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Improving Technique

To Improve your Technique you must first of all make sure you are training with a good dance teacher. She or he should be qualified to teach the dance genre you are in and have had many years experience as a professional dancer in that genre. Your teacher must have the requisite knowledge to teach new steps explaining the correct technique but more importantly be able to correct your mistakes and help you improve.

If you are a beginner dance student please choose your dance teacher wisely, and if you have been taking dance classes for a term or two and don't seem to be improving or receiving corrections then consider looking around for a better dance school.

If you are already at a good dance school with experienced and knowledgeable teachers then you are in the ideal situation to really improve your technique - the sky is the limit if your teacher is really good and you are eager to work hard.

Consider taking some extra classes for a term to help your muscle memory kick in. When taking only one class a week it is virtually impossible for muscle memory to start up but by taking a second class you should improve twice or even three times faster.

Watch other good dancers in your class and in the more advanced classes closely, note their flexibility, strength and important facets of dance such as musicality, artistry, alignment, turn out, posture, arm movements and general technique. Try to imitate them, dance behind them and try to incorporate the way they dance into your own dance style.

At home watch DVDs and YouTube clips of great professional dancers for motivation and to soak up the perfection of their dancing. Watch them and close your eyes and try and visualise yourself dancing a movement like they do. Watching and then dancing to professional training DVDs for dance students is great practice.

One of the key factors in improving your technique is to strive for technical excellence in the simplest of steps first and slowly and steadily work your way up to more difficult steps. It no good trying to perfect your pirouettes if you cannot passé or relevé correctly yet.

Good technique (especially for classical ballet) needs a basis of good posture which stems from your CORE CONTROL and good strong muscles. Doing some DAILY extra conditioning for core, back and leg muscles is the perfect start to improving your dance technique as it leads to improved POSTURE making the execution of difficult movements so much easier. Perfect posture also facilitates the correct use of turn out, an absolute must for a classical ballet dance student. Try and get some extra Pilates sessions if you feel your core and posture are hindering you from improving.

As well as generally strengthening all the right muscles it is important to have a certain degree of flexibility to be able to do many dance movements correctly and to have a seriously high standard of technique. Safe stretching on a regular daily basis rather than short bursts of extreme stretching would be a good idea. If your legs are at 90 degrees or higher and are perfectly aligned then your adage will look much better than if you are straining to achieve 70 degrees or less with badly placed hips.

Warming up and stretching is part of the every day life of every professional dancer. Emulating the professional dancers and getting in the habit or always being warm and fully stretched BEFORE your class starts is a great step forward in improving your technique.

At The Dance Centre Peregian Springs students are encouraged to start a Dance Journal. Buying a notebook or diary and noting down all your corrections AND the praise you receive each class means you can review all this at home each night. Read the corrections for the day and work at home on these before the next class and also try and savour the praise too.

Remember to read those corrections in your Dance Journal again JUST BEFORE your next class. Also keep looking back in your journal and note whether you keep receiving the same corrections over and over. If this is the case you could consider asking for a one on one session with your teacher to try and really get the issue looked at in the quiet and security of a private class.

In your Dance Journal you should also write down some achievable but challenging technical goals and the time frame in which you wish to perfect them in as well as the realistic steps you need to take to achieve them. You might wish to ask your teacher or an older student to help you with this. Attaining goal after goal is a sure method of improving technique on a continual basis.

Try not to get upset or tense when you are not achieving well. You will dance your best when you are relaxed and in a positive frame of mind. Keep up the visualisation, as every time you can mentally see yourself doing a movement or combination perfectly it will help you tremendously. If you are getting very anxious try a few Yoga sessions, they will not only help you relax but also increase your flexibility and posture too.

Remember to project your love of dance in every class and perform to the music. Losing yourself in the music is a great way to help you feel better when you are in low spirits. If you smile and perform artistically while you are dancing your audience, teachers and fellow students will know that you love what you are doing. You love dancing and so you will love the feeling of improving steadily. Let your passion for dance and improvement show every class, every day. As we continually say at The Dance Centre Peregian Springs: Dance with Technical Excellence Combined with a Passion for Dance.

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