Dancing Tips & Advice

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Get a Dance Practice Partner!

Posted: 18/02/2018

Last week we looked at a few options for improving your dancing on a time budget.This week we're stepping back on the dance floor to talking about practice partners!Having a regular practice partner (or sometimes more than one) can help you to quickly improve - you can spend time working on things together, give each other feedback, and bring consistency to training.Plus it can be a great part of building a friendship!

Finding a Practice Partner

When thinking about trying to find a practice partner it'll often work better if you're around the same experience level (so you can challenge each other), and have similar goals, short and long term.For example, are you both looking for a partner for traveling to performances and competitions? Are you interested in training to specifically improve your social dancing skills?
If you're practicing with your life partner, then similar experience levels usually won't matter as much, but it's still good to discuss goals and interests.
We usually have music playing before the night starts, so if you plan to come early and dance a few songs together you can see if you'll be a good match - approaching someone to practice with shouldn't be scary!

Ground Rules & Feedback

Make sure you talk about what you're okay with (for example, are you both keen on practicing aerials? Do steals mess up your dancing?), and have a talk about giving feedback to each other.Accepting feedback can be challenging at times; particularly as your partner doesn't understand your role, or what you're working on, as well as you do!Do you both prefer no feedback at all, only during breaks after a few songs, between songs, or is it fine mid-song?And how much feedback do you want from your partner?
The easiest option is to ask your partner to give feedback on something in particular before the song - then you can work on it and know they're paying attention to what you want feedback on.
When giving feedback, a good way to start is to state what you saw or felt - don't worry about the why or how, just what you observed.Your partner will often know the why; but if not you can work together on understanding what changes you want to make.
Always remember to give feedback on what works well and what you like in your partner's dancing, as well as what could be improved (which is not what's 'wrong').

Getting Together to Practice

Next week we'll talk about holding a practice session with your dance partner - how to get the most out of it!

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