Whether you are a beginner or experienced dancer, feeling lost in a dance class is extremely frustrating. If you’ve ever forgotten a movement, lost timing during the routine, or gotten confused about what’s next in the choreography, you understand this frustration. However, when the stakes are high such as during a dance audition you don’t want to make these mistakes. Here are some ways you can learn dance techniques faster, so you can practice each move and write them to memory.
Did you know that the human brain holds onto information better in chunks? That’s why our phone numbers, for example, are groups of digits. The same concept applies when your brain stores information about your choreography. Most dance instructors and choreographers will teach students the movement phrases in chunks because of this concept. You are more likely to have issues remembering the choreography when a dance is taught in lengthy sequences.
A great strategy to memorize your choreography is to group it into smaller sections and seek out landmarks in the sequence. Landmarks are the big or important movements that need to be executed perfectly, even if you aren’t on point with everything else. Landmarks also operate as dividers which direct you to the next chunk of movements.
Mess Up, Then Quickly Move On
Another great dance habit to adopt is to move on quickly after you make a mistake. When your dance instructor sets the pace of a sequence in class, there may be times during the learning process where you cannot keep up. There may be a move or combination that gets you every time but if you stop to focus on reviewing that move over and over, you form a habit during that sequence where you keep missing the next move and fall behind.
Although we tend to fixate on perfecting every move, it is important to move on and focus on the rest of the routine. If that same move continues to trip you up, you could always take time later to focus and practice it. That way, you keep up with the rest of the routine and make the most of your time during rehearsal. Don’t let that one mistake prevent you from learning the rest of the piece.
Don’t Dance; Just Watch
I may not sound like a sensible idea but when you are learning choreography it is more effective if you simply watch your instructor. There will be details your eyes catch that your instructor may not explicitly mention.
Take the time to really pay attention to what your teacher is doing as it will help you pick up the movements faster and help you embody the entire mood, timing, and character of the dance better.
Take Multiple Classes in a Day
Picking up choreography fast requires your brain to train and work hard, and a great way to accomplish this is to take multiple classes in a day. It may be a huge strain both mentally and physically, but that is the key to keeping your mind sharp and quickly picking up choreography.
Set a Very Specific Schedule of Repetition
Any concept you want to learn quickly and long-term needs to have an established schedule for repetition. For example, after your practice or lesson where you learned the new choreography, repeat it immediately on your own when you go home. Then after a 10-minute break, do it again. Then, practice the dance an hour later. Repeat this again the following day, and then within the next week. As you slowly stretch out the time between your practices, it will create a long-term memory storage of the dance in your mind.
Expose Yourself to More Dance Styles
Every dancer has those moments where they get stuck on a move that everyone else seems to get. However, it may simply mean that you need to expose yourself to more dance styles so you can pick up techniques for this routine.
A great way to pick up choreography quickly is to have an expansive range of dance movements. Dancers who are comfortable with moves from different styles can pick up choreography easier because the dance moves are ingrained in their muscle memory. Spend some time taking up different dance classes and practice and perfect any moves that you are challenged with.
Repeat It in Your Mind, and with Your Body
Speak to yourself silently as you learn and practice the dance movements because it helps you create a mental image to the movement. You can do this by singing the lyrics of the song or humming the rhythm of the beat to match each movement. This will lock in the order of the material in your mind and help your muscles remember what comes next.
How Performing Dance Arts Can Help You Develop Your Technique
If you’re looking for a dance classes in Toronto to help you learn new dance styles, develop important techniques, or train your mind and body to grasp complicated choreography, you’ve come to the right place.
Performing Dance Arts offers dance classes for kids in Toronto, so your child can develop their technique and skills in a positive and challenging environment. Our dance studios in Toronto feature trained instructors with years of industry experience and skill, who care greatly about the progress and happiness of our students. Our classes cater to children of all ages and skill levels, so contact us today to enroll your child or learn more about which program is best for them. We’re prepared to answer all your questions, and will also give you a tour of our facilities so you can see the environment your child will be learning in.