Practicing regularly by repetition sounds like a great recipe for improving your dancing. At the same time dancing the same things over and over again may be hideously boring. Who can focus on “rise and fall” or “arm extensions” for an hour or so?
Here are 5 ideas to keep your “boring” practices more bearable and most importantly more productive.
1. Figure out WHY you do it!
A reminder of the reasons for doing a specific practice can make a difference in your focus levels. Instead of repeating “straighten your knees” in your head. Just imagine yourself at the next competition doing walks and locksteps like a champion. In other words, focus on the ultimate goal of practice rather than the task itself.
2. Prepare your music before!
When planning your practices (especially the really tough ones like technique or basics), prepare the best music that keeps you going. When you come to studio, all you do is just press play and feel inspired by all the amazing tunes you love dancing to. Otherwise, you will be flicking through your playlists in a studio instead of practicing. Also, you won’t be checking your Instagram and Snapchat anymore.
So out of 1 hr practice you spent 30 minutes on dancing and 30 minutes on choosing the music. Doesn’t sound very productive, does it? Interestingly, you would still think that you “practiced” for 1 hour.
3. Keep it short and sweet!
Walking into a dance studio with the idea of having 1 hour of jive kicks (or tango walks) may not be the sexiest thing, you have one all day. Instead of doing the same exercise for 1 hour or so, just do it for 10-15 minutes max with a stopwatch. As soon as your mind starts thinking about checking Facebook, dinner or how annoying your dance partner is, MOVE ON.
4. Find a “technique dance buddy”
Do you have a “dance technique buddy”? This could be your dance partner or a friend from your dance studio. Having another friend to practice with will also break the routine of dancing with just one person. New people, new opinions.
Variety is a spice of life and very interestingly all dancers have something interesting to offer that helped them. You may be surprised by some ideas you get by practicing with new people. It’s also more social as you can go for drinks after your amazing practice (double win).
5. Have a plan.
Swimmers have a plan when they train. Bodybuilders have a plan. All athletes know what they are doing when they turn up for practice. Why is it that suddenly dancers rock up at a dance studio and make up their mind a minute before if they are doing a Waltz or a Samba? Write a clear plan beforehand in your “dance journal” (if you already have one) and follow it.