As dancers, it's important for all of us to create and maintain good training habits so that we can improve. Going into the new year with a clear goal is important to continue to grow as a dancer. I’ve compiled some tips and tricks to improvement that I’ve heard from teachers and/or that I do myself.
Know your Goals
-write corrections in notebooks and every once in a while, compile most frequent corrections and focus on those
-have a clear goal in class
-focus your energy on what you want to improve, not at everything at once, to get desired results
-don't be afraid to ask teachers what you're doing wrong as they are there to help you. If your question is on a specific skill, write down the notes and then apply them to that skill. If you ask a general question, such as how to improve in that class, write down the corrections the teacher gives and focus on that skill.
-take master classes and take notes on what the teacher taught you (not just dance, maybe life lessons that you liked as well)
-practice weaker skills at home or at the end of class. Take one across the floor pass that you feel needed work and run it a few times after class is done, and while people are still leaving, because the space is still there for you to use. Enjoy it!
-every once in a while, find someone in your class with a quality you want to improve on and try to watch them and emulate how they achieve that quality. If you watch enough, sometimes you can improve on qualities you lack, especially those that are difficult to explain.
-similarly, class competition is a great way to improve. In a class, have a secret (or not so secret) competition with a friend so you can push each other to improve, maybe in areas where you are weaker than your friend.
-play to your strengths, but also play to your weaknesses: Although it's more fun to do what you're good at, it's important to learn how to make things you don't do as well look good so if they are thrown at you at an audition, you can work with it. Not only that, if you can achieve a skill you originally couldn’t do by practicing it, you will be a better and more versatile dancer by learning that skill.
-try to stay balanced, or be imbalanced towards your worst side. As fun as it is to do eight turns on your right side, if you can only do a single or double on the left, that’s a problem. Not only for choreography, but it also increases your risk of injury. Make sure to work towards being a balanced dancer.
-don’t always take dance too seriously because that takes the fun out of it. Especially if you’re having a rough patch, make sure to remind yourself why you love to dance and every once in a while, let go of your goals and just dance because you love it. But make sure to go back to your focus after so you can keep improving!
Hopefully these tips will help to focus your training more and make you feel more focused and driven going into the new year!