for your entire class, and the negativity will rub off on your fellow dancers. Use the dance studio as your escape from any problems you are experiencing in your daily life. Dance should be a way to relieve stress, not dwell on it.
Eat right and drink plenty of water. Dancers are athletes – and just like other sports, dance requires perseverance, endurance, and strength. In order to maintain these attributes, you must stay well hydrated and avoid junk food. Your body will perform based on what you are fueling it with. Take care of yourself and you will perform better!
Stretch in and out of the studio. You stretch and warm-up at the beginning of every class – and there is a reason for it! Stretching improves your flexibility, and helps with the functionality of your muscles and joints. If you find yourself sitting in front of the TV on a Saturday afternoon, why not stretch while you are there? Your body will thank you later when your muscles are not as tight and sore at your next practice.
Wear the right clothing. You want to be comfortable and confident while you are rehearsing, so you should wear something you like dancing in. Additionally, your practice ensemble should be appropriate for the class you are taking. Don’t wear baggy sweatpants to a ballet class, or a leotard and tights to a hip-hop class. Also, never wear jeans, outdoor shoes, or loose jewelry. Some of these things can be a safety hazard – and they are not comfortable!
Appreciate critiques and practice, practice, practice! The only way to improve any skill is to understand what you need to work on, and practice it constantly. Dance is no exception! If you are trying to land a triple pirouette, you should be practicing pirouettes outside of class. If you are having trouble memorizing a combination, you should be actively trying to ingrain it into your “muscle memory” outside of class. Take the feedback from your instructors to heart – they only point things out because they know you will use that knowledge to improve. Being challenged is a good thing! If you are not being challenged, you may need to consider a higher-difficulty class level.
Give yourself time to relax. If we overwork ourselves, our bodies will give up on us. Too much at once can cause injuries, sickness, etc. It’s okay to take a day off every once in a while. Having a moment to relax will leave you feeling refreshed and excited for your next practice or performance. Sometimes, a break is exactly what great dancers need!