Let’s get something straight. I’m not a teacher who recommends practicing dance at home. Practice is what happens in the studio under the watchful eyes of instructors. On the other hand when it comes to sections of choreography, which generally contains movements already mastered, I’ll recommend that my students go through it at home (I suppose physically if they truly have the space, but mental rehearsal is equally beneficial). However, I almost never recommend practice of actual dance technique at home.
Okay, now that that is out of the way… As a teacher in my classes and in this online arena, I am often asked by students, “What can I practice at home to improve?”
No need to practice anything at home. Come to class. Listen and apply correction. Absorb the information given to you. Successful dancers have good teachers but are more importantly outstanding students that love what they are learning and doing.
Before that expectant face drops, though, I let my eager student know this:
I appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm. There are some simple things you can do at home. This is not “practice” and cannot replace any of that work in class we talked about. This homework is prep work that supports the things we do in class.
And with that, I tailor some “homework” assignments for my student based upon what I see as his/her individual needs.
Unfortunately, I can’t do this for you.
I cannot prescribe any “medicine” for things you might be lacking in your dance training. One, I can’t see you. Two, I trust my analysis and assessment skills more when I’ve had the chance to get to know and watch a student. Your teacher is your first/best resource for identifying problems and areas in which you need additional work.
What I CAN do.
I can offer some “vitamins.” Vitamins are good for just about anyone because they are nutritional compounds taken in small doses. And so, I’d like to introduce to you to My Dance Homework… dance “vitamins.”
My Dance Homework, Take One:
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.