The Benefits Of Practice

vaganova grade 2 ext (2)

This week in one of my classes…….The class was an intermediate class, with dancers of high caliber. Dancers who take many classes per week. Dancers whose parents spend lots of time shuffling their children back and forth to the studio almost on a daily basis. Dancers whose parents spend a quite a bit of money on tuition for classes. Dancers who are having difficulty with a step since November ….that I write this blog post.

There are many children who take dance class, that one day would love to be professional dancers. Many dance students will spend an entire lifetime studying ballet, me included as I still study every day even though I am a teacher of this wonderful thing called ballet. Practicing and studying this craft has many benefits. Taking ballet classes or any dance class for that matter, should not be considered just an “after school activity” a social gathering place for children to meet. Dance class is education. Just as school has homework time, dance class needs practice time. There is no way to perfect this art without practice, as I have seen dancers who boast that they have had 10 years of ballet experience and look as though they should be in a beginner class…this is no joke, as I see and hear of this daily. They are those who do not practice and take their classes and parent’s hard earned money too lightly.

First and foremost, to be progressive in dance, it is essential to have perfect attendance. I must interject here that the class in which I am referring to above, does have perfect attendance. Every dancer in that class I cannot complain about their attendance record.

To keep up with your personal progress, missed classes cannot be tolerated, as you will fall behind, and the class as a whole will not progress as they should, since too much correction will be needed for the dancers with poor attendance.

How to practice dance is up to you. It is important to make progress every single day. This can only be done by practice. Practice of steps and combinations what was taught in class when you arrive at home. It is beneficial to practice in front of a mirror, but not necessary. Keep in mind what was taught in class that day and write it in your dance journal if you keep one. Keeping a dance journal is a good practice point. Practicing what you have learned in class ballet requires you to repeatedly doing the same physical movements over and over again, until the steps feel right.

To have music to practice with is helpful. While dance schools are in what I like to call recital, revue or concert mode, your teacher may be able to supply you with music for your dance piece that you are working on in class for your presentation. When you are practicing technique, there is a web site where short selections of classical piano pieces are available for download, for free. To have the proper music for practice is most beneficial as it makes your practice time at home more like an extension of class time.

To progress in this wonderful art called ballet and to become a true dancer you must master what is learned in class. Remember class time is valuable time spent but worthless if you do not practice what you learn.

ballet arabesque 1

5 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Practice

  1. I couldn’t agree more!! I believe however that we provide a disservice to children as well with the “everyone is equal” idea. For example when there is a competition and we take everyone, even though there are girls who do not appear to be “dance material.” Children today feel they are entitled, and don’t have to earn things. I see this more so in the school setting than in dance, but it does happen in most places. Adults are so afraid of hurting children’s feelings when I believe tough love will help them to be better, if they indeed have the skills. Not everyone will succeed and to tell them they will is false hope I believe, especially after the beginner stage. You get out what you put in is my motto! 🙂

  2. I agree that practice, practice, practice is so important. I work with little itty bities up to high schoolers and find that there are a few that take that to heart, never miss a practice and are completely dedicated. These are the ones that have a passion for dance and I hope a future with it.

  3. Practice didn’t make that body, just sayin’. While it is important to work on remembering choreography and to stretch daily, I do not believe children should “practice” technique at home. Bad habits can and will be repeated and built into muscle memory…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s