Self-taught Dance Technique

by Anonymous
(No location given)

Hi there. I go to a good studio in a relatively small town, but as I gain knowledge of the dance community as a whole I'm starting to realize that my technique is not nearly at the level of many other dancers my age (17). I was wondering if there's a way to improve my technical skills on my own? Any form of help would be greatly appreciated! :)

Comments for Self-taught Dance Technique

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Dec 14, 2011
Answer from Maria for self-taught dance technique
by: Maria

Dear dancer,

One of the things you can do is to practice by yourself daily.

If you don't have too much knowledge about the technical training, you can repeat the class your teacher is currently giving you. If you get tired of repeating the same thing all over, try other classes to gain alternatives and training options (basic ballet is an ideal help).

To really improve your technical skills fast, you should train twice a day. The best rhythm is once in the morning and once in the evening, for an hour and a half or two. But please, be very careful with this: such trainings need to be made progressively and according to your specific physical conditions. If you exceed your self trying to achieve better skills, you might get hurt and produce the opposite effect.

So, start slowly and paying a lot of attention to what you feel and to the reactions of your body. If you can not do it twice a day, start once a day or with the frequency that your occupations allow. Try to arrange your life gradually in such a way that in some time, you can do your practice with a regular frequency (for example, everyday before going to school or every evening before dinner). The regularity of the practice is as important as its adaptation to your physical needs. Repetition in a regular time will allow your body to assimilate easier and with less pain.

Now, you might be thinking that you don't have a studio for the practice. If that is your case, you will have to do what thousands of dancers do: put a pair of sneakers on and go practice at the park, the gym or wherever. Many of us do our daily ballet bar leaning to the sofa or at the kitchen... (me, for example!! ;-)

So, if you really want to dance, find a place to practice. If the floor is cold, hard or dirty, use some soft shoes; if your living room is too small, go the park; if it is raining, ask at school if they would let you go for your practice... find the place and the way, but practice every day, including Saturdays.

You might want to rest on Sundays. That is o.k., but think of at least doing a little bit of stretching, a basic yoga routine, some swimming or any other activity that makes your body rest actively (spending all day on the sofa watching T.V. is not the perfect resting way for a dancing body... it may even cause a contrary effect).

I'm on the project of publishing some videos of basic training routines at contemporary-dance.org. I'm not sure when this is going to come out, but I will let everybody know through our monthly e-zine (The Dance Thinker). You can easily subscribe by filling the small form at the right column. It is free.

In conclusion, my advice to you is: practice daily. That should allow you to improve your dancing skills faster than those who don’t...

Warm regards,

Maria

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