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The Thinking Dancer Topic 1 ~ How to Make Full Use of Ballet Lessons

Hello dear dancers! I've been wanting to write this article since a long time ago but never found the time to do so till this CNY hols haha!

This article is for anyone who would like to dancer better faster and make full use of your ballet lesson time to improve on your technique even if your teacher doesn't correct you that day! Efficient use of time in class would mean that you can improve within that 1hr or 1.5hr lesson without having to struggle at home practising (most likely unproductively) and banging into all your furniture =P

Rule #1: Be Alert
- Listen out to key words your teacher likes to use to correct a particular mistake. For example, if your teacher shouts out "elbows!", he/she means that your arms are not rounded and you have to keep your elbows in to create that nice, sought-after aesthetic line. (I'll be writing another article on my commonly used keywords and what I mean =P)
- Observe. Using the mirror, observe how you dance in comparison to how your teacher dances. Make the necessary adjustments to get your body parts in the right place. There are always two teachers in the dance studio...one of which is the mirror. Don't ignore it!
- Feel. After your teacher(s) has/have corrected you (either hands on, verbally or visually), try to remember how your muscles feel when you are in that position. This would help you get into the right position faster the next time you try to correct it. Soon, your body would get so used to that particular feeling you remembered that you wouldn't need to 'think twice' when you dance.

Rule #2: Learn from other students' mistakes
When the teacher corrects someone else, it doesn't mean you're not doing it wrong either. Sometimes a teacher may pick out the most obvious person to correct, leaving out the rest who do it "less wrongly". There's not enough time for a teacher to go to every person in class to correct individually, so students are expected to listen (and correct themselves) while he/she corrects one person.

Rule #3: Practise while the teacher is correcting your friend
After you have listened to the correction directed at other students, practise whatever you have learnt from there. Even if you already know that "we must not sickle our feet when we point", practise pointing and check in the mirror. You may have made that same mistake without knowing!

Rule #4: Practise while you're being corrected
This is quite a common sight in class: The teacher corrects a student, and the student nods.
Practise!!! If the teacher specifically chose to correct you, it may either mean that he/she expects you to be able to improve it within the next few minutes in front of her, or you had better practise more coz it's an eyesore.
For example, when you hear "Please keep your arms in 1st when you're doing the turn", do not just nod your head. Quickly get into position to prepare for the turn and practise what your teacher told you. This extra practise helps in many ways. Firstly, you make full use of your time in class to dance. Secondly, its like a mini private coaching session where your teacher would get to see you attempt to correct a step. If that attempt wasn't successful, your teacher would most likely continue that private session and give you more tips. Lastly, you'll be able to achieve an improvement within just a few minutes! Saves you the trouble of going home to try and recall what the teacher taught you that day.

Apply what you've learnt here in class...it'll help you! Hehe...i'm still in a holiday mood now though...i'll update this article if i've left anything out. Till then...happy CNY!!

1 comment:

cly said...

hey cool! really good tips! :) thx joni.. clydia